Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Narco Police

Drugs... Guns... Violence!

In the future... or rather... back in 2003 most of us were heavily dependent on hardcore drugs and this addiction made the dealers rich and powerful. So the various nations of the world all got together to form an elite anti-drug unit: The A-Team. No, I meant NARCO POLICE who have been trained to rid this filth from existence. Yeah!!

Three Narco units are deployed to infiltrate the drug lord's hive which is located on a remote island, off Columbia. It won't be easy because they have invested in extra security, including lots of marines and combat soldiers. You start with the 'option' of choosing your team's equipment and weaponry which is important. Also, a map of the island allows you to view the landscape and chose an entrance into its network of underground tunnels.

Don't forget to visit the armoury before heading out into no-mans land!
There's little to actually plan but at least we get to tunnel in like killer worm cops!

Walk... Shoot... Kill

It's now we encounter the henchmen, security systems, and heavy artillery! And, as we venture deeper, the enemy will surprise you by jumping out from hidden sidewalls or fall down from the ceiling to ambush. So use the joystick to direct gunfire at their location and reign an onslaught of gun violence! Controls can take a little getting used to with movement first feeling awkward - but you will get used to dodging grenades in no time.

Other defences cannot be destroyed so easily and require a tactical approach. (It's now that you realise your team needed the correct equipment). A terminal is available to enter basic control commands, such as 'C' (which stands for 'chopper') to display information about your teams. The 'K' command is helpful in restoring vitality and the 'M1' command is rather entertaining in sticky situations. A command list can be displayed using 'DIR'.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a simple shooter; hold down fire and blindly kill everything. It isn't. Far from it in fact and is something you'll need to practice in order to start getting anywhere. The controls are great and the progression you make is slow, but rewarding. I hate to say it, but you should read the manual O_o

Come on, tell me you're not impressed by this floppy-disk based computer from 1985!!!

Aesthetics, long before Doom!

Visually, this is gorgeous with cool locations and huge sprites with great animation. Hang on, this is a 16-bit computer, right? Well, as impressive as it is there are some minor issues: it's quite tacky when you see a wooden-looking baddie waiting to be shot like a cardboard cutout. There are some soldiers who love to roll across your screen in slo-mo! Thankfully, we are superbly animated as we patrol the corridors - even if we have a suspect limp.

I've always had a passion for 3D shooters (especially the first-person variety) and, even though this is third-person, it's one I have enjoyed since the 90s. Narco Police actually uses a pseudo-3D engine that pushes our 8MHz CPU by using clipped graphics that increase as you walk, giving the illusion of movement. I remember drooling over my ST's keyboard the first time I got to see this in action!

Audio is fantastic and starts with a stomping title tune during the display of an 80s retro-styled title screen. All in-game sound effects are made from samples, which are impressive. However, it's odd walking without the sound of footsteps? Maybe I'm being picky and perhaps our hero is just too stealthy for his own good!!

Hands up who would love a job as a Narco Policeman? No, me neither! lol

The perspective used in this game is so impressive but that doesn't stop me from dying!

The CryptO'pinion?

Technically, this is a Christmas Cracker stuffed full of mayhem to get the blood flowing - all over the walls usually! Who doesn't enjoy killing idiot henchmen and repetitive tunnel exploration? Sadly, Dinamic has made yet another game that is ludicrously tough and perhaps too tough? Maybe the Spanish are ultra-hardcore gamers?

Having said that, I'm always drawn back into the tunnels, time & time again because Narco Police is a seriously addictive shooter. Sure, it's always predictable but in a good way and, even though it's insanely tough, I cannot help but recommend it to those who love guns, loud explosions and plenty of killing. A fistful of fun and I love it.

Narco Police floppy disks and hard drive.

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