By: Casey Curran
Narco Terror is one of those games that REALLY love 1980s action movies. The style, plot, locations, and over-the-top action are the exact kind of thing I would expect to see Arnold or Bruce Willis in. It offers a lot of explosions and… well, probably some other things, too. I simply cannot remember that much because of how many explosions there are.
Narco Terror has fairly standard twin-stick shooter controls. Combat works very well, but the areas outside have a few issues. Jumping is primarily used reaching higher ground, yet this always feels very imprecise and like you can only get onto them by accident. Switching between weapons meanwhile, does not have a quick switch function; instead you have to hold the left trigger down and then select your weapon with the right stick, which would often break the flow of the combat.
Plane sections also suffer from control issues. These employ the same basic idea as the ground segments to a fault. Shooting is done with the right stick, which fires in bursts rather than letting you shoot rapidly like most shoot ‘em ups. This just made these segments significantly less fun. Beyond that there were not any major issues.
Graphically the game looks very good for a budget title, specifically the environments. Jungle areas in particular reminded me of Uncharted, though clearly not nearly as pretty as that series. Explosions also look fantastic and considering the amount of them you see, this is definitely a good thing. Character models are nothing special, but the game’s perspective makes this easy to ignore most of the time.
Where the game stumbles is in the sound department. The music is terrible, mostly going over the same three-second loop. Guns and explosions are muted and do not provide the kind of aural satisfaction they should have.
While Narco Terror is a pretty mixed bag, it does lean more toward good than bad. The best part of the game is the amount of explosions. I spent more time in combat seeing explosions than having explosion-free shootouts. The game is littered with cars, exploding barrels, and other explosives. And did I mention there are lots of explosives? I feel like that should be mentioned.
Taking out enemies with them is very satisfying, which combined with how the game rewards you for chaining kills together in rapid succession made combat very addicting. The game also employs a few Uncharted-style scripted segments that involve getting out of the way of a crashing boat and running away from a jet shooting flamethrowers.
Despite those positives, there were still a few glaring issues. The checkpoint system is absolutely terrible, occasionally employing checkpoints in situations you cannot reasonably get yourself out of. This made me need to either rely on luck or restart to get out of that situation. Plus, as mentioned before, the plane segments were not as much fun as the rest of the game and felt like they got in the way of the overall enjoyment
Narco Terror is a fun little game that offers some cheesy action for a good price. The game can occasionally feature annoying difficulty spikes, which do bring it down, but overall it is worth checking out. It is worth noting I’ve heard there are some technical issues on the PS3 version; however, they were nonexistent in the 360 version.