US Gold Ltd
1990
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

51
Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

You've seen them on News At Ten: if there's a hostage crisis or some nutter is running around with a gun, the SWAT teams are sent in. Wearing enough metal armour to build several new cars and carrying enough weaponry to start World War III, they blast that and ask questions of the lead-riddled bodies later.

Much like the heroes In US Gold's latest release, ESWAT...

Alone or with the help of a pal, you play a member of a futuristic police squad whose task is to crack down on the soaring crime rate. The only way to do this effectively is to don the huge E-SWAT (Enhanced Special Weapons And Tactics) battle armour. But to earn this piece of expensive equipment, you first must fight through the first three levels in an ordinary, flimsy cloth uniform (gulp!).

Initially provided with a mere 9mm automatic pistol and a limited supply of ammo, you must reach the end of each level and kill the resident bad guy. His henchmen aren't going to let some nosey copper just stroll up and blow their boss's brains out, so they fire at you with a range of big, noisy bang-sticks. But ammunition is in short supply so lookout for cases containing ammo clips.

Once the end-of-level bad guy has been arrested, you move to the next level, until level four is reached, when you're promoted to the ESWAT team and allowed to practice your RoboCop impersonation.

In the cassette version of E-SWAT, each level is loaded separately. This would be a pain in the neck with a good game, but as E-SWAT Is a pretty dull effort, it's intolerable.

The monochrome graphics are as unimpressive as the gameplay - the character sprites looking more like hunchbacks than normal human beings.

And that's only the 128K game, on the A side. The 48K version is worse. The playing area is squashed to about one third of the screen's height, making the characters fat and unclear. ESWAT offers nothing enjoyable; even the blasting is sluggish. Very unimpressive.

MARK ... 25%

CRITICISM

'A game that could have been so much fun has turned out to be very poor; dire, in fact. For a start off, E-SWAT is cursed with one of the worst multi-loads I've come across for a long time. When you eventually get to play the game, it's hardly worth the effort. The most enjoyment you can get is having a good laugh at the blocky characters that jolt about the screen. The big shock is when you load the game in 48K mode. For some strange reason, if you own a 48K Spectrum you have to endure the game with the playing area compressed, making the badly drawn 128K graphics look even worse. The main characters look like Gordon The Gopher with an American footballer's body! E-SWAT is a game I strongly advise you stay away from. US Gold can do a lot better…' NICK ... 30%

With its long multi-load and awful 48k version E-SWAT is very poor value for money.

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Screenshot Text

Everything has been squeezed to fit E-SWAT into 48K. Yes, everything...