I chose the service entrance off of the side alley and as usual, equipped the team with the Pepperball gun that fires OC-Ball less-lethal munitions. The other kit components include a Taser stun gun, three flash bangs, a door wedge and an Optiwand. C2 is brought along for breaching if needed.
The map is one of the best developed for a tactical shooter, offering several opportunities for the AI enemy to flank the team if not cut off with the judicious use of the door wedge. The atmosphere is highly polished and the level designers seemed to have wrung every last drop out of the Unreal 2 Vengeance Engine. The result is a challenging map that rewards patience and bitch-slaps the unprepared.
I am going to proceed with this write-up slightly different than other SWAT 4 posts, and take a page out of my Highway to the Reich posts and make commentary under each slide presented. As each spawned level changes things up, this is in no way intended to be a step-by-step walkthrough of the level.
That said however, you should try to assault the top room first because if you lose more than one officer, you will automatically fail the mission on Elite Mode. Finishing a mission with all officers up equals 10 points, one officer down is 8 points (still passable) but two officers down is 6 points and a fail.
From the start proceed slowly towards the door as there can be a suspect on the right side just behind the band truck that is to your right. Use the Optiwand yourself and make entry to the room, be careful of the long hallway to the left and the hiding spots behind the amplifiers to the right. Once you have cleared the entrance, have the team form on you and shut the door.
Have the team place a wedge in the door across the first room while you move down the hallway to the left and place a wedge in the door right at the end past the wall bar without stepping into the landing of the stairwell. If there are any tangos there, you do not want them to see you and yell which could alert any suspects in the room you are trying to wedge the door to. After the wedge is set, use the Optiwand to examine the corner in front of you.
The next sequence is perhaps the most crucial of the entire mission as it is the toughest room to clear in the base SWAT 4 game so far. With the element behind you, move up the stairs towards the door. If it is open and there is a suspect, start firing away with OC. If it is open and no suspect, start shouting or toss a flash bang. If it is closed, wand it and if clear, open it and cause a ruckus. You want to draw their attention to the door, where you will spray everyone you see left-center-right with the less-lethal ammo.
Order your team to fall in behind you as you pie-cut your way into the room sweeping back -and-forth to make sure you are not about to be drilled by some Occupy Wall Street hippie with an UZI. Keep the stream of OC up to not give anyone a chance to recover and bust a cap in your ass.
After your team members supply an ample amount of zip cuffs to secure the suspects, move to the back corner carefully. There is usually a tango there facing the room, so it is best to not peak or wand the corner, but just toss a party favor their way and move in for the arrest, if there is any to be had.
Carefully clear the stairwell, secure any hostage and order your Red or Blue Team down the stairs to wedge the door while you provide over watch and the other team maintains perimeter security in the room above. This technically should not be an issue unless you failed to wedge the two doors on the ground floor entrance. Have your full team fall in and then move them back downstairs the way you all came in.
Have your teams wand both the doors on the bottom floor to determine where the least threat is. You don't want to enter one room and have suspects from the other room flood in to investigate. The lower tango count will cause the least amount of noise. In that respect, it is probably best to enter the room that you would have wedged at the corner as there probably should be no more than one or two threats in there with or without a hostage, whereas the stage area is going to be packed.
Have your team fall in; remove the wedge and then re-wand the room just to make sure. Once that is done, bang and clear the room. If the door to the stage area is open, your team will move towards it automatically to engage armed suspects. It is best at that point to take care of the threats in the room you just entered with the team by yourself so as not to be shot in the back. Toss a flash into the stage area if none of your team have entered yet, then move in with them and spray-and-pray OC.
Once the stage area is clear, stack the element up as separate Red and Blue teams on the double doors across from the stage and use the Optiwand to get a picture from two different angles, and even check both doors yourself just to be sure. Common areas of danger are the area just behind the bar to the left by two sets of doors, and a very long hallway running down and to the right. If no immediate threats are seen, order an open and clear, otherwise, bang and clear.
Proceed to the down the hallway and make an immediate right to clear the bathrooms and the coat room, which has a divider in it that can hide a tango from view to those in the hallway, which is what happened in my game. Have your teams cover the bar and the hallway separately while you do some mop up work here.
This is where I lost a perfect score. I had Blue Team fall in while Red Team was providing security up at the bar. We entered the room to the left of the hallway, and as soon as we were in I turned my head to the right just at the moment a tango came out of the far door on the opposite side of the room and whacked one of my officers before he could even get off a shot of OC.
After the last suspect is secured, make sure you have all evidence secured and status reports to TOC completed. Also, if you have not received the mission complete message yet, there are two offices on the opposite side of each other at the end of the long hallway, plus another room that leads to two elevators, all of which can have suspects. The offices are particularly tricky to clear, so open the door from the side, bang the room and wait for a suspect to come to you if possible.