Spec Ops The Line Review(360, PS3, PC)

Posted: June 20, 2013 in Reviews
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Spec Ops The Line is a story based on three military operatives named Martin Walker, John Lugo, and Alphanso Adams, they are sent into Dubai to find survivors after a cataclysmic sandstorm, but their decisions unintentionally add to the problem. The game is based on a series of unfortunate events, very unfortunate, it’s basically a soldiers worst nightmare, nearly all your decisions will look good at first, just to lead to some terrible moments.

There are 15 chapters plus the epilogue and the tenth chapter is split into two parts, in the process of everything happening you’ll still be brought through some amazing, creepy, and colorful environments, the collapsed buildings add to the sense of terror and desperation. Among all of the amazing looking environments there are additional ways to kill the enemy soldiers, trapped sand from the sandstorm can be used to crush the enemy or to give you a way out of a building, and throwing a grenade into sand will create temporary cover. Though it all generally looks good, among the visuals lies death, sadness, destruction, and confusion brought on by the sandstorm, all of it is done well and can give a sense of what has happened. The sandstorms are not done however, during combat they will cover the battlefield, and you’ll have to fight enemies and find cover while running through them.

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The combat feels really good, the guns are decently accurate, they feel as powerful as they should, and headshots feel especially nice as they slow down time for a short while, especially if you chain them together. Most combat will be done behind cover, if you stand in the open you will not last long, the enemies are accurate even when you’re on the move and it does not take many bullets to bring your character down. If either Lugo or Adams get downed you’ll have the chance to either revive them yourself or give orders for the other member to heal them, killing off all the enemies in the section will also revive them both, but your character does not have a last stand option, he will just die. During combat you’ll also be able to give orders to have your teammate shoot a specific enemy or stun them, these orders work good and your teammates for the most part are helpful.

There are only a few weapons you’ll find throughout, a few assault rifles, very few snipers, smgs, pistols and three grenade choices, you’ll find either frag, sticky, and stun grenades, on normal difficulty or higher ammo and grenades can be scarce, but in a way it’s expected considering how basically everything is buried under sand. There are 23 intel collectibles in the fifteen mission levels, they are easy to find for the most part, but they give some reason to explore the environments, additionally they add stories and insight on what happened throughout Dubai.

Spec Ops relies on the cover system and it does a few things well, you won’t have to expose yourself all that much to throw a grenade and not at all to tag enemies, blind fire actually works really well, quite a few times I got headshots using it and it’s very useful in most situations. Another thing you’ll be able to do in cover is use the mounted machine gun turrets, standing straight up will give you better accuracy, but being able to crouch down and shoot is definitely nice when the bullets start flying. Cover is not always permanent, some will wear away as enemies shoot at it, and an RPG blast will make quick work of the make-shift cover, solid cover is non-existent at times and it will keep you moving.

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But the cover system also has quite a few problems, if you get right up against a wall while standing you can’t aim or shoot, even if it’s a waist high wall it’s just not happening, you can lean over railings to look down at the floor below, but you can’t aim straight down, you can only aim half way down. There are noticeable graphical glitches when Walker is in cover, you can see a lot of pixelation and edging problems, as well as textures not popping. At times while in cover, aiming will take you out of cover and leave you standing in the open, there is no way to notice this until you stop aiming which would normally put you back behind cover. Getting into cover can be a pain at times, some places require you to be in a certain spot, slowing down the process massively, it can get frustrating when the enemies at times seem to have 100% accuracy.

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Your other operatives are generally intelligent and useful, but at times they can be really unintelligent, they’ll run out of cover directly in front of you when you’re shooting or about to, they’ll stand in the open and complain that they are getting shot even though cover is just a few feet away. The enemies can be unintelligent too, they’ll stand out in the open and stop shooting and turn their back to the combat, yet even in a sandstorm they seem to have next to perfect accuracy and the sand does not seem to bother them at all. During the game your other operative can sneak up right next to a standing enemy and he does not even notice him, but shooting an enemy silently with more than one bullet can alert the whole floor above or below.

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Though the flaws can be frustrating at times, Spec Ops The Line still is a great game, the music throughout is great, having classic rock blasting in combat is really cool, and the story plus the voice acting are well done. The combat aspect can be fun, there are issues, and the game as expected is linear, but it still remains great. Going through and collecting the intel plus completing the game will take around 8 hours, but there are four difficulties to try. Spec Ops The Line does quite a few things well, and is great for fans of the genre, it’s an entertaining shooter and there are a few decisions that can be made differently, if you’re looking for a great shooter this could be the one for you.

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Overall Score: 8/10

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