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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, made this game look mediocre. We made this review because of its originality and that's all.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The PC MS-DOS version offers less colors (16) compared to the Atari ST (28) and the Amiga (39) counterparts. On the PC version, the frame-rate goes slow even though there's not much action on screen but in general the scrolling and the sprite's animation work better than the ST version. The PC sound offers some nice sound effects like gunfire and explosions, while there is no in-game music at all.
PC (ms-dos based)
|CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)|
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
|CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)|
|EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)|
|VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)|
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