This is my first game review so I will get better with each one
Swat 4 is the successor to Swat 3 and last game released by sierra studio’s in the mid 2000’s before it was dissolved by its parent company Vivendi games which itself dissolved in 2010.
Swat 3 or Swat 4?
Originally I had planned to review Swat 3 instead of Swat 4 and it is possible to download this from GOG games and I have it.
Unlike Swat 4 Swat 3 it’s pretty bad compatablity wise even on systems more than capable of handling it so really this made it a no brainer and I decided it would be easier and faster to cover Swat 4 instead.
So I as a result I choose to review Swat 4 instead
Well‚ this is mostly pretty good and the using unreal engine 2 for the game was a smart one‚ despite the fact Vivendi completely scrapped the mating system so it had fewer custom maps like in swat 3 which had one of my all-time fav custom maps being the Nakatomi plaza from Die Hard.
I had to do it sorry……
However‚ despite it being a shorter game it’s still pretty fun and still completely random in how the AI and with the more realistic character models react is so much better than in swat 3 but it is never the less in places rage inducing when you have searched everywhere and still can’t find that last perp or civilian.
I can live without the mods as the weapon physics are also much better than swat 3 and it shows‚ for example‚ it’s much harder to use a weapon in full auto on swat 4 as the bullets just go everywhere and it becomes chaotic but there are some graphic enhancement mods.
Swat 4’s graphics engine has some pretty bad graphics issues now with windows 10 due to it is age‚ including horrible screen tearing as the base game never supported V sync so it was impossible to sync the GPU and refresh rate of the monitor resulting in pretty horrible tearing.
here is an example of screen tearing from Dead rising 2 so you can see how screen tearing in action
swat 4 is not alone games Lego Harry potter on PS3 had a really bad screen tearing issue and I had that game.
What causes the screen tearing issue?.
In basic terms its caused when the video card is faster than what it is outputting to and as a result the screen tears as you can see in the above example as the graphics card is trying to push the next frame before its ready.
Fixing the Glitches
Most games have a V-sync (Vertical Synchronisation) option which makes the game sync to the refresh rate of the monitor‚ projector or tv and prevents the GPU from rendering the next frame until its ready its noticeable in some circustances.
Swat 4 is an oddity in the fact it had no V-sync option so it runs completely wild and no those are not estimates 307.8fps was the highest I got that’s crazy.
I found it was easy to get control of the tearing and frame rates by running my control panel for my gpu and targetting the FPS to 60 and enabling super sampling and Opengl triple buffering and sure enough Swat 4 was playable with no further issues.
Well the Swat series is dead with the demise of Vivendi and the sierra studio and there will be no 5th instalment… well not completely a indie developer is currently working on Ready or Not a spiritual successor which has taken a lot of its roots from the Swat series and is more bloody and violent and I suspect it will throw up bit of controversy on release.
What happened to the graphics modders that were working on swat 4?
Sadly most have either moved on one or two have gone onto the game I mentioned above while others have decided to just cancel or scrap their projects to improve Swat 4 and see how Ready or Not works out and if it can be tweaked.
Swat 4 remains a pretty fun title and one worth playing even many years on whether to Swat 4 will fade away when Ready or Not is released is yet to be seen.