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|Narco Police is a 3rd person action shooter with a mix of pseudo-3D tunnels, texture mapping and 2D sprites. It is among the first games to offer textured mapped 3D graphics back in 1991. Unfortunately, Its extreme difficulty and the graphics hardware limitations kept it away from the top 10. Narco Police was released for a variety of home computers like the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64/128, MSX, MSX 2, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and PC (MS-DOS).|
STORY / GAMEPLAY
You are the commander of three different Narco Police units that wait the signal to raid. You set your men inside the raid zone, equip them with weapons and give the orders from your central control unit. The game is an odd mix of shooting action, vague strategy and, oddly, text entry! Before starting the game, you have the opportunity to check the armory and choose anything you think is suitable for the mission, from a wide range of weapons and devices available. A map screen can also be used in order to be able to place your three units upon starting the mission in one of the five tunnels that litter the drug lords' island. The shooting action starts when each police commando enters a tunnel. You view your policeman from behind while there is a terminal on the right of your screen where you can enter your commands. Those commands (which can be found on the game's manual) involve door opening, camera enabling or disabling and more. The best part is that, on this very command screen you may also enter some useful cheat codes! The 3D tunnels give you the impression of being trapped inside solid walls made of steel and rock, complete with equally solid ceilings. In these claustrophobic tunnels, the enemies swarm the screen by jumping and rolling from their hideouts, armed to the teeth with machine guns, grenades, rocket launchers or even tanks! The ammunition is limited but fortunately you can replenish it and upgrade the weapons through certain terminals found along the way. The game is pretty short in levels (I think it has four tunnels in total) but its extreme difficulty prevents it from being short! Narco Police was a great idea back then, offering this unique 3rd person gameplay in pseudo-3D textured mapped environments, but unfortunately the high level of difficulty, the repetitive graphics and the enemies' scrolling, make this game look mediocre. We made this review because of its originality and that's all. GRAPHICS / SOUND
The 3D tunnels look pretty solid. But to achieve such an outcome with full scaling sprites on the Atari ST must have required a large amount of memory, so severe cuts in quality were necessary for the developers. Cleverly enough, Iron Byte's software engineers simply cropped sprites and made them move in a way that gives the impression of moving forward, deeper into the tunnels! Well, while all these sound interesting, there are some serious faults that make the whole game look as unfinished. The scrolling is a bit slower compared to the Amiga which automatically means that the game is tougher. More on that, the game's graphics feel repetitive (as in every other version). Only the second half changes slightly with some differently looking enemies and some minor changes on the backgrounds. The ST version offers only the basic sound effects ( gunfire and explosions), all sampled! As with the Amiga, the ST version has no in-game music at all.
|CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus.|
MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB
GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images.
SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).
|9-bit RGB 512-color palette |
(16 on-screen and up to 512 in static image)
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