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Developed by: Sierra Published by: Vivendi Universal Release year: 2005 ESRB Rating: M Requirements: -256 MB RAM -8X CD-ROM -1.0ghz+ Intel Pentium 4 Processor/ Athlon XP 1000+ - Direct X 8.1 64mb 3D Card For: PC

Ever wanted to step into the shoes of a Special Weapons and Tactics officer to take on America’s seedy underground criminal world? Well now you can with SWAT 4, a pretty unique and interesting game.

So how does it look?

Good. The detail on each officer is excellent, you can see every piece of kit you equip them with in great detail. The environments are also pretty nice to behold, from dark, broken ‘ghetto’ housing estates to courthouses and restaurants, every single map looks detailed and fit’s the differing situations perfectly. Suspects and fellow officers model animations are also fluid and are executed seamlessly. You can tell sierra took care when producing this game.

What’s the story?

Take down the bad guys in differing situations. You’ll get called up to all kinds of emergencies, from high-risk warrant’s on a suspected serial killers house to gang wars in busy night clubs, the missions always seem fresh and ‘exciting.’ The operation briefings have been put together excellently too, not only do you get a voice over from your commanding officer but you can actually listen to the 911 conversations (WARNING: Some of the them are pretty disturbing.)

What\'s the combat like?

Heart pounding, your always trying to be one step ahead of the crook, and when you get jumped its nerve wracking. See a perp with an automatic weapon everything seems to slow as you and your team scream at him to drop the gun, you know if he gets a lucky shot off its game over. You rewarded for bringing the suspects back alive (Unlike most other games) and praised for getting hostages out of harms way. The enemy and friendly AI is awesome, it really is better then most other games I’ve played. For example, one mission sees you responding to a armed robbery in a petrol station, I moved my team in, the first suspect we encountered bolted towards the shop counter and ducked behind it. While he did that his buddy ran up to a hostages and put a gun to her head all the while ordering me and my team to back off. “I’ll do it.” He repeated over and over, I took my team a few steps back, meanwhile the guy behind the counter got up, now not only did I have a hostages life in direct danger I had some punk pointing a Mac10 my way. While all this is happening the hostage is begging for her life. That’s when it hit me; this game is realistic, maybe a little too much for its own good, but neither the less it plays with your emotions and heart strings. I got the impression I was watching an episode of 24 unfold in front of me.

How does it sound?

The music fits the game, and becomes more ‘fast paced’ when shots are fired, the sounds are good and the voice acting is top notch considering it’s a game. Cant really fault it here, Sierra did an excellent job. Is it a good game for a Christian? Well your playing the as the good guys, although cops are people too, if they get shot or a flashbang goes off too close they’re not going to be too happy. The swearing is pretty bad in this game for example if an officer is shot seriously he may use the ‘F’ word, same goes for the criminals, although they’re more frequent in the bad language department, there is also frequent blood and gore. Disturbing circumstances also unfold throughout the game. For example while performing a high risk warrant on a suspected serial killers house you pass a radio which is broadcasting a desperate plea from one of the victims mothers begging for her daughters safe return. I nearly broke into tears its THAT emotional, I don’t know how the actress pulled it off so well.

Stability

If you have a mid range system the game plays well and with pretty good graphics to boot. Multiplayer elements are also well done and there’s hours of fun to be had with your online crime fighting comrades!

Final Comments

An awesome game if you can overlook the swearing, gore and deeply emotional events. I recommend this game to mature Christians who want to play a realistic shooter simulation, yet aren’t afraid to get a little upset in the process. -Stay safe. Radman2307

Final Ratings

Gaming Experience: Graphics: 10/10 Sound: 10/10 Game Play: 19/20 Stability: 5/5 Interface: 4/5 Total: 48/50
Appropriateness Issues: Language: 0/10 Sexuality: 6/10 Violence: 0/10 Occult: 6/10 Moral Issues: 5/10 Total 17/50

Final Score 66%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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