The game was revealed on May 3, 2017 with a teaser trailer, and a gameplay trailer was released on March 7, 2019. It has also been promoted with an Alternate Reality Game named Carcosa ARG; you can watch its summary here. The game has been released in Early Access in December 2021.
This game provides examples of:
- Armor Is Useless: As of the current public build, armor does little to nothing when it comes to negating damage. You are just as easily killed by some punk shooting at you with a machine pistol when wearing heavy armor as you are when wearing no armor. An exception to this however, is the ballistic shield, which stops bullets to an impressive degree.
- Artificial Stupidity: The singleplayer SWAT AI isn't very consistent when reacting to threats. Sometimes, they will react accordingly and open fire at perps actively engaging them. Other times, they'll at best yell fruitlessly as you're gunned downed or they are, at worst stare blankly like idiots as you get gunned down or they do. They are also known to kill you by friendly fire on some occasions if you're standing in between them and perps.
- Black Comedy: In the reveal trailer, some SWAT officers investigate an absolutely horrific, Gorn-filled massacre in a nightclub... which is named "The Anal Staircase", in bold neon lettering.
- Booby Trap: Come in multiple grenade flavours and all punish reckless breaching.
- Concussion Frags: Averted. The gameplay trailer sees the player treat the concussion grenades the way they are supposed to be used; first slightly opening a door, then tossing one inside, and only then going in to point a rifle at a stunned criminal clutching his ears and easily getting him to drop his gun.
- Crapsack World: US society has grown more cancerous than ever, so there's plenty for you to clean up. The voiceover in the gameplay trailer says it's "a unique, detailed and twisted facsimile of a modern United States. Ready or Not's vision of America is downtrodden, cruel and corrupt."
- I Surrender, Suckers: Criminals will sometimes try to pull this on you when ordered to surrender, seemingly getting on their knees with their hands raised only to suddenly pull out a gun and open fire.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Riot shields let SWAT operatives shield themselves and fellow operatives from the bullets. But not knives for whatever reason.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Averted, knife wielding suspects are startlingly fast and can spell doom for an off guard officer. Especially annoying when it's the ones who appear to surrender, only to shank you with a knife once you get close. Taken to ridiculous extremes sometimes because the current build's knife suspects are quite broken and can cut through bulletproof ballistic shields for some weird reason and instakill the player. Knife wielding suspects are also known to fake surrenders a ridiculous amount of times in non-lethal runs, pulling out a knife each time they fake it, hilariously leading to a pile of knives littered around the suspect.
- Next Sunday A.D.: A rather grim example, echoing and exaggerating the political and economic woes of the time it was released.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Type 2. One version of the game involved searching the drug den at 213 Park Homes. One bedroom was painted pink, and had a non-responsive girl twitching on her bed. As of the Jan 2022 update, the room is now empty. It's also much better decorated and clearly a kid's room, and a stark contrast to the squalor around it. So...where's the kid? Was she out at the time of the raid? Taken to someplace safer? Or...worse? Is the room someone's memorial?
- One Bullet Clips: Averted. Detachable magazines for weapons that feed from them have their ammo counts individually tracked.
- Shout-Out: It could be a coincidence, but the respective serial numbers for the P92X and 416 are GFLHG003 and 65-000404.
- Tactical Door Use: It is possible to shoot through doors and certain walls to kill suspects without setting them off, provided the enemies are few to one. Of course, the enemies can do precisely the same thing.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemy AI will open fire through doors and walls at the slightest noise from you and your team. It's worse when they have a direct line of sight on you as they're inhumanly quick on the draw, with many instances of them wiping out an entire team in just a couple of seconds with pinpoint accuracy despite firing full auto and very often even at long ranges. Prior to the January patch, it was entirely possible to get killed the very moment you start the mission because some gangbanger killed you from 200 feet with a TEC-9, even though you wearing full body armor. There are even instances where by you checked a small room with no corners to hide in and everything seems clear, only to get killed by what seems to be an invisible enemy the moment you step in. Additionally, Active Shooter suspects are not affected by pepper spray and pepperball guns, despite them wearing nothing that would specifically protect them for it.