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Gasp! ESRB gives a mature rating to Narcos for drug references and violence

Apologies for the sarcasm in the headline but I can’t help but find it amusing when the ESRB give a rating that we all could have called before even seeing a game. The thing is, when you combine drug dealing with gunplay, you’re never going to get a Teen or family rating. So, it should come as no surprise that the Electronic Software Rating Board (ESRB) has decided to give Narcos: Rise of the Cartels an ‘M for Mature’ rating. It has given the game this rating for blood, drug references, strong language, and violence. You can check out the full rating summary below –

This is a strategy game, based on the TV series Narcos, in which players assume the role of a DEA agent (Steve Murphy) battling Colombian cartels during the 1980s. From a 3/4-top-down perspective, players traverse city environments and fight enemies (e.g., soldiers, thugs) in turn-based combat. Players use machine guns, shotguns, and pistols to shoot enemy forces; realistic gunfire and blood-splatter effects occur as enemies are shot. Video footage from the show depicts police gunned down and characters executed. Footage also shows cocaine paste labs, with images of cocaine powder bricks. The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” are heard in the game.

An interesting thing here is that the ESRB describes you playing the role of a DEA agent. While this is true, all the promotion of the game has suggested that you can either choose to come at the action from the perspective of the DEA or as a member of the cartel. This isn’t mentioned at all in the rating summary. So, is this because they have switched the game up, has the ESRB just missed it off their summary, or a has the ESRB just not played the full game? I guess we’ll just have to wait until the game launches on 19th November to find out.

If you are unfamiliar with Narcos: Rise of the Cartels, you can check out two trailers for the game (one from each side) below –

Narcos: Rise of the Cartels – Choose Your Side | Cartel Trailer

 

Narcos: Rise of the Cartels – Choose Your Side | DEA Trailer

What do you think of this? Has the ESRB messed up here? Which side you will choose to play as first, DEA or as the Cartel? Are you interested in playing a game based on the Narcos show? Share your thoughts in the comments section below

Steve Clist
Joint Editor-in-Chief at our sister site XboxEnthusiast, Steve also has a serious love for Nintendo. His first console was an N64 and it was love at first sight. He may specialise in racing games but will give anything a shot. He's also a serious guitar player and musician. Basically, Steve rocks. Need we say more?

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