Published: June 2012, North America
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Yager Development (single player), Darkside Game Studios (multiplayer)
8/10 – Unique narrative, setting, and refreshing commentary within a very functional cover-based shooter.
Spec Ops: The Line is not long, which ended up working in its favor; I was able to blast through it primarily for the intriguing story and enjoy the romp. The shorter length also prevents Dubai from becoming stale; you’ll encounter plenty of the opulence Dubai is known for juxtaposed with the effects of devastating sandstorms and violence. I played through the game on Normal difficulty (guessing 8-10 hours) and it was challenging enough to be entertaining without being frustrating – a couple difficulty spikes near the end being the exception. Multiple endings can be experienced by simply replaying the last (brief) chapter, but if I didn’t have a massive library of other games waiting for me to play, I’d probably replay through the game entirely to gain a better appreciation for it.
Note: I did not play the multiplayer component, so I’m only commenting on the campaign. I’ll add impressions here if that changes.
If you’re looking for a mindless shooter with a long campaign, look elsewhere. Otherwise, Spec Ops: The Line is really refreshing.
If you’re a lover of strong, thought-provoking stories in your games, stop watching this video and go play this right now. Don’t download the demo, don’t read reviews that compare it to the current generation of military shooters. This is the most unique shooter that I have personally ever experienced and can only be appreciated in full.