SWAT stands for Special Weapons And Tactics. It is highly trained police unit, which takes action where normal police measures fail or they are simply not enough. And this is where the story begins. You, as the squad leader, have to bring order to chaos, rescue hostages and face many other situations with bullets flying next to your head, exploding grenades and people screaming around you. In the midst of it all you have to stay focused, using your team and tactics to save the day.
After huge success of SWAT 3, it's sequel proudly continues. SWAT 4 puts you in charge of a 5 people squad, with you being commander of two teams - red and blue. Using your squad you clear your way through maps as you see fit. You can split them into two groups whenever you want for more efficient clearing. The next advantage lies within tactical aid. Simply walking into the room full of suspects would definately end up with dead bodies. Since SWAT is life saving organisation, you are provided with special equipment to help you in that purpose.
Before any mission starts, you are briefed and you can select your gear. Depending on circumstances, you can choose weapon to be less lethal, suppressed, smaller for easier maneuvering in tight spaces or more powerful. You also have a chance of using taser - which is quite useful for stubborn suspects or hostages, not willing to comply for arrest. Grenades are another very important asset. Flashbang, cs gas and stinger, these are highly effective when used accordingly to specific situations. And some other "work tools", that help do the job properly - pepper spray, breaching devices, lockpick, wedges to block doors and optiwand, very interesting and very useful device to scan for threats.
Having such equipment, you are being deployed on various missions where SWAT help is crucial. Single player offers 14 maps, starting with training, going through easy ones and improving difficulty as you play on. In time, maps get bigger, suspects won't give up easily, there will be more of them and harder to deal with. Music is very well mixed with what happens. For example, in response to flashbang going out or door being breached, music gets more dynamic just as the action itself. As for the graphic level - it's in good standing, definately enough to play happy. Managing your team is very easy, and has two ways of doing so. You can either choose classic menu like it was in SWAT 3 or you can use the new one. By clicking right mouse button, orders window will pop up. That way, you can give your team orders and still keep moving. Police officers not only swiftly proceed with your orders, but also advise you if something happens or if they are unable to carry out the given task.
Forget about frags, jumps and headshot scores. In this game your main goal is to apprehend suspects, using distraction or "persuasion" methods like shouting, grenades and such. Taking suspect down may happen only if he aims at you or somebody else. Otherwise, you will get penalty. That's right. Points are awarded here if you keep everyone safe, including the terrorists and no one gets hurt. By doing so, you will get 100 points. Brake any of the rules of engagement, and your score drops down very fast. Unfortunately, AI is somewhat lacking. Your officers won't wait for cs gas to spread and affect targets, sometimes they will open door standing in a line of fire, thus both examples usually end up with your team member being shot. However, it is a completely different story when playing online.
Online gaming offers 4 modes:
-Coop - you play with people against AI and clear maps like in single player
-Barricaded Suspects - the goal here is to simply kill or arrest the enemy team players
-Rapid Deployment - SWAT has to locate and disarm bombs, while suspects must stop them
-Vip - SWAT has to escort Vip player to safety and suspects must arrest Vip and kill after 2 minutes time.
In any of those modes, teamwork is essential. The better it works, the more joy you get of playing. The possibility of custom maps makes this game even more joyful. You can also communicate with friends using voice to improve the gameplay and make it more realistic.
SWAT 4 is highly playable game, and very addictive in terms of online gameplay. Once you start playing with people, you get lot more fun rather than playing single player. But nevertheless, playing career is also a nice experience. If you are interested in FPS and SWAT tactics, this game should make you happy.