2K Games, the developer behind the Saints Row series and Homefront, attempts to change the current shooter trend with Spec Ops: The Line. Spec Ops’ campaign might be one of the toughest story modes I have ever played in a shooter. I don’t mean that in terms of difficulty either, oh no, what I’m referring to is it’s story. Spec Ops: The Line crosses every gaming convention “Line” there is and leaves you broken and shaking in the corner of your room contemplating the many complexities you just witnessed.
In Under 8 hours, 2K manages to twist you, break you, make you question your motives as a gamer, and just overall torment you throughout your time playing Spec Ops. You are Martin Walker, a U.S. Army Captain sent to Dubai to rescue any remaining survivors from a terrible sandstorm that took place, and any remaining soldiers from the 33rd who were supposed to evacuate the city before the sandstorm hit. Obviously things are not as they seem and you are soon thrown into a house of madness, reminiscent of Apocalypse Now, as you hunt down what is now the “Damned 33rd” and their deranged leader, John Konrad.
Designed as a third person shooter mimicking the gears of war formula; Seriously?! YES! I mean Is there a better one out there…. think about it… NO! Now that’s out of the way… let’s continue. Spec ops should feel very familiar for any GOW fan, and for those who have not played GOW it should take no time at all to get down the “roadie run” and other third person control schemes Spec Ops employs. Beyond controls, Spec Ops offers up a very mixed bag in the graphics department. Some moments will blow you away, whereas others are a bit bland. The easiest way to explain the moments of sheer awesomeness would be to just say sand. Sand is everywhere and can be used to kill, disrupt enemies viewpoint, be an overall pain in the ass to you, and look prettyyyy as it twirls, dances, and does it’s sand thing throughout your time in Dubai. Your team consists of two NPC’s who do an overall OK job killing bad guys. There are moments where they simply stand out in the open and take bullets without returning fire. Die. Then cry for help, to which you have to comply or it’s GAME OVER. Then repeat. It really is something, watching them commit computer suicide. I think it was put there on purpose to make the game that much more unrelenting to your soul.
The story is where Spec Ops succeeds in setting itself apart from other games in the same genre. The themes and actions presented during the experience will leave a lasting effect on you. There are a few key moments that are sure to leave you wondering if you should even keep playing. Trust me, keep playing! The ending to Spec Ops was amazing, and was even better after thinking about it for a few hours. It is well worth reading up on after you complete it, I assure you, it will blow your mind!
There are so many shooters today. I’m sure we can all agree it is a diluted market. Spec Ops manages to shine through the dark pile of crap, and although I wouldn’t say it is worth buying, it is most definitely worth a rental through Gamefly, or from a friend. However you can get your hands on this game for just the campaign, DO IT! Do it now! Just be warned, it could possibly leave you with nightmares, hating yourself as a desensitized gamer/person, and just beat from an intense roller coaster ride of emotions and well thought out story.
Spec Ops comes in at 8.0/10