Squad Mechanics Tell Heart of Darkness Story in Spec Ops: The Line

Developers sought a new way to tell a classic narrative

Cory Davis, who is the lead designer working on Spec Ops: The Line at Yager Developments, has told Gamasutra that he sees the squad mechanics included in the shooter as a core way of pushing the narrative of the title forward.

Speaking to Gamasutra, the developer worked to make sure that the inter-personal interaction is meaningful and that “the squad is constantly speaking with each other, and then giving commands to them. and hearing their reactions and things like that; that's really interesting to me.”

Davis has acknowledged that the core of the story is based on Heart of Darkness, the novel from Joseph Conrad which also served as the base for the classic movie Apocalypse Now, but the medium of video games and the squad mechanics bring to life new aspects of the experience.

He added, “But I know that there are people that are really into those tactical shooters, and this was sort of an evolution that we went on, as a developer, as well. Trying to find out where our target was, and that just wasn't something that was something that we could do and still tell the story in a way that we wanted to tell it.”

Spec Ops: The Line will see players take control of one United States Special Forces captain, named Walker, who needs to enter Dubai with a small force of Delta Force operatives in order to find and then extract a lost colonel, John Konrad.

The major gameplay shift is that climate change has turned the beautiful high rises of Dubai into wrecks filled with sand, which can quickly shift in order to reshape the battlefield.

Spec Ops: The Line will see the player interact with his squad mates constantly, both in and out of combat.

The game is set to be launched on June 26 and 29 on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the PC.

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