Initial Release Date: November 30, 1999
Developer: Sierra Northwest
Publisher: Sierra Studios
Systematically search each environment, or take command to breach and clear each location until you find your suspect. It is up to you as the Element Leader of a five-man entry team, With stealth and dynamic tactics just a keystroke away, you can ensure your team’s every move.
Choose either mission or career mode in 16 stunning photo-realistic locations filled with more than 150 motion-captured characters. Each mission is based on real L.A. locations including the sewer system, the Convention Center, and even the LAX airport control tower.
Experience the challenge of CQB’s revolutionary artificial intelligence. Encounter over 100 goal-oriented characters who react to your every move, ensuring you’ll never play any mission the same way twice. From tactical officers to bad guys, to hostages – they’re so smart it’s scary.
32 MB RAM
CD-ROM: 4X or better
400MB Hard Drive Space
800 x 600 SVGA high colour (16 bit)
DirectX 6.1 (Included on CD)
Windows compatible soundcard
Mouse and Keyboard
Direct 3D compatible but 3D card not required
In 2005 a Los Angeles Police Department [LAPD] SWAT team started with a routine task. A man decided to take pot-shots at traffic with a hunting rifle from the attic of his home. SWAT had to subdue the “freeway sniper” and put an end to the chaos.
The game changes drastically in tone after the first mission or two. Los Angeles is hosting a United Nations summit where a bunch of world powers are to sign a nuclear disarmament treaty. A slew of criminals and terrorist organizations see this as an opportunity to cause terror.
The majority of the game takes place before the treaty signing. Almost every mission revolves around arresting terrorists that are setting up for the signing day. One mission involves disarming anti-air rockets prepared to shoot down a plane full of delegates. In the end, as you would expect, the signing goes well as LAPD SWAT saves the day.
The player leads a five man SWAT element. Unlike the previous SWAT games, the player not only gives orders but also controls the lead officer.
The game is played in first person, although the gun model isn’t present. The player has an aiming reticle and various hud information, but no other graphics. By typing “handsup” in the console the player’s weapon will be shown in first person. However, since it was poorly implemented the animations and textures are not very good.
The HUD shows a list of commands the player can call out by pressing the corresponding number key. This is how commands are issued.
If a player aims at a door they can command their team to breach it. There are multiple ways to carry out certain objectives. At the beginning of the mission you can choose to start stealthy or go dynamic. Stealthy allows for officers to pick locked doors while dynamic allows officers to play breaching charges. Flashbangs can be thrown to disorient the criminal, making it easier to subdue them.
In total there are 16 missions. Later editions and expansions added 11 more. Each mission has specific objectives that need to be carried out. Failing just one objective results in a game over. Missions automatically end when all the criteria is met.
In addition to the campaign there is a custom mission mode. SWAT 3 has a fairly active modding scene with plenty of user made missions available for download on sites like Modb.
Multiplayer was added in later editions of the game.
PC Gamer: 88/100
Gamer Revolution: 4/5