Spec Ops: The Line

Posted On: 7/3/2012  Publisher: 2K Games

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2K Games has created a little buzz about their new third person shooter Spec Ops: The Line over the last few months. We were told you would have to make moral decisions and the game would be very unique in a lot of aspects. After sitting down and playing through the campaign alone I have to say that this is definitely a game worth playing and the hype 2K Games was making for it was well warranted. The storyline alone was phenomenal with all of the twists and turns throughout and then culminating with one of the best endings I have ever seen in a game. You should really look into this game if you havenít already. Let talk about why.

Graphically the game looks great and I have to say that the dust storms that roll through from time to time really are a nice effect. The character models are good and the rag doll physics are pretty realistic especially when you take out a sniper high upon a ledge and he falls after taking your bullet. Overall the environments really give you the sense that you really are deep in the heart of the desert with nothing but sand around you. The explosions that take place when shooting propane tanks or anything of the sort could have been a little more detailed as they tend to look like little firework explosions. But the full scale of the game visually is pretty darn good in my book.

 
 

The sound and dialogue in the game definitely is top notch. Each and every character you came across in the game as well as the main characters themselves really portrayed emotion and drew you into the story just a little more. Nearing the end of the game you could see the toll that this mission took on Delta team and you could definitely hear it in their voices as well. I was thoroughly impressed with the sounds during the campaign and the music selections that played throughout were pretty good as well. Almost gave me the sense of an old war movie like Apocalypse Now.

In this game you get a campaign mode consisting of a few hours of great storyline. There is also an online multiplayer mode that for the most part is similar to most third person shooters out there. There are some subtle differences in game modes but for the most part its shoot or be shot and complete or defend objectives. One of the most interesting features in the game is definitely the use of the environment. Youíll shoot out walls, windows and ceilings dropping sand onto your enemies which I think is really cool. This is done in both multiplayer and single player which I think is awesome. Youíll also encounter sandstorms in both single and multiplayer modes which look really cool and effect the way the game plays.

Iíll talk a little more about the multiplayer in a bit but I wanted to touch on what I thought was a great single player campaign. The campaign is a compilation of plot twists and turns that you rarely see coming. The ending itself is one of the best I have ever seen and is made up of choices just like many of the situations you will run across during the story. You see this game consists of many moments when you have to make decisions that could change outcomes of the events ahead. Do you kill this person or let them live? Things of that nature will arise and it will be up to you to decide on fates.

 
 

Itís an interesting concept and one that I would love to see developed even more so. Sure, the Mass Effect series displayed this through 3 titles and it was cool but I really enjoyed seeing the immediate outcomes of your actions. I think this concept of an ever changing game is something that all developers should consider implementing. It not only adds replay value but really can tug at the morals and heart strings of the gamer. Youíll also develop even more emotional ties to your characters through this style of gameplay. As I stated, by the end of this game youíll have tied in emotionally to each one of the 3 Delta Team members. Youíll also develop a personal attachment to the other main NPCís you come across through the story.

The controls are pretty straight forward in this game. Pretty much any experienced FPS player will be able to pick up this game and feel right at home. You can use different attachments with a press of the D-Pad and most weapons do have a secondary attachment available whether itís a scope or a grenade launcher. There were instances when you will make headshots and for a split second time will slow down but itís not a slowdown that really allows for you to take out large groups. You can command your teammates to attack certain targets such as the big heavily armored soldiers that will take some firepower to put down.

The multiplayer options in the game are pretty close to what you would expect in any shooter. Youíll gain XP for accomplishments in matches that will level your character up granting you access to new weapons, attachments, perks, titles and more. There is a bit of XP and customization of your perks, character skins, etc. You select things from preset items and youíll be able to mix and match a little giving each class and faction a different look and feel.

 
 

The online play was pretty smooth for the most part and the only thing that really got to me were the long periods of time between matches. When you enter a lobby there is a countdown timer for voting on the next map. I believe the time starts at 180 seconds and counts down to zero. Then you have 30 more seconds to wait for the match to start. Sure this gives you plenty of time to set up your load outs, but if you donít customize anything then it just seems like a lot of wasted time sitting around. Once in the game itís a lot of fun in my opinion and itís a blast using zip lines and burying your opponents in sand avalanches. There are also a wide variety of map styles and a few different game modes. Some of the game modes will have to be unlocked by leveling up which I think is pretty cool and adds replay value along with everything else that is unlockable in the game.

My final impressions of Spec Ops: The Line are actually very good overall. There really was not much to complain about in the form of technical issues other than one instant where I had to restart a checkpoint because the game would not allow me to advance any further. This was during the Riggs portion of the game. The online waiting periods could be done away with I believe and a ready button could be put in its place to speed things up. Those really are my only complaints. Overall, the game is a lot of fun and reminds me of many different games I have played in the past whether its Gears of War or Call of Duty. It takes from a lot what those types of games did right and puts everything into its own package. The storyline is what sold me on the game the most. I was compelled to play the whole way through the campaign in one sitting because the story kept changing from what I thought was going on. It definitely did not end the way I expected which is what makes this game so unique to anything else out there. You should check out the demo online if you have any doubts about this game, but if you like shooters then I have to say you should pick this one up. I'll definitely replay this one in single player just to decide whether or not to cross the line in places that maybe I took the more political route. Easily the best shooter I have played this year. Check it out today.

 
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