There are so many shooters on the market. Every console is so over saturated with every imaginable flavor. Everything from the Civil War to space and beyond. So what separates all of these cookie cutter shoot-em-ups, if anything. Spec-Op: The Line takes a giant leap and attempts to break its self away from the pack with a daring look into the darkness that is war and the affect on the mental psyche.
Spec-Ops: The Line take a very different approach by showing you the humanity of war. The human in this war is Captain Martin Walker. The leader of a super-elite Delta Force team who is in search of a missing soldier in an alternate (but strikingly possible) Dubai. The real thing that makes this game what it is, is the amazing and dynamic story. Very well written and harshly real. As the protagonist you are tasked with many life altering decisions that drastically alters the story for the better or the worse. Never have I been so truly disturbed with a games story as with Spec-Ops: The Line. Not that there are incredibly bloody a gruesome scenes or disgusting monsters doing hellish things. Instead, I was truly bothered with the look at what could really be going through a soldiers mind on the battle field. The scariest part being you are taken through a slow slide down into PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). You actually get to experience this onset of wartime insanity. At the same time this is what truly makes Spec-Ops such a good game.
Spec-Ops: The Line does a great job on keeping the action moving and the bullets flying. There is just the right balance of dialog and gun play to keep you interested without making you want for one or the other.
You are given the typical shooter mechanics; run, duck, a cover system, plenty of weapons, as well as squad based commands. There is nothing ground breaking here. Essentially it is a matter of stay hidden clear the room and continue. A simple wash and repeat system of missions. So what keeps you going? For me it was the story, I wanted to see that next cut-scene or series of dialog that progressed the story, set me up for that next room and series of baddies.
Controls in the game are tight for the most part. You do experience the occasional frustration of the game or camera not doing what you want but compared to many other games within the genre there are no complaints.
One major complaint about Spec-Ops: The Line is the difficulty curve. For the most part the game does not cause the gamer too much heartache. Until you get to key areas, in which you are bombarded with an insane amount of enemies making you want to pull your hair from your head. If you are going to make a difficult game that is fine, but in doing so adjust the difficulty curve. Do not send the player on a roller coaster of super easy and then insane hard. The up and down can drive you mad…..The up and down can drive you mad….did someone say that already?
Does Spec-Ops Have Co-Op?
Now lets talk about why this game is broken. Single player is an amazing experience for both the story and the tight gameplay. The multiplayer is a terrible thrown together piece of garbage. The only options you get are deathmatch and a “co-op” that is not really co-op. Deathmatch is so one sided that it is not playable. If you are lucky enough to land on the team with the better map side then you win. If not, then you will spend the majority of the match dead. As far as the co-op, stay away from this. It s frustrating that the creators of this game decided that for the late released co-op they would just serve up 4 maps let 2 players act on a team and just throw waves of enemies at them. This is not co-op so please do not call it that. The main story of the game gives you a squad… why not have other players act as the rest of the squad. Take note from Gears of War a very similar formula that was executed very well. So if someone asks if you can play co-op in this game just give the a simple answer of no and move on. You will be much happier with keeping to the single player campaign.
Spec-Ops has some fairly decent voice acting. There isn’t much more to add from there. It is listenable and really helps bring everything together. It does not have the big budget that games like Sleeping Dog has with their Hollywood roster, but it does well with what it has.
The important thing to note in the ear category is the music. Spec-Ops does a killer job of creating an intense situation with subtle audio nuances. Going from a slow patrol to the fright of impending doom are achieved with so many amazing audio elements. On top of ambiance the music in Spec-Ops is very appropriate and very well scored. Nothing really to hate here.
Spec-Ops: The Line is a very good game. The game play is good, the audio is good, but the story is amazing. Be warned this game is disturbing and deals with a lot of very human situations, but it can be a fact of life. There is war, it can drive you mad, and this captures a snap-shot of that reality in a fictional tale.