"Shooting platformer. You play an inglorious cop in the Enhanced Special Weapons and Tactics (ESWAT) force."
It's the future, crime is at an all time high, and the City of Liberty police are in dire straits! In a last ditch effort to combat this wave of wrong-doing scientists have developed a high-tech suit of armor which just may turn the tables on the villains. You're selected to enter the city's new top secret training program, ESWAT. Your mission is to prepare yourself to battle crime in the streets. If you're skillful enough to survive the training, you'll earn your own ESWAT battle armor and a chance to make the streets safe once again.
Welcome to Silent City -- and the 22nd century. Crime is at an all time high-high tech, that is. That's why the taxpayers need you; you're a Cyber cop. You're working the day watch out of ESWAT, Special Weapons and Tactics for the Cyber Police, when your partner bursts through the door with the duty report.
"Heads up, Captain, time to rock and roll. There's a riot at Cyber Prison, prowlers at the nuke power station, a blob oozing out of the old abandoned lab, and someone's impersonating an ESWAT officer, tin suit and all. And that's just the leftover from the night shift!"
Hmmm, no sweat -- unless the fake cop is an E.Y.E. terrorist. You strap on your ESWAT battle armor and stomp into the Ready Room.
"Yo, Robocop, nice suit! Who's your tailor?" Your partner doesn't believe in mechanized policing.
"Chill out, dude, that joke was old 200 years ago. I'm going to work."
That's how it all starts; you're going to make sure it ends.
In the ESWAT Tradition
ESWAT: City Under Siege is an arcade mega-hit that's just making its debute in home systems (see "ESWAT' for the Sega Master System, this issue).
If you liked the shoot-to-thrill arcade action, this Genesis version brings it on home. However, unlike the coin-op, this is strictly one-player fare. And although there's some carryover, you don't get exactly the same missions, villains, or storyline.
ProTip: If you let the intro screen repeat several times, you can see brief sequences from later levels (beginning at Mission 5).
ESWAT's a real gangbuster that literally blow you away. The graphics are a knock-out with 360 degree scrolling and a horizontal view of the action. It's exactly the same perspective as that of Revenge of Shinobi.
- Protect yourself by shooting enemy bullets.
- You can inch off any ledge at least full one step.
All in A Day's Work
ESWAT starts out easy, but it quick hardens into some tough Genesis gaming. You take on eight missions, but the first two, "Guard Silent City" and "Infiltrate Cyber Prison," are mere warm-ups to the rest of the game. In fact, you take on the bad guys in regular uniform as you stalk a high-rise free fire zone and clean out a prison gone berserk.
- Bad guys shooting up at you or down at you in Mission 1 must hit your torso to damage you. You can creep into their line of fire all the way up to your belt buckle.
- The easiest way to beat the chopper in Mission 1 is to wait for it to reach ground level, then dash over, stick the gun in the pilot's ear, and, well, you know.
When you earn an ESWAT suit, the hard stuff begins. Mission 3 is "Defend Neo Three-Mile" where you run into a horde of armored goons and robot drones. Then it's Mission 4, "Attack Mad Scientist," where you battle monsters that would make the Blob and the Alien run screaming from the room.
- In Mission 3 there's a 1-Up. If you die, it reappears when you continue.
- In Mission 4 when you reach the large platform in the chamber that fills up with slime, duck down and shoot the slime droplets before they hit you. The P.C. gun is best.
After that it's "Destroy Dark Base," Mission 5, where you infiltrate the enemy base for a ferocious hardware war. In Mission 6, "Penetrate the Secret Sewer," you attack a dark, vile underground maze full of gooey monsters. In Mission 7, "Annihilate Strategy Place," you're in a deadly robotic manufacturing plant. Finally, it's "Break E.Y.E's Plan," where you go eyeball to E.Y.E. -- ball with a familiar-looking character.
Yeah, yeah, you think you can breeze through this with your hands tied behind your back. But you can't, so be on the lookout for some radical gear. You start off with a single shot hand gun, but when you earn your ESWAT suit you can upgrade your firepower.
- Mission 3 is where you get all the special ESWAT weapons.
- You can shoot offscreen if something shoots at you first.
The Super gun rapid fires three short bursts. The gangsters get a real charge from the PC. pulse cannon, and you'll have a blast with the Rocket Launcher. Fire is a hot weapon that turns you into a living inferno. Your ESWAT suit also has a Burner that enables you to fly short distances. However, be advised: It has limited fuel and you can't use it in every Mission.
If you're using a special weapon when you die, you lose it. So if your life bars are down to two, switch to the Shot weapon (you never lose that).
The New Sheriff in Town
ESWAT is a cut above typical "cop in a can" shoot-em-up adventures. It seems a little tame at first, but before you know it -- game over! If you're looking for a fast-paced gunfight, check this one out. ESWAT's a mechanical cop action/thriller that will really test your metal, errr, mettle.