Urgent Notice: Will all game developers please spare us the knock offs of Battlefield and Call of Duty.
There are reasons why it is so hard to break-out in such a saturated market. Battlefield has superb graphics and a well-cemented lineage. Call of Duty has tremendous gameplay, a huge buy-in market and of course epic storylines. The more recent Ghost Recon Future Soldier, a direct competitor to Spec Ops, has a phenomenal command interface and a smooth fighting system, as well as the ability to use the Kinect to play the entire game.
Spec Ops The Line attempted to encompass all these aspects, save for the Kinect ability. Taking on all these challenges will result in winning big or losing everything. Unfortunately though, Spec Ops has fallen victim to its own eagerness.
On starting the game the first failure becomes immediately apparent. The graphics are worse than Call of Dutyâ€¦the original. The environments, explosions, blood and characters are all vague in appearance with little depth or distinction.
In addition the storyline is disappointingly predictable and sadly linear. Your character and your teammates all have personalities but the personality displays are more like random outbursts rather than cleverly timed quirks. The â€œscriptâ€ lacks any fluidity and in all honesty three silent characters might have been more interesting.
The gameplay is slow and numb as sticking behind one cover is more effective than moving from cover to cover. Aiming at a target, on console, is a frivolous affair because once you align your sight on the enemy making small adjustments results in moving the sight way off the target and into mid-air. This is of course with aiming assists off. There is no real need to be that accurate anyway because the AI is either way off with their firing or spot on with a clean headshot. Thus there is no gauge when entering a fire-fight which ends up boiling down to pure luck.
Furthermore commanding your AI buddies to take out a target works perfectly if you want both of your buddies to take out one target. Why you cannot get one of your teammates to take out one target whilst the other take out another is beyond me. Ghost Recon was able to do that quite easily and that certainly was not the most complex system it exhibited. It may have been even better to leave it out altogether because that way I wouldnâ€™t have noticed how badly it worked.
Finally, the weaponry is limited to say the least and each gun feels very similar to the next. Thus sticking with the same gun you started with will not change the experience at all.
To the keen eyed reader most of my criticisms were only so because I was looking for them, picking at straws as it were. However I did so because there was no fantastic storyline nor tremendous gameplay nor phenomenal graphics to distract me from all the downfalls of the game.
I would like to conclude with a bold statement, one that I do not wish to regret. If 2K Games decide to make another Spec Ops title I am certain it cannot be worse than this one.
Spec Ops The Line Rating: 2/10
Check out the Spec Ops The Line Website: http://www.specopstheline.com/