Swat 4 | PC Game | Genre: Modern Shooter | 490MB
The original SWAT game, released in 1995, was Daryl F. Gates’ Police Quest: SWAT. Named after the former Los Angeles Police Chief who formed the world’s first SWAT team, the original SWAT and its sequel were actually strategy games. It wasn’t until SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle was released in 1999 that the series transitioned into the first-person-shooter genre. Throughout the years, each SWAT game has attempted to simulate what it’s like to lead the world’s most highly skilled and trained police officers into dangerous confrontations. It’s been more than five years since the last SWAT, and the newest iteration of the series is the best one yet, offering an intelligent and flexible interface, a varied and highly replayable campaign, as well as multiplayer modes that include cooperative play.
As with the real-life SWAT teams, your job as an element commander in SWAT 4 is to take your five-man team into dangerous situations and defuse them. These situations range from a botched jewelry heist to high-risk arrest warrants to a raid on an illegal casino. In almost every mission, there are innocent civilians mixed in with the bad guys. Those of you who are Rainbow Six and Counter-Strike veterans will need to cool it on your itchy trigger fingers. Even when you do run into armed criminals, you don’t have carte blanche to shoot them immediately. You have to follow the same strict rules of engagement as a real police officer and do whatever you can to subdue and arrest suspects without lethal force. Your guns are meant to be a last resort and should only be used if an armed suspect is an immediate threat to your team or civilians. This is the primary detail that separates the SWAT games from the military-style action games. The rules of engagement add a good deal of difficulty to the game, and SWAT 4 pulls this off well. At the end of each mission you’re graded on how well you did, and more points are awarded for arresting as opposed to killing suspects. You are assessed big point penalties for improper use of force, and for the most part, these penalties are levied fairly and intuitively.
The context-sensitive interface extends to a multipurpose use button as well. Point it at a suspect or hostage, and the use button will cause you to yell at the person to put his hands up and surrender. You’ll be doing this a lot in SWAT 4, as you attempt to get suspects to respect your authority before shooting them. Point your cursor at a dropped weapon and you can pick it up to secure it. Aim at a cuffed criminal or civilian and your use key will radio a status report into command.
There are also interface options that allow you to remotely command one of your squad elements. For example, you can order red team to stack up at a door, and then leave them there while you take blue team around the corner to a second door (which leads into the same room). Even though you’re out of visual range of red team, you can bring up a picture-in-picture window of what red team is seeing, and through that window you can order them to enter the door they’re standing in front of. This is a neat option that allows you to simultaneously enter a room that has two doors. During a given mission there are also picture-in-picture windows you can open that give you a view of what external snipers are seeing, and you can even control your snipers via those windows.
SWAT 4’s graphics mirror its gameplay: it’s great for the most part, but it has a few noticeable flaws. The character models of your team are fantastic, and they animate beautifully when executing scripted moves like breaching open a door and entering a room. They’re modeled in such detail that you can even see the number and type of grenades each of your teammates has left by glancing at their utility belts. The models of the various hostages and suspects, however, don’t look quite as good. They’re noticeably blockier, and their joints can look and bend a bit strangely while you’re cuffing them. The level architectures are very well detailed, and each building’s layout looks and feels believable, including the degree to which they’re furnished. SWAT 4 also does a good job with lighting, as you’ll need to rely on your tactical light a lot in dark rooms and areas.
Despite the flaws, SWAT 4 is extremely unique in its gameplay style and premise, and it executes cleanly for the most part. What’s more, suspects and hostages spawn randomly in each level every time you play, which adds a great deal of replayability to the game. No matter how many times you’ve played a mission, you can never be too sure of the whereabouts of suspects, which makes for a consistently intense experience. Replaying levels does make them easier over time, but that’s not from memorizing the locations of enemies, it’s from gaining a better understanding of the building architecture, which plays a huge role in the game. For further replayability, SWAT 4 even includes a mission-maker interface that lets you customize any of the levels to include variable numbers and types of suspects and hostages, as well as specific mission requirements, like sustaining zero casualties. These missions are saved as pack files, which can be traded with your friends
Minimum System Requirements:
* Windows 98SE, Windows® 2000 with Service Pack 3, or Windows® XP with Service Pack 1
* DirectX® 9.0c
* 1.0 GHz Intel® Pentium® III, Intel® Celeron® 1.2 GHz, AMD® Athlon™ 1.2 GHz, or equivalent
* 256 MB RAM
* 32 MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 2 (MX 200/400 not supported), 64 MB ATI® Radeon™ 8500, or equivalent graphics card
* DirectX® 8.1 compatible sound device
* 2 GB hard drive space
* Windows®-compatible mouse
The recommended system requirements are as above with the following changes:
System: 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 / Athlon XP 2500+ or equivalent
Video Memory: 128 MB