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SWAT: Target Liberty is certainly a decent tactical shooter, it really just depends what type of game you are looking for as to whether you will enjoy this or not, if you go storming through all of the levels killing everything that moves then you are not going to get the best out of it, however take your time, subdue enemies and complete your objectives and you will be rewarded, it may just take a while.
Having spent a significant amount of time playing the SWAT games on the PC, I was a bit skeptical about SWAT: Target Liberty. I expected a poor knock-off, but I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised; the game is fun to play — up to a point. The single-player game will last the average gamer no more than 10 hours, after which your only option will be to repeat it in order to improve your score, or find some friends who also have a copy of the game so you can compete in the multiplayer matches. When all is said and done, even with the exceptional graphics and reasonable playability, SWAT: Target Liberty doesn't quite offer enough bang for the buck.
Pocket Gamer UK
That said, the core gameplay isn't horrible, it just fails to be interesting due to slow, monotonous pacing. And when it comes down to it, multiplayer in combination with a great visual presentation keeps Target Liberty from flat-lining.
It’s a shame: Target Liberty has a good atmosphere and the controls have been well thought out, but the story isn’t at all convincing and the gameplay doesn’t have enough merit in the end. The game isn’t particularly long, either, and there’s no replay value to be had. All in all it’s a case of a reasonably good idea that just hasn’t been followed through in execution.
It's not bad if you're a fan of tactical shooters: those elements will appeal to you, and the slow pace will appeal to the more cerebral of gamers. It's decent looking, too, with the environments pretty and lavishly detailed. The gameplay, though, is repetitive and the slow pace of Target Liberty, coupled with stage after stage of samey situations, will only see you becoming very bored very quickly. Certainly look into it if you have a SWAT fetish, or a thing for tactical shooters, but steer clear if you're expecting action and gung-ho gunfights.
SWAT: Target Liberty is a generic shooter that is neither tactical nor especially action-packed. It tries to toe the line between stealth and gunplay, but fails to succeed at either. You can squeeze some fun out of it, but you won't remember anything about it the following day.
If you feel that the PSP is a weird place for the popular PC franchise, SWAT, then you aren't alone. This is a messy game full of small graphics, a boring story and repetitive action. I'm sure there are people out there that will find this kind of thing exhilarating, but even they will be bummed out when the game only lasts five hours.
Ne vous y trompez pas, S.W.A.T. : Target Liberty se présente plus comme un shooter basique et sans âme qu'un véritable jeu tactique. Lent et poussif, très répétitif on lui préférera carrément Killzone Liberation qui même s'il n'a aucune prétention en matière tactique, s'avère mieux réalisé et beaucoup plus accrocheur.
There is something to be gained from Target Liberty, and if you do enjoy the likes of Commandos it may be worth your time. For anyone else though, this sloth of a game will likely be far too lumbering and largely thrill free. While it is hard to hate the first outing for SWAT on the PSP, enthusiasm towards this mediocre release is hard to muster.
Game Over Online
Having enjoyed the SWAT franchise on the PC, I really wanted to like Target Liberty, but it misses the mark by a fair margin. Some ideas, such as the skill advancement and cover system, are underdeveloped while others, like the targeting system and overall mission design, are poorly executed. In the end, Target Liberty is more frustrating than engaging, more tedious than fun. That’s never a good thing.
SWAT: Target Liberty for the PSP could have been a really great game since it does have all the right elements in place but with so many faults this is more an exercise in frustration. As a fan of tactical shooters, Sierra has often done right by the series but somehow it just doesn’t come together nicely in the portable format. If you’re a fan of the genre or the series, this is one game you will seriously want to skip altogether. Sorry, Sierra, it was a nice try but this mission is a No Go.
While SWAT: Target Liberty tries to give incentives to keep you playing, such as rewarding you and your team with new abilities like better aiming for using non-lethal means of takedown and saving hostages, there's nothing to really keep your interest. The story, characters and control system are all lacklustre, and even the sniper mode that regularly pops up for you to save a hostage from the grips of a terrorist is badly designed, as the times are too quick to clear the area and you end up with innocent blood on your hands. However, if you like your stealth shooters realistic and systematic, then I suggest you pick this up and then join the SAS (I'm joking again kids, stay in school!) Otherwise, just hang on in the hope that any follow up SWAT titles for the PSP will be a lot better than this one.
Game Informer Magazine
Target Liberty should receive a citation for roughing up the prestigious SWAT franchise. We can only hope the next effort more closely resembles its fantastic predecessors.
SWAT's tried and true origins as tactics-based shooter didn't fare so well in their transition from the PC to the PSP. The game's mechanics and design feel dated, as if they tried to pull the gameplay from the 90's and never gave improvement a second thought. The opening thirty minutes is nearly identical to the last thirty minutes, which is a real disappointment for people interested in improvisation or looking to step outside the box. Despite the issues with aiming and control, it's not a bad game, per say, just a drastically outdated and a completely outmatched one.
If you like repetitions, monotonous, repetition, stupid AI, repetition and all round average games, then this is definitely the shooter for you. SWAT: Target Liberty captures very little of anything that could be considered enjoyable, but is bound to amuse someone for the brief 4-6 hours or even less that the campaign lasts. I’d say avoid this one unless you really need something to get angry at.
I can't help but feel like there's a good game somewhere in Target Liberty, but there's so much that's working against the overall experience that it may not have been worth saving in the first place. There's certainly room for a tactical isometric shooter, but that game is going to have to be at least half as good as the high water mark set by Killzone: Liberation, and this game doesn't even come close.
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN)
Even if we doubt the reason for the existence of SWAT: Target Liberty, it does have a few aspects that are solid, particularly the command interface. Unfortunately, these aspects are drowned in the parts of the game that are bad. Really, we’re not sure who has the patience these days to sit and tactically weave from room to room on the go. It’s something you’d expect from a console or PC game, but not on a portable. Furthermore, the player is sucker punched with awful and glitchy AI, weak gunplay and no real use for tactics. It basically drops the game from average to poor, and at the end of the day, too difficult to openly recommend.
The SWAT series of PC games (latest game and expansion reviews) are excellent tactical squad-based shooters that focus on non-lethal approaches using targeted shooting to gain superiority and demand surrender. The ability to have a top-down perspective squad shooter was established last year with Killzone: Liberation, but in that game the focus was much more on direct engagement than on using strategy to avoid casualties. Unfortunately the meeting up of a great PC franchise with a format that has worked well on the PSP results in an inept and frustrating experience better skipped.
Playing against a pal or three isn't truly any less repetitive and tiresome than the endless sequence of door breaches and fire-and-forget gun battles that define the single-player experience, but it's at least different enough to add some middling interest to a game with little in reserve. With some creative level design and drastically improved marksmanship, SWAT: Target Liberty could've played a convincing second fiddle to the superior Killzone: Liberation. Unfortunately, the absence of both sets it up for little more than forced early retirement.
In short, there's not much to like about SWAT: Target Liberty. The squad-based mechanic is imbalanced. The levelling-up and weapon selection systems don't have significant effects on how things play out. The plot is silly, the cut-scenes are rubbish and everything's so small it makes your eyes hurt. Unless you live in 1992, this game is highly likely to disappoint.
Target Liberty is a game so clunky, dated and downright unlovable that between its miserable graphics, woeful presentation and tedious gameplay it feels more like a late-90s budget PC release than a premium PSP game with a price-tag to match, and playing it is as pointless and unrewarding an enterprise as you're likely to get for £30. While the team behind it should be congratulated for providing enough missions, modes and FMV to make it feel like a complete title, anyone who gets this for Christmas will be wondering why they bothered making it at all.
All of this is a pity really, as Killzone Liberation has shown us that this type of game can work very well on the PSP. However if you take what worked in Killzone Liberation, mix it all up, bastardise it in some way, and most likely kick it when it is down, then Target Liberty would probably be the end result. Also, as you can see by my news article from a few months back, I was a bit excited about this game, which makes the terrible disappointment that much worse.
This game is quite clearly meant to be a celebration of how "kick-ass" the SWAT teams are, and will probably provide a smattering of enjoyment for the more jingoistic out there. But it really has nothing to offer anyone else - it's just a poor version of Killzone on the PSP. Purchase at your own risk.
In the end, Target Liberty will only serve to frustrate even the most die hard of tactical shooter fans.
At its best SWAT: Target Liberty is a messy stealth action game that tries to bite off more than it can chew. If you're looking for a game that is boring, repetitive and offers clumsy controls, then SWAT may be right up your alley. Everybody else should avoid this game and check out Killzone Liberation or the two PSP Syphon Filter games instead. If you're like me and this is your first experience with the SWAT series, then chances are you're going to come away from this game confused by why everybody has been bragging about this series for more than a decade.