And I wasn\'t expecting to say that. Spec Ops: The Line is a third-person shooter that deconstructs many of the tropes found in modern shooters. Every review of the game focusses primarily on the narrative, partly because of its uniqueness, and partly because the gameplay is unremarkable at best, and shite at worst. In order to stand out from the Call of Duty and Medal of Honor games out there, Spec Ops is a game where you fight endless waves of repetitive enemies by crouching against chest-high walls and waiting for your health to regenerate before peeping out to shoot the 1,856th soldier to attack you this hour. This game has 15 chapters, but if you check the YMMV page, there are 10 That One Level entries. But what matters is the story. Vicious sandstorms have buffeted Dubai, and after a failed evacuation, Captain Walker and his team are sent in to investigate before inevitably getting caught up in a series of situations in which they have to shoot everything, and surprisingly, this doesn\'t help. It\'s... not bad? It\'s interesting to have a game like this where you actively make things worse. But it\'s far from perfect. Between the Damned 33rd Infantry, insurgents, and the CIA, everyone seems content to just hang around and shoot people. Except for one Signature Scene, I never felt like I was making things worse, just that I was hurrying the rate at which they were already getting worse. There\'s a fight between the 33rd and the CIA, where the 33rd are executing civilians as a form of interrogation, but the CIA are planning to kill civilians, and... okay, so everyone is shit. I don\'t feel like the bad guy when everyone else is just as bad. When I say the game isn\'t pretentious enough, I mean it should\'ve picked story or gameplay and stuck with one; it\'s still very pretentious. The devs were trying to draw parallels between Walker and the player, as both push onwards, hoping for a happy ending, but keep making things worse. Look, I\'m sorry to Spec Ops and Metal Gear Solid 2, but I have never known a game to tell players they should\'ve stopped playing in a way that didn\'t come across as smug and masturbatory. Because it\'s so obviously fake. The devs didn\'t want you to stop playing; they wanted you to keep playing so that the game could tell you that you should\'ve stopped playing so that you could act like your mind was blown. I hear there was some tension behind the scenes between the writers and the designers, but while that certainly explains why parts of the game suck, they don\'t justify it. I was reading that the purpose of the game was to make you think more deeply about what it meant to take a life, and then I got an achievement for getting a certain number of kills with the sniper rifle. I\'ll take a unique and original story that doesn\'t work over a tried and tested one that does, but even Hideo Kojima would look at this and think \"Wow, up your own ass much?\"
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