You know that you’re playing a good game when you have the option of mowing down an entire settlement of refugees in Dubai. I’m not saying you have to make that decision, I’m simply pointing out that you’re playing a game that has some serious balls. Spec Ops: The Line is one of those games. Its campaign is hands-down more challenging (in a good/bad way) and engulfing (in a good way) than anything you’ve seen from a military shooter in a very long time. So lock, load, and double check your ammo because that’s one commodity you don’t want to be caught without.
You’re Captain Martin Walker, sent to the city of Dubai which was hit by a devastating sandstorm that completely engulfed the entire city. It’s your job to run recon on the city, search for the missing 33rd Battalion, and radio in for extract. That would make for an extremely boring game, so thankfully sh*t hits the fan. I don’t want to ruin any surprises for you but let’s just say that not all’s well within the American Army or Martin Walker.
The nature of a destroyed city and the barricades set-up by the 33rd Battalion both lend themselves very well to an over-the-shoulder, take cover-type shooter. You can choose to either pop up and shoot or blind-fire but I seriously suggest conserving as much ammunition as you can. Things get a little tight in the “bullets department.” One way around that is to outsource your shooting to your two Delta Force teammates. Another way is to use the Unreal Engine to your advantage. Why try to shoot at your enemies under cover when you can easily drop a glass window on their head? All that obscene opulence in Dubai has to be good for something.
The only real downside is that taking cover (an integral part of the game) isn’t as fluid as it could be. Make no mistake that the campaign is extremely challenging, so those 5/100 times that the “sprint/cover button” doesn’t work will seriously screw you up. The nice thing is that if you fail on a particular checkpoint as much as I did, the game suggests that you make it a little easier. Thanks for reminding me of my shortcomings, 2K.
The Unreal Engine is good. Really good. I played on an Xbox 360 and didn’t have any issues with glitches, framerates, or clipping. Did that dig into my load times a little bit? Possibly, but that’s just incentive not to die as much as I did.
It’s awesome. I recognize the importance of multiplayer to a game’s replay value [we were unable to review that because we had a copy before the game went public] but I’m a somewhat old-school gamer… Playing a game’s campaign should be the first thing that a gamer does when buying something like Spec Ops. As bloggers and overall nerds, here at COED we see a bunch of games come through our office. I can say with absolute certainty that I’ll be holding onto this one for a long time just so that I can play through the various story trees that you come across. The Good: Excellent campaign, good graphics, stands out from a crowd. The Bad: Somewhat “quirky” cover system, makes me feel like horrible person for my decisions I make in-game.