When I initially played Spec Ops: The Line earlier this year at Pax East 2012, I was taken by storm at the emotional characters and narrative that was going to ensue in the catastrophic city of Dubai. I loved the thought that these soldiers would be up the creek without a paddle. Did this game live up to my expectations? Read our review to find out.
Spec Ops: The Line takes players through the journey of three squad mates Captain Martin Walker, and soldiers Adams and Lugo as they progress through dire conditions of a Sandstorm stricken Dubai to find out what has become of the damned 33rd squad. As you progress through the game, you will come across difficult and deep situations that will redefine your characters as a whole. Your characters relationships will progress as the story goes further down the line (No, Pun Intended) and the happy enthusiastic characters that you once had at the beginning of the game will disappear. Towards the end all that will be left, are three men who want to go home and are on the brink of madness from the situations that they have been put in.
In the beginning, your mission was a simple recon mission get in find survivors and radio for evacuation. This is not the case in this game, as you will have to worry about many troubles that will fall in your path. Whether it is soldiers, Dubai citizens, or sandstorms there is lots of shooting and bloodshed that will happen. The game will test your skill in shooting and being strategic all at the same time. Moral choice plays a huge part in the game and defines you and your relationships with the characters as you progress along. There will be times where you have to decide between saving civilians and letting a pivotal ally die without doing anything to stop it. This emotional rollercoaster not only affects the characters in the game, but you the player. Most people try to play games following the right or wrong path, but what if there are no clear-cut paths for you to follow, and the only paths that you know are right, are the ones with the least amount of deaths. What would you do? These questions were raised as I played the campaign in Spec Ops.
The game has a few different outcomes when you reach the end of the game. Although I will not spoil what happens at the end of the game I will say that it leaves for some interesting choices for the player. There are many outcomes for you to see and if you want to get the whole experience, replaying one of the games 15 chapters would serve you well to do so. Even though the game has the moral choices that allow for different outcomes to the story, it does not shake the fact that the game feels linear and repetitive at times. You go along a straight path and have to keep pushing forward. There are a certain amount of collectibles per chapter, however if you miss one you aren’t allowed to backtrack to pick it up and have to go through the whole level again just to find it.