Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 14
  2. Negative: 7 out of 14
  1. Nov 20, 2019
    Fans of the series will appreciate to rediscover the characters and universe of Narcos, as the game will remind them of the events and places of the first season. The graphics are good, provided that you don't get too close and don't mind about strange camera angles. The targeting can sometimes be problematic, but the strategic aspect and the third person real-time actions are quite effective. We liked being able to switch sides between Narcos and D.E.A but, unfortunately, the game is too repetitive.
  2. Nov 19, 2019
    In the end, Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is a game with good production values, let down by a tactical layer that doesn’t seem to have been fully thought-through. There are impressively few flaws here, but the ones it does have are so key to the nature of the game that they end up dragging down the whole experience. Like Pablo Escobar’s intrinsic arrogance which led to his downfall, so does Narcos’ rather basic assumptions ruin what could have been a very exciting tie-in game.
  3. Dec 19, 2019
    Your enjoyment of Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is going to be heavily based on whether you can accept its strategy game conceit. If you're good with the idea of only being able to control one unit at a time per turn, then you might be fine so long as you're also willing to accept the inherent lack of strategy that goes along with the very limited objective set. If you want your strategy games to be a little more traditional, where every unit can do something on a turn, then you'll hate this game to the point that even the counteract mechanic can't make things interesting. In short, Narcos is a hard sell for fans of the series, let alone strategy game fans, unless you can find it for a very deep discount.
  4. 50
    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.
  5. Dec 4, 2019
    If you are a fan of the Netflix's series, the game should suit you for a few hours before all of its flaws eventually spoil the party. Narcos : Rise of the Cartels lacks depth and is not a very interesting tactical game.
  6. Nov 26, 2019
    It does not rely on a solid contour such as that of the Netflix series to lighten the weight of these problems on the player, who instead sees himself launched into the fray with banal justifications without bite.
  7. Nov 18, 2019
    The concept behind Narcos: Rise of The Cartels is interesting, but the game seems to have been done with superficiality and little care. The unpleasant impression is that it is a title made only to take advantage of the license of the Netflix TV series.
  8. Nov 20, 2019
    A mediocre XCOM-like in the form of a deeply worrying depiction of militarised police.
  9. Jan 16, 2020
    This anemic game is not worthy of the amazing TV show it is based on.
  10. Jan 4, 2020
    The game presents some interesting innovation in the genre, a level design that should match, but is weighed down by a movement system that only allows one unit to be controlled for each turn.
  11. Nov 19, 2019
    Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is a bad advertisement for the Netflix's TV-show.
  12. 40
    Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is not a broken game, nor is it ugly or offensive. But it is joyless. It feels cold, like a corporate cash grab, and suffers from a fundamental misunderstanding of its target audience. There are interesting elements and attractive qualities, but the game overall fails to deliver much of anything to anyone in particular.
  13. Dec 1, 2019
    Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is the perfect example of one decision ruining any chance a game had of being reasonable. An X-COM style real-time tactics game where you can only use one character per turn, which limits tactical options and essentially grinds the game to a halt as soon as you take to the field. Compounded by moronic AI in repetitive missions that are made so easy the squad-building and permadeath is rendered pointless. The game has a few interesting aspects, such as a unique third-person shooter twist on overwatch mechanics found in other games. All in all, this isn't the way to experience Narcos - watch the show instead.
  14. Nov 19, 2019
    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.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Nov 22, 2019
    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. Unfortunately, the end result is a cautionary tale about how one poor design decision can ruin just about everything else a game has going for it.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 16 out of 21
  1. Nov 19, 2019
    Крайне слабо. Казалось бы благодатный антураж (латинская Америка, наркокартели). Можно было сделать что-нибудь похожее на Jagged Alliance.
    Крайне слабо. Казалось бы благодатный антураж (латинская Америка, наркокартели). Можно было сделать что-нибудь похожее на Jagged Alliance.
    Но увы.
    1. Глупейший ИИ.
    2. Невозможно сменить оружие после миссии (к примеру взять вместо дробовика, автомат).
    3. Разрушаемости нет.
    4. Имбовое лечение (просто нажал отдыхать и лечишься).
    Ужас. Не берите это. Лучше перепройдите JA2. Или XCOM Long War.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 21, 2019
    Narcos is a strategy game based on the hit Netflix show and that really comes through in the games voice acting and cut scenes. It didn't takeNarcos is a strategy game based on the hit Netflix show and that really comes through in the games voice acting and cut scenes. It didn't take me long to tell that. The opening cinematic really let me know what I was in for with this one. It also inspired me to check out the show, and I'm so glad I did. They are both the series and the game really quality storytelling and acting. Lot of quality actors involved in this one, as well as writers. If you like movies like Heat or Sicario you will really get into the story of this game. The story isn't the only thing addicting about this game though. I really enjoyed the game play as well.
    You play as a DEA trying to take down the cartel. You start with a certain amount of money to use to purchase missions and new recruits. Some missions are free,and some cost a good bit but you are rewarded with money and skill points for completing them. There are different types of recruits to purchase. My favorite is Demolition they have grenade launchers and are so much fun to use. You can also get Agents with shotguns, police with pistols, guys with SMGs as well as ARs. You can level these guys up, and they unlock perks as you do. Things like extra moves, auto reloading, special firing modes, etc. All of these really come in handy, and you have to be smart when deciding what you do. You also have to be careful in the field , because if you die out there you lose that character and have to purchase another.
    Another cool thing about the game is you also play as the Narcos in campaign as well. A whole different campaign that tells the story from their side. You get to purchase the same style of characters as cartel. This added a lot of extra game play for me, and ways to play. Seems the Cartel missions were slightly tougher to me though. Felt like the DEA AI was a lot smarter than the Cartel, but I could be wrong.
    I'm not a huge strategy game fan, but this one really pulled me in and had me hooked.I really recommend it to that genre fans, also really recommend it to fans of the series, or fans of cop show style games. It looks really good from the game play to the cut scenes and cinematics. I was surprised by the graphics in this one. It seemed really well developed overall. I even enjoyed the music. It really fit into the total package well highlighting the entire story and game. Same can go for the sounds and voice acting. Narcos is just a really well developed title that really caught me off guard.

    Pros: GREAT voice acting
    Excellent storytelling and characters
    Music really adds to the overall experience
    Addictive strategy game play
    Tons of replay

    Cons: Ai can seem kind of simple at times

    Overall: 7.2 Narcos Rise of the Cartels is a strategy fan's delightful experience. Loaded with tons of great voice acting, storytelling , and even a lot of replay value.. If you loved the show or content like it your going to be drawn in by this story as well.
    Full Review »