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Spec Ops: The Line is as subtle as a sandstorm, and far from a thoughtful critique

PSU's Zachary Brictson writes:

"And so there’s only one way to truly win at Spec Ops: to accept the ‘Game Over’ screen as your victory. It’s the only excuse that could justify game design this shoddy - the point is for you to dislike it. And although commendable in its ambitious and often haunting city, though admirable in addressing such contemporary issues, and though Spec Ops does manage to achieve the repulsiveness it seeks, it doesn't come for the right reasons. It’s not the gory depictions of your actions that are revolting; it’s the insulting abuse and fundamental misunderstanding of the interactive medium. Video games are capable of much more than just smoke and mirrors."

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-Gespenst-1241d ago (Edited 1241d ago )

As are most games which make claims to being "mature".

However, while I haven't played this game, it seems to me like it's making a point about videogames in general, not just itself.

I suspect the violence and gore is disturbing, and this guy is just having a hissy fit disguised as intelligent argument because his soldier game didn't let him kill hundreds of people and then reward him for it. The worst games let people forget about complexity and be lazy about the complex themes portrayed irresponsibly and over-simply in them.

Jek_Porkins1241d ago

It wasn't nearly as bad as "No Russian" on Modern Warfare 2, and at least in this game it had an underlying reason for tripping out on people.

nutcrackr1241d ago

I think he's core argument is that the game deceives you into doing bad things when you know they are bad. Like the famous mortar sequence which forces you to fire when there are no hostile targets left.

Ducky1241d ago (Edited 1241d ago )

That's an argument I find unfair because SpecOps does give you choices in a lot of the conflicts.

The big game-changing sequence is one of the few cases where things are linear, but that's a situation where most players would fall for the trap anyways.

That sequence isn't the end of the game either. A big theme of the game is how both you and Walker handle things after the event. Do you accept responsibility or deny it? Do you blame the game because it forced you to kill all those people because it was scripted? If so, then what about all the kills you did outside of that one scripted part of the game? Do you blame your victims for getting in your way?

Who, in the end, do you blame? This is the decision you make near the end of the game when all is revealed.

McSpermie1241d ago

I agree with that, I think the author of that article really missed the point of Spec Ops. It's a shame he has such a black and white definition of what a game should be.

porkChop1241d ago

Spec Ops was a hell of a lot better than most shooters these days. Was it perfect? No. It had its fair share of flaws. But it was still a much stronger story, and the design was much more coherent than most games.

legionsoup1241d ago

I've played and beaten more than 250 disk-based games this generation, and Spec Ops the Line was the only one that stood out to me as something that was moving the gaming industry forward. I was reading about this game for weeks after the credit rolled.

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