Review of Narco Terror From Deep Silver

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An RPG-lite, coop thumbstick shooter concerning both a vendetta and a conspiracy, all rolled into one easy to manage, downloadable title. Available on PSN, Xbox 360 and PC, let’s see how far we can go to rescue our daughter, Bauer-style…

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As far as narratives go in these kind of games, Narco Terror fares pretty well, you play as Rick Quinn, an ex-spec ops agent out for revenge due to the kidnapping of his presumably innocent daughter. But that’s not all! Between blowing up every conceivable part of scenery along the way, hard man Rick discovers that perhaps his ex-partner is involved in this somehow.

Starting you off in typical fashion of this genre, you face off against a few lowly foes whilst you get to grips with your pretty useless pistol; it’s not long however, before you’re really thrust into it. Special, limited, ammo types are tossed around more than the inevitable grenades and it’s not long before you start backing off and firing instead of wading in like Rambo. A slower introduction to the ammo types would have been more favourable as there are four for each gun to play with. Some are fairly obvious such as the incendiary rounds, others later on let bullets curve and auto lock onto enemies, a power I wish I’d known about sooner! Perhaps I could have paid more attention, yet it’s hard to do that when the ground tremors as much as the enemy at your thunderous wake.

Before long, you’ll find yourself dead; that’s not much of a problem if not for the somewhat sporadic checkpoints and the fact that it doesn’t heal you fully between them, let’s just say the final boss was quite the nightmare because of this, more on that soon… The vast majority of it’s 4-5 hour length is fairly plain sailing. There are a couple of difficulty spikes, yet not in the good, ‘well maybe if I shot him first’ way. The first comes in the form of mortars, and good grief, what accurate and quick to load these mortars are. Zoning in on your position and giving you possibly a second’s notice to escape the radius is one thing to deal with, yet when there are approximately five of them simultaneously flumping their way towards you, it can quickly become infuriating.

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That’s nothing compared to the final boss however. Obscenely low visibility, check. Overwhelming odds of the most irritating enemies on the game, check. Frustrating insta-deaths because of these, exaggerated check. The reason I bring this up is simply because, on my own I was having a little trouble with this section to say the least. Yet as soon as my friend picked up a second pad; due to the revival system, it was cake. Reviving a team mate is as simple as pressing a button on them, there is no lag, no delay, it’s instantaneous and you respawn with full health. Seriously, play this with a friend.

Another way to make you feel unstoppable in Narco is to upgrade your weapons with what precious little resources you have. Each of the four guns can be upgraded twice, vastly increasing their death dealing potential. They may be expensive, but they are most certainly worth it. The shotgun becomes a buckshot filled screen of woe, whilst the pistol adopts a Raffica style burst to further dispatch the Cartel with. Just don’t forget to keep tossing those grenades whenever the situation deems it necessary, resupplies are plentiful and they are always deadly even at endgame.

Graphically, you couldn’t ask a lot more from Narco Terror, it looks appealing despite the slightly generic locales on offer, the top down vehicle sections hark back a few decades to give you that retro fix too. Enemies are distinctive, yet if you can’t tell the difference between a mini-gun toting soldier and a stacked, shirtless melee lunatic in a game such as this, you’re going to have some issues! Mind you, even when you don’t have to prioritise targets, happenchance there’s an explosion rattling off to distract you anyway. Sound effects are vibrant and punchy but because of infinite ammo, you’ll soon tire of the sound of your own machine gun, never mind everybody else’s.

So there we have it, pretty much exactly what you would expect from this genre is here in it’s own bombastic little way. It can be one of the most enjoyable game types around, up to the inevitable point of irritation and frustration, where it becomes just like all the rest.

3

Reviewed on PS3, also available on Xbox 360 and PC.

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