Spec Ops: The Line Review
Spec Ops: The Line Manages To Stand Proud As One Of The Better Third Person Shooters To Hit Stores This Year.
Spec Ops: The Line is one of the latest Third Person Shooters to hit the current market. Some would say there are far too many generic shooters flooding the stores, which can't be a good thing for hardcore gamers, but does Spec Ops: The Line have enough to make it stand out amongst the crowd; or is this yet another shooter that should just be left in the sand?
The game follows the story of a trio of American soldiers sent to Dubai to respond to an emergency distress beacon activated by a long lost friend. As you get there Dubai is in flames as sand storms and constant fighting has left this city smouldering. Along the way you are ambushed by terrorists and other bad guys who without explanation want to rip you guys new ones.
You and two others travel alone in hope to rescue the distressed soldiers, but along the path the game is riddled with events and twists which shape the story of Spec Ops into an enjoyable one. Which is rare for today's shooter market. The story is delivered to you throughout various cut scenes as well as a dominant narration from the lead character. The plot is strong and has some key elements that either encourage or discourage the player for all the good reasons. What we mean by this is the player is forced to make difficult decisions which tinker with the lines of morality. This is a game in which you can be good or evil, and if you take the evil option, you feel damn guilty about it!
The game play of Spec Ops follows in line (hah get it? In Line? oh never mind.) with most other third person shooters. You have a snap to cover based action system in which your character will hug random objects or structures for cover and from there you can either hip fire, aim down your scope or just general spray and pray which I found most useful. You have various other weapons ranging from sniper rifles, shotguns and grenades, although ammo is desperately scarce throughout the game. It is for this reason that you will find yourself constantly swapping weapons with fallen enemies in order to survive.
As you progress through the game you also have other weird and wonderful ways of eliminating the enemy, for example: If you find a crowd of terrorists chilling in the desert sun, then simply dismiss them by shooting out the windows above causing sand to engulf the buildings causing instant death. This is cool and all but this opportunity only presents itself at key parts of the game and is something which you can never really rely on. You can also command your team mates to follow out certain orders for example, kill orders. These orders will instruct your men to take out certain enemies that you tag up, It works well but it's pretty useless, as I found it was easier just to simply do it myself a lot of the time.
The visuals of Spec Ops are rich and have a lot of depth, especially when it comes to character designs. Models and texturing look great and I had no issues with any graphical glitches throughout the game. The game has a very dry warm feel to everything, especially with most action sequences having a red sheen over them. It is not distracting and does definitely add something to the 'desperate' look of the game. Audio is a little lacking in certain areas which is a shame because simple changes could have saved it. In certain areas the ambient tracks are just too dry or simply not exciting enough. The weapon sounds and effects sound excellent with a very realistic feel to them, especially when using surround sound.
The multiplayer has few modes which may seem appealing to the competitive hardcore gamer but it can be a little lacking at times. You can play up to eight player death matches but this isn't as exciting as it sounds in practicality. In Buried Mode you have to attack the enemy HQ while defending your own base. Yes, it's very stressful but during the stress and chaos you actually feel quite engrossed. Maybe the multiplayer isn't as in depth as we had hoped but with such a thriving single player campaign we can't complain about this.
Spec Ops: The Line manages to stand proud as one of the better Third Person Shooters to hit stores this year. With the reliable game play experience and fantastic single player story we have no issues with the overall package. Maybe multiplayer could use a rehash but this is definitely a purchase which won't make you feel robbed.
Padraig Balch is the Editor-In-Chief of Chaos Hour. This rare-tech type editor can be found in the long grass of Damacia or Tamriel.
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