Conclusion: THE VERDICT: The focus on non-violent gameplay (don't misunderstand, there's plenty of violence, it just isn't embraced quite so readily as other games may do) makes for an altogether intriguing play experience and one that can be heartily recommended. While no less esoteric than similar titles, its unique sensibilities ensure that SWAT 4 has the best chance of enticing those who have yet to warm to the genre.
Excerpt: Having played all of the SWAT titles from Sierra before, SWAT 4 maintains a good deal of continuity with its direct predecessor with an emphasis on methodical tactics and police realism. Everything in the game, from the controls to the radio chatter and the action, feels just about right. It is therefore not difficult to recommend this to SWAT veterans. Newcomers to the series, though, will take some time to adjust to the game.
Excerpt: The original SWAT game, released in 1995, was Daryl F. Gates' Police Quest: SWAT. Named after the former Los Angeles Police Chief who formed the world's first SWAT team, the original SWAT and its sequel were actually strategy games. It wasn't until SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle was released in 1999 that the series transitioned into the first-person-shooter genre.
Pros: Unique, police-style gameplay, Highly replayable, Intense gameplay, Co-op play available for LAN or online
Cons: Teammates can get stuck on level geometry, Framerate issues during some encounters
Summary: Unlike the countless other FPS games on the market, SWAT 4 is a refreshingly cerebral alternative that places the emphasis on tactics and caution over gung-ho heroics. On the front lines of modern law enforcement, you must lead your team of five into hostile situations where civilians need protecting and criminals need a stern talking to. Because, far from the frantic firefights of its contemporaries, SWAT is a game that rewards restraint.