Picture yourself leading a highly trained SWAT team into a desperate hostage situation. Negotiations have failed, and now those civilian lives are in your hands. You must choose your point of entry, and plan out your tactical take down of these criminals, while making sure you and your team stay as safe as possible. You must choose when to use lethal force, or try and take the situation using your countless non-lethal options. And you must choose who goes through each and every door first. In SWAT 4, you will face these decisions in every single mission. Every time you step into a new situation, there will be elements you have not encountered before. From new, armored criminals, to different hostage reactions. You can deploy overwatch snipers, and under door cameras to give you the edge during the mission. You are almost always outnumbered and outgunned. To stay alive, you must be smart, and be tactical.
SWAT 4 came out in 2005. Even though it received very positive reviews, it never reached great popularity. SWAT 4 boasted some of the best CPUs seen in gaming at that time. They reacted to almost everything you did, and reacted fairly intelligently. As a result of this, arresting anyone was intense and unpredictable. Combat was tough and never the same twice. Ambushes were a real threat, and encouraged you to move slow and be smart with your every step.
In SWAT 4 you had dozens of different weapons to choose from. You could pick from shot guns, rifles, pepper guns, taser, pistols, bean bad guns, and grenades. You also had tactical tools, such as door jams, corner cameras, CS, flash bangs, sting grenades, Etc. Once you chose your weapons, you could then customize them to better suit your mission. Adding things like special ammunition, silencers, and extra ammo. Once you did this for yourself, you then have the option to do the same for your entire team.
Different missions always have different limitations. Sometimes you will fail if you or your team take any damage. Other times lethal force is not approved, and you must not kill anyone, no matter what the situation turns into. These limitations suddenly take out a lot of the shooting, but add a lot of difficulty and thought needed to get the good grade at the end. If you do not do well and get a low score, you must go back and play the mission again and follow the missions unique rules more efficiently. The enemies will take up new positions and react differently, not allowing the mission to become predictable and easier.
Once you have made your way through the campaign and feel that you know the game, challenge yourself. SWAT 4 has a custom game option where you can make your own map and push yourself to new limits. You could even make a suicide mission with countless enemies and see how long you can last. This option even allows you to make small campaigns for yourself or to challenge your friends with. This feature is very impressive for a game released in 2005.
SWAT 4 was such an intense game that even watching someone play is intense and thrilling. The mechanics are realistic and easy to use. You can completely customize your set up and optimize your controls to your own taste. The rules force you to be slow and calculating and that works beautifully. It adds to the intensity and stress of playing, instead of making it to slow or boring. Every corner will make you sweat. There is even a level that only has one main criminal, but taking this serial killer down is disturbing the whole way to say the least. This game will make you sweat, and want to keep playing for days.