I can’t remember the last first-person shooter title that opened up with a shoot-out involving helicopters and skyscrapers, which might be a sign that developer Yager Development and publisher 2K Games are really aiming to introduce some innovation to a genre that has become so stale that even the new Call of Duty: Black Ops II seems to be ready to change some of its mechanics.
The Line tells the story of a squad of Special Forces soldiers, led by one suitable heroic looking Captain Martin Walker, who are walking into Dubai, suitably impressive even when covered by the endless drab yellow of sandstorms, in order to find out what happened to a Colonel who has gone rogue.
There’s quite a bit of exposition in the demo version of Spec Ops: The Line and it points to story that tries to hit the familiar notes of heroics and patriotism. But it also plans to tread some more uncommon ground, from loss to complex moral choices.
The development team is not afraid of gruesome imagery, with a lot of blood flowing around when enemies are hit and at least one incapacitated soldier getting a shot to the head in slow motion (which does feel a little gratuitous).
The third-person shooter feels good, the weapons have weight and stopping power, but the enemies seem just a little more intelligent than simple automatons destined to run around the battlefield and get shot repeatedly.
There are some simple commands to issue to teammates, but there’s little actual complexity to the demo combat encounters in Spec Ops: The Line and all the areas I explored were entirely linear.
The new Spec Ops looks very good, with an impressive sun shining at all times and the sand mixing with the destroyed cars and city to create a very post-apocalyptic feel.
Worth a full Softpedia review? No.