ESWAT: City Under Siege (Sega Genesis) Review

ESWAT: City Under Siege (Sega Genesis) Cover
ESWAT: City Under Siege

There were a ton of action platformers released on the Sega Genesis back in the early 90s. Cyber Police ESWAT is no exception as you’ll notice he looks a lot like RoboCop and gives off that cyberpunk feeling. The opening voice over screams generic 2D side scroller on the Mega Drive.

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The first level you’ll start off as the severely underpowered cop. Now keep in mind that there is no randomness to any of the enemies. Everything will always be in the exact same spot no matter how many tries it takes you. This was common with a lot of early Sega released Genesis games.

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In the second level, you’ll still be using the underpowered cop in a cart where you have to make it through hordes of enemies in a cyber prison. You’ll still have the same controls where you press A or C to Jump and B to shoot. You can also do a jump shot to make you go slightly faster. There are also some areas where you have to either jump in or jump out of screens almost like in Shinobi.

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Level three is where you finally unlock the Cyber Suit. You now have an increased health meter. A new burner jumping ability where you can hover in the air or use it to fly around by pressing the C button. It can be tricky to get used to since moving around while using the burner ability takes up the most of the meter. If you’re just floating around in the same spot, you can use it to avoid enemies or bosses.

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Along the way you’ll pick up weapons that you can cycle through with the A button. You have one that’s a rapid fire, One that’s a missile that fires downwards. A pulse cannon that can fire small blasts or charge it up for a massive wave. Then there’s the fire that can be used once before having to pick it up again. This is a screen clear all and works well in situations where a lot of enemies are on screen.

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You really have to take things slow in ESWAT and learn which weapon to use in a particular situation. Or you could do what I did and look it up, thank god for the internet now a days.

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The level design is fairly generic. Everything here looks like a 1990 Mega Drive release and to be expected for a game of this time. Sega at the time was competing with the NES and these graphics blew the Nintendo out of the water being a 16 bit console.

If you compare ESWAT to newer action platforms later released on the Genesis like Comix Zone than of course it’ll look dated since the developers figured out how to get the most out of the hardware.

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I found that ESWAT is challenging if you die since you’ll lose the weapon you were holding at the time. It’s a lot easier to try and give ESWAT a 1cc to keep all your weapons. In case you are low on health, It’s best to try and switch the regular shot if you’re low on health in order to keep the rest of the weapons handy on the next life.

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The level design does vary in between the eight stages of the game, Let’s take this Mad Scientist stage that you don’t get the burner throughout the stage, only the sluggish Cyber Suit. Here you have this sludge chasing you as an auto scroller level.

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The use of the jet pack is fairly unique like this escalator where you can’t touch any of the red platforms. Or this area where you’re navigating through the dark base.

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There was also an ESWAT arcade game that’s completely different than the Genesis version. I would argue that the Mega Drive version is actually the superior copy.

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The Storyline sets you out to fight crime, better known as the terrorist organization known as EYE. ESWAT or Enhanced Special Weapons and Tactics are send out to defeat the... ya ya ya we can guess how this generic storyline goes down.

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The bosses were mainly pushovers with the exact same patterns you can easily figure out after a couple tries. A lot of them all you had to do was stand in the same spot with the jetpack and avoid getting hit all together. Well except for the last boss who’s an ICE double! Oh no, It can’t be, Double trouble! Anyway the imposter flies around where you have to hit him with the plasma blasts. The key here is you have to have enough health because when he get’s low on health he’ll use his fire attack and damage you automatically. You can actually take a death at the same time the final boss does which was a bummer. If you do manage to finish him off with enough health, the credits role and you can enjoy the show!

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You can find a copy of ESWAT on the Wii Virtual Console as well as the Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

ESWAT City Under Siege is a good game, It just doesn’t do anything better than let’s say Revenge of Shinobi from the same timeframe. If you’re tired of the A tier action platformers on the Sega Genesis like Castlevania Bloodlines, Quackshot, Rocket Knight Adventures or Ristar, give ESWAT a go however way you can.