Spec Ops: The Line assessment – Dissonance in Dubai
Spec Ops: The Line is specific about its intentions and inspirations, typically to a fault. It is really a gritty shooter, and never since you’re steering a bipedal meat chunk with a scraggly soul patch. The battle feels remoted and inescapable, with a sand-drowned Dubai hemming in troopers who solely hope to outlive and comply with orders as greatest they will. You might have permission to take this recreation critically.
That is why it is disappointing, and sometimes baffling, when Spec Ops underlines its themes with an orange crayon. The invention of a strung-up, mutilated corpse is supposed to shock, however the scene feels deflated alongside an Achievement notification that primarily says, “Struggle is horrible. Have 10 factors!”%Gallery-157400%
That is the second by which The Line‘s inner tug-of-struggle turns into plain as day: the grounded, provocative story that exceeds expectations, versus the emblematic motion recreation. Spec Ops wants a mechanical hook to match its nicely-realized desert battleground, one thing that hasn’t been eroded by years of video games that play identical to it.
The gorgeous, buried metropolis of Dubai is a paradise of waist-excessive detritus and deserted cars, all completely positioned to information you thru waves of faceless enemies. “What number of People have you ever killed as we speak?” the sport asks (in a loading display). “Do you are feeling like a hero but?” Spec Ops: The Line stirs you with darkish questions, asks about your position within the pressured battle that sustains video games prefer it, however by no means prods you in the best way that is most necessary to the medium. It is nonetheless a clean sequence of shootouts, ammo roundups and flashy set items, albeit one which delivers a message.
There isn’t any sense in executing Spec Ops for being a reliable, trendy shooter, however the perceptible complacency in recreation design feels completely jarring towards the chin-stroking prompted by the premise. As with BioShock, there’s some satirical dissonance between the narrative and the construction of the sport itself, however seeing what they did there is not sufficient to anchor the entire thing. When one character means that the killing would cease if solely you were not so intent on finishing your mission (and the sport), it seems like a veiled request to place the controller down. It does tempt for a second, as a result of there is not one playable bit on this shooter that hasn’t been completed earlier than, and higher.
As Captain Martin Walker and his three-man squad, you are making an attempt to chop a righteous path via wicked circumstances. As participant, you are shepherding two additional weapons that regularly grow to be caught on partitions and crouch on the fallacious aspect of canopy, whereas Nolan North yells about headshotting hostiles. Cue the on-rails sequence, curse the distant checkpoint, take down that helicopter and get to the RPG. Oh, and hey, provocative query: What number of exploding barrels have you ever killed immediately?
The murky ethical decisions confronted by Walker can not help however stand out on this sea of sameness. They develop organically, devoid of a binary good/evil system, and mark the few moments the place your actions and the story really intersect. The sport’s greatest, bravest sequence marches you thru a catastrophe of your personal design – adopted by a dun-dun-duuuun! cutscene which merely should illustrate THE CONSEQUENCES for you. It is one other boneheaded instance of Spec Ops: The Line taking a disquieting concept, circling it and placing it beneath a magnet in your fridge.
Spec Ops: The Line is the type of recreation we expect we would like. It goals to be considerate and mature because it ponders our recurring position because the set off-pleased mass assassin. And but it casts us in that very same spot once more, making a boring job out of it and highlighting why even “silly” video games can higher interact, entertain and problem. Heavy material makes Spec Ops lopsided differently, and that is not likely a win for video games.
Joystiq’s assessment scores are based mostly on a scale of whether or not the sport in query is value your time — a 5-star being a definitive “sure,” and a one-star being a definitive “no.” Learn right here for extra info on our scores tips.
- Key specs
- Recreation format Optical disc, Downloadable
- On-line options Multiplayer, Voice chat, Video chat, Retailer, Browser
- Drive capability 250 GB
- Controller sort Wired, Wi-fi
- Movement controls Accelerometer, Gyroscopic
- Video outputs HDMI (v1.three), RCA / composite
- Launched 2012-09-25