Spec Ops: The Line Video Game Review

It’s been forever since I put up a video game review and I apologize for that. Finally, I got around to beating Spec Ops: The Line and even though it took me over a month to finally get to the end, I’m glad I stuck with it, as the ending and overall package was amazing.  Read on for the rest of the review…

Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDB is as follows: Set in modern day Dubai, massive sandstorms have buried the city. As
Capt. Martin Walker, you’re sent in to find any survivors and learn what
happened to the original rescue and evacuation team led by Lt. Colonel
John Konrad.

Spec Ops: The Line is a third person shooter taking place in the sand battered Dubai. It uses a squad based system (oddly enough the main campaign isn’t cooperative) and a cover system. The game controls fairly well, with no real hiccups in the control scheme. A dedicated button is used for telling your squad who to attack and occasionally the button will be pressed to get your teammates to stun the enemy with flash bangs.

The story is the biggest draw with Spec Ops: The Line; this isn’t your typical action hero tale. There are plenty of moments in the game where you’ll be wondering whether you are helping, or actually making things worse. You’ll have decisions that you need to make and they’ll be difficult. The game is also fairly graphic and sometimes hard to watch. I really enjoyed Spec Ops story and I thought the ending was ingenious. I won’t spoil anything, but just know by the end of the game, your main character, Capt. Walker, will be a walking shell of the man he was at the start.

The graphics at pretty damn good looking. At the start of the game, you might be put off at first, as your eyes will be molested with the colour brown. As things progress in the game and shit starts getting real, the colour palette shifts and things start getting a little more colourful. The game also has a good amount of gore, with heads popping and bodies exploding. One part of the game, where you are on the side of a tanker truck with a grenade launcher, will really show you how graphic this game can get. I also really enjoyed how your squad’s appearance changes during your progress. At first they’re all nice and clean, but by the end, you’ll bloody and beaten. It’s a nice touch, it makes it feel like one long progressive story and helps show the torment these people are being put through.

The sound department wasn’t sleeping on the job either. Guns are loud, explosions are even louder and the voice work is stellar. Nolan North (Uncharted series) lends his voice and yes, he might be a little overused nowadays, but that still doesn’t mean he didn’t do a fantastic job. I really love his shift in tone as the game goes on. At first he’s calm, cool and collective. Later on though, he’s basically gone insane and swearing left, right and center. The game also features plenty of licensed songs to help go along with the kickass instrumental music. I did however notice a few sound cutouts while playing, which brings the score down a little, mind you this is the PS3 version so I can’t say for sure if the problem is in any other version.

I unfortunately can’t stay anything on multiplayer, as I didn’t play it. There are plenty of reviews out there that will dive into that. I can always comes back and update this when I do get around to it. Also, a free update has come out for the game that incorporates some cooperative game play. That’s definitely something I will be interested in playing with my brother-in-law and when I do, I will update this review and adjust the score accordingly.

Spec Ops: The Line is a fantastic game that shows you that sometimes being a hero means making the hard choices. It’s a game that controls well, great graphics and stellar sound, but the story is the biggest draw and something that will have you thinking after the credits finish rolling. I definitely recommend picking this game up and giving it a spin. You won’t regret it.

Story – 5/5 – An amazing story with a great ending, that will make you want to play the game again. 

Gameplay – 4/5 – A bloody good time, with some great gun fights and set pieces.

Graphics – 4/5 –  At first the colour brown might throw you off, but once the game kicks into high gear, the graphics really start to shine. Plus, seeing exploding bodies is always a sure sign of a good time.

Sound – 4.5/5 – Voice acting is top notch and the music helps set the mood. 

Overall (not an average) – 4/5 – This was a beautifully, heart wrenching game that makes you think. The gameplay is smooth and the story is just amazing, but a few hiccups in sound and graphics bring it down a little.   

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Edgar Allen
Edgar Allen
11 years ago

Thanks for posting this great review, Michael! I spent a few nights playing through the game with one of my coworkers from DISH. I thought the game was great, but a little too short for me to run out and buy. So instead I rented it for my PS3 through Blockbuster @Home. I beat it pretty quickly, and after a second play through, I sent it back. If you are looking for a great technical shooter, this isn’t it. There are some issues with controls, especially when moving from cover to cover. The reason I played this game more then… Read more »

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