Finally it comes down to the question of morality. Will you or won’t you? You better set your priorities before you get ready for Spec Ops: The Line. Fast paced action, gun trotting soldiers, dust filled roads, towering skyscrapers, loads and loads of ammunition, combat trained enemy; The Line has it all and much more. It is the usual military style combat game that uses the third person squad based shootout. It is laced with an overdose of dirty soldiers in dusty military fatigues, camouflaged faces, guns firing in the background, and dust swiveling all around. But if you look closer there is a story that, after the sand settles down, forces us to answer a simple question: why do we play war, why not peace?
The story starts with our hero, Captain Martin Walker, stepping into the civil-war ravaged Dubai. Once the back yard of the wealthiest elite, Dubai now is a city in ruins. Captain Walker is on a mission to save the U.S. Army Colonel John Conrad and his loyal squad that stays back in Dubai to help those unable to escape. The U.S. Army sends Captain Walker and his elite Delta Force team to bring back the Colonel and save innocent lives.
As Walker, you will be making decisions that test your ability as a leader and morality as a human being. In The Line, morality is not a machine or a stop-answer-go question. Decisions you make have an impact on the character; make a bad call and you deal with it. The story doesn’t ask you to be a hero; it just shows you the difficulties of trying to be one. From one battle to another, one bullet to another, one conspiracy to another, choices shape the story. Whatever end you reach; interpretations are yours to make.
Dubai is always present in the background sometimes in the form of a towering skyscraper, sometimes in the form of a looming sand storm obscuring everything in its path leaving behind layers and layers of dust. The environmental conditions portrayed are so dynamic that they could well be one of the games strongest points.
It is a shame that although the image of a hauntingly beautiful Dubai in ruins has been brought to life, the character models are far from real. The presentation is bland and uninteresting. The game play also doesn’t gel well with the gripping storyline. Aiming to shoot in confined spaces proves to be a pain as it lacks a dimension of depth to most of the fights. This vital point makes shooting the bad guys a problem. You end up shooting the guy who is closest to you first and then reload to shoot again.
The impact the story has may live with you long after the game is over. With Spec Ops: The Line, it is all about the story. You may even forget the patchy gameplay and enjoy the compelling story. This version comes with a few challenges thrown in and competitive maps to add to the excitement.
Will you or won’t you:
To sum up with a single word, it is chaotic but when we choose to wade through the confusion there may be an unpolished diamond somewhere in the sand.