Games: SWAT 4, SWAT 4: The Stechkov Syndicate (2005)

Genre: Tactical Shooter

Developer: Irrational Games

Publisher: Sierra

Platform Played: PC

Purchased in a bundle on GOG.com for $9.99

Author’s Note: NO IMAGES ARE MY OWN.

Stacking up on a door to breach it and make entry into a night club plagued by active shooters during a rapid deployment call out.
A stockpile of weapons in the lair of the Stechkov crime family.

SWAT 4 and its expansion are quality tactical shooters that provide an immersive single player experience. The beauty of this statement is that these two games are now on GOG.com. I strongly encourage you to check these games out. For $10.00 you’ll enjoy a tactical experience that will provide an interesting and intriguing look at small unit tactics. SWAT 4 accomplishes this through its use of realistic settings, realistic scenarios, and an easy to use interface for the player to engage the game with.

Realistic Settings: The player will lead his or her five officer element through a night club, a Chinese restaurant, a convention center, a hotel, and a grow house/drug lab either stealthily or with a fast blitzkrieg like offensive. These buildings are either solid, under construction, or covered with graffiti. These settings are gritty, urban, and above all fitting for a game that focuses on tactical police officers doing their job while working as members of a SWAT entry team.

Realistic Scenarios: Most associate SWAT with barricaded suspects and hostage situations. Those are certainly a big part of a SWAT team’s purpose, however in SWAT 4, you’ll also be sent on high risk warrants where fugitives and suspect swill be well armed and motivated to not give up so easily. CS gas is your friend along with flashbangs for these assignments. You’ll enjoy SWAT 4′s various missions and all in all you’ll be wishing that the newest Rainbow Six games would have continued on this trajectory. As SWAT 4 greatly resembles Rainbow Six Raven Shield (2003).


Interface: Unlike SWAT 3’s horrendous keyboard configuration, SWAT 4 has an easy to learn and easy to use configuration that makes this game less frustrating and more fun. No longer does the player need to bother with keys F1 through F10 to change weapons. Instead, the controls are similar to other games of SWAT 4’s ilk. In particular Raven Shield.

A debriefing screen.
Restraining a suspect.
The first level in the main game.
A high risk warrant service on a residence with a few dark secrets.

Flaws: While SWAT 4, was a big improvement over SWAT 3, it seemed to have some issues right off the bat. I didn’t research mods or patches to correct this as I was more so interested in writing on a game I had always wanted to play for many years. The weapons, in particular the assault rifles are hard to control on either burst setting or full auto, even when your target is close range the rounds tend to go all over the place. Secondly, the crosshair is problematic. SWAT 3, despite having an ancient interface had a better combat system.

Lastly, SWAT 4‘s developers I don’t think researched the use of force ladder in the American criminal justice system. Yes, commands need to be issued at a typical traffic stop. But when a suspect points an automatic weapon at you or a member of your entry team, or a hostage as well that is threatening your life and the lives others. Force can be used then. When a terrorist or a criminal is in the process of committing a forcible felony, force can be used. The developers did not do enough research on the police use of force as for some missions I was penalized when in reality I would have been in the right.


Final Analysis: This was an enjoyable tactical shooter and I encourage you to check it out. Buy it now on GOG.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s