(Note: it's been a while since I've played this game. This review may in for revisions. Also? SPOILERS!) It's rare to find a game as unusual as Spec Ops: The Line. A military themed third-person-shooter, with Gears of War style gunplay (sans roll dodge and general fun) and white-bread protagonist, but with a strong emphasis on story and characters? Color me intrigued! If there's one thing Spec Ops does well, it's taking a tried and true formula and turning it into something shocking and memorable. Unfortunately, I must take issue with the game, as it is hands down one of the most blunt, hamfisted, cliched, pieces of pearly putrefied pretentious wank I've played in years. Most of my ire is directed at the game's attempt at deconstructing the Modern War Shooter, taking an element of the genre and flipping it on it's head: American soldiers? They're the bad guys! Middle Eastern dudes? They're the good(ish) guys! American Hero sent to sort this shit out? Go crazy and possibly die after driving your friends into depression by your dogged persistence in pursuit of a goal that only makes sense to you! That could have gone well, but unfortunately the theme of the piece really seems to be "players are dicks". Often times that game comes short of breaking the forth wall in admonishing the player for the many acts of brutal violence you are FORCED to commit. This is undermined by the game reveling in bloodshed to a level that would impress Mortal Kombat. When the game shows you the fifty civilians you accidentally dropped a butt-ton of Wiley Pete on, it zooms in real close and focuses on a mother and daughter melted together by the intense heat. The gratuitous nature of that scene provoked less My God What Have I Done, and more the feelings of a small boy poking roadkill with a stick. It takes incredible hubris to shame a player for indulging in violence, when your game features exploding heads, Ludicrous Gibs, and the ability to pound downed enemies into meat paste. Combine this with plot holes, moral choices that mean exactly dick, and twists that make the story make lose much of it's weight, and you've got a story heavy game that gets an A for effort, but a C in execution.
In order to post comments, you need to