Written by Shigamoto   
Sunday, 10 April 2005

There is a lack of pure Law Enforcement games on the market today. Of course there is the very successful SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) game series by Sierra but that’s about it.


SWAT 2 is the second in the series and is completely different from the first one. The original was built on using movies, a not so successful complex. In SWAT 2 however you see the events in an isometric perspective.

The isometric perspective has several benefits but also several downsides. The benefit is that you have a complete overview on what’s going on. However the disadvantage is that when things go down, and they go down fast in this game the perspective will make it difficult to control the situation.

For example say that all the sudden a suspect starts shooting wildly, you see the suspect and have a clear view to take him down. The problem is that since your SWAT member is in crouch mode he will hit a car that’s in the way. That sort of stuff is really annoying. Another annoying occurrence is the fact that it’s extremely difficult to mark the team members with your mouse.

The scenarios you are faced against in SWAT 2 feels more like real world scenarios than in SWAT 3. In SWAT 2 you will handle barricaded suspects that’s taking pot shots on passing aircrafts, bank robbers, riots, warrants and all kinds of deadly police work. What I like about the game is that the scenarios feels more real that in SWAT 3 were you are usually faced against eighty heavily armed men that has taken over the city hall of Los Angeles and threatening to detonate a nuclear bomb. This is simply not a situation that officers within the LAPD is faced against everyday however the events in SWAT 2 are more daily and stuff that actually can happen and happens.

In SWAT 2 you are a team leader of a SWAT team, also you handle the economy of your department. Every time you send out your men it will cost you, that’s realistic. But it is not an element that should be included within the game. SWAT 2 should be about storming houses and not managing the economy of the SWAT department. I believe that the economy limits the game too much.

For example in one of the later missions of the game you are to protect the Governor who is holding a speech in a park. Do you think that the LAPD would ignore the security due to financial reasons? A nice feature in the game is the fact that you can negotiate with hostage takers, usually using a throw phone. The negotiations usually give something to the situation, a location of the suspects, perhaps them even surrendering. Your negotiator that you are in constant contact with during the mission is named Alvarez. A nice feature that is not present in later SWAT games.

Another thing that plays an important role in SWAT 2 and in real hostage situations is sniper and helicopter cover. This is available in the game and is working good, the helicopter reports to you if something suspicious is going on and so does the snipers. Your snipers can be placed on almost every rooftop and you can order them to take down a suspect or to hold their fire.

This game is very detailed, the wacky controls are very annoying especially in tense situations and situations were speed is important. However SWAT 2 gives the player a real look on what SWAT-teams really do, the scenarios are very realistic. I just wish that there were more realistic law enforcement games out there.

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Developer: Sierra (Yosemite Entertainment)
Website for game: http://www.swat2.com/
Publisher: Sierra
O/S: Win 95/98/ME/2000/XP
Cost of Full Game: About $12
Year of Release: 1998

Pentium 133, Win 95, 16 meg RAM, 154 mb hard drive space
Tested on:
Pentium III Mobile 850 mhz, 384 mb RAM, Windows XP


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