Narcos: Rise of the Cartels
Top Critic Average
The hit Netflix show becomes a fun, if functional, turn-based strategy.
A mediocre XCOM-like in the form of a deeply worrying depiction of militarised police.
Turning the Netflix series into an XCOM clone is a bold choice, but the dumbed down tactical options and lack of polish are destined to disappoint fans of both franchises.
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels succeeds completely at just one thing: It makes me interested in watching the Netflix series. The game had a lot of potential, and at least superficially it looked like something that may be better than the standard advertorial we’ve come to expect from this kind of tie-in game.
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is a decently executed turn-based strategy title. Sure, sometimes it's a bit too easy, but when the enemy moves efficiently it become a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Just be warned that you'll grow attached to your squadmates, and hate if you lose them. This is for you, Ruiz!
Narcos is a simple "tactics" game, which some fans of the Netflix series will enjoy because of an interesting use of the official license. After a few hours it gets repetitive, because of its lack of different maps.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is a strategic turn-based combat game that simply doesn't work. Despite a high-sounding name, the managerial part and the strategic depth are lacking; moreover, the variants to the classic X-Com gameplay are strange and poorly designed.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is the perfect example of one decision ruining any chance a game had of being reasonable.
Licensed games still get a bad rap these days and Narcos: Rise of the Cartels probably won’t convince the naysayers. But buried beneath the murky graphics and presentation is a pretty decent and entertaining turn-by-turn tactical game.
Bland, boring, and uninspired, Narcos: Rise of the Cartels isn't quite the tie-in product that fans of Netflix's series would want to see. It's bogged down by flawed fundamentals, a repetitive campaign, and unengaging gameplay.