Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops: The Line Features for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC
Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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Tom Orry, Editor - Borderlands 2, Xbox 360

Borderlands 2 screenshot

I finally got round to playing one of the games everyone else in the office has played and loved, and I've currently got mixed feelings. Even only an hour into the game I can see the writing is excellent, the characters I've met have been funny, and the visuals are gorgeous. I'm less thrilled by what I can only describe as a claustrophobic field of view and a worrying amount of choice when it comes to weapons. I've already got about 20 of the things, and can see myself spending more time looking at stats than actually shooting things. Still, an hour isn't much to judge the game on, and I'm looking forward to spending more time with Gearbox's highly regarded title.

Neon Kelly, Video Production Editor – Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, PC

wagon -

If you've been a patron of VideoGamer.com for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a pretty big fan of The Oregon Trail – the legendary edutainment title from the 80s. Part of the fun with The Oregon Trail lies in subverting the systems to provide a more game-y experience – like spending all you money on bullets so that you can go on a kill-crazy rampage in the hunting mini-game.

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure has a similar attitude to The Oregon Trail. It manages to revere the spirit of the original game while utterly taking the piss at the same time, resulting in one of the weirdest shmups I've ever played. The action is composed of 30-second action sequences that are shuffled and dished out at random; one game might find you battling unicorns, only for the next to catapult you into space. It's all very silly, but well worth the £2 asking price.

David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - Spec Ops: The Line, Xbox 360

Spec Ops: The Line screenshot

Imagine if Street Fighter made you consider the consequences of beating up your opponent, or if Need For Speed: Most Wanted questioned the moral ambiguity of jacking a car sitting innocently on the side of the road. Spec Ops is a shooter that - once you've finished it at least - makes you consider every kill. It's undoubtedly powerful fiction - something I've seen tried, but never satisfactorily executed in other games of its type. The end is so powerful, in fact, that I've read tweets from some people claiming to have cried at the game's closing moments, and becoming depressed from the sense of guilt it forces unto the player. Yager's efforts with its storytelling here should be admired.

I've also read theories suggesting Yager intentionally sabotaged the gunplay to make the killing 'less fun'. Which must be nonsense, mustn't it? Though it may tie into the ethics explored by the game's narrative, I struggle to believe that a developer would deliberately ruin its game's core mechanic to help further the fiction. If there's any truth to it, which I'm not convinced there is, they've done a really bad job of it, too: as horrifying as it ultimately turns out to be, blasting Spec Ops' soldiers into unrecognisable chunks is actually fairly entertaining.

It takes a while for it to really get going, then - the majority of the game, in actual fact - but if you want an example of mature storytelling in video games, Spec Ops: The Line is certainly worth adding to your playlist.

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User Comments

Clockpunk's Avatar


Just three games this past week:

The ubiquitous Minecraft:Xbox 360 Edition, hunting for elusive melon seeds (:p - I know, I know... just want them to bring carrots and potatoes forward, then I have a Harvest Moon equivalent!), having stumbled across an expansive chasm/abandoned mine/stronghold combination. Truly excellent game - eagerly anticipating the forthcoming significant update!

Also working on UFC Trainer, which is a surprising amount of fun. A little annoying in the over-repition of 'encouragement', but... it offers a good variety of workouts, and responds well to motion.

The main brunt of my gaming focus, however, has been FarCry 3, which is a fun game. It has its problems, as I have bemoaned a few times on here, and could have included more variety/options, but for what it is... well... it is providing a lot of gaming and enjoyment. More than I thought it would - so take that as a recommendation it is meant to be. Until yesterday, FM was the only person on my friends list playing it as well, but a couple more appear to have picked it up, which I am pleased to see.
Posted 10:58 on 17 December 2012
dav2612's Avatar


I finished off the story missions on Driver San Fran. Very good racer this one and as ridiculous an idea as the body shifting is, they managed to pull it off.

I've given Skyrim a 2nd chance to win me over and so far it is working. I'm getting swamped in quests though, everywhere I go a new quest is added. Certainly a lot to do in this one.
Posted 09:12 on 17 December 2012
87Sarah's Avatar


Dipped back into Skyrim for a couple of hours but only really like to play it when I have a massive chunk of time to kill and that hasn't come around often this week.

The majority of my gaming has been spent on Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit which is entertaining at least. It has no storyline in the slightest though which I don't suppose you can expect from NFS but I think it would have just given me a little more reason to try and progress quickly if it had a sniff of a story involved. I've also got used to the fact that you don't have to actually be that good at realistic racing games to be good at this which is far from a realistic racing sim.
This may please the likes of my sister but it disappoints the shiz out of my boyfriend who won't stop saying how sh*te NFS is compared to GT5. :rolleyes:
Posted 19:02 on 16 December 2012
Endless's Avatar


Playing a lot of AirMech on Steam, a sort of RTS MOBA mech simulator. Simple, intuitive and compelling.

Quite a bit more Guild Wars 2 which just goes from strength to strength. The Wintersday festivities are back from the original GW with Tixx the Toymaker and all sorts of other goings on. As expected ArenaNet's holiday events are still as top tier as they always have been.
Posted 18:24 on 16 December 2012
CharleSketch's Avatar


I just got myself a Wii U last night after an afternoon of hunting. The update didn't took long, but it seems I've been having some connection issues with the Miiverse, here's to hope it'll get fixed one of these days. All that jazz aside, I've been enjoying Nintendoland and New Super Mario Bros. U; both are a lot of good fun, with Nintendoland being a fantastic multiplayer option right now.

These last couple of days I also have been playing The Walking Dead (which now that I think about it, could do well on Wii U), and I must say is one of the most engrossing games I've ever played. I just completed episode 2, and with only the beginning of episode 3, I was blown away.
Posted 18:15 on 16 December 2012
rbevanx's Avatar


Played a fair chunk of Assassin's Creed 3 Liberation and it was one of the most boring games I have played this year.
Got about half way with it and the game save become corrupted, there was no way I was gonna start again on that bore fest.

Did Medal of Honor 1 on PS3 and was alright but some parts of the game played up and I'm finishing off Dante's Inferno along with the DLC.
I also played a bit of WRC 3 and it's the best racer this year.
Posted 13:10 on 16 December 2012
FantasyMeister's Avatar


Mostly Far Cry 3 multiplayer for me. I've been gifting lots of speed boosts to everyone on my friends list (only one of whom actually plays the game) and am gradually getting to know the multiplayer maps. I'm also pleasingly efficient with an AK47.

I also caught the leaderboard bug bigtime when I discovered you can filter the leaderboards not just by Top and Friends, but also by City of Bristol so I can see how all the gamers - and there's a surprisingly large number of them playing Far Cry 3 - in my own region are doing, first time I've ever seen that done.

Also nabbed Torchlight II from Steam, which thankfully runs a lot faster and better than the Torchlight II demo. Includes 123 Achievements and it's a game that can last forever, just the way I like it. I now have a lot of games that can last forever and a serious problem trying to decide whether to concentrate on just one of them or be average at all of them.
Posted 12:08 on 16 December 2012
jeffyboy40's Avatar


Ive been playing the**** out of black ops 2 multiplayer all weekend,doulble xp baby
Also far cry 3,its a great game but i totally agree with neon that far cry 2 is the better game tonally and atmospherically.
Posted 11:52 on 16 December 2012
MJTH's Avatar


I've been downloading a lot of demo's this week in order to try to do a benchmark test for my PC. I'm mainly doing this because I was surprised to find out earlier this week that my PC can run the original Crysis and Bioshock(game that I thought were out of my hardware's league).

Other then that I've mainly been playing Trine. I want to get that done before I start trine 2 on Wii U. Having a great time playing it!
Posted 11:35 on 16 December 2012
reynoldio's Avatar


@Tom - PC! *Master Race, Master Race* and so on. Choose your own FoV :)

Bit of Radiant Defense on the phone thanks to a Neon recommendation ages back, touch of Big Sky Infinite thanks to PS+ and plenty of Need For Speed: Most Wanted on PS3 thanks to a special offer in Game, got it for £25. Love it, really good fun. Races are slick and exciting, just hooning around smashing into stuff is brilliant, top marks.
Posted 11:01 on 16 December 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 29/06/2012
Developer: YAGER
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: Third-person shooter
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 3,496 3
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