Greetings and welcome to Los Angeles, 2005 A.D. Your mission for the next 7-day period is to
protect world leaders that are now enroute to LA for a Nuclear Abolishment meeting
sponsored by the United Nations. You, as a
highly trained LAPD SWAT Element Leader, must put your team and yourself between these
dignitaries and any harm that might befall them while they are in the City of
Angels. Good Luck! Youre going to need it.
SWAT 3 is
another winner from the boys and girls at Sierra. But
what else would you expect from a company with a long-standing history of putting out some
great games. SWAT 3 ranks up there with Half-Life
and Half-Life: Opposing Forces. It is a very well developed first person
action/shooter that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours, hunting for
terrorists while searching for the hostages and disarming explosives before everyone eats
it and the bad guys win. Your job is to see to it that nothing interrupts the Nuclear
Abolishment meetings, so get to it!
First things first; get the game set up and
configured so that it works the way that you want it to. Out of the box everything works
great, but the default keyboard controls are some of the weirdest I have ever seen. All of them had to go before I could accomplish
much in the game. Basically, I just set them
up to mirror my Half-Life configuration to
avoid confusion when switching from game to game. There are a few exceptions to this idea
because your character can do quite a bit more interacting with the environment in SWAT 3
than you can in Half-Life. You also have to control the 4 NPCs that
you lead around on various missions. It takes
a while to get used to all of the controls, but once you play for a bit they all seem to
fall into place.
This game is
set up with gamers in mind. True gamers like to get the box open,
the game installed and then get busy blowing bad guys away.
Gamers dont like to spend a bunch of time searching for patches to make the
game run the way its supposed to, or talking to someone at tech-support trying to figure
out why the game wont even run on their system.
Thats what beta tests are for. Finished
products should be hot and ready for action as fast as you can get it installed. And SWAT 3 delivers in a big way!
As soon as you get your installation finished
youre ready to select the level of difficulty and start playing. The game is broken up into two parts: single
missions and career play. Single missions
allow you to select any mission in the game and run through it. Its basically the
same as career mode but theres no story and no consequences if you screw up. So for training I just did a few single missions
to get a feel for the game then launched into Career mode.
A quick word of advice for you all: when you start playing, set the difficulty to
easy. After you get tired of winning move it
up to medium. The bad guys get about 100 times smarter on medium then they were on easy. The difficult setting is only for
people who like suicide missions and are not inclined to strike or throw their machines in
fits of anger.
Once you get
your feet wet you can jump into a new career. You
get to select your character from a small list and can even adjust his race and features. With that under control you can put your team
together and move on to your first real mission. All
of your missions are prefaced by a cool audio break down of your mission over what sounds
like a police radio (of course). The chief,
your boss, sounds like a Baldwin (my money is on Alec).
He breaks down the mission, explains the situation and gives you a heads-up on any
late-breaking information. With that out of
the way, all you have to do is select your equipment and your point of entry before you
and your team arrive on scene.
The equipment available to you as a LAPD SWAT
member is pretty intense. You have your
choice of an H&K MP5, a Silenced MP5, a M4, or a Benelli 12 gage shotgun, and
thats just your primary weapon. You
still have a .45 cal backup handgun and a bunch of extra equipment like CS gas, C2,
Flashbangs, Glowsticks, Handcuffs, Wire Cutters, and of course a bunch of extra ammo. Different weapons work better in different
situations, so be sure to pay attention to your briefings so that you know what you should
take with you. Be aware that a silenced
weapon greatly reduces the exit velocity of the bullet, making it harder to punch through
body armor, and hollow point ammo doesnt do as much damage as a FMJ round when the
assailants are wearing armor. But with some
work on your aim, you should be able to get the shot lined up and shoot em between
the eyes; then it wont matter if they have body armor on or not!
nothing like the sound of a highly trained SWAT unit breaking down a door, bursting into
the unknown to take out the terrorists and save the hostages. All of this and more is brought to life in the
game. The gunfire is very realistic, as is
the fact that all of your orders to your team are voiced over the radio, as are their
responses. This helps to draw you deep into
the game world. Your control is not limited
to your team, however; you can also communicate with the outside. You can radio for a team to come in and evacuate a
hostage, take away a perp, or call for an evac team to pull out
the members of your team that were gunned down by the bad guys. In fact, just about everyone in the game talks to
you, including terrorists, hostages, and other police.
When you have incredible sound effects, what
better way to support them than with INCREDIBLE graphics?
The 3D world created for SWAT 3 is extremely realistic. All of the characters and environments have been
painstakingly re-created for the game, and the game runs very smoothly for the most part. There are a few times when things get crazy that
the action slows a bitalmost as though you were playing a multi-player game and
experiencing a surge of lag. While not always
fatal, it can compromise your position and part of your team.
lag, I was a little disappointed that there was no multi-player aspect to this game. Talk about a perfect game for multi-player! This game could compete with Rogue Spear, Half-Life, and Spec Ops II without a second thought. For whatever reason, Sierra didnt decide to
set it up yet. Maybe a future download,
patch, or add-on CD will be available soon that will include a multi-player, because this
game screams kill your friends on multi-player!
This game is very well designed and should
provide you with hours of wholesome, gun-toting, bad-guy-blasting entertainment. The graphics and sound will keep your attention
locked on your computer, as your team calls out hostile and hostage contacts. You will be
shouting out orders and sneaking carefully through houses, hotels, airports, malls, and
office buildings to find the last of the hostages before its too late.
SWAT 3 is a must have
for any action/shooter fan. Your game library
wont be complete without this title, even though it lacks any kind of multi-player
engine. The good NPC AI and strong play
control, combined with the graphics and sound more than make up for its minor glitches. And I do mean minor. When you look at this game as a whole, its only
flaws worth mentioning (slight stutter when too much going on and no multi-player) are
pretty nit-picky. Be sure to check this one
out! You wont be disappointed at all.