"If you have a point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use the pile driver." Astute readers will note that as a (paraphrased) quote from Winston Churchill, and Yaeger certainly subscribe to it in this brutal, harsh, tirade against modern 'hero fantasy' gaming. In it, you will be pointed to and accused of horrendous atrocities. There will not be a 'beacon of hope' that offers an unambiguous gleam of light. This game starts grey and goes pitch black. It is about bloody time. This game can perhaps be seen as a masterful piece of introspection. The actual gameplay is so-so; anyone who's played Gears of War will be right at home, Halo and Co D fans will adapt quickly. The graphics are just about passable, though the vistas and environments will blow your mind from time to time. All this is secondary to the experience of the thing, the fact it demands you look at what your own hobby might imply, the fact it raises questions that we, in defence of our treasured media, frequently take completely for granted. It has been rightly accused of being anvilicious, crude, without mercy, railroading you into situations and then guilt tripping you for it. This is forgivable, however, when it is presented as a way to get you to shut the fuck up and actually think for five minutes. The accusations of ham-fisted and uninspired preaching are true, valid and utterly missing the point. Your actions have real consequences. That alone puts it above 90% of most shooters, and most RP Gs. Yet, these consequences are ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of things, because that's not how things actually work in a chaotic hell-hole like the one presented. Sometimes, no matter your best efforts, things go to hell. You are 'not' a hero, you can't save the world. That 'might' be the message of the game, but people seem to be divided on it once you get past the "it's a bit creepy you enjoyed killing those imaginary people, isn't it?". Look, Spec Ops: The Line has quickly become a rather large case of marmite for the gaming community. This troper, personally, adored it. I found it heart-wrenching, potent and unrelenting. Others found it simplistic, preaching and narmy. Try it, decide for yourself, because a game that aims to make you think rather than just kill a few hours deserves your attention, one way or the other.
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