developer: Irrational Games
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: local network / Internet, players: 1 - 16
game language: English
game release date for PC:
SWAT 4 for PC is another installment in a series of tactical action games depicting the work of SWAT. SWAT 4 was developed by Irrational Games, a studio popular for such acclaimed titles as System Shock 2, Tribes: Vengeance or Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich. The main mode included in SWAT 4, that is, the career, gives an opportunity to lead a team of police officers belonging to this elite unit. The game offers 16 dangerous missions and those require the player to rescue civilians that are held hostage by terrorists, or to apprehend an extremely dangerous criminal. The game doesn’t depict recruits becoming elite SWAT operatives over time; rather, it just confronts the player with subsequent missions, and the job is to complete them in the best possible way. During a pre-mission briefing, the player becomes acquainted with the details of the operation; afterwards, the player chooses the weaponry and equipment for their team – these are the last steps before the mission begins. Apart from the career mode, the game features the training mode, as well as two other variants, namely instant action and quick missions.
The creators of SWAT 4 pointed out that their game definitely belongs to the group of realistic simulations. The player will find here a wide variety of weapons that real SWAT teams actually have at their disposal (Colt M-4 rifle, Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun, smoke grenades, gas grenades, etc.), as well as a large amount of equipment used by the terrorists (AK-47 rifle for example). The same applies to different kinds of additional equipment, such as bulletproof vests, explosives for opening doors, or special cameras, such as Opti-1. Before each mission, the players are totally free to chose their equipment. The devs from Irrational Games decided on Epic's Unreal Engine when creating SWAT 4 – the game utilizes the video effects provided by DirectX 9.0, as well as Pixel Shader 3.0, which was one of the latest technological advancements in video gaming at the time of the release. On the other hand, the acclaimed Havoc engine was used to represent the physics in the virtual world, including aspects such as bullets' flight trajectory. What is important however, the creators did not implement bullet rebound effects deliberately, because the presence of those could result in too much collateral damage (this applies especially to the game's multiplayer component).
In SWAT 4 for PC, the player can participate in the operations directly by controlling particular team members (one can switch between them). However, one can also control the team remotely, using cameras and microphones attached to the operatives' helmets. Compared to the previous installment, SWAT 3, the game utilizes a completely new user interface. Although the equivalent from SWAT 3 was very flexible in terms of configuration (which was to the orthodox fans' liking), it did scare off the less advanced players. The new interface works on the basis of text commands – for instance, when the player stumbles on a locked door and clicks on it, a menu containing different actions shows up. From here, the player can choose to pick the lock or to blow up the door for example. Once the player has chosen an option, the team members begin to perform the action.
What deserves approval in SWAT 4 for PC as well is the AI of the operatives, bandits and civilians. The SWAT members move in accordance with the principles of fighting armed criminals in closed quarters: they avoid non-covered spots, they move near walls, remain watchful in different directions, cover one another, etc. Sniper teams also give cover to the entry team; the player can take control over the marksmen, who cover different sections of the map, and eliminate criminals if they decide it’s neccesary.
Apart from the singleplayer component, SWAT 4 for PC offers three multiplayer modes, as well as the cooperative campaign mode. Additionally, the game features a special editor, which allows the player to create their own assignments and modify the existing ones.
Game score 8.535 / 10 calculated out of 4372 players' votes.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 1.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, graphic card 128MB (GeForce 4 or better), 2 GB HDD