Spec Ops: The Line Preview


It’s not easy to raise an eyebrow in the middle of the madness of E3 if it is just another Third Person Shooter plunged into a military conflict “modern”. However, Spec Ops: The Line was able to turn some heads with an original field of battle, a bold approach to the genre and a pretty nice engine.

It is a brand new license made in 2K Games. Remember this name, Spec Ops: The Line, as it may surprise you many times. This game is an action game putting you in the shoes of a chief of military troop mission in the heart of Dubai. Only here, this is not the same Dubai that we have now. Here, the entire city is buried and only the buildings keep their heads high. You will need to clear a path through the rubble while attention not to get spotted by your enemies.

The Game:

The German company THQ Yager and lead us to a near future where something is happening in the ever-famous Dubai. After a sand storm, the city is in chaos, and factions are vying for control in a war in the streets of what was once a paradise. We will be a special operations team with a mission to rescue a U.S. Army colonel with whom they lost contact after the storm, and our team is constantly in enemy territory. The factions fight among themselves for some reason and have an ambition to gain control of the city, but no hair likes the Americans, so our team is alone, desperate, held in a completely hostile city.

Spec Ops: The Line unfolds within the destroyed opulence of Dubai. Once the playground for the world’s wealthiest elite, Dubai has fallen victim to a series of cataclysmic sandstorms. The city’s ultramodern architecture lies half-buried under millions of tons of sand. The very sand that blankets the city plays a marquee role in altering combat situations and serves as a powerful but unpredictable force that will both help and hinder players throughout the course of the game.

While most people have fled the now-barren wasteland before the sandstorms swept through, U.S. Army Colonel John Konrad and his loyal squad remained behind to protect those incapable of escape. Unable to reach anyone in Dubai after the storm hit, the U.S. Army feared Konrad and his team dead until they picked up a weak distress signal and launched a rescue operation.

This is the calling card of an action game in the third person so far had not shown much, and after a half-hour demo we made impressions left us pretty good, though perhaps smaller than usual in games 2K Games. A broad strokes and short, Spec-Ops takes the formula of Gears of War and leads the world today, including how new interaction with the sand, the city has just been caught in a storm and literally full of sand, and certain tactical components, because we can give orders to our team. But the overall game, from the camera to the system of coverage, very reminiscent of the saga of Epic Games, which is not necessarily bad, but unoriginal.

Regarded by many as the father to son place to be at the time, Dubai is not exactly a tourist destination to be recommended in the near future which unfolds Spec Ops: The Line . Ravaged by sandstorms scale biblical city of the UAE since served as a battleground in a war between a group of looters drawn by the riches of the place and lost a battalion of soldiers led by a Colonel Konrad. This ranking will be lost in hell, indeed, our main objective in the title of Yager Development since our small squad of elite soldiers must locate the thief to organize its extraction. The problem is that this officer did not seem especially eager to leave Dubai and even seems more interested in a peace aggressive to everything the city has yet sojourners.

If he will probably wait to take the game in hand to learn even more about that bag of geopolitical node, this first encounter with Spec Ops: The Line was mostly an opportunity to discover a long session of gameplay charged action, exploration and tension. Commanded by a Captain Walker, the trio of soldiers that will guide you through the ruins of Dubai Sand was indeed ready to do battle against the combined forces of raiders and members of the battalion Konrad. If these skirmishes did not fail in class treatment, we must admit that they do not exactly revolutionized the genre: cover system, lob grenades and management of teammates, that’s very classic.

In the demonstration we saw the game in motion, in a raid in the city of Dubai where we participated in several shootings and saw a few cinematic. These are closely integrated with the action because the game is spinning a story that we discover what is really happening, and has spent in Dubai, and which apparently have something to say and decide we as players . The game camera is in a position similar to that of Gears of War, Resident Evil 4, Ghost Recon and the like, but perhaps somewhat lower. If these games says the camera is “over the shoulder” in Spec-Ops is something like the waist, which gives us more field of view.

The shooting system is very similar to Gears of War. It points the stock right, being able to zoom in by pressing a button, and the coverage work very similar and can shoot blindly, came out to shoot, and move quickly from one to another. However, combat is not a coverage area to another, as if it were a front, but the areas are much more open and if we are not careful we will receive a few more bullets than we had expected. The scenes we saw were urban, with items such as cars or buses turned into barricades, and abundant traces of sand. The sand of the game does not seem very realistic in their recreation, but as they told us and taught us, “may be used to destroy the enemies, causing landslides that buried sand, similarly, if we are not careful they can use against us.

Apart from the shootings, another thing we saw was how the battle has some tactical component, can give orders to our soldiers, commandos emerging during the game and we can decide to carry out or not. As we told Spec-Ops is designed both for those players perfectionists who want to drive to your computer, and for those who want to go as lone wolves, the artificial intelligence of our partners is able to take initiative, to complement our attacks and take care of themselves itself. The game’s combat is, according to developers, close and personal, just a short distance, such as trying to get those who are killing anyone look into his eyes.

In the demonstration we saw several combat sequences and part of the repertoire of weapons in the game, jumping rifles, submachine guns, etc. … – Apart from other special weapons such as sticky grenades (you throw like Gears of War). The damage system is also similar to Gears of War, the recovery of life if we’re a few seconds without any further impacts. It’s easy to receive, for the enemy, as we have pretty good aim.

he current environment still gave a certain cachet these sticks fairly unoriginal, inviting our grunts to take cover behind the wrecked cars or abandoned luxury trigger “avalanche of sand to crush their enemies by interacting with parts of the scenery. The choice of a battlefield located in the middle of a gigantic city destroyed should also provide a contrast between outdoor settings and frankly apocalyptic pomp and immaculate interiors. The immersion in this atmosphere was accentuated by the absence of any on-screen interface and a staging capable of suddenly increasing the pressure (as demonstrated in a bombardment of white phosphorus later) .

But more than all these tricks, screenwriting is the involvement of the player in the conflict should separate Spec Ops: The Line of the plebs. Some situations actually put us in a dilemma (which will be further enhanced by our two teammates playing respectively the roles of little devil and angel perched on our shoulders) that we have to solve in the heat of the action without ever having obvious choice between a “good” and “bad” decision.

Finally, we showed a cinematic sequence where we saw as a faction began to carry out summary executions of civilians, and we in the kinematics, we had the option to intervene or not. As we were told, this is an example of the decisions that will have to take the player during the campaign, which affect the development of the rest of the game, and this really is a novelty in a game like this.

Spec-Ops looks promising in some of its facets, but in others it was still too green, especially have graphic level, which is far from the best artists today. It will have a single player mode complete with a multiplayer cooperative and competitive modes, but history will not be cooperative, we were told. Besides, it also promises a multiplayer mode complete (including the separate cooperative campaign) for a planned release in 2011 on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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