Type of app: Third Person Shooter
Platform/where to buy: PC; available at Steam
Developer: Yager / 2K Games
Spec Ops: The Line is a new original title from 2K Games that features provocative and gripping Third-Person modern military Shooter gameplay designed to challenge players’ morality by putting them in the middle of unspeakable situations where unimaginable choices affecting human life must be made. Features include, a gripping, storyline reminiscent of Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness but set in a ruined Dubai, tactical squad-based Delta Force gameplay throughout a horizontally and vertically oriented world, devastating sandstorms which can be used in combat, a variety of multiplayer modes and maps, and deep support featuring two factions.
Major features: I have been playing FPS (first person shooter) games since the first one came out 20 years ago, and have seen pretty much everything good and bad the genre has to offer. At first Spec Ops: The Line seems like yet another entry in the standard shooter subgenre referred to as the ‘bro shooter’. These games offer third-player view, co-operative gameplay that allows for you and your friends (bros) to work together, cover formations, and so on.
The best games in the genre have top-notch graphics, immersive sound, responsive controls and the expected (though not beloved) checkpoint save system. All of these are present in Spec Ops: The Line. Technically it is an excellent games, and the loads are tolerable enough to never inhibit playing.
Spec Ops: The Line ticks all the boxes – but then something happens: you discover that by simply following all of the ‘rules’ and mission milestones handed to you … you have been making CHOICES. These actually impact the game itself! It is a mind-blowing moment that really makes this leap out as offering something new and better than the majority of genre games from the last few years.
Ease of use/Overall performance: Because Spec Ops: The Line follows so many genre conventions, it is easy for anyone familiar with the genre to hop right into the action. The game auto-detects and optimizes basic settings for your hardware, and works pretty well-doing that (of course, I tweaked some stuff). The intro felt a bit laggy to me, but by the time I was into the action it was performing wonderfully.
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! Despite a short game length, the replayability and quality of the experience make this very much worthwhile!
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Play time is a bit short, even for a shooter.
Here is the hands-on gameplay review: