“Ready or Not” and SWAT 4: Can this Early Access game be a good follow-up?
SWAT 5 is in your wishlist? This could be your best choice.
Table of Contents
- SWAT 4
- SWAT4 Expansion: The Stetchkov Syndicate
- Ready or Not
This game was made by Irrational Games and Sierra in 2005 and was developed with the Unreal Engine 2.
In a few words, you lead a squad of SWAT members dealing with operations like rescuing hostages and securing targets.
The game is an action-based First Person Shooter, but it also has several mechanics based on strategy: your team is divided in two squads, Red and Blue, each one made of two members controlled by the AI. You can give orders to each squad like, for example:
- Opening doors with explosives or by picklocking them;
- Clear rooms with gas or flashbangs;
- Inspect rooms from under the door with the optical eye;
- Keep watch on a hallway or a door;
- Block a door by placing a wedgeunder it;
- and many more
You can even use snipers to check on some windows or shoot targets, which can be useful when you want some control over the area.
All this allowed the player to be deeply involved in a realistic SWAT operation, where you need to save civilians from fanatics inside a house, or rescue hostages in a hospital, bank, or library.
You can control your very own SWAT team, coordinate with them to clear a house and enter rooms by shouting orders to the suspects and ask them to surrender and put their hands up.
Some suspects will give up immediately, and others will be much more hostile.
When you start the level, you will be able to choose the loadout for your team. You have a limited amount of space to put items like weapons, ammunition and so on. This makes the situation much more difficult and realistic.
One thing that I really like about this game, is that you can, so to speak, “remotely control” one squad and manually move them to another side. For example, I might enter a house from one side with the Blue Squad, and at the same time I control the Red Squad by sending them to the other side, so that we can take over the area from multiple sides and stop suspects from running away.
SWAT 4 will also make you kinda angry and frustrated in some points, because the AI is not the best. Sometimes you might enter a room and get killed by the last suspect, who was hiding in a corner all the time, even if you were shooting on the adjacent room, thus failing the mission after one hour of intense strategy-thinking.
Other times, your squad members won’t be smart enough to engage the suspect at the right moment, so they might get hurt or killed because they didn’t act properly.
In some cases you might also lose the game because you shot too soon, but if you wait too much before shooting, you will get yourself killed. For this reason you would usually choose non lethal weapons, in order to avoid killing suspects by mistake.
Yes because in this game there is a sort of scoreboard to pass the level, based on the difficulty. Mistakes are punished: if you kill a civilian, or you shoot a suspect that was going to surrender, or if your agents get hurt, the game will give you negative points at the end of the scenario , and you might not reach the necessary score to unlock the next level.
SWAT 4 also allows you to play multiplayer matches, it used to require you to install GameSpy, but there are ways to play with other people today as well.
You can actually find a free patch on GitHub, called swat4-masterserver that will allow you to include the SWAT4Stats.com masterserver in the in-game match browser.
In 2006 came out the expansion pack, Stetchkov Syndicate, and also a 1.1 patch was released for the base game.
The expansion added new levels and some new mechanics. For example, if a suspect is surrendering, but you do not arrest him immediately, he might take back his weapon and shoot you.
Overall, I recommend you to try this game if you like to play tactical first person shooters, it surely is worth your time. (At the moment of writing, it is on sale for only 5 euros!)
It is now being sold on GOG and with 10 euros you can get the Gold Edition, with the base game and the expansion pack together.
If you don’t mind to get mad in some moments, because you will, you should definetely spend the money, or you can wait for a discount to get it at a even lower price.
There are other games of the “Police Quest” series, also released by Sierra, called SWAT 1, 2 and 3, but in my opinion the only one really worth your time and money is SWAT 4.
Anyway, as of today, in 2022, you might be wondering if SWAT 4 will have a remake or maybe a sequel, a SWAT 5 or something like that.
I have been asking myself this question many times in the years, and the simple answer is: No. At the moment, no one is developing an official remake or sequel.
A lot of people would like to see that. If you search for “SWAT 5 game” on search engines, you will find discussions about this matter:
You will also find out about this Early-Access game called “Ready or Not”.
I have been keeping an eye on it for months and I have now decided to make this video to talk about it, because I really liked SWAT 4 and to be honest, Ready or Not really seems to be a very good candidate for the place of a sequel, let’s call it a kind of “SWAT 5” indeed.
Ready or Not is being developed by VOID Interactive, and is being updated quite often. Almost every month there is a major content update, so we can really hope for the best.
The developers don’t really seem to ever compare this game with SWAT 4, but you can clearly see where they got their inspiration from.
The mechanics are basically the same, almost identical, as the ones that we talked about before.
You have a squad of 5 members, including yourself, divided in Red and Blue teams (Gold to control them both, like in SWAT 4).
You can enter houses by breaking in with explosives or picklocking, you will shout to the suspects asking them to surrender, and you can detain weapons and arrest the bad guys.
You can even pepper-spray kids, what more can you ask for? 11/10 would recommend it.
Even the voices are quite the same, and the AI is very similar too, which I am not really a fan of at the moment, but it is still in Early Access of course, so I will give it the time to catch up.
I will be very very honest with you here, and I would advise you to wait for the game to be in a more advanced state. I say this by personal experience, because I have seen other “Alpha” or “Early Access” games being abandoned with the time, or taking a very long time to reach a decent state of the art.
The game can be bought on Steam at the current price of 36 euros, which is quite a high price now, I would recommend you to wait a bit before buying, maybe until the next year at least, or just wishlist it and maybe hope for a discount.
But if you really can’t wait and you have some money to spend, you can surely support this game and buy it right away, as it is.
If you wish to know more, I invite you to try both the games, and please let me know your opinions in the comments below.
You might also want to watch my video where I compare SWAT4 and Ready or Not and talk about them both.