Summary: After all the door kicking, screaming, blindfire, grenade tossing, and turret handling, a soldier always walks away from battle alive with a strong moral compass intact. This last detail is the most disparate departure from reality that modern military shooters make. Though we like to glorify soldiers in our entertainment, it’s impossible to look past the toll that killing takes on a person’s psyche in real life.
Summary: Despite its flaws, Spec Ops: The Line is currently in contention for Game of the Year in my opinion, sitting at the moment I am writing this review only behind Mass Effect 3 . If you are looking for a modern military shooter that is about as far removed from Call of Duty as you can get, this is the game for you. Spec Ops: The Line gets a 9 out of 10.
Excerpt: There’s nothing wrong with violence in video games. It is, after all, pretend. You’re not killing someone; you’re firing if/then statements out of texture-wrapped polygons into skeletal meshes until the in-game physics kick in. There’s no reason to feel bad or reflect; it’s all a puppet show.
Pros: Interesting, well-developed characters, The engaging narrative is bold, and flies in the face of its contemporaries, Beautiful locations and fantastic set piece battles
Cons: The spotty cover system, Sand amounts to being nothing more than an explosive barrel, Controls aren’t strong enough to make multiplayer worthwhile
Excerpt: Spec Ops: The Line is technically a continuation of a tactical shooter series that started on the PC platform in the late ‘90s, but this sequel significantly deviates from standard operating procedure. Using Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as inspiration to explore the dark side of war and conflict, The Line takes on some serious subject matter. Can the game eke out any meaning in a sea of sand and headshots?
Excerpt: It's pretty fitting that Spec Ops: The Line borrows both fonts and HUD decals from Gears of War. After a sexy menu that bleats out a whiny Hendrix-esque version of The Star Spangled Banner, the game's first sequence is a turret section that looks, sounds and feels exactly like Epic's chunky billion-dollar juggernaut. This identity crisis continues throughout the whole of this seven-odd hour campaign.
Excerpt: , the more you realize what developer Yager was trying to do. However, although interesting and even stimulating, the concepts broached within this hectic adventure are mostly missed opportunities. While I always appreciate a nod to morality and philosophy in any form of entertainment, I can’t overlook the somewhat generic gameplay and the fact that clichés can - and do - infringe upon higher artistic aspirations.