SWAT 3
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Sunday, 28 November 2004

SWAT 3 is the third in the series about the LAPD SWAT D Platoon team. It was released four years ago in 2000 and was one of the first of its kind. Surely people had seen games like Rainbow Six but this one was outstanding, and still is.

Los Angeles is holding the signing of a nuclear abolishment treaty, a lot of important dignitaries from all over the world will be present at the ceremony. Of course this is like a smorgasbord for terrorist organisations and here you enter the game. Your tasks will be to prevent terrorist attacks and protect the dignitaries during their visit.

The missions are well designed and features real LA scenery. Itís also fairly easy to design your own levels so there are a couple of levels out there for you to download once you get tired of the original missions. Before each mission you will get briefed. The briefings include some incident information, what the terrorists inside look like, who the hostages are and what they look like. You also have some options on where to enter the structure or scene.

Also you have to pick your team to be a team leader of. Each team have two members, there are two teams (red and blue) plus one element leader (the player) in a group. Every team member has their own history and special abilities, some have been in the army and some hasnít. You can also equip your team with different equipment and weapons.

The weapons are the MP5, a silenced version of the MP5, a shotgun and a heavy assault rifle. In addition to this each team member have their specially modified Colt sidearm. The weapons are the ones used in real LAPD SWAT operations.

During the missions you control your team with a numbered menu, to browse through the menu all you have to do is to press one of the number keys. After a while you will learn the menu by heart and thatís when itís really handy just to press some keys very easily and the order will be carried out faster. To add some to the game Sierra has added radio chatter, the radio chatter is really nice.

Your team members AI is another issue, they are not that smart to say the least. If you are engaged in a firefight with a suspect the team members will sometimes cut in front of you while you are firing which means that you will shoot them in the back. Also if a terrorist downs one team member entering a room the team members will continue to enter the room and they all end up shot.

The terrorist AI is ok, they are quite challenging when playing at the hard difficulty level. However they never try to harm the hostages, if a SWAT team enters shouldnít they point their weapons at the hostages and try to harm them or use them as shields, they donít.

Another thing that struck me is the volume of terrorists; on some missions there are a never-ending flood of them. In real life there is usually no more than ten and it feels like they have to add many terrorists to make it more difficult instead of improving the AI.

SWAT 3 is a great game, which I have been playing for years over and over again. It hasnít lost itís appeal yet simply because there are few alternatives. Sierra has really created a great game, but there are some AI flaws which keeps it from getting maximum points.

 


Developer: Sierra
Website for game: http://www.swat3.com
Publisher: Sierra
O/S: Win 98/ME/2000/XP
Cost of Full Game: About $15

Requirements: Pentium 233 mhz, 4mb Graphics Memory, 32 mb RAM Direct X 7.0
Tested on: Pentium III Mobile 850 mhz, 384 mb RAM, Windows XP

 




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