The next evolution in the Police Quest series...is not something that can be applied to this.
The story of this game is basically you are new Swat recruit and are now beginning to prep for a callup. A "callup" is when you actually go out on missions. This preparation is the majority of the game unless you tweak the settings which will increase the frequency of said calls. What this phase consists of is point and click shooting exercises that will get you ready for the real gameplay of this title. That is a total lie as you will barely shoot people and use of deadly force is generally looked down upon; this all ties into the "realism" of the game. You can also prep up to travel down the path of being a Swat sniper where you do get to shoot people like in the training. However there is math that is necessary to pull of a good shot.
The gameplay in this game is there, sort of. The gameplay interface is this really unappealing point and click interface vaguely reminiscent of an adventure game, except it's a train wreck. The reason I call it a train wreck is that it will take multiple clicks to use pretty much anything. The multiple facets of the interface are as follows, LASH (a way to communicate with your team members), Slice the Pie (you learn about this in the training phase, it's basically a way to approach a corner), various tools in your inventory which can take multiple clicks to get through), and the usual menus for saving and quitting. Most of this stuff works but will create a good amount of frustration due to the fact you don't know what you need to do half the time even if you sit through two hours of reading and listening to game's extensive procedure tutorials. I also get the sinking suspicion that the developers were trying to create a new type of frustration genre as this game will get monks with vows of silence cursing. Also this game only has 3 missions to perform with different variants and a completely different perspective if you are a sniper. There is also no clear and discernible ending and you will repeat the first mission guaranteed, which if you hadn't known this like me, will confuse you. My first thought in relation to that was," Why did we not arrest this lady, she's clearly a danger!"
The graphics don't have much needed to be said, it's grainy FMV. It does the job and the acting isn't too bad, although unintentionally funny at times. The music is alright as it is appropriate to the environment and situation and sometimes is melodramatic.
Now due to the age of this game there are some complications with playing it on a new computer. It works on new systems if you use the windows installer, the dos version will need to be played in the dosbox. The game consists of 4 discs and comes with a manual that outlines equations for shooting distance and the drop loss of the bullet (only necessary if you want to be a sniper). The game does require switching out of the discs and disc 1 will cause a problem where it will seem that the game has frozen, but be patient and then the autorun will finish and then the game can be played again (adds more to the annoyance factor but that will really only a problem the first time you switch back to disc 1). Also due to the fact that this game runs in a window it will not be full screen unless you change the desktop resolution. For people interested in the history of the Swat series all you will find is a new appreciation of the squad commands of the later games and deep knowledge of police procedure, gun history, Swat terminology, and be able to calculate a dead-on headshot on Zakhaev only to see his arm get blown off anyways. Beyond all that, if none of that sounds interesting, which I don't blame you, pass this game up!