Generally favorable reviews - based on 49 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 49
  2. Negative: 0 out of 49
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  1. Simply put, SWAT 4 is just about the best tactical shooter available. Its outstandingly realistic and gripping play delivers everything a tac-sim fan craves. Now, if you'll excuse me, there are more perps in need of cuffing.
  2. SWAT 4 is no "System Shock 2" – it’s not going to break any boundaries. However, in a world where professional finish and attention to detail is increasingly rare, its focus on filling a job role rather than filling terrorists with holes is refreshing and admirable, and is definitely worthy of investigation from anyone capable of exercising the restraint required to fully appreciate what this game is about.
  3. A thoroughly enjoyable game and it also feels sort of good to be able to succeed in a first person shooter without having to kill every person that you come across.
  4. This is a game that rewards care and attention by making you part of a brutally efficient machine. Other games give you a crusade, but SWAT 4 gives you the job itself - only without the hazard pay or sudden bullets to the face. [PC Gamer UK]
  5. It is a very difficult game that ramps up exponentially as you progress, but every completed mission leaves you with a satisfied feeling, a sense of accomplishment, like you've made a difference.
  6. 90
    There's something compelling about the room-to-room nature of the single-player missions that rarely gets old, even after you've failed a particular mission a dozen times.
  7. 90
    They've managed to make non-lethal tactics both important and fun with great sound bytes, exciting tactics, and a good selection of weapons.
  8. Cheat Code Central
    Provides a great balance of gameplay features with an easy-to-use interface and realistic situations. I wouldn't be surprised if this game was being used in training sessions for special forces recruits.
  9. The gripping levels, native difficulty, realistic (and sometimes disturbing) situations, and all around fun gameplay combine into a fantastic game.
  10. 90
    By building gameplay around non-lethal weapons, they've honored not only the police they're modeling, but the power of guns.
  11. Those looking for an excellent mix of first person action and squad-based tactics will find SWAT 4's extremely realistic and involving gameplay hard to beat.
  12. The graphics are top notch, the sounds and vocals are excellent. Mission planning, weapon details, multiplayer scenarios, everything is just rock solid.
  13. I will say, though, that the vibrant, stylish graphics and unique gameplay will have me choosing a night of SWAT 4 over "Counter-Strike: Source."
  14. Computer Games Magazine
    Levels are superbly crafted for maximum tension. [July 2005, p.50]
  15. SWAT 4 doesn’t have the entire package. While a fantastic, engrossing and entertaining game, there’s a constant, nagging feeling that something’s missing.
  16. Besides these quibbles, the game is nearly perfect, and ultimately, it's just a hell of a lot of fun to play. It’s addictive and incredibly challenging.
  17. Irrational Games' SWAT 4 delivers an interesting first person shooter experience that rewards superior tactics and patience above all else.
  18. SWAT 4 is light years beyond the previous games in the series. Irrational Games seems to have a knack for taking Sierra franchises and making them better (see Tribes: Vengeance).
  19. Pelit (Finland)
    An excellent game, but should have been far more ambitious. Now it is like update for SWAT 3. How about at least a decent wounding modelling? [Apr. 05]
  20. This game is not for trigger happy individuals because the goal is to try to keep everyone, yes that means the enemies, alive.
  21. The realistic and methodical pace to the gameplay will likely put off twitch gamers craving the next Unreal Tournament, but anyone who enjoys a good, tension-packed tactical shooter will get their money’s worth and more in this game.
  22. PC Format
    Top-drawer felon-neutralising action that will have you hooked for ages. [June 2005, p.99]
  23. Weak graphics and stability issues aside, SWAT 4 is one of the most comprehensive tactical shooters on the market. The intuitive cursor-based command system works well and the attention paid to detail leads to an exciting, edge of your seat type experience that really has to be experienced to be believed.
  24. The gameplay is smooth and the environments are cleverly designed, so with the addition of a solid AI, it creates a realistic and a very authentic feel. While this game may not be remembered as a trendsetter, it gives you quite an enjoyable experience.
  25. For fans of the realistic tactical shooter genre, SWAT 4 is a definite must have, marking the rebirth of a series out of its own ashes. It was a 5 year wait, but trust me, it was worth every second of it.
  26. All it needs now is a more advanced engine to power a sequel, a more involving sense of training and life in a pair of SWAT shoes... That, and a willingness to continue dealing with the dark underbelly of real world criminality without pulling any punches.
  27. The newest iteration of the series is the best one yet, offering an intelligent and flexible interface, a varied and highly replayable campaign, as well as multiplayer modes that include cooperative play.
  28. 85
    With the Quick Mission Maker, competitive multiplayer and Co-Op, there is good replayability and you will be getting plenty of flashbang for your buck.
  29. The only thing that gets on my nerves is not being able to always use deadly force. It is not only risky to stop and give the suspects a chance to shot first, but also its just more fun to shot first and ask questions later.
  30. The gameplay is slower and more intense than Tom Clancy’s roster and no less authentic or compelling in its presentation.
  31. No one has tackled this subject quite like Sierra has and Irrational has done a stellar job in preserving the look and feel of the predecessor while adding modern amenities.
  32. Game Informer
    A little more polish and variety could have made it a landmark, but this release is far from disappointing. [May 2005, p.122]
  33. The game is geared for realism and suspense - so ADD kids won't enjoy it while intelligent gamers looking for a level of realism will be heartedly entertained.
  34. 80
    The single player career mode is surprisingly short, and after a few missions starts to feel repetitive. Though it won't blow many minds, SWAT 4 is a pick-up-and-play tactical shooter with a solid pedigree.
  35. What Irrational have done with the previous game really has worked well and made the game more usable for people new to the series while keeping the hardcore fans happy with the elite difficulty.
  36. Despite the Good Cop trappings, this really is one of the most macho games I've recently played; all guns, tactics and difficulty.
  37. 80
    If Irrational is able to speed up the player speed just a tad so that run speed and player movement is faster, if server admins are able to control the abuse of non- lethal equipment, and if server admins are given remote server control, then SWAT 4 would be just as spectacular for Multiplayer.
  38. 80
    One word of warning--if you’re only interesting in running around and shooting bad guys stay far, far away from this game. It’s impossible to run through this game like Rambo. You will die.
  39. Play Magazine
    This is accessible crime-fighting pulp with a dark, contemporary edge. [May 2005, p.64]
  40. Tactical enough that your play style will be drastically different from a normal shooter, but it's not so ridiculously tactical that they forgot to include a game with the game. In many ways, SWAT 4 strikes the perfect balance between action, tactics, and challenge
  41. Pelaaja (Finland)
    A genuine, tactical police action shooter, in which a loose trigger finger only causes problems. [May 2005, p 82]
  42. Its graphics, excellent sound, intense gameplay, and strong multiplayer, coupled with its random character placement make it a title definitely worth checking out.
  43. A wickedly cool game. It offers us the best of standard FPS games with new parameters making the game more challenging than just gunning down goons.
  44. AceGamez
    Compelling, engrossing and thrilling.
  45. PC Gamer
    It has a realistic edge and a hardcore, immersive feel. [June 2005, p.66]
  46. 75
    A good tactical shooter held back by a number of minor and easily resolvable errors.
  47. The best in the series to date, this brain-over-brawn tactical shooter successfully delivers all the action of a first-person shooter at just half the pace.
  48. Edge Magazine
    The extreme volatility of every moment carries a reward that overshadows the annoyances. [June 2005, p.85]
  49. games(TM)
    A true 'thinking man’s shooter', then, and one that can be enjoyed by all those capable of engaging their brain before pulling the trigger. [June 2005, p.109]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 322 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 322
  1. Sep 11, 2012
    Swat 4 İs Best Tactical Shooter Ever. İt İs Better Than Ghost Recon And Rainbox Six . İt's Very Realistic Game. You CanSwat 4 İs Best Tactical Shooter Ever. İt İs Better Than Ghost Recon And Rainbox Six . İt's Very Realistic Game. You Can ''Really'' Command Your Team But People Dont Know The Value Of Swat 4.So Swat 5 İs Never Come But We Still Want SWAT 5! Full Review »
  2. ManuelH.
    Jun 19, 2005
    This game is nice but the handling, which is crucial for a tactical shooter, is worse than that of its predecessors. Some missions are too This game is nice but the handling, which is crucial for a tactical shooter, is worse than that of its predecessors. Some missions are too hard, the difficulty level is not the very consistent in the late game. I also disliked the diffculty settings because you don't only have to get a higher percentage but the enemies are also harder to master, which makes the higher levels impossible. The AI of the team members is bad. Often they stand in your way and several times they get shoot down by the enemy one after the other. Then the game is more like a first person shooter where the player has to do all the killing himself. Full Review »
  3. DezoR.
    Apr 21, 2005
    Challenging, tactical, addictive! Must have! I just played 8 hours in a row.