Narco Terror runs with the promising tagline ‘Dishing out justice, one grenade at a time’. The problem is we’ve seen taglines like this before and for one reason or another the game hasn’t quite lived up to what was promised.
But this is Narco Terror, the story about a guy hell bent on causing death and destruction to a drugs cartel. You would have thought therefore that numerous blowing up of things throughout would be pretty high up the agenda. And you wouldn’t be wrong.
An action packed old skool twin stick shooter from Deep Silver, Narco Terror is a joy to play. From the very first moment the bullets are flying, the enemies are dying and explosions are aplenty in this 3D linear world. The story seems to have been taken by mashing together a number of Hollywood blockbusters and is so far out of touch with reality it’s unreal, but good fun is had throughout the 5-6 hours or story play so that’s the main thing.
Starting off with just a pistol for company our hero, Mr Quinn, comes across all manner of enemy. From the bog standard guy with his own pistol to the kamikazee nutters and bigger heavies accompanied by machine guns and the like, all will need to be dealt with before moving on through the story. Your pistol is soon joined by a shotgun (powerful but very short range), a minigun (fast firing but weak) and a machine gun (I think we all know what this means!) and each weapon in turn is upgradable a couple of times. To get to these upgrades however you need to earn cash. Thankfully earning the readies is rather easy and exactly what the game is centered on……blowing things up! Whilst you only receive score points for an enemy kill, each vehicle you manage to destroy earns you big bucks which in turn can be exchanged for the much needed upgrades.
There are also additional ammo types available (Incendiary, armour piercing, stun and homing) to use but these also have to be earned. Occasionally a bad guy will drop an ammo pickup which goes into the kitty towards allowing that type to be used. Whilst regular bullets are unlimited, these special bits of ammo are limited and will need topping up as and when you use them. Run out of stun or homing ammo at a key point and things are gonna be a bit of a struggle for a good few minutes.
You sometimes stumble across other special weapons which have a limited life span but are super powerful. The Grenade Launcher is decent fun to start off with but you soon realise that all you really want to use a Flame Thrower or Laser Rifle instead!
Graphically Narco Terror is above average but not quite in the same league as a top top arcade title. There’s nothing wrong with the visuals mind and I’ve yet to see a single glitch or issue, it’s just looking like a game that would have been released a couple of years back. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just in this day and age I’d like to see something pushing the boundaries a little. The same goes for the audio. Whilst the overwhelming sound is that of you firing constantly, you do get to pick out the odd car siren and scream from those you’ve laid to waste but other than that, there isn’t really much to listen out for.
The standard gameplay is very much in the Heavy Weapon style and that of any other twin stick shooter prior or past that, however this is interspersed by the odd little minigame. Integrated into the action very nicely we have four different types. Turret sees you sitting on a machine gun turret wiping out all before you, whilst Hellfire, Boat and Plane games see you take on a 1942 style overhead vertical shoot em up. All are decent little additions and break up the usual rather repetitive gameplay for a couple of minutes.
At the end of each level you get the usual leaderboards detailing your overall points, number of enemies killed, longest kill streak, melee kills, grenade kills and collectibles (2 per level). As is the norm you can obviously check the leaderboards of your friends to see how they have been coping with the mass destruction on offer.
Cheevo wise, gamerscore addicts will expect to pick up around 60% of them within the first hour or two of gametime as most require you to kill x number of enemies in a particular way. Through in an extra 2-3 hours of play and you’ll have picked up all but one achievement, that one being the only toughie in having to complete the game on a harder difficulty.
But the best thing about Narco? 2 player co-op on one console or against friends on Live. Whilst you’ll have to be prepared to share out the kills and cash earned between you, the coop works brilliantly and in times of trouble there’s always your friend on hand to revive you! The 2 players on one console option is fully specced with drop in/drop out at any time and lets the game run as well as any single player session, whilst playing with someone over Xbox Live lets you run through any of the eight available missions on one of two difficulty levels.
You’ll want to be checking this one out as it’s most definitely living up to it’s promise of dishing out justice one grenade at a time.