[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/swat4_TVTropes_8626.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:200:"Police! On your knees!"]]

->''"Bring Order to Chaos."''

A NintendoHard [[TacticalShooter tactical]] FirstPersonShooter video game, developed by Creator/IrrationalGames (makers of ''VideoGame/SystemShock II'', the ''Franchise/BioShock'' series and ([[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers surprisingly]]) the ''VideoGame/FreedomForce'' series) and published by {{Creator/Sierra}} in 2005. It's the fourth installment of Sierra's ''VideoGame/{{SWAT}}'' series (itself a SpinOff of the older ''VideoGame/PoliceQuest'' series). The game is set in the fictional US East Coast city of Fairview and unlike its predecessor, ''{{VideoGame/SWAT 3}}'', it deals with more mundane-themed missions, usually involving professional rescuing of hostages or neutralizing various terrorist groups or criminal gangs. The player takes on the role of a young SWATTeam officer, a recent transfer from the LAPD to the Fairview special response unit, who acts as the leader of a five-man SWAT squad, issuing commands, and using team work and close cooperation between all the members of the squad to achieve the necessary goals of each mission in the most effective way possible.

SWAT is primarily a life-saving organization, so your main objectives are always to rescue all civilians, arrest all suspects and occasionally secure some needed evidence. This is not as easy as it sounds, since you have to take caution not to harm or kill any of the civilians and make sure you fire at suspects or outright kill them only when necessary. Trying to beat the game by fighting your way through guns blazing is not an option. Fortunately, you have a wide variety of special weapons, ammo and SWAT gear in order to defuse high-risk situations.

The game aims heavily for realism, being one of the few games on the far end of the FacklerScaleOfFPSRealism. Well known for its quality production values and innovative gameplay, as well as a famous and funny LetsPlay by WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment.

This game was available for purchase on [=Direct2Drive=] before the service was acquired by Gamefly, and then was made unavailable for purchase.

For its predecessor, see ''{{VideoGame/SWAT 3}}''.

For the series that this game descended from, see ''PoliceQuest''.

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!!''SWAT 4'' provides examples of:

* AcceptableBreaksFromReality:
** One of the few breaks in the game's otherwise highly realistic shooting physics is the complete absence of bullet ricochet. Another break from reality is the absence of trigger reflexes or spasms. Those may cause the unplanned emptying of the guns by perps after they themselves were wounded and/or killed (or hit in the correct nerve), or simply out of pure nervousness. In singleplayer, at least. Situations that resemble a post-death trigger spasm can occur frequently in multiplayer.
** While you can blind and temporarily disable yourself with flashbangs and sting grenades in singleplayer, tear gas grenades don't affect you or your team in any way. On the other hand, in multiplayer, both you and the opposing team can be disabled by all types of stun grenades, even their own. And unlike in singleplayer, if you're afraid of tear gas attacks in multiplayer, you can don a gas mask.
** Yet another break is that the SWAT officers (including you) communicate verbally ("See the bad guys...", "Got a runner!", "Clear!", etc), while in real life they mostly use hand signals in order not to alarm the perps on the other side of the door. As a matter of fact, perps will usually never be able to hear shouts or gunfire as far as one or two rooms away, which can be quite jarring, seeing how this sort of thing is multiplied in volume in close quarters. On the other hand, being quiet can actually help you with sneaking up closely to a suspect, then ambushing him by surprise.
** Lastly, outside of multiplayer, the suspects (even the professional militiamen/commandos) never work in teams like SWAT, which gives them an important disadvantage in combat. There are no coordinated defenses or attacks, and their sort-of-tactic usually amounts to 'sit tight in a random room by yourself (alternatively, with a hostage) and shoot anyone coming through the door (alternatively, run away)'.
* AlwaysNight: Each mission is set in the late evening, in the early morning or at night time.
* {{AKA47}}: [[ZigZaggingTrope Both averted and played straight.]] The firearms manufactured by Colt and Benneli all have their proper names in-game, but the assault rifles and submachine guns manufactured by the German company Heckler und Koch all have bland names, like "9 mm SMG", etc. The Austrian-manufactured Glock 17 is also referred to only as the "9mm pistol". Irrational probably couldn't get permission from those two companies to name the guns after their real names.
* ArmsDealer: A whole international gang of them in the penultimate, 12. assignment. It's a pretty hard mission, since it's set in a decaying abandoned building in the industrial quarter of the city and the hallways and rooms are hard to navigate because they're full of junk, makeshift barricades and debris.
** The first mission also features a [[HarmlessVillain much more amateurish gang]] of gun dealers and modifiers, hiding their illegal business behind the guise of a local Chinese restaurant.
** The ''Stetchkov Syndicate'''s eponymous Bulgarian crime family count as well. The ExpansionPack's missions deal with the effects of the Stetchkovs' recent and unusual forays into the arms trade, which are pointed out in the [[MissionBriefing Mission Briefings]].
* ArtificialStupidity: Quite ''a lot'' by your squadmates.
** If you give an order, sometimes it can be overruled and ignored if something "'''more important'''" comes up. Examples include getting an urgent message on the radio, issuing multiple orders in a row, spotting a suspect, etc. This sort of makes sense, but can be frustrating when you later notice that the action you made still hasn't been completed.
** Your teammates usualy scan the room thoroughly before giving off reports like that. But some AI wonks do occasionally appear in more tighter or crammed-in spaces. Sometimes your teammates ''even accidentally shoot you'' if your squad is caught in a fire fight with the criminals. Sometimes ''they run in front of your gun while you're trying to fire''. Or switch place in front of the doors if one of them is lacking the type of grenade you ordered to be thrown into the room. Which is of course logical... unless there's a friggin' suspect right in front of the door, mere centimeters away, ready to shoot them while they're waltzing in front of the exposed doorway. Most of the AI issues of your squadmates and problems with giving more complex chains of commands were thankfully fixed by patches and the ExpansionPack.
** "You're in my way."
* ArtificialBrilliance: But, to its credit, the game does have very sophisticated AI at some parts. Too bad for you though, as most of this intelligence is limited to the criminals. Even then, your teammates do have their moments.
* AssholeVictim: When you and your team storm the Diamond Wholesaler's Meeting Room, you will find a slide show that shows what they were discussing before the bank robbers came; how their outsources in central Africa [[BloodDiamond will suffer a dramatic decrease in efficiency due to the "local enforcement of human rights"]]. ''Ouch''.
* AwesomeYetPractical: Your non-lethal weapons and special equipment:
** A modified paintball gun that uses pellets filled with tear gas instead of the usual food colouring used in paintball tournaments.
** The simple, yet invaluable Taser pistols and Pepper spray.
** A special "opti-wand" fiber optic camera device with a small LCD display. Used for peeking around corners and under doors, in order to spy a potentially hostile area ahead from safe cover.
** In addition to the the camera, there are the equally simple-yet-awesome Tactical Wedges. They're used for forced blocking of doors, in order to prevent the suspects from running around the building, escaping a room or getting the drop on your unsuspecting squad at the worst possible moment. They seem plain and weak, but are actually very powerful and can hold any door, as long as they're deployed under it.
** The beanbag-shooting stun shotgun is (arguably) the best weapon in the game, because one or two shots will stun any enemy, not matter how well armored. Its main strenghth is that it can stun suspects wearing gasmasks, since they are invulnerable to tear gas and catching them with a taser can be rather tricky and dangerous. The beanbag shotgun is pretty much essential if you want to complete a mission with a perfect score. Further, you can preemptively shoot any suspect without first providing warning, or allowing them to fire upon you. The only drawback is the rather small amount of ammunition, which forces you to pack some additional non-lethal weaponry.
** Don't forget the [[CripplingOverspecialization breaching shotgun]].
** On a related note, the BoringButPractical C2 door detonators, police multitools (with stealthy picklocks and bomb-disarming pliers) and plastic quick-cuffs come in handy as well.
* BadassArmy: The militiamen you face off against late in the game, along with the North Korean special forces.
* BadassCrew: Your squad, obviously, being SWAT officers.
* BasementDweller[=/=]PsychopathicManchild: [[spoiler: Lawrence Fairfax, the mildly demented [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty kidnapper of women]] and SerialKiller from the second mission.]] The evening news heard on the radio dubs him "[[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Law School Lyncher]]".
* BigApplesauce: Though they changed the city name, it was clearly intended to be New York. At the beginning of Mission 4 (The A-Bomb Club), a large ad is painted on the wall for a garage in Brooklyn, the briefing for mission 9 tells you the command post is at Broadway and 100th in "Manhattan north," and the diplomat in Mission 12 was in the middle of a speech to the United Nations. Your teammates will also sometimes sarcastically tell suspects to "Have fun in Rikers," referring to a jail complex in New York City.
* BlatantLies[=/=]NeverMyFault: The suspects in some missions, particularly those featuring drug dealers, come up with some pretty amusing excuses as to why they're there while you and your team arrest them. Take this soundbite from a mobster in the mission where you raid a Stetchkov-controlled drug lab as an example:
-->'''Bulgarian Mobster''': [[NotWhatItLooksLike It's not what you think]]... we're baking cookies!
* BombDisposal[=/=]TimeBomb: An objective in the penultimate mission set in a hotel taken over by [[RightWingMilitiaFanatic an extremist group]]. In ''The Stetchkov Syndicate'', the mission wherein a Department of Agriculture office is besieged by a union of disgruntled farmers has this as well. Also a multiplayer mode.
* BrandX[=/=]BlandNameProduct: Virtually every product you see in the game is of this variety (even company ads and promotional posters for movies and games), [[PlayedForLaughs but with obvious nods to the brand it's parodying]].
* ButtMonkey: Meta example. The elderly women in the second level is probably one of the most abused characters in video games ever.
* CityNoir: Quite a lot of it, especially in the more darker missions taking place in various crumbling urban hellholes.
* ComplainingAboutComplaining: Many of the civilians are stubborn, scared or disoriented enough that [[JerkassWoobie they'll come across as this]] when you handcuff them (needless to say, a lot of the objections include their outrage over getting handcuffed in the first place). The arrested suspects are [[SirSwearsalot even less polite to you and your team]] after getting cuffed (especially if they're less of a HarmlessVillain and more of a professional mobster).
* ContinuityNod: Sonny Bonds, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{SWAT}}'''s predeccessor series, ''{{VideoGame/Police Quest}}'', is the chief of Fairview's SWAT training facility and your instructor in the game's tutorial.
* CoolButInefficient: The less-lethal grenade launcher. It's insanely powerful and has a lot of variation on ammo. But it's also heavy, unwieldy, void of a mounted flashlight, can only ever hold one grenade at a time, takes very long to reload, and is cripplingly inaccurate.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: See the AssholeVictim-example above.
* CowboyCop or ByTheBookCop: Depending on your style, you can choose to go in gunning down every suspect without calling for compliance. But, as already mentioned, the game only rewards you for playing by the book.
* ClusterFBomb: [[SirSwearsalot Suspects]] react pretty appropriately to getting shot, [[VideogameCrueltyPotential tazed, gassed, sprayed with mace, beaten, or hit with stinger grenades.]]
* CreatorProvincialism: The architecture and skyline of Fairview is very similar to Boston and your squadmates and most of the other characters have various forms of the Bostonian or New England accent. Hardly surprising, since Creator/IrrationalGames are Bostonians to the bone.
* {{Cult}}[=/=]ChurchOfHappyology: [[spoiler:The Tarronians, led by a certain SinisterMinister from Iowa named Andrew Tarrone. You visit their eerie half-abandoned appartment building in mission 8.]]
* {{Deconstruction}}: This is an FPS which greatly discourages (and outright punishes at harder levels) killing, even directed to bad guys, since the game expects you to become a police officer. However, you are given an array of nonlethal weaponry as your loadout choice.
* DeadpanSnarker:
** In the fifth mission, set in an office building taken over by armed suspects, when you're taking care of the rescued civilians' safety, Girard looks around the cubicles and quips:
-->'''Officer Girard''': Ha! The old rat race... Now I remembered why I joined the force.
** In the fourth mission, where there was a shoot-out between some young delinquents at a rock concert:
-->'''Officer Reynolds''': You see, this is why I don't let my kids go to rock shows.\\
'''Officer Fields''': What, and have them miss all this fun?
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: Besides doing your regular SWAT work, you can turn on radios, switch to different stations, shoot fire extinguishers and plumbing pipes to start spraying extinguishing foam and water, shoot glass objects and even a box of donuts to bits, blow up computers, TV sets and gas canisters by shooting them, etc. And a remarkable amount of work has gone to make {{Bland Name Product}}s and the advertising of fictional companies look and feel real and believable... [[RuleOfFunny not to mention funny]]...
** Purely in regards to the aesthetics of the game: Most levels have numerous subtle visual references to the backgrounds of the victims and/or targets. For just one example, the hospital level has one room intricately decorated for a child's birthday party... but with a bloody stain on the bed.
* DiscOneNuke: For the Single Player Career in the expansion, the very first weapon to be unlocked is a nifty [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_&_Koch_HK69A1 HK69]] Less-Lethal GrenadeLauncher. It can be loaded with projectile versions of the hand grenades available to the team, or a rubber baton round. Scoring a direct hit on a suspect with it will cause completely voluntary compliance on the suspect's part, [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality instead of the incapacitation or death which it would likely cause in reality]]. Also, when loaded with CS grenades, the weapon can be used to quickly pacify large areas. For added fun: the Ammo Pouch, which doubles the amount of ammo you can carry, is the very next unlock after this one.
** This is sort of balanced out by the fact that it can only load one grenade at a time, and that it's one of the heavier weapons in the game, so it's not that easy to aim with it quickly. Also, it's the only weapon in the game unavailable to your AI squadmen, so only you can equip and use it. Being a grenade launcher, it also does not have a mounted flashlight.
* DynamicEntry: Though some situations will encourage you to opt for clearing a room [[StealthBasedGame more stealthily]], a DynamicEntry is the most common tactic for entering and clearing a room. If planned and executed well, it routinely results in a BigDamnHeroes moment for your SWAT team. The game manual and tutorial does encourage you to make sudden and loud entries into rooms with an ongoing hostage situation, because the enemy AI takes elements like shock and surprise into account. Most suspects will surrender as soon as the door flies to pieces and the room gets engulfed with tear gas and the rabid shouts of your teammates.
* EmergencyServices: Throughout the two singleplayer campaigns and even in some multiplayer levels, there are numerous references to calling in more ambulances and paramedics as reinforcements to help with the higher-than-expected number of wounded civilians or an incapacitated-in-defence suspect. Also, technically speaking, even ''your own team and squad'' count as an example of this trope, despite being an armed, paramilitary unit.
* ExpansionPack: Released a few months later and called ''The Stetchkov Syndicate''. It adds seven new missions connected by a more overarching crime story, various useful new weapons (including a cool tear gas grenade launcher and a more modern tazer pistol, which can double as a melee EmergencyWeapon), the option to issue a whole string of various "to do" commands to your squadmates, and numerous bug and AI fixes (criminals become even more cunning, ruthless and resistant to arrest and your squadmates are also brighter in general).
* FacelessGoons: Inverted. The player and his teammates wear full body armor, as well as helmets and balaclavas to cover their faces, while most suspects have visible faces.
* FacklerScaleOfFPSRealism[=/=]NintendoHard: Very, very, very far towards the hard end of realism. Besides the fact that you have to abide by police regulations and protocol (meaning you can't shoot unarmed people and have to deal carefully with armed suspects), your overall movement and gunplay abilities feel really believable. Characters can't take much damage before they die, even if they're wearing body armor and helmets. No one can jump and you and your squad mates can only run at a reasonable pace, being careful in the potentially dangerous enviroment of the hostile area you're clearing. Getting shot in the leg will slow you down and make you limp a bit, while getting shot in both legs will disable your ability to run. Getting shot in the hands will slightly diminish your ability to take precise aim. And since we mentioned it, the accuracy of your aim and fire can be increased by 1.) Crouching. 2.) Walking more slowly. 3.) Shooting in semi-automatic mode instead of full-auto or burst mode (recoil is a real bitch in this game). Sans the marksman rifle, none of the firearms have functioning scopes, but you have a context-sensitive crosshair for each weapon, even the stun grenades. The smaller and tighter it gets, the better aim you have. Magazines avert OneBulletClips and are reloaded manually by the player, not automatically. A particularly nice touch is that you can even select different types of ammo in your loadout menu: Full-metal jacket bullets are good for taking down well-armoured foes, but have the downside of being able to punch through weaker materials (like wooden doors and walls or even unarmoured bodies), accidentally injuring anyone standing on the other side. Standard casing bullets are slower and weaker, and while they can't punch through body armor, they're really ideal for fighting unarmoured suspects.
** ''The game has absolutely no saves or savepoints''. If you die in a mission, you can't respawn, just like in RealLife. Luckily, you can at least restart it from the beginning.
** All in all, you have to play in a relatively professional manner to get a perfect and spotless score - even on the lower difficulties. See also the other trope entries that mention the realistic elements of the game (you can blind yourself with your own stun grenades, etc.).
* FriendlyFireProof: Averted. If you are stupid enough to actually kill your team-mates online or your friendly AI in singleplayer (even by accident), the friendly AI will actually fire back and kill you, failing the mission and suffering penalties as a result. Many players were annoyed by this and it's proven in [[TheSpoonyExperiment SpoonyOne's]] Let's Play in ''{{SWAT 4}}'''s 12th level. Even injuring your officers three times will result in [[PlayerPunch revenge friendly fire by your AI team-mates]].
* FirstPersonGhost: Subverted. You never play from a third person perspective, nor can you switch to one. But you have your own body model (just like your squadmates) and you can see yourself from the third person when you're character is mortally wounded and falls to the ground (with the [[HaveANiceDeath "mission failed" message appearing over the scene]]).
* TheFundamentalist: The previously-mentioned group of religious fundamentalists who took over a stem-cell research lab. Also, in the ExpansionPack, a group of [[MoralGuardians Christians opposed to rock music]] storm a concert hall and take the band hostage.
* GasMaskMooks: Some of the enemies in later missions wear gas masks, making them immune to your tear gas.
* GenreSavvy: In a minor example of this trope, suspects will shout "Oh no, SWAT!" when they see you (even though they don't have any reason to, since you generally identify yourselves simply as 'police').
* GunPorn: While there are not ''that'' many guns in the game, there's still [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/SWAT_4 quite an arsenal]] of lethal and non-lethal weaponry to choose from. Also [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in-universe, with some of your teammates occasionally admiring the ammo stashes of gunrunners you've busted in a mission.
* HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic: Inverted. the SWAT officers all wear helmets, while the criminals don't. TruthInTelevision.
* HeroicMime: Averted. [[StandardizedLeader Your player character's]] [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname name is never given]], but he talks more than enough during each mission (either by your command or in pre-scripted instances). Unsurprising, since you're the leadsman of the squad and all...
* HideYourChildren: Well, yeah, the developers don't want you arresting kids. [[spoiler: But then you find the graveyard in the basement of the Tarone residence...]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: You can blind and stun yourself with the flashbang and stinger grenade. Also, if you don't have thermal vision, using the gas grenade is a double-edged sword because it obscures vision for everyone equally, not just the suspects.
* HollywoodSilencer: Averted. Few firearms in the game come with silencers, but those that do willingly avert this trope by sounding silent, yet still appropriately loud enough to be heard by anyone in the close vicinity.
* HollywoodTactics: [[SarcasmMode Yeah, just try it.]] [[AvertedTrope It'll get you]] [[PlayerPunch killed.]]
* {{HUD}}: Given that this is a SimulationGame that is far to the hard end of FacklerScaleOfFPSRealism, the on-screen interface is very minimalist, but intuitive. You have a silhouette representing your SWAT officer in the lower left corner. Based on your current SubsystemDamage (a shot in the leg, etc.), a specific part of the body will become filled up with the colour red, [[LifeMeter indicating injuries]]. To the right of the damage meter are the readouts for remaining magazines and ammo and the currently selected mode of fire ("semi/burst/auto"). In the lower right corner of the screen, there's the quick command menu, consisting of a single line of text that changes according to context. It also features a coloured indicator that informs you on which team you're giving the command to (based on whether you've switched to commanding the entire team (gold), the blue team or the red team). A more detailed command menu can be brought up by pressing the right mouse button - it also works in a context-sensitive way (where you point your crosshair at) and can be switched to command any of the colour-coded teams. It disappears once you release it. Unintrusive pop-up tips will appear between the gun and quick command readouts, generally indicating whether you're close enough to open doors, pick up evidence, etc.
* IGotYouCovered: Standard procedure.
* ImprovisedWeapon: It is possible to use the breaching shotgun (specialized purely for entries) for shooting a suspect. But you have to be really close to him. Also, the expansion pack added a punching animation for you and your teammates, and a newer model of taser pistol that can double as both a projectile and melee weapon (you run up close to a suspect and hit him with the electric arc, not wasting ammo like you would if you used the fire mode of the taser).
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler:Averted at the end of the Tarronian mission, where you find the graveyard where they buried their children after killing them.]]
* InNameOnly: Thankfully, not this installment of the series, but the ''SWAT'' sequels that came after it on consoles. They're best left undiscussed.
* InstantDeathBullet: Averted for the most part. While it is entirely possible to kill someone instantly with one shot, it requires some realistic situation, such as the gun being of high caliber or simply a headshot. Depending on how good the body armor they are wearing is and how powerful your gun is, its also possible for enemies to survive being shot a couple of times, although if shot in the right place they will lose accuracy or have to limp. Also, they don't always die when shot. Sometimes, their body armor will save them from death, but they will still be incapacitated.
** This could be situational, but this is played straight very often when suspects ([[TheAIIsACheatingBastard Read: AI enemies]]) are firing on players, even when wearing [[MightyGlacier Heavy Armor and Helmet]], you can still die from one bullet. [[UpToEleven From across the map. By suspects who by rights shouldn't even have basic firearms training.]]
* ISurrenderSuckers: Some perps are prone to doing this. After telling them to drop the weapon and get down, the perp will slowly do this... and then suddenly open fire on you.
* ItsUpToYou: You and your four-man squad, that is. The only reinforcements potentially at your disposal are two sniper teams, monitoring the location from a safe distance.
* LawOfInverseRecoil: Averted thoroughly.
* LetsPlay: [[http://spoonyexperiment.com/2009/03/08/lets-play-swat-4-mission-1-dungeons-damsels/ By SpoonyOne, as you know.]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzvbpG7Z8z0 [=WizWar100=] (aka [=LazyWorkCreation=]) has followed suit, while occasionally showing off the cooperative game play.]]
** Khad, from Website/SomethingAwful, [[http://lparchive.org/SWAT-4/ had also done a series of videos on this.]]
* MadeOfIron: Averted. This game is very realistic with damage values, even the fully armored SWAT officers or professional terrorists can only take a few shots (2-5 depending on the gun) before going down.
* TheMafiya: The Stetchkov mafia clan are the main villains in the storyline of the ExpansionPack, aptly named ''The Stetchkov Syndicate''.
* MissionControl[=/=]VoiceWithAnInternetConnection: The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactical_Operations_Center TOC]] and [[HoldTheLine Highground]] operators. Also the supporting sniper teams, known as [[ShoutOut Sierra 1]] and [[ShoutOut Sierra 2]]. All three of these double as TheVoice, since you never meet them in person.
* {{Montage}}: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMm_Eu64i6s The intro cutscene.]] The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4OSrjSgV7Y expansion's intro]] does this too, but more briefly and only after an OpeningNarration by officer Jackson.
* MoralDissonance: Only the unnecessary kills made by the player character ever count as unauthorized uses of deadly force, so your snipers can kill perps with impunity. The player's teammates avoid this by ''always'' obeying the rules of engagement, so any deadly force they use is always justified. This however causes the AI to frequently [[ArtificialStupidity hold fire]] even when using non-lethal weapons against a suspect that's actively mowing down the entry team with their bottomless magazines.
* MoodWhiplash: Play the Taronne mission once or twice. You WILL hear gunwomen act innocent (not even the usual denial) and other males telling you to leave, and then turn right around and ask you for escort out.
* MythologyGag: Overlaps with ShoutOut and ContinuityNod.
** Some of the incidental sound effects (especially the radio chime) are the same as in the previous installment, ''SWAT 3''.
** The team leader is also a former member of the LAPD and has presumably known the LA SWAT characters from the previous games.
** An older [[VideoGame/PoliceQuest Sonny Bonds]] is personally present at the training facility in the tutorial mission and gives briefings to your squads before every mission.
* NeverHurtAnInnocent[=/=]MercyRewarded[=/=]VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: A [[PlayerPunch major gameplay mechanic]] and [[{{Deconstruction}} plot point]] of the game. You get penalized for using deadly force against anyone who isn't attacking, criminals included. Even if they've ran off to grab a gun, you can't just outright kill them - unless they actually threaten you, your squad, a civilian, or attempt a shoot-out.
** Non-lethal weapons are the main solution for this problem. People can still be injured by them, but unless you shoot them after they've been cuffed, it doesn't count as a penalty.
** The action key also doubles as a shout button, allowing you to bark orders at both civilians and suspects if they're acting stubborn and don't want to cooperate, comply or surrender. If you want to shoot at any suspect without gaining a penalty to your mission record, you have to give him a final warning first. So, always shout before entering a new unexplored room, hallway or space. The more you shout, the better.
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed[=/=]WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: Welcome to the bustling metropolis of Fairview... Somewhere in... New England?
** It's in New York State for sure. Check the [=TVs=] in Mission 3. It's also entirely possible that most of the game does take place in NYC, except for one mission where the team is sent out to the suburb of Fairview (which might be too small and have too little violent crime to justify having its own SWAT team, while still having its own newspaper that primarily covers local news). That particular mission actually takes place in NYC too. In the briefing, the dispatcher mentions that the address is located in the Bronx. Furthermore, in Mission 3, the gas station is described as being on "Pitkin Avenue", which a real street in Brooklyn, and the diamond store in Mission 8 which is located on "Broadway."
* OhCrap: All too often in multiplayer, as you're arresting you hear or see a grenade fall next to you.
* OneBulletClips: Averted. You only carry 3 or 4 clips for your main weapon, and your ammo is measured by the amount of bullets in individual clips rather than all your bullets together. You can easily reload a magazine at any time and they'll have the same amount of bullets you left in them the last time you fired.
** As you can go through entire missions without firing a single shot (hint: flashbangs, stingers, and other less-lethals are your friend), the low ammo count makes sense. In fact, if you've fired off an entire magazine, you're probably doing it wrong.
* PinkMist: What you see when anyone (outside of you) is shot.
* RightWingMilitiaFanatic: The "America Now" terrorist group from the Old Granite Hotel mission fit this trope to a tee.
-->'''America Now member''' (while being cuffed): [[ConspiracyTheorist You work for the]] [[VideoGame/RainbowSix goddamn UN or sumthin?!]]
* RunningGag: A minor but noticeable one with Jackson, who will always react disapprovingly when his team mates notice some desserts or sweet pastries (the donuts in the tutorial mission, the cake for the patient in the hospital mission, etc.).
* {{Ruritania}}: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in one of the missions by [[FunnyBackgroundEvent a random news report seen on a muted TV screen]], showing news infographics about an ongoing conflict in "Soboskistan". The capital is apparently called "Mulkso" and the report is being handled by war correspondent Nate Wells [[spoiler:(one of the Irrational devs and voice actors in this game)]].
* ShootOutTheLock: Averted, of course. There are three ways for you to deal with a locked door, and given the game's emphasis on close-quarters combat, each of them affects the suspects on the other side differently.
** Firing a [[BoringButPractical Breaching Shotgun]] is quick and safe for people on the other side, but doesn't faze the suspects much.
** Detonating a [[StuffBlowingUp C2 Charge]] is a little slower and is functionally identical to throwing a flashbang without blinding players, [[BlownAcrossTheRoom but will hurt and even kill anyone caught in the blast]].
** Using the [[MasterOfUnlocking standard-issue multitool]] is slowest, but good for quiet entries.
* ShoutOut[=/=]{{Homage}}:
** To the ''PoliceQuest'' series, as already mentioned in the ContinuityNod entry. This is noticeable even during the intro, when one of the logos in the montage [[FreezeFrameBonus briefly turns into a screen]] from the ''Police Quest'' games, complete with the [[http://obsoletegamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/police_quest_1.png right number of points in the corner]].
** To the ''SWAT'' series in general and Creator/IrrationalGames as a studio: There are penny arcade slot machines in the office of the city garage from the "Victory Auto Imports" mission. One of them is clearly an arcade version of one of the ''FreedomForce'' games, while the other is apparently based on a previously planned but cancelled installment of SWAT (which was eventualy replaced by ''4''). Both slot machines even play a {{suspiciously similar song}} version of [[SelfReferentialHumour the games']] [[ThemeTuneCameo theme tunes]]. And in some of the offices or recreational rooms, there's a recurring cardboard cutout of a game character from ''[[{{VideoGame/Tribes}} Tribes: Vengeance]]'', another game developed by Irrational prior to this one.
** The two sniper teams are codenamed [[{{Creator/Sierra}} Sierra 1]] and [[{{Creator/Sierra}} Sierra 2]].
** To movies like ''{{Seven}}'' in the more DarkerAndEdgier CityNoir missions.
** Much like the backstory for ''Film/ReservoirDogs'', one of the missions is set in a diamond wholesalers specializing in uncut or unpolished diamonds that had just received an uncommon shipment of finished jewels, which attracts the attention of a group of heavily armed robbers.
** One of the objectives in the final mission is the rescue of a research scientist named Theodore Sturgeon (after [[Creator/TheodoreSturgeon the writer]] who coined SturgeonsLaw). The briefing even lampshades it.
* ShownTheirWork: Hostages have to be handcuffed - you never know who is a real hostage, and there's always the possibility of StockholmSyndrome - and they react accordingly. A mayor's aide will be extremely annoyed at his rough treatment, while Greek Orthodox priests reassure you they understand your concerns and gracefully allow themselves to be handcuffed. Also, civilians who have family in law enforcement knows this as standard operation procedure.
* SinisterMinister: [[spoiler:Andrew Taronne from the eighth mission.]]
* SlidingScaleOfLawEnforcement: As already mentioned, how you play the protagonist character is up to you, though [[VideoGameCrueltyPunishment there are always limits to]] [[BeingEvilSucks what you can get away with]]. The rest of the game's cast are always {{By The Book Cop}}s. Nevertheless, it's a believable portrayal: [[OhCrap Errors caused by insufficient intelligence gathering about the crime scene do occur.]] [[GoodIsNotNice Your own teammates have to be downright rude at times when forcing someone to comply.]]. But overall, the police force is generally trying to do their best in getting civilians out of harms way and [[TechnicalPacifist arresting suspects as peacefully as possible]].
* StopOrIWillShoot: Players have access to a large amount of nonlethal weapons and you get a lot of points knocked off for 'Unauthorized Use of Force' - shooting without shouting for compliance (ie. "Hands up!") unless they've already pointed a gun at an officer or a hostage - which is an open invitation to shoot first for the sake of you, your squad, or the hostage. The game is at its most fun when you mercilessly attack with tasers, paintball guns, and beanbag shotguns. Especially as less-lethal force isn't penalized. The negligently unaggressive police A.I. sometimes makes you wish your SWAT teammates would shoot on sight, though, since you often get low points on a mission because one of your teammates told a suspect to surrender, and the suspect responded with a shotgun blast to the officer's face, costing you both an officer and 20% of the mission score. Your SWAT teammates won't fire unless fired upon even if you equip them with less-lethal stun weapons (i.e. tasers or pepper spray).
* SubsystemDamage: Every character in the game receives damage separately for each body part (though several body parts can get hit all at once in the more wilder firefights). One of your characters readouts shows the amount of damage he's absorbed so far in a mission. If you get hit in the legs, your speed will diminish and you'll limp along for the rest of the mission. If you get hit in the hands, your ability to aim accurately will be diminished a bit as well.
* SuperOCD: Apparently, all your computer-controlled teammates have it, given their absolute insistence, when you're gathering around doors, that everyone be in the ''exact'' right spot.
* StealthBasedGame: Not overtly, but you can use some basic sound and line of sight based stealth in every mission, in order to better sneak up on the [[IncrediblyLamePun unsuspecting suspects]].
* TheSquad[=/=]BadassCrew: You and the members of your squad, of course.
** SergeantRock: You. Quite literally, as the player character's stated rank is sergeant. Also, while each of your AI controlled teammates gets to deliver a funny line every so often, your character's soundbytes are almost totally devoid of snark, adding to the whole no-nonsense feel.
** BadassGrandpa: Reynolds. Unambiguously the oldest member of the team, with almost 30 years of SWAT experience, but performs just as well as the others. His nickname among the squad members even invokes this, since he's dubbed "[[CoolOldGuy Gramps]]".
** BoisterousBruiser: Fields, a.k.a. "Hollywood". While not the most intimidating guy on the squad, he falls under this due to his snarky nature, talkativeness, and general arrogance. Girard may also fall under this sometimes given his propensity to trash-talk arrested suspects.
** ScaryBlackMan: Jackson, nicknamed "[[NomDeGuerre Python]]". Aside from his profile information listing him as a well-conditioned athlete, he keeps up his air of intimidation when tying up compliant civilians. While your other squadmen reassure or playfully tease the civilians whilst cuffing them, Jackson often threatens the civilians to stay compliant.
** TheHeart[=/=]FunPersonified: [[EnsembleDarkhorse Girard]], a.k.a. "Subway". Oh God, ''[[PluckyComicRelief Girard]]''...
* SWATTeam: You're a member of one and lead an individual squad. And you get a taste of what the everyday chores of such a squad look like...
* TakingYouWithMe: A possible ([[RuleOfFunny if silly]]) multiplayer tactic [[LastStand in case you get cornered and have no chance to outgun your opponents]] is to quickly switch to one of your stun grenades and detonate it immediately, before you collapse under the opponent's fire. [[DontExplainTheJoke Thus]] [[PyrrhicVictory stunning the opponent]] as an act of minor retribution.
* TranslationConvention: In the mission wherein a local hospital has been stormed by North Korean paramilitaries attempting to assassinate a South Korean diplomat, said North Koreans speak with American English speech patterns and accents. The diplomat, at least, [[JustAStupidAccent sounds stereotypically Asian]]. Possibly justified; [[FridgeBrilliance maybe they were trained to pass themselves off as Korean-American domestic terrorists?]]
** Somewhat averted in ''The Stetchkov Syndicate'', wherein the eponymous Bulgarian arms dealers speak English with a thick East-European accent, but [[PoirotSpeak drop a few Bulgarian words into their sentences]]. Unfortunately, they use Russian words, not Bulgarian, which makes it even worse.
* TrickBomb: The less-lethal grenades. Since your team can throw them into a room [[ArtificialStupidity (most of the time, anyway)]] before leaving cover and entering, they are essential to your loadout. Listed below are the grenades and their functions.
** [[BlindedByTheLight Flashbangs]] affect a moderately sized area and can convince most suspects to give up, making them [[JackOfAllStats useful for general combat]].
** [[DeadlyGas CS Grenades]] affect a large area and can bypass cover, but can be resisted by [[GasMaskMooks suspects wearing gas masks]], who are thankfully rare. Outside of said suspects, they are useful [[BoringButPractical for clearing rooms without engaging in direct combat]].
** Stingers, designed for short-range engagements, [[CripplingOverspecialization affect a very small area and cannot penetrate cover]], but anyone hit by them is guaranteed to surrender. Such a shame [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]] never found out they were good for clearing bathrooms.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Despite what Spoony may tell you, not the stinger grenades, which are actually pretty useful if deployed right. However, in the ExpansionPack, the tazer and pepper spray become somewhat useless when you get the ability to simply punch suspects.
* {{Unwinnable}}: The eleventh mission (The Old Granite Hotel) is apparently impossible to finish if you get shot in the leg before you've diffused all the bombs, because the wound slows you down too much. Though you can command one of your AI officers to disarm for you to make the mission slightly easier.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: Just shooting suspects instead of convincing them to surrender will lose you points and potentially the game. Killing a hostage, even by accident, will cause an automatic Fail.
** VideoGameCrueltyPotential: However, once you fail a level the game doesn't autonomously quit to the starting menu. You are free to roam the scenerio gunning down suspects and hostages alike until you click exit.
* WhatTheHellHero: Civilians give one to you when you order/suppress/cuff them, as they are... you know... ''innocent''. But of course, it is part of any special unit's dogma to detain ''anyone'' they come across during such missions, as anybody may be a hazard source for the SWAT officers. So if you leave anyone un-cuffed in any mission, you will lose plenty of points for your negligence.
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