Spec Ops: The Line

[Review] Fast paced third person action with a story made of lead!
The Details
  • Title: Spec Ops: The Line
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Yager
  • Publisher: 2K Games
  • Released: 29 June, 2012
  • Platforms: PC XBox 360 PS3
  • Reviewed On: PC

Spec Ops: The Line plays like any other shooter. There’s guns and there are guys to shoot those guns at. But it’s not like any other shooter that I’ve played. It made me feel things. I felt guilty, angry, sad and disturbed whilst playing this game, something that not many games can achieve with me, especially after a lifetime of gaming.

So what is Spec Ops? It’s a story driven, linear, 3rd Person Shooter based in a sandstorm destroyed Dubai. Yeah, I know, that doesn’t exactly sound like something exciting or remotely unique, but trust me, this game is something brilliant. I’ll try my best not to spoil any of the special moments that the game has along the way.


The sights are stunning, to start with…

It starts just like any other shooter, you’re the gun totting American sent to single-handedly resolve a countries problems; in this case, Dubai’s natural disaster. You and your 2 comrades have to make contact with some other American troops who were providing aid to the country and organizing an evacuation. Upon first contact though, you realise things aren’t quite right and things escalate quickly. The story picks up and runs at this point and as it began to unfold I couldn’t help but compare it to Apocalypse Now. It’s structure in such a way that you want to progress to the next point, it even tosses you choices along the way (though none of them are ‘real’ choices). I really don’t feel I can expand on the story without giving spoilers, so just trust me, it’s brilliant.


See, I told you it escalated quickly…

The gunplay is solid through out, with all the weapons giving satisfying sound effects and quite a large amount of recoil for this type of game. You’ll be switching guns plenty as you run out of ammo and have to improvise with what ever is nearby. It makes for some interesting situations, such as close quarters grenade launcher combat, messy. The gore really sets it aside from the other modern shooters who shy away from the grim reality of warfare. Spec Ops shows a large amount of gore without coming across as it being a gimmick such as Sniper Elite or Brothers in Arms. In fact, it can be slightly disturbing when a fire-fight ends and whilst moving on to the next objective you come across a wounded enemy, gasping for his last breaths and wreathing in agony on the floor. It’s sick, but real, that’s what happens, so why hide it behind cartoon blood splatter and glorified slow motion effects? I have to respect the devs for this decision.

He's lost his head.

He’s lost his head…

Level design is very linear, which in no way detracts from the final product, it is simply this way because of the story that is driving it. Spec Ops uses the standard ‘run and cover’ system that nearly all games use today, and so the levels are scattered with conveniently placed, waist height obstacles for you to hide behind. Some cover can be destroyed, which does make for some exciting fire-fights, but other than that, it’s a pretty standard affair. But again, none of this is the reason this game is so good, it’s simply a way for a story to be, and that there, the story, is the sole purpose of this game.


Welcome to hell.

Basically, the entire game is solely about the story and the other parts are just a way of giving us that story. Nothing gameplay-wise is unique, new or revolutionary, but the story, the way it’s told and the way it makes you feel, certainly is unique. It’s a mature game, for a mature audience, for those of us crying out for something more than “and the good guy saved the day, the end”. It’s excellent and every person out there looking for something truly different should have a look at it. It’s a great experience, sometimes disturbing and sometimes makes you question and regret the actions you’ve taken, often I reloaded to try to change my actions, only to discover that there was no other way, it forced my down that guilt ridden path.

And with all that said, I give Spec Ops: The Line the CoupesCorner Editors Choice Award, for being something different, engaging and surprising, whilst doing absolutely nothing different from a gameplay point.


 HD Gallery

  • Interesting and gripping story that propels you further into the game.
  • Memorable moments that impact on an emotional level.
  • Brilliant gun-play that feels satisfying.
  • Not just another run and gun game.
  • I want more...
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Web Master at CoupesCorner
Nathan is lumbered with all the technical stuff behind CoupesCorner. If stuff breaks, it's always someone else's fault, but he'll fix it, because he's a pretty awesome guy.

Nathan loves tactical shooters, RPG's and Bro-Ops games. Some all-time favourites of his are Black and White 2, Postal 2, the Rainbow Six series and Pokemon. He also loves playing guitar and fishing with his dad, when Lozzy isn't busy making him do stuff...
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