August 28, 2013 5:25 PM | Paul Hack
Steven Seagal...is...Hard to SWAT! In the new Ludum Dare 27 competition entry Steven Seagal: Hard to SWAT by Farmergnome (Under the Ocean, Happy Little Murder Friends), you control The Great One, Chief Steven Seagal, and his team of expert badasses as they bust up a series of hostage situations. Controlling your squad in a turn-based fashion, you take out kidnappers and rescue hostages while delivering delicious Seagalisms (voice-acted by Dan Long).
Before each level, you'll be told how many hostages you need to find and rescue--and how many have to actually survive--in order to successfully complete the mission. You'll be able to assign weapons to Steven and the others by clicking and dragging them from the array of arms in your arsenal. There are 48 weapon slots, and you only start with a handful of guns, but you can unlock new weapons during missions. Each weapon has different characteristics for you to discover, like how far it shoots, whether it ricochets, how long it takes to fire, and how much it slows you down by carrying the thing.
You begin each mission by getting your team into the building. They are split into two groups, and each one can either break in through the roof or smash a van through the walls. Choose a position with the mouse and click to insert your squad. Once everybody's inside, the action is divided into turns lasting 10 seconds each. This is only semi-realtime, and the clock stops if you aren't doing anything. Your time ticks down if you are moving (with WASD), aiming (by holding down the left mouse button and moving the mouse), or firing (by releasing the mouse button).
At any point, you can hit Tab to cycle between your team members. Don't leave anyone hanging out in the open, because after your 10 seconds have passed, it's the bad guys' turn. If everyone on your team is killed (or, in the case of Seagal, just downed), then the mission's a failure.
To rescue hostages, just run into them to pick them up, then carry them to the flashing safe zone outside the building. Carrying a hostage slows you down considerably, so be sure you've got a clear path to the exit or someone to cover you. Also, watch out for bombs, which will detonate if you get too close to them.
Most of my rescue missions ended with my team dead and Steven Seagal striding through the carnage with the final surviving hostage slung over his back, pausing only to take out the last of the bad guys and deliver zingers. I enjoy the presence of The Master, but even without the Seagal theme, this would be an excellent coffee-break strategy game.