An In-depth Look at Narcoterror @ E3 2012
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 18th Jun 2012
The variety of game types and studios that take part in E3 each year range from small one-man outfits that rely upon hired PR firms to handle their presentations (at the risk of getting lost in the shuffle of the other dozen-odd customers who their PR firm is also fronting for), to the massive and difficult to miss mega-corps like Electronic Arts, who do it all using in-house talent and present a slickly impressive and massive exhibit space; while those two types anchor either end of the gaming spectrum, smack in the middle are the smaller outfits who come to the show with one or two titles that they really want to promote, and often enough these end up being the games we arrive at E3 looking forward to and depart thinking about.
Our appointment for a briefing and hand's-on demo with the Rubicon Organization was for two distinct titles -- Narcoterror and Miner Wars 2081 -- two titles that could not be more different, with the latter being a crafting-centric space adventure, and the former being an action-adventure title created as an homage to a handful of video game titles that proved to be icons of their era, including Contra, Choplifter, and Commando, with a dose of 1942 throw in for play style and what you get is Narcoterror!
After we took our seats and our host offered libations -- considering that the name of the game was Narcoterror we thought it only fitting to choose a nice hot cup of coffee as our beverage of choice; after all agriculture has traditionally been the chief economic activity in Colombia, and while the country (and the region) is known for its wide variety of crops, by weight, volume, and profit levels coffee is by far the major legal crop, with its price on the world market profoundly affecting Colombia's economic health.
NarcoTerror - E3 2012 Trailer
Despite the fact that oil replaced coffee as the nation's leading legal export since 1991, in terms of production Columbia ranks first as a world producer of washed coffee, and first as an exporter of Arabica coffee, while placing only second over-all as a world producer in all categories of coffee production. The annual average production levels for coffee in the country adds up to some 12.5 million bags, each weighing around 155 lbs. each, which is a LOT of coffee! But of course the elephant in the room is not how important coffee is to the economy of Columbia -- after all this is not a game called Coffeeterror...
The question of just where Cocaine falls within the GDP of Columbia, and how significant it is to that nation's economy falls into a gray area with respect to international finance, largely because it is a question that nobody really wants answered -- but according to the best guesstimates presently available the reality is that Cocaine and, to a certain extent, other illegal narcotics, represents a major illicit export, and it is speculated that it accounts for about 25% of the entire annual foreign exchange earnings, which means that one out of every four dollars entering the country from outside is connected to the drug trade.
It started out as an 80's thing?
Anyone alive today who managed to survive the 1980's may not actually have been a Perrier-swilling, goose liver pâté consuming, Izod-wearing member of the public, but chances are very good that if they were not then they at least knew someone who was -- and even if they did not, they will certainly be familiar with Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas and the characters of James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs that they played respectively; a pair of characters who, in their roles as Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami, would have been very much at home with the plot for this game which is about to be revealed!
As the game begins, a very basic story and plot is introduced in which a child is being tracked by the bad guys who plan to kidnap her and use her as leverage to get her father -- a senator -- to perform certain tasks -- but in the process of preparing for the grab the cartel's soldiers make a mistake, the reults of which is that the kidnappers misidentify the target, grabbing your daughter instead of the girl that they meant to kidnap!
Yes, the plot is thin and sounds a lot like a movie staring the ex-governor of California, but the real question is this: what will they do with their hostage once they realize she is not the target? Yes, it is an adventure ripped right out of the 1980's in terms of story, and surprisingly in terms of the game as well... Sort of... Seriously!