SWAT 4 by irrational games
Become the Elite in Law EnforcementSince the first day I played SWAT 3, I was already looking forward to the release of SWAT 4. I had gotten involved in SWAT 3 pretty far into its shelf-life, and even then the game was given to me by a friend that had a second copy. I’m not sure why I didn’t bother picking it up, but it certainly was a great game that occupied numerous hours of my time. After a long wait, SWAT 4 was released and didn't disappoint me in the least! (Well, other than the lack of glowsticks.)
Within the city, crisis and turmoil are an everyday, every second occurrence. When ordinary means of law enforcement are not an option, there is a group that is called upon to dole out justice to those that believe they are above the law. This highly-regarded and specially trained unit is SWAT. In SWAT 4, you are the element leader of an authentic Special Weapons and Tactics team within the big city where danger looms large.
--Official SWAT 4 Site
SWAT 4 is a First Person Shooter (FPS) like so many of the games out today, what sets it apart from the rest of the crowd is the attention to detail when it comes to your mission objectives. Rather than your traditional run & gun atmosphere, SWAT 4 requires you to work with your team, clear and cover rooms, and play as though your life depended on your actions.
The game melds a great FPS atmosphere in with what you would expect from a Law Enforcement simulator with outstanding success. The game play is excellent and will provide for hundreds of hours of single and multiplayer enjoyment.
The single player campaigns are quite enjoyable and get progressively more difficult as you advance through the missions. Depending on the difficulty you selected, you need to meet a predefined score to advance to the next mission. Points are awarded for calling in various events such as restrained suspects, terminated suspects, terminated civilians, injured civilians and downed officers. You are also required to secure any weapons dropped by any restrained or terminated suspects in order to complete the mission.
Multiplayer offers a variety of options:
Barricaded Suspects: Both SWAT and the Suspects gain points by neutralizing or arresting members of the opposing team. The winner is the first team to reach the score limit or the team with the highest score when the round timer ends.
VIP Escort: One SWAT member is randomly selected to be the VIP. The Suspects must arrest the VIP and then hold him captive for two minutes before they can assassinate him. SWAT must escort the VIP to the extraction point in the mission area while preventing the Suspects from arresting him. SWAT wins if the VIP successfully reaches the extraction point of if the Suspects kill the VIP without arresting and holding him for two minutes. The Suspects win if they assassinate the VIP after arresting and holding him for two minutes or if the VIP is killed by a SWAT officer.
Rapid Deployment: 3 to 5 bombs are randomly placed around the mission area. SWAT must locate and disable all bombs within the designated time limit to win the round. If SWAT does not disable all of the bombs within the designated time limit the bombs will detonate and the Suspects will win the round.
Co-Op: This Cooperative mode allows you to play through the Single Player missions with up to 4 other people. (5 players total)
Most of my online experience has been in Cooperative mode with some good tactical players. The missions can be quite challenging as the suspects spawn in varying locations in the maps. The VIP Escort game type is also quite fun if you’re playing with a good group of people and need a game type that can handle more than 5 players.
One of the unique things that sets SWAT 4 apart from other FPS games focused on the whole “Terrorist / Counter-Terrorist” concept is the use of less-than-lethal weapons in conjunction with traditional lethal ammunition. You have the choice between traditional firearms such as the Colt M4A1 Carbine, .45 SMG, G36 Rifle, M4 Shotgun, M1911 handgun and Suppressed and non-suppressed MP5 SMG and non-lethal alternatives such as the Pepper-Ball Gun, Bean-Bag Shotgun, Taser Stun-Gun, Pepper-Spray and Stinger Grenades. This selection doesn’t constitute the entire arsenal at your disposal, but it should give you a good idea of the variety. Tactical aids such as teargas, flash-bangs, third-eye cameras, C2 breaching charges, and door wedges are also available.
From the graphics and sound perspective, the game is very appealing. The environments are very detailed and the lighting and textures help with the immersion factor. SWAT 4 utilizes the Vengeance engine based on Unreal technology. The sound is also appealing and there is a wide variety of background noise in the various missions that work well with both the mission’s background story and the environment in which the missions are played out.
SWAT 4 is certainly a game that I would recommend for any tactical sim fan. If you’re looking for fast paced fragging, this may not be the game for you. But if you like slower, more calculated gaming that combines teamwork, communication and attention to the finer detail this is the game.
- Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
- Celeron 1.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 1.2 GHz
- 256 MB RAM
- 2 GB free hard disk space
- DirectX 8.1 compatible audio support
- Minimum graphics card: nVidia GeForce 2 (MX 200/400 not supported) with 32 MB or ATI Radeon 8500 with 64 MB, with Microsoft DirectX 9 driver installed
- Recommended graphics card: nVidia GeForce 4 Ti (not MX) with 128 MB, ATI Radeon 9500 with 128 MB, with Microsoft DirectX 9 driver installed