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The Southern California city of Los Angeles is the setting of several Police Quest/SWAT games. Each of these games were endorsed by the Los Angeles Police Department, including former LAPD chief Daryl F. Gates and the city's SWAT team. In addition, these games were frequently set in real LA locations, or were inspired by actual events in the city's history.

The first Police Quest title to use the LA setting was Open Season, which placed players in control of an LAPD homicide detective investigating a serial killer in the city's impoverished South Central district. The SWAT titles that followed put players in the ranks of the famed Los Angeles SWAT team, whose members worked with Sierra to make the games as realistic as possible.

The first of these games, Police Quest: SWAT used FMV technology to simulate the training and tactics used by LAPD SWAT. Its sequel instead utilized an isometric perspective reminiscent of many real time strategy games, where the player could either control the LAPD SWAT team or The Five Eyes, a left wing terrorist group. Several of SWAT 2's missions were inspired by real life events, including the 1997 North Hollywood shootout.

The third game in the series, SWAT 3 is a tactical first person shooter similar in tone to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six franchise. In this game, players commanded a five man LAPD SWAT tactical team tasked with thwarting terrorist attacks and violent crimes in the days leading up to a historic treaty signing. Many of SWAT 3's levels were set in photorealistic renditions of real LA locations, including City Hall, the Convention Center, and the LAX control tower, amongst others.

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