These enemies appeared bigger than normal enemies. One Brute defeated was worth 250 XP. Like Armored Henchmen, Brutes needed to be taken down with a Beatdown, as their blocks absorbed all direct attacks. One difference was that you couldn't counter an attack from a Brute, but you could intersect it. Another difference was that you couldn't use a normal takedown or a Fear Takedown to defeat it. Also, unlike the Armored Henchmen from the previous games, the Militia Brutes required two Special Combo Takedowns to go down, if the Beatdown or Dual Takedowns weren't used.
In combat, a Brute could also be even more lethal once armed with weapons like knives gouging out of their gauntlets, which forced the player to perform a complex knife-counter each attack, electric gloves, which made them invincible and harder-hitting until the electricity dissipated, and shields, which forced Batman to do a shield takedown. Non-militia Brutes couldn't switch weapons. Armed militia Brutes could switch between these three weapons, and announced doing so.
Brutes possessed a unique ability to throw unconscious soldiers at Batman as a form of ranged attack and even threw live soldiers if Batman was out of their reach, injuring and potentially knocking out the soldier in question. They could not perform this attack on other Brutes or minigunners or if they were equipped with weapons.
- Militia Brutes appeared to be equipped with some sort of Exosuit that resembled the Nanosuit from the video game Crysis.
- Brutes did not appear in challenge mode if one was playing as Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Batgirl, or Red Hood. This was presumably because they had no animations for Brute-size enemies. They were instead replaced with other enemy types. Additionally, Brutes with electric gloves didn't appear in challenge maps for Robin because he wasn't equipped with an REC gun that could neutralize their gloves.
- Whenever a Brute was taken out, someone among the remaining enemies might make a comment like "He took the big guy out!".