Spec Ops: The Line Revisited
Spec Ops: The Line was certainly a traumatic experience and one of the few third person shooter narratives that will always stand out as being truly thought provoking. I never felt this one got as much support as it should have considering how dark and yet spot on with the commentary towards shooters it was. While other games glorify certain actions or adrenaline thrilled battle sequences this one makes every decision count. To a degree there are direct choices and these completely change how the narrative progresses. It's all a depressing mess no matter how you go through it, but I'll try my best to not spoil any aspects as its well worth discovering for one's self.
Spec Ops: The Line released in summer 2012 on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The game was later available on Xbox One through Xbox Backwards Compatibility. It's surprisingly a part of an older shooter series titled "Spec Ops" being the tenth title in that franchise as well as a sort of reboot for it. I suppose it didn't work considering more haven't been made, but you never know. The game was developed by Yager Development and published by 2K Games. For a fun fact, I was actually part of a small group that helped test the multiplayer out, I was quite young then so it was interesting to help out I suppose. I assume there's still a NDA attached to that so I won't mention any details, just thought it was worth a note.
In the campaign players take on the role of Captain Martin Walker, an individual that's been sent in with a squad to take a look at the ruins of Dubai. There's been a horrible series of sand storms that have wrecked havoc on the area for a long time causing some intense issues. Together the team discovers the horrors of what's happened here as they battle a number of tormenting forces. Things aren't always as they seem however with some devastating choices that directly alter the course of events at the location. You're occasionally given a direct choice and these aspects play out over the game. It's somewhat hard to describe the story without going into spoiler territory though I will mention the use of white phosphorus depicts one of the most intense scenes I've seen in a shooter.
I loved how this game aimed to do something new and paint a picture that wasn't entirely heroic as war rarely is. The multiplayer component of Spec Ops: The Line was alright yet I don't believe it ever really succeeded. There were so many other shooters at that time and I don't recall it having too much of a lifespan. It was somewhat fun to play with a mix of modes and the setting did capture the experience of the campaign fairly well. In general the gameplay within the entire game was fine being a mix of challenging yet typical in regards to the third person cover system. It holds up fairly well considering the age and that might be due to the mix of a gritty colorful palette instead of the similar environments shooters had at the time.
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