SWAT 4 isn’t necessarily your typical first-person shooter. It doesn’t have the fast-paced run ‘n gun gameplay that you’ll find in most of today’s shooters, and if that’s what you’re looking for then look elsewhere. Instead, SWAT 4represents the best of tactical squad-based games and is so slow that it might bore most gamers.

We’ll get to the slow gameplay a bit later, but first we should mention that this preview is in no way about the single-player campaign for SWAT 4. Recently we have been playing the multiplayer beta for SWAT 4 which is what this preview is based upon. The multiplayer only includes one gameplay mode and one map which is enough to give us an overall impression of howSWAT 4 will perform.

The gameplay mode included with the beta is a VIP Rescue mode. This has been seen in games before, but it’s done a little different here. In games like Counter-Strike: Source, when you would escort hostages (VIPs), they would be controlled by bots. However in SWAT 4, the VIP is a randomly chosen member of the SWAT team. Members of the SWAT team must keep the VIP alive and safe while trying to ultimately reach the roof of the building for extraction. The suspects, on the other hand, are the criminals and need to find and capture the VIP and hold him hostage for two minutes. If the VIP is killed by the suspects then the SWAT team wins, but if the VIP is killed by the SWAT team then the suspects win. You can just imagine that there’s a lot of accidental killings of the VIP going on.

This is a great type of multiplayer, but its got some flaws within it. For one, maybe the rules need to be laid out clearer for most players, because it seems as if most players don’t know what they’re doing. For example, when most players become the VIP, they go throughout the level acting just like they were another member of SWAT. You obviously can’t play that way considering the fact that the VIP gets only a small handgun and about ten bullets. Especially when you consider that the suspects, and SWAT members, respawn after a few seconds there’s no way that the VIP is going to be killing a whole lot of people. The game also has a lot of friendly fire going on, and it would seem as if most suspects just shoot straight at the VIP as if he was the biggest threat around.