Mr. Sluggo: SWAT 4 has "dated" graphics?

So GameSpy has the first SWAT 4 review up:

4.5 stars out of 5.

Good review, one nitpick (I admit I’m biased):

I agree that the Unreal engine is becoming dated, but SWAT 4 is based on a highly tweaked version of T:V. GameSpy’s review of T:V said the game had “great graphics”, yet 6 months later SWAT 4 is being unfavorably compared to Battlefield Vietnam, UT2004, and CS: Source? Eh?

It’s a subjective call, I know, but…

Click here for a nice image.

FWIW, I think the lack of a storyline, missing features in co-op (no bots, no element leader spot), and the fact that the suspects can’t pick up dropped weapons are the major complaints about the game.

Edited to remove big image.

I thought I read Irrational said their SWAT consultant indicated SWAT teams rarely deal with interrelated missions so they dropped an initial idea to have a campaign of escalating missions linked together, in favor of non related missions they thought would make a more realistic depiction of how SWAT works.

Did SWAT 3 have a campaign of linked missions? I can’t remember anymore. :oops:

I assumed the graphics potshot was referring to the dark, grim surroundings (which is on purpose, I gather), which probably don’t show off the engine as much as bright, shiny ones would, I guess.

Love 10-David site by the way. I’m a “member” there but don’t post much. :)

swat 3 had various random missions but many were linked to the peace conference: the first hotel mission had foreign diplomats taken hostage, the construction site had sams that were going to shoot down the visiting russian president’s plane, the night convention center mission was to find the nuke that had been planted.

Jesus, Foo, could you possibly have broken the formatting more? If I have to scroll to the right for 30 seconds to read your post, I’m not going to read your post. Could you remove that gargantuan image, please?

I tought this was weird:

and [the game engine is] basically devoid of physics effects

I’ve only played the demo, but cans, cones and boxes flew when shot at. And bodies slided down stairs in a very creepy way.

My question about the full game is:

Does the AI still count chain-linked fences as a regular wall? In the demo suspects and officers would ignore each other when standing with such a fence between them(happened to me a lot in the garage).
That broke the immersion for me :(

And Foo, please link to a picture instead. Try imageshack or Yahoo photos or some such.

You know, making your game pretty involves more than picking the right engine. :) A good comparison would be Half-Life 2 and Vampire Bloodlines. Same engine, but they’re hardly equals in terms of artistic quality.

There’s a part of me that wishes SWAT 4 had been made with both a different engine and a different art team. I try not to be swayed too much by graphics (I think my score shows that), but I can’t help wonder what SWAT 4 would be like with advanced shadows and physics, which would have been right at home with all the indoor locations. (If you’ve played the FEAR beta, you have some idea what I’m talking about). Aesthetically, I think the game has a generic, bland look to it as well – I know there’s only so much you can do with offices and convenience stores, but it just looks and feels very … 2003.

Graphics aside, SWAT 4’s a really fun game, and one of the few that I think could pose a serious challenge to Counter-Strike. I really hope it gets an audience.

The levels aren’t jaw-droppingly stunning polygon pushers, but they are beautifully detailed. Things like the serial killer den in the second mission, or a devotion to vile toilet rendering that should get at least someone at Irrational some company-paid therapy, really do stand out - unlike Raven Shield, with its largely flat, uninteresting levels.

Dunno if you use Firefox, but this plugin lets you “remove” any object on a page basis. Formatting snaps right back.

Hehe … yeah a link would be much better.

I can’t say I agree, but that’s a fair statement.

I really like the “look” of the game; the demo level is ok, but the levels throughout the rest of the game are just terrific. I really enjoyed the serial killer’s home, the underground casino, the jewerly heist, and the crazy cult house. Maybe we’re making a distinction on what qualifies as graphics, but for me, the graphics accomplish their job of creating an immersive environment.

Dunno if you use Firefox, but this plugin lets you “remove” any object on a page basis. Formatting snaps right back.[/quote]

I do, and thank you! That’s frigging excellent. Going to grab that asap.

Don’t forget all the little details, like the sound samples on the different hostages, or the way they’ll point…er…nominally in the direction of the suspects (although occasionally just into big empty rooms), and all the set-pieces like Grandpa’s abandoned bed in the hospital. I really, really liked the feel of at least most of the levels.

Oh, the levels themselves are awesome. I love little touches like the newspapers pasted around the kidnapper’s house, or the creepy writing in the walls in that cult mission late in the game. The corporate posters in Red Library are awesome, and there’s even a Tribes Vengeance cutout in the convenience store. :)