Tactical shooting in the Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon series was different than
in other shooters. But even in the sub-genre of tactical shooters, we had
significantly different ideas, like the one on which the
SWAT series was created. In SWAT games, shooting was the last resort to
deal with tense hostage situations.
The last part of the series came out for PC on this very day exactly, 17 years ago. SWAT 4 was based in New York and accompanied a five-member team through 13 different missions. These missions included rescuing hostages, breaking through barricaded targets, and the like.
As the SWAT team in the game was a lifeline, some rules had to be followed to
give a player a good grade at the end of the mission. Wounding one's comrades,
opening fire on the target until it offers resistance, etc was punished. It
was interesting that SWAT had a clearly defined procedure to look at all
participants in a situation with suspicion, including civilians.
In addition to the single-player campaign, the game also had a team multiplayer of competitive and cooperative format. Although the game required collaboration and communication between team members, for some reason it did not support voice communication. However, that omission was corrected a year later when the first and only expansion of The Stetchkov Syndicate was launched. That expansion was eventually included in a complete edition called SWAT 4: Gold Edition.
SWAT 4 picked up excellent ratings but was the last of its kind. It was not
until 2021 that a somewhat similar game Ready or Not followed. For many years,
SWAT 4 was not available in digital form, but that has changed in 2017
since it can be found, on GOG.com, adapted for modern operating systems.