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December 13, 2003
SWAT: Global Strike Team - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
4/12/2003Vivendi UniversalArgonaut1-4M15+Easy
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
54KBDolby Pro Logic IIYesYesNoneNo

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In the tunnels.
You would think that this game, being released in the same month as the Colin Farrell/Samuel L. Jackson movie, would be based on that movie, but this game has nothing at all to do with it. SWAT: Global Strike Team includes a fairly decent storyline, although while playing the game you do seem to jump from one location to another as terrorist events take place - and the story soon falls by the wayside.

Founded in 2008, The Global Strike Team is an international offshoot from the SWAT organization tasked with helping countries and organizations around the globe to resolve situations they cannot accomplish successfully on their own. As a member of the SWAT Global Strike Team gamers will be called to duty at a momentís notice, confronted with missions unlike any seen before.

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Your two team members.
You are Mathias Kincaid, a former member of the U.S. Armyís elite Delta Force turned SWAT: GST element leader. The year is 2018 and youíre in command of the recently formed SWAT: Global Strike Team - a squad comprised of the three best operators the special forces and law enforcement communities have to offer. Your task is to use all means available, including cutting-edge weaponry and next-generation gear, to bring international criminals to justice.

There are several modes of play in this game. The Single Player Campaign will obviously keep you occupied the longest, while the 2-player co-operative mode is equally engrossing. Less exciting is the Time Attack mode where you must blast through levels as quickly as possible before the time runs out. During the levels you obtain precious seconds for restraining or killing enemies or completing tasks. The deathmatch, while welcome is far surpassed in other FPS games so it's addition here adds little value unless you have a small range of games.

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Detail is adequate - just.
Unlike many other games SWAT: Global Strike Team rewards you for not killing every enemy. Indeed some will need to be captured alive and restrained to succeed. Obtaining high rankings in the levels becomes dependant on you keeping more people alive then dead. It's also possible after you have shot an enemy a couple of times, or if you sneak up on them, to threaten them. A meter indicates how willing they are to give up and surrender to you. Excellent stuff. Something else I was impressed with was the absence of "magical" medi-kits to restore your health. In this game you get 5 life bars, when they run out, you're dead. It works well and really adds a sense of tension when you only have a single life bar remaining.

The game also includes a weapons upgrade system. Depending how you performed in previous missions you obtain upgrade points. These can be put towards increased magazine size, reduced recoil, improved scopes and more. Each has several levels to upgrade to and this can be put towards the AFP12 Shotgun, ARGO56 Assault Rifle or PDSMG 70 Machine Gun. The USB headset can also be used to issue commands to teammates however I didn't quite get the same necessity that I felt for it in SOCOM: US Navy Seal's. Indeed it doesn't seem as accurate and after shouting the command there is a delay (around a second) before the game recognises what you've said. It's quicker to use the D-Pad to issue commands.

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Out in the cold - get indoors.
The biggest fault with SWAT: Global Strike Team is it's ease of completion. I breezed through this game on normal difficulty obtaining A grades in all 21 levels except for 3 where I obtained B grades. The addition of 5 continues in each level means it's very simple to complete. Perhaps this game is aimed at the more casual, and less skilled gamer, but they could have made it a little more hardcore, even one the hardest difficulty level. Another disappointment is that, despite being semi-realistic, you can't pick up enemy weapons to use or refill your ammo at least. Speaking of which I'm also not sure if I like the unlimited ammo for the guns (you have limited grenades though) as it takes away the necessity for your shots hitting their mark.

Another area where SWAT: Global Strike Team does suffer is with the graphics. While the levels are varied the texturing often leaves much to be desired. It's the enemy soldier models, however, that distract the most from the game. The detail is almost non-existent and they are so block it reminded me of early polygon based games such as Soldier Of Fortune and Quake - well below todayís standards. The cut scenes are fairly good and assist in conveying the story effectively enough.

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This guy must be taken alive.
Sound is acceptable in the game, while never becoming thrilling. The gunfire and explosions are adequate while the voice acting is better then average. The music, as you would expect, really remains in the background. The Pro Logic II sound adds some atmosphere to the game, but it's not the best heard to date. What more can be said - it's functional.

SWAT: Global Strike Team is a fairly addictive title let down by a difficulty that is set way too low. Perhaps there are too many checkpoints, or the unnecessary continues make it too easy - but either way this should have been remedied prior to release. Still, if you're not a skilled gamer, or you have some kids (the game is rated M15+ though) that aren't overly skilled then this may be the game for them. It is still and entertaining purchase.

Review By: David Warner

GRAPHICSAverage texturing and level design disappoints, frame rate is OK.
SOUNDThe gunshots and speech are adequate, but never mind-blowing.
GAMEPLAYThis really is a pretty good tactical FPS, not great, but good.
VALUESeasoned gamers will cruise through this, only for the inexperienced.
OVERALLPut simply SWAT: Global Strike Team is a good game made far too easy. I'm not sure why they did that but it distracts from the whole package. Still, this is an enjoyable title and worth a look at least.

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