SWAT: Global Strike Team
Working within the law gives SIWs squad-based action a tactical twist--police rules of engagement authorize only necessary force, and exercising restraint earns you points to spend on power-ups. Problem is, it takes so many direct shots to intimidate perps into surrendering that they're usually pushing up daisies before you can slap on the cuffs. I've shotgunned goons three times in the grill only to have them casually give up and keel over in the same absurd animation. Then, as if to prove that by-the-book arrests really are possible, I found just as many watchmen with their backs turned on open doorways, conveniently waiting to be taken into custody. Perhaps they're not really criminals at all--just ordinary citizens who forgot they were holding rifles when they stopped by the bank. My team of crack(head) commandos wasn't much brighter, blocking my line of fire, offing hostages, and ordering suspects to freeze while being shot in the face. With gameplay this retarded, even perks like coop play and voice recognition via headset are all but irrelevant.
I guess I bonded with my fellow SWAT members more than Shawn. Now and then they'll pull some bonehead maneuver or just stand around getting shot, but ordering them to kick in doors, snipe long-range targets, or investigate ahead is so quick and easy (with or without a headset mic), I enjoyed putting them to work. But Shawn's right about the wonky enemy A.I., and SWAT'S crude, blocky graphics feel seriously dated. Some exciting teamwork potential exists (especially in co-op missions), but sloppy execution bogs it down.
The silly A.I. didn't bother me as much as it did Shawn--maybe because I sympathized with the hapless L.A. goons (as a fellow product of California's educational system). Anyhow, SWAT offers a competent yet uneventful intro to the tactical-action genre. Issuing voice commands is effective, but you might want to wait until you're alone, or you might be hazed repeatedly for sounding like a dork by shouting "SWAT! FREEZE! DOWN! BREACH!" All in all, not great, but not terrible.