Welcome to Colombia, the 1980s – the fires of El Patrón’s empire have been lit, its influence spanning borders, and expansion unabated. Influence and corruption are rife; cops, guards, politicians and those in between are falling into the pocket of the Medellín Cartel, and after years of production, America is finally taking notice. Narcos: Rise of the Cartels on Nintendo Switch tells the story of the hit Netflix TV series, of the rise and fall of El Patrón.
Choose your side and ally with the DEA or conversely side with the Narcos. Explore recognisable locations from the show and take a role in pivotal world-altering events and battles that will define and shift the war on drugs.
Form your team from a variety of class-specific roles, join leading characters, upgrade your skills and take part in brutal turn-based combat, where your actions will have consequence.
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels Nintendo Switch Review
Graphically, this looks pretty solid. 3D isometric with a rotatable field of view during the combat phase. Also, the story interludes are interesting enough to sit through and watch instead of skipping ahead. Music is classic Latin American and feels great in the background. I was also a fan of the voice acting.
For X-Comm players, this will feel very familiar. Though it is missing a couple of things. There is no destructible buildings or walls etc. Each turn only allows one character to act (unless a character ability is used to grant additional actions). It makes sense from a game balance sense – a squad of 5 characters all having the first action has a massive advantage when they are first to act.
The problem is strategically it makes sense (for the player) to probe and retreat using one or two team members leaving the others behind. There is no overriding sense of team strategy. This can make for prolonged (though successful) missions. A time/turn limit on mission objectives would speed up the action (see Mario vs. Rabbids) by forcing the player to engage on multiple fronts to finish a mission.
Though I agree that movement/firing should be restricted to one player per turn from a gameplay balance standpoint, I don’t understand why the other characters aren’t able to heal/reload weapons / activate special abilities / or just plain rest when they are not moving/firing. Again, this would speed up the action.
Overall, Narcos: Rise of the Cartels on Nintendo Switch is an OK game. The game action does play slower than other similar titles. Finally, check out our site for other reviews. Also, don’t forget to connect with the Jabba Reviews team on Facebook or Twitter.