Spec Ops: The Line is a video game created by Yager Development and published by 2K Games. The Line is primarily a third-person shooter with emphasis on squad-based tactics.
You control Captain Martin Walker who is accompanied by a Delta Force Bravo team that is sent in to the sandstorm-ravaged city of Dubai to investigate a distress signal sent by the lost Colonel John Konrad. What was suppose to be a simple recon mission quickly morphs into a rescue and fight to stay alive scenario. Dubai is taken over by a lunatic and the situation of the city itself has quickly turned into the refugee’s worst nightmare.
The game tries to put players in the most severe situations possible, attempting to put their morals to the test. However, with no real right or wrong answer and the game showing no consquences based on those actions, it removes any sense of emotion that is suppose to be tied to the situation. I can totally see what the development team is trying to do and the situation they are trying to put the player in, but the delivery method does nothing for me. Narratively, they strive to put you outside of your comfort zone, which leads to some really interesting moments/situations, but then you are all too often let down and confused by the absolutely terrible execution, not to mention situations in which you would love to have the choice, reality quickly sets in that you are forced in one direction.
Outside of the story, the gameplay suffers from mediocracy as well. Almost every scenario is repeated by one that was previously encountered. Basically you take cover, jump out of cover shoot a bunch of bad guys, advance to more cover….to shoot more enemies….to be followed up with moving to even more cover. The cover system was implemented with a lack luster effort. When you make an attempt to sprint up to a barrier then vault over and continue moving, all to often you are left meleeing the barrier and standing straight up in the line of fire. Fluid movement and Spec Ops: The Line should never be used in the same sentence. The normal movement mechanics, not even considering the “acrobatic” stuff feels stiff and sluggish. Reticle movement to the target is cumbersome and definitely not on par with even mediocre games in the same genre.
Multiplayer has some fun moments, the environements are well constructed. You can tactically take enemies out using sand avalanches which can be activated by shooting weak points in the structure’s walls. Ziplines are strategically placed around the environment to help the player move from one part of the map to the other, leaving you as a vulnerable target should you decide to use them. The game allows for different loadouts/classes, which each will have a unique ability to bring to the battlefield, but beyond that there is no real difference in which you choose.
The same movement frustrations that you experience in singleplayer exist in multiplayer as well (melee cover, sluggish reticle movement…etc.). With all that said, to be honest – there just is nothing that makes me want to keep playing this game. The game offers nothing new or innovative to my gaming experience. If you are a competitive gamer, I will be very surprised if you play this game beyond the singleplayer and a few level progressions of multiplayer.
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