April 18, 2007 - Following today's official announcement of SWAT: Target Liberty for the PSP, the guys at Sierra Entertainment granted us a quick interview so that they could elaborate further on what handheld gamers can expect. Here's what producer Paul Pawlicki had to say...
IGN: Target Liberty is a real departure from previous SWAT titles. Tell us about it.
Paul Pawlicki: Target Liberty has its roots in SWAT 4 but we have made many changes to make the game more accessible on the handheld system. We kept of a lot of what made the PC games great, like random enemy spawn points and less-than-lethal weapons, but we are tweaking the action to make sure that it's fun for the PSP. For example, we switched from a FPS perspective to a new 3rd person, 3/4 view which makes it easier to assess the situation.
It's tactics over action on PSP.
The game is definitely tactical in nature as well. You start each mission by selecting the two officers that are best suited for the operation then choose their load out. Once in the mission you can easily command them to take up a position, breach a door, deploy a flashbang, and a variety of other cool things that SWAT does on a daily basis. That doesn't mean you have to micromanage your men. They follow your lead but when the combat gets heavy they are well-trained pros and can handle themselves pretty well in the heat of battle.
IGN: We know there are terrorists involved in the plot but little else. Can you elaborate on the storyline a bit?
Pawlicki: The SWAT PC games weren't heavy on story and we decided to change that with the PSP version. All we can reveal so far is that we recruited Scott Rosenbaum, writer and producer of The Shield, to help create our all-new narrative. While the action takes place all over NY City you will uncover a plot that reaches way beyond US borders and ultimately has dire international consequences.
IGN: How many missions will you engage in, will you be restricted to one city, or will you go to multiple locations around the country or world?
Expect a dozen long missions in a variety of environments.
Pawlicki: There are 12 single player missions, each one of them is in a unique setting and as mentioned they all take place in NY City. Many of the locations will be familiar to the player, like Grand Central Station and Ellis Island.
IGN: How varied will the missions be? Can players expect bomb diffusion, hostage and bank robbery situations, for example?
Pawlicki: Absolutely, you will find many of the standard calls that you would expect SWAT to respond to like barricaded gunmen and hostage situations.
IGN: Will you still control a squad of four SWAT officers? Within the SWAT team, will there be specialized officers, such as snipers, demolitions experts, etc.?
Pawlicki: You have a roster of four men to choose from. Each one embodies some characteristic that helps them do their job and that translates to a specialized skill. As the game progresses your teammates will become more accomplished in their respective field of expertise.