Spec Ops the Line is one of the first third person shooters I have played since Gears Of War at the beginning of last year and to be honest I missed third person shooter goodness. This game has some great moments in it with amazing visuals and quick witted remarks made by teammates to make an odd but not unconventional mix. If you liked the Uncharted series, Gears Of War or Resident Evil this game may just be the filler you have been looking for in between the releases of your favorite games.
You start off in the not too distant “post-apocalyptic” sand filled streets of Dubai in a helicopter as you fend off other helicopters with your Minigun. The chopper pilot flies you through the city giving you a great view of the torn up city rooftops. A memorable start in my opinion because a lot of people like vehicle warfare and if not, you have a manly ass gun to blow stuff up with.
This game strives to pull out from the third person shooter genre and with the narrative I do believe they do this by raising huge psychological questions to push you outside of your comfort zone; however the gameplay mechanics are no different from any other game. Uncharted, Resident Evil, Saint’s Row and more all seem more appealing in the sense of control mechanics, just because to me they seem looser and more fluid with turning and cover.
In contrast to other games out this game does have some of the most stunning visuals of this consoles generation. There may be more times in this that you stop to take a look at the stunning scenery than you do in Skyrim, and all I did in Skyrim was explore the lush and icy paths and slay dragons. There will also be times where you stop to look at a pile of corpses with rotting flesh with flies and other vermin inhabiting the carcasses of once men and women. Because of this the game constantly tries to remind you of the horrors of war and at points of the game where a light touch could be used it seems they use a slightly twisted lead foot to crush any happiness the character might feel into the dusty ground of Dubai.
This game seems like quite an open game. You have a choice of half the things you do within the story. The truth is that you have absolutely zero input into anything apart from you load out, and even then you have to pick it up off of the floor. It’s still nice to think that you are moulding the characters mind, and unless you read this before you play the game or have multiple play through’s you won’t notice this in the slightest. The pacing of the game reflects this as there is little to no parts of the game where I would think that it could use more shooting or more interesting dialogue.
The level design for this game is not a breath of fresh air from other third person shooters but not a musk exhale either, the developers have done extremely well to keep the story as lively as possible and the storyline is innovative throughout.
And finally the ending of the game is somewhat controversial, leaving no stone unturned in the last few plugs to make the game seem more sense than in the level before it. This game is more or less all about the way you see it, in a sense it is all about the aesthetics then the way it plays. It is a new ending to an old genre.
Controls, multiplayer and rating:
The controls are the same humdrum buttons as any other game within the genre with little to no flair on how it feels in your hands; some people will see this as a god thing because he feels more human than an in-killable god. I disagree with that though I think a little more strength and you will take a few more necessary risks to find better cover. Speaking of cover you need to choose your spot and stick with it for most of the firelight. This means that don’t go behind a single door or picket fence because almost anything is destructible and you will get killed very frequently with a bad choice of cover. If you are a Gears Of War veteran this may be new to you, so get used to it and fast. The enemies are not exactly pushovers as the majority of them wear body Armour so work on your head shots. And be ready to play through certain sections repeatedly because there is more than one way through most buildings with less guns and more air.
In my opinion the cover system needs a lot more work done to it before it can become an asset to the game. Being in cover is fine it is just when you sprint up to it or need to swap between them you will be left standing upright in front of light machine gun. And you have to get the camera to be just right before hitting that a button or, you guessed it dead.
Just as you guessed it the multiplayer for this game is very “call of duty esque” and by that I mean general game modes like TDM, DM and objective based game modes as well as a shitload old unlockables, weapons, attachments and perks to help your team to victory. Nearly all of the multiplayer games are fast paced and fun and the levels feel really well designed.
Written By Ben Burgess