Oct 25, 2007
New York, New York… the city so nice everyone wants to blow it up. What is it with the Big Apple and game developers wanting to blast chunks out of it? This month SWAT: Target Liberty uncovers another terrorist plot to cripple the city.
On PSP though, things are done on a smaller scale. As with Guerrilla's Killzone: Liberation, SWAT switches viewpoints from the FPS perspective of the popular PC games to an isometric, top-down angle. The camera pans with the action, settling on the best view; even when you guide your team behind objects they're still visible thanks to a nifty blue outline. You won't lose NY's finest in this game.
Despite its diminutive size, SWAT offers a big experience. The same gung-ho shouts of "Police, hands up!" and "On the ground, now!" followed by the rattle of gunfire persist - just don't play it loudly on the subway. It's a macho game, y'know, for guys who like starched uniforms, strict rules and those procedural shows about being a soldier. But don't let that put you off, as behind the gunfire is a subtle shooter that rewards players for not splattering perp #1 across Central Park.
The concept is based on real SWAT rules - every bullet needs to be accounted for and don't kill unless provoked. It is, we're told, possible to complete SWAT without killing a single bomb-hugging insaniac - and weirdly we repressed our need for a body count and enjoyed the game all the more.
Tagging enemies and berating them until they surrender is actually very addictive, we just wish there was a custom option to create our own orders like, "Hey you, the fat-faced spider… Hit the floor!"
There's a solid reward system here that will keep you coming back for more. Good SWAT play adds new abilities to your team, new weapons and extra command options. A multiplayer mode even enables you to play SWAT-style scenarios with friends - for example protecting a VIP and escorting him to an exit without a friend stealing your prize. It's all good stuff and reason enough to keep playing.