|Moving through a
deserted warehouse, creeping around construction sites at night, getting shot at by Uzi
wielding terrorists and rescuing important government officials from extremely dangerous
situations. Does this sound like the perfect
job or what? OK, so most of us are not cut
out for police work, especially police work of SWAT-caliber. But dont fret, crime-fighters-at-heart, SWAT
3: Close Quarters Battle Elite Edition takes us as close to the action as a civilian can
3: Close Quarters Battle (the original) came out almost a year ago and was a brilliant
success. The biggest complaint about the
game was the lack of multi-player mode. Its
all well and good to go in and take out some AI criminals with your crack-team of AI SWAT
members, but its another thing entirely to be able to grab 3 or 4 of your best
friends and start a LAN game against the baddies of futuristic Los Angeles. Well, the developers got our their thinking caps
and did just that. Theyve added
several features to SWAT 3: CQB, the biggest of which is multiplayer. Theyve also added 5 more missions, new
guns and characters, as well as a MOD selector/manager that allows you to easily manage
the MODs you download. A scenario editor is
also embedded in the game that allows you to modify the scenario parameters, characters,
placements and objectives.
For those of you
that have not had the chance to play the original SWAT 3:CQB, Ill give a short
explanation of the premise. The year is 2005,
and hundreds of world officials are converging on LA to sign a Nuclear Weapons Abolishment
Treaty, the Earths first collective attempt at world peace. Needless to say, there are tons of violent
terrorist groups that would be out of the terrorist business if this treaty were signed. They are doing their darnedest to stop this from
happening. As an LAPD SWAT unit leader, it is
your job to intervene and put an end to the terrorist activities while protecting
innocents ranging from secretaries to international ambassadors.
The game is a
somewhat standard First-Person Shooter with a few twists.
First of all, you dont have the all-too-common hand holding the
gun at the bottom of your screen. Youve
still got a target in the middle of your screen, but in order to get a full idea of the
situation, you need as much screen real estate as possible. The next twist that SWAT 3 puts on the FPS
genre is that you dont win just for going in with guns blazing. You are a police officer and (contrary to popular
belief) your job is to preserve peace with a minimal loss of life. You and your team are constantly in
communication with headquarters and if you recklessly kill without regard for human life,
you not only fail your mission, you get a harsh reprimand from your commanding officers at
Now, for those of
us who have had the pleasure of owning the original SWAT3, the best news about Elite
Edition is that you can download the upgrade patch for it for free. The patch includes the Multiplayer upgrade
and all of the additional EE features, and is available at http://swat.sierra.com/support. As mentioned before, the Elite Edition comes
with 5 new scenarios. These include Changs
Theater, the LA Subway, Whitman Airport, Hollywood Hills and The City of Angels Hospital,
which is based on a real Los Angeles Hospital.
gives you three different game types to choose from.
Youve got your standard Co-op mode, where you and your friends are
working together to complete a mission. This
is just like the single player game, but youve got real people working with you,
instead of AI officers. Deathmatch mode
pits you against your friends in an all-out firestorm of death and destruction. Youre randomly placed somewhere within the
map and you blaze through the building trying to kill your opponents. The third mode, Paintball Mode, is very
similar to the Deathmatch mode, but youve got your gun loaded with paintballs
instead of lethal bullets. Unfortunately,
there is one problem with the long-awaited multiplayer mode. It only allows for a maximum of 5 players in any
one game. This is fine for the co-op games
since the SWAT teams are made up of 5 officers, but the Deathmatch and Paintball modes
would be better if they could handle a larger number of players.
Using an enhanced
version of the original SWAT3:CQB engine, the EE version maintains the same high quality
graphics, sound and play action. The
new levels are a great addition to the game and enhance the career-mode plotline. And to go along with the new version, Sierra
has posted a number of new character skins and new world scenarios on their website.
Overall, the Elite
Edition is a healthy improvement to the original version of SWAT3:Close Quarters Battle. Even with the 5-player restriction, the
multi-player addon brings the game to a new level.
The MOD manager makes it quick and easy to choose your favorite MOD
from the wide variety of MODs available. In
the end, it is a fun game, and for those of you looking to get into the SWAT3 series,
Elite Edition is the way to go.