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SWAT 4 Review

Updated on September 30, 2012

SWAT 4 was released for Windows on the PC back in 2005, and continued on from the previous successful SWAT video game series. At the time, it was revolutionary for one important aspect, the fact that each time you played a map, the enemies would be deployed randomly to areas, meaning that each time you played it, the enemies could be in a completely different place compared to the last time.


The game itself was fast and frantic, which was in part due to the enemy placement as discussed above. However, despite it being fast and frantic, you really had to plan your moves wisely. In the game, you're given a wide array of weapons, ranging from shotguns to assault riffles as well as hand guns. However, as a way to add more challenge to the game, it was also possible to use less than lethal weapons, such as paintball guns, beanbag guns, pepper sprays and also tasers.

You're also allocated points on how well you deal with the situation. For example, if you shoot an enemy without first warning them that you've got an itchy trigger finger then you'll be penalised for this. However, some times there just isn't time to warn them before giving them the 'Marvin Special*' thus you get marked down at the end of the level, which can prevent you from progressing through the game further.

The idiocy of your squad is also laughable at times. Sometimes they'll just stand there whilst you're getting shot at. It's also not uncommon for them to run into your line of fire when you're taking down an enemy, at which time the rest of the squad will turn on you and take you down. At the same time however, it's not uncommon for your team mates to stand behind you and just shoot at you randomly to take down an enemy.

To be fair, this makes the game sound pretty bad, but it's actually a lot of fun. The maps are varied, and they give a great challenge. Especially the diamond heist mission, that one will have you screaming in rage at the screen, although once it's cracked, you'll love revisiting it.

There's also an online mode, which has a great setup where you can rescue hostages, as well as taking down the terrorists, or the SWAT members depending what side you're on.


The graphics on this game, considering how long ago it was made still hold it pretty well today. They're a solid effort, and the character models are actually pretty decent. The maps themselves are amazing. They've been lovingly crafted and the interior objects look like the real thing. The lighting is spot on, and it really helps to create an 'on your toes' atmospheric effect.The guns have been well made too, and the animation is by and large a success.

In fact, I'm not sure the developers intended it to work out this way, but with the physics engine they used, when the perps are killed, they more often than not end up laying in extremely dodgy looking position, which are hilarious because of this.


SWAT 4 isn't a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination. However, the annoyances are part of the games charm, and whilst it's frustrating at times, you will see the game through to completion. With that in mind, I'd happily recommend the game to anyone that's interesting in FPS tactical shooters.


You can get this game pretty cheaply now on the internet.

*The Marvin Special is a reference to what happens to Marvin in Pulp Fiction.


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    • SolveMyMaze profile image

      SolveMyMaze 5 years ago

      Cheers. It really is a fantastic game! I didn't have a Playstation so I never got to play any of the Spyro or Crash games.

      Its a big improvement over the Rainbow Six games. I played Vegas after playing SWAT 4, and it felt to empty and well, not that god to be honest.

      Ah no. Marvin was a sort of informant in the film that takes a ride with John and Samuel near the end of the film. It's a sick scene, but strangely funny for it.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Excellent review, and it sounds like a good game. Sadly, I can't play it as Sierra have some involvement in it. Ever since they destroyed the Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot franchises, I've not had anything to do with them since.

      It does indeed look like a game where "what Rainbow Six: Vegas didn't include is found here", as there's a lot of things Ubisoft could learn that'd make situations seem more negotiable. Sounds like great fun ^^

      As for the Pulp Fiction reference, was Marvin played by John Travolta? I didn't understand the plot much after Samuel L. Jackson's Bible quote after saying, "Oh I'm sorry, did I break your concentration?".