Kharloth Reviews: Spec Ops: The Line

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Kharloth Reviews: Spec Ops: The Line

Post by Komrade Kharloth on Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:14 pm


Spec Ops: The Line is a linear third person, primarily single player game set in the modern-day Dubai. While the title of the game and some of trailers might lead you to believe it's just another factory stamped generic shooter where you kill totally-not-Al-Qaeda insurgents in Unspecifiedistan, but the actual game is anything but. The game relies alot on the story and an overarching mystery of what's going on and why, rather than explosions and MURIKA, FUCK YEAH! action scenes. For the background leading up to the story, the UAE has been being battered for months with the worst sandstorms in recorded human history, the Dubai government downplays the severity of the situation and begins evacuating the wealthy elite in secret, abandoning the citizens to their fate. Is response to the emergency, the US authorizes the 33rd Army Battalion, en route home from Afghanistan and led by highly decorated and PTSD suffering Col. John Konrad to begin relief efforts in the city.

However, another massive sandstorm approaches the city, and the 33rd is ordered home, Col. Konrad disobeys this order, the 33rd deserts from the military and declares martial law in the city when the storm hits. All satellite and radio communications with Dubai are crippled and the area is declared a wasteland after the weeks-long storm buries the city in sand. The last communication was the Col announcing he was attempting to lead an evacuation caravan out of the city, which never arrived at it's destination. A few days before the story, there was a radio broadcast from the supposedly dead city: "This is Col. John Konrad, United States Army, attempted evacuation of Dubai ended in complete failure, death toll: too many". Your 3-man delta force team is sent in to conduct reconnaissance in Dubai, and attempt to discover the current state of the 33rd and the civilians within the city. I won't say anymore about the plot, if you're interested, play the game bro.

Now onto the mechanics, it's a cover based third person shooter, generic but it's fairly well done, the movement controls take some getting used to (space bar sprints, left shift vaults over cover etc), but it's fairly alright. The guns in the game are effective and fun, shooting feels satisfying and rarely gets dull, there's good variety in guns and each one feels different and has it's own pros and cons. The environment itself is a weapon, there's many instances in the game where you can shoot out windows and watch your foes disappear under a mountain of sand.

The game also subverts a lot of the common themes and tropes in modern shooters, initially the Delta Force operators are the cliche stern, professional elite soldiers with cheesy and immature senses of humor, as the game progresses, they slowly lose their minds, they fight amongst each other, bicker about what to do, and go from cold professionalism to screaming, ragefueled killing machines. Another example would be an instance where you are forced to use a chemical weapon against a heavily guarded area, it uses the birds-eye view, fire missiles at white people shaped blips on the ground found in games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, except it makes you walk through the horrifying immediate aftermath, looking at all the disfigured corpses, hearing men scream in pain, forcing you to look at what you've done.

Overrall, I give it a solid rating, it's one of those games that are great, but that you rent and play through once, as the story is what drives the game. It's Apocalypse Now/Heart of Darkness meets Modern Warfare 2, with a 'destroyed beauty' setting like that of Bioshock's rapture. It sounds pretentious, but it's the best description of the game.



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Komrade Kharloth
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Re: Kharloth Reviews: Spec Ops: The Line

Post by Furburt on Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:52 pm

Sounds fun for anyone who follows modern news obsessively. As I do. I'll give it a look when I get my PC fixed.

Hopefully, it'll hit the same buttons Modern Warfare 1 hit when I played through it. Another play once game.

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