SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battles
The first two SWAT games were something of a mixed bag. The initial offering featured a lot of full-motion video and not much action; while the second got itself confused with a real-time strategy game. Still, both titles had their moments, and their fans. They were, at the time of their releases, perhaps the only games that forced players to follow realistic police procedures and had as their goals the apprehension, not the obliteration, of everyday bad guys around Los Angeles.
The same goes for SWAT 3, which has little to do with the previous two games outside of the title. More of an intense first-person tactical shooter at its core, the game lets you command a SWAT team through some very difficult situations. Through a communication tree that reacts dynamically according to whatever is under your crosshairs, you can get your team to perform a myriad of complex tasks.
Point the crosshair at a door and tell your element to “breach and clear,” and then watch them do it. Simple and efficient. Your team will react quickly and competently not only to your commands, but also to unforeseen events and developments. Even without specific commands they act autonomously in a relatively logical fashion. The same applies for suspects and civilians – randomly distributed on maps, they react differently depending on how you approach them. Suspects might flee when they see you, they might open fire or even decide to surrender and drop their weapon, where you – following police procedures, have to cuff them, seize their weapon and let dispatch know of your situation.
Sierra’s close ties to the Los Angeles Police Department (thank them for their past work on the Police Quest series) are readily apparent in the realism and authenticity found in SWAT 3. The ballistics model, for one, provides you with realistic bullet penetration. This becomes particularly critical during missions that involve innocent civilians â€” you need to be aware of where your shots are headed and what they might hit on the other side of that wall, and an M4 round will have a different penetration to an MP5 round. Mission briefings and police commands sound tantalizingly authentic, and actually add a lot to the atmosphere.
In all this is a great quality tactical shooter, rivaling some heavyweights such as Rainbow Six or Flashpoint, but succeeding with its own particular style of gameplay to cement it as a classic.
System Requirements: Pentium MMX 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 450 MB HDD, Win95
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