Publisher 2K Games and developer Yager Development bring us a third person cover based action shooter Spec-Ops: The Line. Spec Ops is set in the ruins of Dubai and task you to manoeuvre your team through constant sandstorms, crumbling buildings, harsh deserts and streets that have been battered by the intense sandstorms.
Spec Ops: The Line takes place 6 months after a catastrophic sandstorm destroys Dubai, leaving it in ruins; most of the residents managed to evacuate however some never made it and died under the sand. You take control of Captain Martin Walker, who is accompanied by, Lieutenant Adams and Sergeant Lugo from delta force Bravo Company.
You are sent in Dubai after you receive a distress call from US Army Colonel John Konrad from the 33rd regiment. The brace team decided to stay to help evacuate the city and were thought to of been killed by the disaster.
Your primary mission was to go into Dubai rescue any survivors and get out, however it’s not as easy as you would expect, as you will find out right from the get go. The first section of the game sees you traversing through the silent desert, weaving between cars and dead bodies. Soon the silence is broken as you get shot at by what seem to be a group of rebels, pirates or even terrorist, who knows, just get your gun out and blow them away. You will soon find out that you are against rogue American soldiers, the damn CIA and what we thought from the get go militants from Dubai.
Killing the rogue Americans soldiers hits the men hard especially Walker as he is always regretting his actions after killing a soldier, this leads to arguments between him and his team mates and really makes for a good story line. The choices you make with in the game effectively build up to a very interesting ending.
Gameplay in Spec Ops: The Line is a cover based all action shooter, think of Ghost Recon without all the tactics; instead you just go in and blast the living hell out of everything. The control system is easy to pick up and learn however there is one downside to the cover and sprint system used; it does not always work perfectly and can sometimes end up with the enemy handing your arse to you on a plate.
I played the game on normal mode and what I found is that your character cannot take a great deal of damage and so dies very easily. Based on this I then thought I would test a harder mode and I found it to be HELL, only a few shots and I was dead for me that equalled screw this, quit and back to normal mode again. Another thing I found is that the games AI were very intelligent in comparison to other games. So be warned you’re not combating the same old dumb shits you are used to, these guys have brains or just really good coding.
If an enemy is armed with a shotgun or a small weapon like a pistol, then expect them to charge right at you, ok this may not be the greatest of choices to do; however this could also just be a terrorist tactic. I think someone might have to stop reading the ‘Dummies Guide to being a Terrorist’. If the enemy is using a long range weapon like a sniper rifle or an assault rifle then they will duck for cover and try to take you out from a distance, keep your eyes peeled for these guys. I also liked it when I couldn’t be bothered to shoot the enemy myself I could ask my two squad member to do it for me, by giving them commands. You will find the squad command very handy in the later stages of the game.
The combat within Spec Ops: The Line never gets boring, with different weapons to pick up and use, and all different types of enemies to blow away and finally different terrains to explore. Only thing I would have loved to of seen would be some high speed dune buggy missions with a big sodden weapon attached to it to add an additional enticement to the game.
The further you go into the game the harder it gets as the enemies will come at you with body armour making them harder to kill; this means that swapping weapons is essential, the downside to this is that your character can only carry two in total and ammunition is very scarce. In most areas you can use the environment to your advantage, for example blasting windows filled with sand can take down all enemies in its way, or is you find a mounted machine gun and plough down the enemies.
The overall graphics from the sand covers streets of Dubai to the sun glaring through the windows or off the sand is fantastic, even the character animation and designs are perfect. As you progress through the game your character and squad members will become bruised and battered, this is truly an awesome touch and I cannot recall seeing this in any other game. One thing that always does my head in can be loading times but based on the mind blowing spec of my Alienware M17x R3 top spec laptop, loading are around 10 seconds max.
The sound effects are perfect, with Walker being voiced by the actor Nolan North, and the awesome radio guy that talks a load of shit on the radio on behalf of the rogue soldiers. The sound track for Spec Ops: The line is pure rock music, so expect that gouging out your ears during every fight sequence. Overall the sound and graphics is top notch with no issues on my end and the music is perfect for the sort of game Spec Ops is.
Spec Ops: The Line tells you a story of the darker side of warfare, from your choices that see people getting killed in front of you, to the emotion battle with yourself and your squad. The war torn streets of Dubai is riddled with dead bodies, from people ripped to shreds from the sandstorm and still in their cars or against walls and building or seeing bodies hanging from street lights across Dubai. The whole of Dubai is totally destroyed, I wonder though am I really the hero here killing all these Americans or am I the villain only time will tell when I play through the game again.
Overall Spec Ops: The Line has around 6hrs of storytelling which is very impressive and engaging. Graphics and sound are perfect and fit the game well, the hard choices you have to make show you the darker side of war as well. This is a game I would recommend to any shooter fan, with its only issue would be the sprint and cover system not always working.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.
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Spec ops:The Line Review,