“To see the world in a grain of sand and heavens in a wild flower” this is probably the best phrase you can relate to Spec Ops : The Line when you look at the game from a perspective, a third person shooter which was teased back in the year 2009 at VG Spike Awards, The 10th Spec Ops game in the series ventures out into the post-apocalyptic city of Dubai which is ravaged by massive sandstorms, The city falls into complete chaos and a decorated US Military Officer Colonel John Konrad (voiced by Bruce Boxleitner) Stays behind to oversee the evacuation of the city of Dubai as contact with the rest of the world was lost.
You play as a member of an elite delta force team named Martin Walker (voiced by Nolan North) which is sent to Dubai after a distress transmission was received and the situation quickly escalates. The games initial reactions were neutral and few critics were impressed with the games ability to use the environment to your advantage. The game has a lengthy 6-8 hour campaign depending on the level of difficulty and a fair competitive multiplayer making a good overall package. The game was brought into existence by Yager Games and the studio that brought the game Bioshock 2k Games. So is Spec Ops the Line a worthy shooter. Read on for an in-depth review.
The game runs on an engine which needs no introduction, it has been one of the most powerful game engines on the planet and has been used in arguably most of the Xbox 360 games and it goes by the name Unreal. An engine pioneered by EPIC games and it continues to grow and advance in many current generation game titles as well as future titles.
Spec Ops the Line is a Beautiful game to look at, the chaotic version of Dubai is rendered beautifully and the game has a very tawny colour tone. The draw distance is great and the building models are accurate and precise. Additional effects are pretty and there is every attention to detail, sandstorms affect blindness in the field of view and fast winds breaks chunks from abandoned buildings, the smoke and particle effects are top notch and it is a blast to break glass windows to draw in sand to crush your foes. Character models are also fairly detailed and facial expressions during emotive situations are good. The downside is that seeing the games long development cycle the game does have few bugs like AI soldiers sticking to walls and few texture popping issues but these flaws are minute and do not hamper the awesome visuals of the game.
On paper the game may look and feel like a simple generic third person cover and fire shooter but once you pop in the DVD and get going there is a lot more to Spec Ops the Line, firstly the story is unique along with the setting of the game, it is a great relief to see game developers shifting to more evolving and realistic game scenarios rather than sticking to the default fictitious future cold war scenarios (Example USA vs. Russia) that have often been tampered with in many games. Now the game may start off with a slow pace but later in the game the story really grips on to you. Arguably the most awesome factor of this game is its story. It is not a linear story like other shooters where you just take cover and shoot a bunch of dudes with guns and move on and repeat this process through the entire game. The game is a third person shooter with a unique steroid up its sleeve. There are many assortments of weapons available to you and also the most distinguishing factor is that the game lets you make choices and these choices impact the player as a whole, and these choices will later reflect in the game. Now this is something in that is present in other games as well but the choices you make in this game will affect the player as well and that is exactly what I felt after making a choice in the game that left me awe struck. The game also shows the grim reality of life and death and it for once made me wonder about the killing and violence in other games as well. The narrative is brilliant as you progress through the game. There is also a maniac on a radio in the game that I will leave for the players to find out for themselves. There are various choices to make and that also adds replay value for the game. Also finally the game does have a deadly and a fanatical antagonist which is a surprise and I leave it for the players to figure it out themselves. Now the only downside of the gameplay is the games cover system, the cover system is fairly responsive and you have to use two buttons for the process which is at times a tedious job as I kept hitting walls with the melee button to dash out of cover. You also have to be in an accurate position to take cover behind a wall or a barrier; unlike other games you can take cover while shooting a turret as well. Now I hope that they fix this issue in future game updates as it sometimes makes the gameplay frustrating and you have to take frequent trips to the previous checkpoints.
Spec ops the line sounds good, the guns sound deadly and the voice acting is done well especially during the narrative scenes and the dialogues are crisp and emotive. The game also has a very masculine soundtrack ranging from classic rock tunes to heavy music. The sound intensifies the overall experience and it feels cinematic when there is a change of music when a sandstorm occurs and when you are in deep cover behind enemy lines and engaged in a deadly fire fight.
The Multiplayer component of the game is an entirely different story. Seeing the multiplayer of the game, the problem is not within the game but with the competitors, every game regardless of how good it is cannot be avoided being compared to the multiplayer games like Halo, Call of Duty, Gears and so on. Spec Ops The Line does have some great ideas but they might not be enough to keep gamers around and be hooked to it.
Now Spec Ops has a class based multiplayer system and you have two main factions rivalling against each other. Just like various other games the weapons and perks and attachments and so on get accessible as you progress through the ranks in game. The learning curve is a bit steep as you have to get used to the third person perspective in multiplayer. The following factions are the main factions in the game:
The Exiles are fast movers and quick killers and they adopt a strategy of run and gun kills and they prefer to go head on rather than kill using tactics, they prefer to use crude tactics and prefer using small arms. The Exiles give you the following assists and aids:
The Damned are stealth tacticians as opposed to the Exiles, they are specialised in Stealthy kills and prefer killing silently from a distance. They comprise of rogue special ops units.
The Damned give you the following assists and aids:
Aside from the factions there are different classes that serve different purposes on the field.
The classes are unlocked as you progress in the multiplayer game you can unlock slots that you can switch for different. The different classes are as follows.
The Gunner: Your basic foot soldier, that is suited for standard kills and is equipped with an assault rifle and a sidearm.
Medic: The medic is an important class but it is not suited for every player as some players prefer run and gun rather than team work, the medic can heal and support team members. The Medic is equipped with a sub machine gun for close quarters combat. The medic heals faster than other classes.
The Scavenger: The scavenger is a heavy class as it specialises in purely combat and can withstand an explosive encounter and get up and kill everyone around. The scavenger can repair vital points faster than any class. The scavenger has extra ammunition and grenades.
The Breacher: The breacher is the answer to the scavenger class. It is associated with the exile faction and it has the ability to carry maximum explosive ammunition like 8 grenades or RPG or C4.
The breacher also has a stronger blast radius and can inflict greater damage to vital points.
The Sniper: The sniper as the name suggests is a long range interception class, you can take cover spot a target and then take the shot. Snipers are an important class as they can thin the opposition without being spotted easily and are benefitted with more accuracy. There are assortments for sniper rifles to choose from.
The Officer: The officer is an offensive based class that supports players on the battlefield and comes with aids like damage reduction to other teammates when you stand near them and offering boost in other class abilities. The distinguishing factor of the officer is that he can call supply drops to refit teams.
Now Seeing the Multiplayer modes, There are the standard multiplayer modes that exist in most first and third person shooters and few new game modes:
Team Death Match: The standard mode where you score kills and earn points in a team and the team with the highest points wins.
Rally Point (King of the hill): The players have to stay in a designated area of a map to gain points.
Last Resort: You have to capture an area and defend it from oncoming forces.
Buried Mode: The most interesting mode in the entire multiplayer component of SO. In buried mode one team has to knock out enemy vital points where as the other has to defend it kind of like Medal of Honor’s Objective raid mode. This mode is fun and challenging and this is where the different classes are utilized effectively and there is a presence of teamwork.
The Multiplayer maps are also fun and varied and I had a pretty decent time with the multiplayer component.
The multiplayer is fun but it might not be enough to satisfy or draw a large crowd. But the mode is indeed fun and can be a great time killer.
Spec Ops the Line is a blast to play and the campaign has some serious replay value for those looking to make different choices, overall the game looks and sounds great. The lengthy story is satisfying and the multiplayer is fairly good. This adaptive shooter has the potential to shoot its way to the top aside from the few bugs that are avoidable but they do hamper the gameplay sometimes. Overall the game is impressive and the campaign is lasting.
Review Powered by