July 27, 2007 - Surviving in [Register or Login to view links] is all about keeping your head down, making the right moves and staying quiet. If there's action, it comes in short, well-planned bursts. This is a mantra Sierra takes to heart -- especially when promoting the game. In April, the publisher announced SWAT was coming along under the watchful eyes of 3G Studios works and then went back to sneaking mode.
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I think he's faking. Shoot him again.
Sierra broke the silence this week as San Diego Comic-Con with a short, well-planned burst of gameplay in its booth.
Coming from a long line of successful PC games, SWAT: Target Liberty is a departure from what people might expect in the franchise -- to begin with, the perspective has shifted from first-person to an elevated third. If it sounds crazy, it isn't. This entry in the series has you controlling a team of three as they maneuver into position to take out terrorists. You'll need to be able to see the entire landscape to make the right call -- i.e. not getting shot in the skull.
Looking ahead and planning is the heart and soul of SWAT. When we got our hands on the Comic-Con demo, we tried out four tutorials -- player control, team control, weapons and targeting, and enemy tactics -- and each stressed the importance of thinking your actions through.
If you try to run and gun through this game, you -- and the possible hostage you're there to save -- are going to get killed.
On a training field set up with wooden walls and doors, our team slowly stepped up to entrances, surveyed the next room with a mirror beneath the door and proceeded as the situation dictated. They could pick the lock or kick in the door -- whichever made the most sense based on the number of enemies and their positions.
It's those busts of action that make the sneaking and planning worthwhile. When you play SWAT, you won't sit back from some God-like stance. You're Kurt Wolfe, and you'll be charged with taking your men into battle and giving them the proper orders -- stuff like tossing flash grenades and scoping out the place.
When we went into rooms with mock bad guys, our guys trained their guys on the foes while screaming "Get your ass down!" The perps complied by raising their hands, we cuffed them, and once they were incapacitated, our men kicked off the interrogation.
When we were suiting up for our training time, we didn't have a choice of partners -- you will when you go into real missions -- but we did get a glimpse of what makes each po-po special. See, when you get more teammates to choose from, you'll have to look at each one's special skill to assemble the best squad.
Wolfe excels at leadership, Zachary Fields has outstanding accuracy, and Steven Reynolds is great at observing. From your team's organization screen, you'll also be able to assign rules of engagement -- either lethal, less than lethal or automatic.
We suggest lethal.
We didn't get to see anything beyond the very beginning of the team's time in uniform, and that's a shame seeing as how Scott Rosenbaum, writer and producer of The Shield, has been brought in to shape the story that takes place across New York City in 12 single-player missions.
Keep a sharp eye on your partner and your eyes open for more SWAT news on IGN.
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