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Overview

Police Quest: SWAT 2 is a direct sequel to Police Quest: SWAT but is also a complete step away from the known formula. It's a strategy game with an isometric viewpoint, but stays true to authenticity in terms of SWAT procedures, equipment and missions, all based on LAPD cases. It was the last Police Quest game as the SWAT brand dropped the title for SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle.

The game also features special appearance by the Late LAPD Chief Daryl F. Gates, opening the game with his experience as a police officer in Los Angeles and the story behind SWAT.

Story

SWAT
The Five Eyes

The plot revolves around a conflict between SWAT and terrorist in the LA area. For SWAT it begins with regular Call-Ups to hostage situations that later ramps up to full fledged riots, assassination attempts and terrorist neutralizations. The Terrorist campaign follows The Five Eyes, a cult like terrorist group determined to bring chaos to Los Angeles. All of the terrorist missions are linked together as a story arc while SWAT’s story revolves more around each mission with a few ones tied together. They have run-ins with The Five Eyes but no arrests of plot characters are made during the campaign.

Main Characters

SWAT

Chief of Police John De Souza

Chief of D-platoon and the player’s persona in SWAT 2.

Sgt. Griff Markossian

Griff is the Chief’s right hand and the voice of SWAT’s conscience to the player. He’ll brief the officers during training missions and debrief the player after each mission.

He’s voiced by Michael Shapiro

Sgt. Mike Alvarez

Mike’s the most active character in SWAT 2. As the primary negotiator he offers the player guidance as to how to approach a situation.

The Five Eyes

Basho

Basho is the elusive leader of The Five Eyes and offers both mission briefings and debriefings to the player.

It will turn out that Basho is actually in jail and one of the missions will be to ambush the prison transport to set him free.

Dante

Dante is Basho’s right-hand man and the player’s persona in the terrorist campaign.

Gameplay

The basic mission structure for both sides is more or less the same but there are big differences in how recruitment, acquiring equipment and mission win conditions are handled.

Assigning and equipping squads

As SWAT, the player is assigned to D Platoon with a roster of LAPD officers to choose from and elements (squads) to assign them to. The Entry element can hold five officers and the Sniper element consists of two, a sniper and an observer. All officers have individual stat levels on weapons, tactical equipment and leadership.

When certain stats are fulfilled, an officer can be certified to train for special roles;

Element Leader

  • Needed to activate an element

Sniper

  • Reveals anything on the map that’s in his line of sight

Explosives Expert

  • Defuses bombs and booby traps

Emergency Medical Technician

  • EMT’s can’t help a downed officer, hostage or suspect to get back on their feet but they can stabilize them so they don’t bleed out and die during the mission.

K9-Unit

  • The officer arrives with a canine that sniffs out evidence and fights suspects, having 150% bonus to hand-to-hand combat

Each officer can be sent to training in order to fulfill the criteria but will be out of commission for one mission. It also costs money so with a set budget, it’s important to manage the elements carefully.

The Five Eyes aren’t as restricted as SWAT but on the other hand they have fewer recruits. They need to do recruiting on missions by kidnapping and brainwashing hostages. The squads are called Cells and there can be three terrorists in each cell. There are no specific roles for the individual units within the cell; they rely completely on weapon skills but like SWAT, they can be sent to training and will be out of commission for one mission. Also since The Five Eyes have a limited supply of weapons, the player will start out with light equipment but can steal whatever he finds on the missions to increase the load out for the next.

Missions

Entry Team on the move

Mission areas vary from houses, hotels, and convenience stores all the way to schools, quarries and even a police station.

SWAT’s missions are always the same; rescue the hostages, apprehend the suspects and bring order to chaos. The Five Eyes often have mission objectives to fulfill in order to satisfy Basho’s interests while negotiating with SWAT and recruiting new members.

The Elements

The player has direct control over the squads, meaning he must equip weapons for each unit and ready them to fire. When a weapon is readied and the player controls the unit; the cursor changes to a reticule and left click fires the weapon in the direction the reticule is. Anything caught in-between will be hit no matter how far the player aims, even friendly units. A unit will only fire automatically if fired upon from an enemy. If the weapon isn’t readied; left click will command the unit to walk to that spot.

Gas works well against rioters

Certain weapons or actions are context sensitive. For example the teargas launcher; the reticule changes to a door when held over an open door. The officer will then fire the grenade and depending on his skill level, it will fly through the door and cover the room in gas. If the entire element is selected and the cursor is held over the door, they will stack up and gain entry as a team, more prepared for what's inside than if one went in alone. Stunned suspects will instantly be arrested if approached by an officer with readied handcuffs. If not, he’ll either fire his weapon or use hand-to-hand combat to try to fend him off. Hostages may be lead to safety but there’s risk of Stockholm syndrome as some will try to fight and injure the officer to protect their captors. To minimize risk of engaging a hostage or suspect, throw down a flashbang grenade to stun them.

As SWAT, the player has four special tools to battle the terrorists. They will not be available to use when playing as the terrorists.

CNT

The Crisis Negotiation Team, or rather Sgt. Alvarez, communicates with the suspects and tries to give the player enough time to mobilize the entry team. They can provide the suspects with food and money while collecting information for the player on the situation. At times CNT can collect enough information to have a good chunk of the suspects surrender. If a shot is fired or the negotiations reach a dead end, the negotiations are terminated and it’s all up to the entry team.

(As a terrorist, the player will negotiate with SWAT through CNT, if he chooses to.)

The Helicopter

The helicopter has two vital tasks and can be called in at any time during the mission for a deduction from the budget. It can be ordered to circle the area to spot hidden suspects or pick up SWAT officers to have them rappel onto rooftops for stealth entry. The presence of the helicopter may startle the suspects and it can be shot upon. If it’s shot down, it will be out of commission for the rest of the campaign.

Bertha will make a nice big hole for the entry team!

The Tank - "Bertha"

Like the helicopter, "Bertha" may be called in at any time in the later missions of the campaign for a deduction from the budget. She has one basic function, to breach walls and doors. When issued a breach, she will line up and ram the wall, creating a hole for the entry team. She may also provide cover for the officers if shot upon but will be destroyed and out of commission for good if taking too much damage.

The Snipers

The snipers are only able to function from fixed high ground points on the maps. When assigned to one, they will spot suspects and even report information from what they can see through windows. They can quickly relay important information about a suspect’s behavior, if he’s being hostile or not. Each shot from a sniper means instant kill if it lands at desired target. They are therefore restricted by the Sniper Option; a button that the player uses to issue Red or Green light. Red Light means the sniper may only report information back to the player. Green Light means they may take the shot if the suspect is hostile (the player can take manual control of the sniper’s aim if desired).

Equipment

SWAT

Weapons

  • .45 Caliber Colt, 1911 Government Model Sidearm
  • Heckler and Kock 9mm MP5 Submachine Gun
  • Benelli Super-90 12-Gauge Semi-Automatic Shotgun
  • Robar SR 60 .308 Sniper Rifle
  • Tear Gas Grenade Launcher
  • Defense Technology Number 25 Distraction Device (Flashbang)

Tactical Equipment

  • 180-degree Mirror
  • Battering Ram
  • Hooligan Tool
  • Entry Explosives
  • KV-4 Rectangular Ballistic Shield
  • Climbing Gear
  • SF-10 Avon Gas Mask
  • Ghillie Suit
  • Emergency Medical Field Kit

The Five Eyes

Weapons

  • Hobbit Warrior Knife
  • Magnum Research .50 AE Desert Eagle
  • Z-M Weapons LR 300 Automatic Rifle
  • Heckler and Kock MSG90 Sniper Rifle
  • Hand Grenade

Equipment

  • Body Armor
  • Gas Mask
  • Wired Booby Trap
  • Gasoline
  • Explosives
  • Pamphlet

The pamphlet contains The Five Eyes propaganda and can be given to hostages in an attempt to spark Stockholm Syndrome

Win / Lose Conditions

Oh dear. Bonus points for killing cops.

The win conditions for SWAT 2 are what set SWAT aside from terrorists as the demands are higher with punishment for every injury, missed piece of evidence or even warranted kills. Basho or Griff will give detailed insight in every aspect of the mission, like how much evidence the player collected. How well or poorly hostages were handled and so on.

The end result also accumulates as a whole so a botched up mission will have consequences for the overall score, public reception. This works the same way for The Five Eyes but instead of the public, the player strives to increase Basho’s faith in them. Only rule for them is to achieve his goals while recruiting new members and they can pretty much kill every SWAT officer and most of the hostages if they choose to.

When the public, or Basho, lose too much faith; the campaign is terminated.

Suspension

Apart from loss of public faith and government funding, suspensions serves as the punishment for individual SWAT officers and the length of the suspension is viewed through these criteria:

(Threatening meaning suspect with gun held up and None-threatening suspect with gun down).

One Mission

  • Officer kills a threatening suspect or injures a hostage or an officer when aiming at a threatening suspect.

Two Missions

  • Officer kills a hostage or officer when aiming at threatening suspect or injures hostage or officer when aiming at none-threatening suspect.

Three missions

  • Officer kills a nonthreatening suspect or wounds a hostage or officer by aiming at them.

Kicked off the Force

  • Officer kills a hostage or officer in cold blood.

Medals

On the other hand there are medals the officers can receive for jobs well done.

Medal of Valor

  • Officer wounds or kills a suspect to save a hostage’s life.
  • Officer is wounded or killed when rescuing a hostage; so long the hostage does not get wounded or killed.

Police Medal

  • Officer wounds or kills a suspect threatening a fellow officer.
  • Officer is wounded or killed trying to rescue a hostage that also meets the same fate.

Police Star

Entire element receives this medal

  • Order is brought to chaos with all hostages rescued unharmed and all suspect arrested.
  • A suspect is injured or killed in a hostage situation while all hostages are rescued and no suspect escapes.

Police Meritorious Unit Citation

Entire element receives this medal

  • Both rescued hostages and arrested suspects are brought back out alive and unharmed.
  • A SWAT officer or suspect may be killed but only in a threatening hostage situation.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer can be played cooperatively or head-to-head. Playing cooperatively, the player teams up with three other players and plays one of the scenarios from either the SWAT or Terrorist campaign.

The Head-To-Head play differs slightly since there can be up to three players on one side working together against one player on the other side and still having the same amount of units. The rules are not pre-determined so it’s up to the players to set them and then use the chat to communicate. There are 22 pre-made maps with NPCs and the possibility to create own maps in the Map Constructor.

Game Manual

Adding to authenticity, the game was shipped with a 206 page game manual (later in PDF on the disc), containing an extensive database in tactics and procedures of SWAT. Each SWAT mission includes a tactical strategy and, what the manual refers to as, the SWAT files. Stories about SWAT and its involvement in call ups that inspired the mission or first time new equipment was tried in the field. It also contains a detailed Glossary for words like "Dope Book" and "Stockholm Syndrome".

Reception

The game was overall better received than Police Quest: SWAT, offering a new take on the franchise, but fell due to clunky unit management, glitchy AI and too short campaign.

Trivia

Officer Sonny Bonds, the main protagonist in the Police Quest series, is featured as a highly trained SWAT officer and can be assigned as team leader for an element.
LAPD SWAT officer Bob Kain, who offered his likeness to the default sniper Mark Emmet in SWAT 2, took part in the reality show Combat Missions. A competition featuring staged missions with competitors from the CIA, SWAT, Recon, Delta Force and the Navy Seals. He became runner up to Miami SWAT officer Dexter Fletcher.

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