Game: NARC
Platform: PS2
Studio: Midway
Rating: 6/10

GAME STUDIO DESCRIPTION: NARC is an in-depth, third-person action/shooter videogame set against a stylized modern-day backdrop of the War on Drugs. Playing as dual characters, Hitman and Max Force, in the elite NARC squad you must rid the world of the powerful international K.R.A.K. drug cartel. Find them, bust them and/or kill them to bring justice to action-packed, crime-ridden, drug-infested streets. In NARC, players have an arsenal of weapons to use as well as down-and-dirty hand-to-hand fighting skills.
As an elite NARC officer, temptation is around every corner. Drugs, cash and guns are at your fingertips and all you have to do is decide; walk the line or cross it. Use any means necessary to get deep undercover and stop the distribution of a deadly new designer drug. Just remember, no matter what kind of cop you choose to be, there’s one thing you can never kill: temptation.

PLAY: It takes all of ten minutes to realize that Narc is made to resemble Grand Theft Auto. Narc doesn’t hold a candle to GTA.

The idea of playing either a good or bad cop could have been great had the game played better. It’s also a nice touch that you can walk the line between good or bad cop—or play good for a while and then bad depending upon your needs. There are consequences; you have a “badge rating” and when that falls to far you get suspended and can’t move on further in the game.

The good cop does business the right way. He follows the code while the bad cop sells or uses drugs for personal gain and keeps the weapons he finds for himself. Drugs are highlighted in Narc, after all it is called Narc, and each has different effects. What might be more disturbing than anything in GTA is the way drugs are glorified by getting power when taking them. Marijuana slows you down but makes your aim better. LSD creates an effect where heads are blown up like balloons and the bad guy’s heads look like a devil. Crack increases accuracy—that shows just how screwed up Narc is.

Seeking out bad guys and arrested them isn’t nearly as much fun as it could be. Real undercover work in which bad guys aren’t clearly identified would have been much more fun.

GRAPHICS: Narc looks dated. The environments are boring and the characters are very similar and uninteresting.

SOUND: The only interesting aspect of the entire game is the voice acting and soundtrack. Narc is not for kids. The soundtrack features twenty tracks that all have something to do with drugs.

FRANKLY: You have to wonder if Narc hoped to grab headlines with its plotline and content in order to sell a mediocre game or if this was the best they had to offer. Narc gets tiresome after an hour. And all the profanity and momentary disbelief fades as the game grows more and more monotonous.

+ Richie Wright

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