Better Late Than Never Reviews: SWAT 4.

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SWAT 4.

Platform Reviewed On - PC
Platforms Available On - PC
Released - 2005
Price - 5.00 GBP

Introduction -

SWAT 4 comes from US developer Irrational Games, who went on to create Bioshock. SWAT 4 is a game which aims to be a realistic depiction of being an officer in SWAT, this means no running in guns blazing, unless you're looking forward to taking penalty reductions for misconduct. You can use a wide range of abilities to get the job done, such as high tech gadgets, So how does it fair as a tactical, squad based shooter? Read on to find out.

The Good -

Put your hands up! SWAT 4 is realistic, you must act like an officer of the law to an extraordinary level. To this end you can't just go around shooting suspects (or civilians) willy-nilly, you must yell at them to drop their weapons and but their hands up. This can lead to some quite intense situations where you find yourself aiming at a suspect who is clutching on to his gun. You don't know if he is going to drop it, he could pretend to and then turn around and shoot you. Your finger will be on the trigger at all times and your judgement will be tested. This inpredictable gameplay and on-the-spot decision making is complimented well by ever changing levels, lots of replayability comes in the fact that each level will have the suspects and civilians in different positions each time you play, all of whom react differently.

Not a walking God. FPS' like to make you feel like a walking God, who can soak up bullets no problem. SWAT changes this in that you can and will die (although replaying levels is a joy thanks to the aforementioned ever-changing gameplay). You must think through decisions and use your guns carefully, the weapons themselves are realistic and all handle differently. Shooting a suspect is, as mentioned, not so simple here - and where you shoot them matters. If a suspect won't comply you can use a non lethal weapon and shoot him in the legs beforing disarming him, alternatively if a suspect does return fire, shoot his arm to subdue him. Remember, SWAT favours suspects arrested rather than killed, (although sometimes it is inevitable.)

Interesting Premise. SWAT's missions are varied, unique and a lot of fun to play. Although your objectives remain relatively the same - arrest suspects and secure hostages - the build up to the missions themselves makes you become fully immersed in each scenario. Starting with a fully voiced briefing you also have the option of listening to a 911 call which resulted in SWAT taking the reigns, from there you look at plans of the area and can choose an entry point, equip yourself and your squad and deploy for the operation. But of course playing each level is a blast, one particular mission early on see's you out to fulfill a high-risk arrest warrant on man who lives with his mother, suspected of kidnapping, raping and killing College students. Now an intriguing premise wouldn't do well without good level design, so SWAT delivers and puts you in a house full of atmosphere and... well lots of things which serve as a testament to the guilt of the suspect. I don't want to ruin anything.

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The Bad -

You're in my way Sir. Let's make one thing clear. The AI in SWAT 4 can range from 'decent' to 'outright stupid'. Playing through immersive missions with realistic gameplay is a good experience brought down by silly AI. I'm looking at the good guys who serve alongside you. They will get in your way, throw grenades into the doorways of rooms, run into rooms in file and get mown down by a suspect and blind you with flash grenades. Don't get me wrong I loved playing through SWAT over and over again, but when some of those restarts were due to the shoddy AI then it can become tedius.

Ridiculous enemies. Your teammates aren't the only ones you may find yourself questioning. The suspects in SWAT 4 often perfom miraculous feats, such as shooting you dead from across and entire room to hiding in the most obscure places before jumping out and catching you off guard. Oh and they run, and you will not find them - they will find you.

In Conclusion -

If you find my negatives of this game lacking or unfair, then that's because it's hard to criticise such an awesome game. You will have lots of fun playing this if you want a change of pace from Call of Duty. Yes the AI can be annoying, but ultimately the fun gameplay is right there with awesome visuals and atmospheric levels. The plethora of mods available as well as a strong online community (and a low, low price) mean this is still worth picking up, even if it is five years old.

Want a change of pace from the standard shooter? Want a realistic game with interesting missions? Get this game.

Favourite Moment-

Yelling at a crazy old lady to get down, she doesn't comply, so I pepper spray her into submission before shooting her son who comes running round the corner, guns blazing. Then I tazer the Lady again. I'm an evil person.

S.W.A.T. 4 was one of my absolute favorite FPCS (First Person Cop Simulators) of all time. The game on its harder difficulties was intense as any moment in FPS history. You nailed it on the head when you highlighted the intensity of seeing an "enemy" and NOT being allowed, but being able, to shoot them. I was actually going to do this game myself in my series so I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that loved this game.

Ahhh Swat 4 Sweet Sweet LP gold.

SavingPrincess:
S.W.A.T. 4 was one of my absolute favorite FPCS (First Person Cop Simulators) of all time. The game on its harder difficulties was intense as any moment in FPS history. You nailed it on the head when you highlighted the intensity of seeing an "enemy" and NOT being allowed, but being able, to shoot them. I was actually going to do this game myself in my series so I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that loved this game.

Cheers :D. Yep this game is awesome to this day. By the way, is the very first image working for you? It worked fine in preview when I wrote it but now it isn't appearing for me. D:

Liberaliter:
Cheers :D. Yep this game is awesome to this day. By the way, is the very first image working for you? It worked fine in preview when I wrote it but now it isn't appearing for me. D:

Bad person to ask, I access this site from work so most image hosting/gaming sites are blocked. I rarely see images in any post and that's the reason I don't include them myself. Sorry sir.

SavingPrincess:

Liberaliter:
Cheers :D. Yep this game is awesome to this day. By the way, is the very first image working for you? It worked fine in preview when I wrote it but now it isn't appearing for me. D:

Bad person to ask, I access this site from work so most image hosting/gaming sites are blocked. I rarely see images in any post and that's the reason I don't include them myself. Sorry sir.

Haha, Ok. It seems to work sometimes when I refresh the page. Ah well.

SWAT 4's coop is still alive and kicking on LANs, great teamwork action.

Terrik:
SWAT 4's coop is still alive and kicking on LANs, great teamwork action.

Yeah I checked the servers the other day as well, lots of them still there. I've never actually played multiplayer though, hence why I didn't comment on that aspect.

Well, you nailed all of the exact same selling points as Spoony.

I was surprised watching his Let's Play, actually. It looked like a genuinely fun game.

NickCaligo42:
Well, you nailed all of the exact same selling points as Spoony.

I was surprised watching his Let's Play, actually. It looked like a genuinely fun game.

It is, very unpredictable. I whole heartedly recommend it.

I love Spoony's review of this game on spoonyexperiment.com it is freakin' hilarious.
But I have played the game also and I thought it was very fun. hard at times but fun.

Kahrooch:
I love Spoony's review of this game on spoonyexperiment.com it is freakin' hilarious.
But I have played the game also and I thought it was very fun. hard at times but fun.

Yeah some bits got very hard, I hated getting shot in the leg as it made me so slow so I ended up restarting when it happened.

Absolutely love that game, especially in multiplayer. It was a real classic.
Now where is my SWAT 5, you jerks?
Also, Spoony quote. You won me over just by that.

JourneyThroughHell:
Absolutely love that game, especially in multiplayer. It was a real classic.
Now where is my SWAT 5, you jerks?
Also, Spoony quote. You won me over just by that.

You're in my way sir.

Haha, I love his Lets plays of SWAT 4.

 

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