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Narcos Rise of the Cartels – Everything you need to know

Welcome to Colombia, circa 1980! Based on the popular Narcos TV show, Narcos Rise of the Cartels was created. This game gives you the power to delve right into the middle of the action!

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The fires of the El Patrón Empire are alight! The influence of this catastrophe spans borders and reigns unabated. Evil influences and corruption run rapid. Cops, guards, politicians and everyone in between fall into Medellín Cartel pockets…

Now, years later, America is taking notice.

Narcos: Rise of the Cartels depicts the true story of the rise and fall of El Patrón, as told by the hit Netflix TV series. The show is about law enforcement, gathering evidence and arresting Pablo Escobar’s men. The game is more about combat and less about police work.

In the game, you can decide which side you want to fight for – the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or Narcos, the drug cartel. You begin the game with five characters on your side, but you can only move one character per turn. For example: Say you move a soldier and carefully position him behind cover, you can’t do anything else in that round.

You have a nice selection of actions and movements, which control how many activities you can execute during a particular turn – that’s pretty standard. But once you activate one of your units, reload and move a few feet, you can only use the rest of your actions and movements on that same character. You cannot use anyone else in your squad to help him, flank the enemy or anything. That round is over.

Rise of the Cartels

(Image credit: Curve Digital)

At the start of the game you are asked to “bring in a gang member.” This means shooting him several times because that is the only weapon available to you at this time. Later in the game you can unlock other weapons. Some missions you are sent on have objectives, such as “obtain evidence” or “rescue a hostage,” but many just instruct you to “assassinate a cartel leader.” The missions seem random and unjustified and quickly become frustrating and tedious.

Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is successful in just area – you will probably get interested in watching the TV show on Netflix. The game misses out on its potential. On the surface, you would think it has more to offer than what you see in the standard ads. Unfortunately, it turns out to be nothing more than a cautionary story about how you can completely destroy everything a game might have going for it with just one bad decision during the designing stage.

Disclaimer: This game features Violence, Bad Language and Drugs.


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