Genre : Action
Release Date: October 22, 2003
It is time, once again, to shoot the bastards.
SWAT: Global Strike Force is one of those “middle-ground” games. It’s realistic in that there are no magic healing medpacks that’ll totally erase the impact of a shotgun blast to your face, but allows you to jump straight into the action, unlike, say, Ghost Recon. It stakes out the ground between the two, like a particularly well-researched action movie, and does so with a sort of solid, dependable play style that I really like.
You’re the leader of a small, three-man SWAT team with a global focus. Your missions will take you around the world, on covert insertion missions into enemy territory.
However, you are a cop, and that means you have to act like one. You need to keep at least a couple of the enemy alive for questioning, watch out for civilians and hostages, use only justified force, and keep an eye on your mission objectives.
The fun really starts with the other members of your team. You’re accompanied on most missions by an electronics expert and/or a sniper, both of whom will prove vital to your missions. You’re in charge, so if you want them to hang back and cover you, or secure an area while you go in alone, it’s an option. The best part here is when you need to breach a door; you can get one of your guys to set a charge for you, blowing the door open, knocking anyone on the other side silly, and filling the room beyond with smoke, or simply have one of them kick it open so you can race in together. If you pull off the latter tactic, it actually usually works, because the rest of your team actually has pretty good AI. They follow you most of the time, and tend to shoot to kill, but they can definitely take care of themselves.
Most often, though, you’ll find yourself needing your teammates’ abilities to pass a level. Your character, T.J., is a great shot and a decent leader, but he has no idea whatsoever how to defuse a motion-sensitive bomb. This does mean that the game has a lot of protection scenarios, as thugs do tend to show up right when you’re trying to defuse a bomb—why they’re shooting at a guy who’s tinkering with enough explosives to level the building, I don’t know, but maybe that’s a mook thing—but they’re short and easy to handle.
The weapon selection’s somewhat bland compared to most other games, but that’s to be expected. It wouldn’t look right if you were carrying half a dozen guns and fifteen grenades into a building to deal with simple thugs. Instead, you can choose one lethal weapon, such as a shotgun or assault rifle, a variety of grenades, and a tranquilizer pistol. It doesn’t provide a lot of variety, but it gets the job done, and that’s more or less what the game’s all about.
SWAT is, at the end of the day, a more tactical and cerebral experience than your average shooter. It’s shaping up to be yet another excellent FPS on PS2, and will hit store shelves in October.
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