Originally Released: 1990
Version Reviewed: PC (Steam)
ESWAT starts innocuously enough: you begin the game playing as a police officer moving through a black and purple cityscape, mowing down thugs with your pistol in proper Rolling Thunder / Shinobi style. After a bit of light platforming, you reach a boss battle and some of the most kickass Genesis-soundchip synth-rock ever kicks in and you feel totally empowered as you take down a helicopter with nothing but your pistol and reflexes.
The ESWAT honeymoon experience peaks in stage 3, when you first don the Robocop-esque cyber suit teased in the opening.
When in the suit, you not only have a larger life bar, but a boost mode, and the ability to switch between weapons- it’s pretty rad.
Stage four however, was where the honeymoon ended for me. You are still in the suit, but feel more powerless than when you were in your normal human form. This is because stage four is a perfect storm of difficult enemies and an ooze that approaches from all sides, quickly depleting your life bar.
After a half dozen times playing the same frustrating section, I lost all motivation and interest in finishing ESWAT. In the end, I guess I was simply more man than machine.
When revisiting Genesis games in this Sega 3D Classics day and age, I think there is only one question that needs to be asked about ESWAT:
Does it deserve a Sega 3D Classic version?
ESWAT is an Altered Beast-tier Genesis game- that is to say, it’s (mostly) fun but doesn’t hold up real well if you lack nostalgia for it. M2’s time could probably be better spent elsewhere, rather than bringing ESWAT to the eShop. That said, the multi-plane view of the game would be cool in 3D, and a little difficulty tweaking could make this a worthwhile addition to the Sega 3D Classics library.