Spec Ops: The Line joins an increasingly crowded
third-person shooter genre, following hard on the footsteps
of the very good Ghost Recon Future Soldier.
Spec Ops: The Line
From: 2K Games
For: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Four and a half stars (out of five)
Spec Ops, however, stands out in many ways, creating
an experience you won't soon forget.
Set in Dubai six months after a devastating sandstorm has
buried the city, Delta Squad is sent in to investigate
strange radio messages being broadcast from the city.
The buried city provides a dynamic and unique setting, and as
you get further into the game some of the environments are
As with any other third-person shooter released these days,
it has a snap to cover system as well as quick controls to
identify priority targets for your squad to eliminate. These
controls work really well most of the time, although
occasionally your squad will just continually fire at a wall
the enemy is hiding behind or walk into the open and get
killed, which can be frustrating when combined with the
difficulty level of the game.
I made the foolish choice of starting on the hardest
difficulty, and the game proved very challenging at times. Any
time a Heavy soldier appears (the Spec Ops
a Juggernauts from Call of Duty
), prepare to be looking
at the (rather long) loading screen as you reload the
The best part of this game is the story.
At the start of the game, it appears to be a generic shooter
as you plough through wave after wave of enemy, but getting
past that and into the murky depths of the story is worth it.
Finding out about the horrors inside the city will drive you
to keep playing. There are some genuinely memorable and
shocking moments you will come across. I won't spoil any, but
there are several moments I can't say I've ever seen in a
game of this type before.
Spec Ops appears to be a regular game on the surface
but it goes into some very dark material.
The focus on the human element of war and the human
casualties of war, natural disasters and their aftermath is
unique and brilliant.
The story really sucks you in and encourages you to persevere
as you battle through the somewhat constant dying and
Another thing that sets Spec Ops
apart from its
direct competitors in the genre is the whole experience is
One chapter flows into another, often with big set-piece
scenes, and there's no loading screens (other than when you
die), which is in direct contrast to a game such as Future
Soldier, where each mission is a self-contained episode.
This is really one of those games where you start it up and
next thing you know its midnight.
Spec Ops really surprised me. I went into it expecting
more of the same, and was blown away.
While it's by no means a perfect game, I can't recommend it
Those looking for thought-provoking and unique storytelling
should absolutely give this game a go.
- Simon Bishop.