E3 2012 was filled with some big names and bigger games. Rubicon Organization
and its twin-stick arcade action game, Narcoterror, arenít
either of these things... but that doesnít mean that this game should be
ignored. Itís a throwback to the golden age of arcades, with nods to some of the
more significant games of the period. If Commando, Choplifter, and 1942 ring any
bells for you, then youíll definitely want to put Narcoterror on your release
radar. After spending some time with it, I can honestly say that Iím impatiently
waiting to play the final version.
The basic story is that the protagonistís daughter has been kidnapped by The
Drug Lord, so itís up to you to mow down scores of his thugs and get her back.
The game takes place on the ground and in the air, with multiple weapon pick-ups
at your disposal and a Call of Duty-style health system that is a bit more
forgiving than similar shooters. The play controls are intuitive and responsive,
and the game is a lot of fun to play. Points collected during gameplay can be
used to buy powerups in the gameís Armory, and destroying vehicles and other
parts of the gameís environment leads to extra scoring opportunities via
rescuing other hostages.
Narcoterror promises both local and online drop-in and drop-out co-op play.
The solo campaign is said to run about 6 hours in duration, which is a fair
amount of time for a $15 downloadable title. Aside from co-op play, an arena
mode will also be available for players to further enhance replayability.
I had a lot of fun with Narcoterror, blowing stuff up left
and right. Itís a great homage to arcade games gone by, and the changes from
ground combat to chopper and plane shooter make for variations at just the right
times before the gameplay has a chance to get stale. There are a few things that
Iím hoping to see fixed in the final version (such as framerate instability),
but this is a great start for Rubicon Organization and Deep Silver. A release
window of Fall 2012 was given, and I hope that it bears out.