a contender for game of the year, SWAT 4 provides
a great balance of gameplay features with an easy-to-use
interface and realistic situations. I wouldn't be
surprised if this game was being used in training
sessions for special forces recruits.
stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. As part of
an elite force, you and your teammates will be assigned
a variety of missions that take advantage of your
training, skills and deployment of tactics, weapons
and gadgets. There is no story mode, which I think
is a good thing since you are facing different unrelated
situations in each mission just as would in real life.
The briefing before each mission is the only background
you'll get on any particular situation and it will
help you to make decisions as to what weapons and
gadgets to use in addition to adopting a team strategy
before you begin.
like the absence of a story mode. It makes each mission
feel like a different game. For SWAT members this
is just another day at the office. The threats range
from crazed robbery suspects to heavily armed intelligent
terrorist cells. Each mission requires a different
approach. Use of non-lethal force is highly recommended
in all situations. If you are able to bring the suspects
in alive you will be rewarded with more points. In
most real-life situations lethal force is the last
option. There may be hostages or other innocent lives
at stakes. It's also better to have the suspects alive
for interrogation as they may be deeply involved in
that end, weapons, gadgets and tactics are implemented
to provide maximum safety to all parties. The shotgun
is not a particularly deadly weapon but if you manage
to shoot an enemy in the arm or the leg with a high-powered
assault rifle, more often than not you will end up
killing them. It's unfair but it's something you'll
have to live with. Non-lethal weapons include a taser,
pepper ball gun, bean bag ammunition, flashbang grenades,
CS gas, and a stinger grenade which releases rubber
pellets that render the subject in pain temporarily.
Body armor will protect you but it's no substitute
for avoiding hits altogether. Considering how good
the enemy's aim is that's no easy task.
enemy AI is smart, sometimes smarter than your AI
teammates. The enemy will run, take cover and wait
for you to expose yourself or fall into a trap. Although
you may give your teammates commands they sometimes
follow them too closely and won't take the opportunity
to engage the enemy when ambushed since it's not really
part of the command. It doesn't happen all the time
but the only way to guarantee this doesn't happen
is to play with three other reasonably intelligent
humans in the co-op mode.
team tactics really gives you an advantage. For instance,
when you converge on a door you can use the optiwand
to scan the room and learn where the enemies are located.
Then your team can take aim and cover all the hot
spots before you open the door. This technique comes
in handy even when you can't see in before you breach
a door. Using teamwork and timing to your advantage
is the key to good play. It's really satisfying to
pull off some good team moves as it motivates you
and your buddies to tackle the next mission. Thanks
to randomly generated enemies, you never know where
they'll be located when you play the same levels over.
This is also true for the other multi-player modes
which include Team Deathmatch, Escort and a bomb defusing
mode called Rapid Deployment which is a race against
have been streamlined in the most obvious of situations.
For instance, when you approach a door you will be
asked if you want to open it. There's no need to go
surfing through an interface to do that. Depending
where you place the cursor you will be offered a series
of pertinent commands which really speeds the gameplay
of the environments are heavily detailed - almost
too much. The developers are really showing off here
and it shouldn't go unnoticed. When you enter an office
building you will see rows and rows of cubicles but
each one is decorated to reflect the one-third of
an individual's life that is spent there. Some are
messy, some are clean but most of them are different
and that's the kind of realism that immerses you in
the gameplay. Darkened corridors, lanes and stairwells
will get your blood pumping as you know that the shadows
may be harboring some kind of potential threat.
when you start to get jaded and you think that a particular
genre may have run its cycle, a game like SWAT 4 comes
around and turns you into a drooling fan again. I
can't imagine how Irrational Games is going to top
this one but I'm glad that's not my assignment.