NARC Impressions

Midway officially unveils its update on the classic arcade game NARC.

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Though Midway has been showing off some screenshots and some other basic info on its upcoming cop game, NARC, the game was only officially announced at a recent press event. Though the game wasn't shown in playable form, the company showed off a brief video of it in action.

Like in the original NARC, you'll play as either Hitman or Max Force in your quest to take down Mr. Big and his cartel, KRAK. The KRAK crew is pushing a new drug called liquid soul. You can actually play the game as a good cop or a bad cop. Good cops return the confiscated money and drugs they acquire on the streets. Bad cops sell the drugs themselves. But there are consequences for playing as a bad cop. The game has an onscreen badge meter that goes down whenever you act in a less-than-officerly fashion. Once it gets too low, the other policemen in the area will begin treating you like a criminal.

The game is running on an enhanced version of the same engine that powered Rockstar's State of Emergency, and it shows. Many of the punching and kicking animations we saw in the video looked like they were lifted directly out of SOE. The game appears to be mission-based, using police radio transmissions to provide you with info on where to go next. You'll also have an inventory of weapons to choose from, including rocket launchers, pistols, rifles, and so on. Enemies will strike back with similar weaponry, though they can also toss hypodermic needles full of drugs at you, which cause some woozy, drug-induced effects if they hit.

The soundtrack will be filled with drug-themed songs from DMX, Curtis Mayfield, Lynard Skynard, and Grandmaster Flash. NARC is scheduled to ship in 2004.

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