I wanted to setup this website as something dedicated to games that are truly a breath of fresh air. Hence the ‘oxygen’ games. Like oxygen is a breath of fresh air? Get it? OK. Well, hopefully you get it. Because I want to get down to business.
Have any of you played Spec Ops: The Line? I finished it pretty recently and it was one of those games that made me say “WOW” by the end of it. The story was absolutely amazing compared to Call of Duty and other types of games where you mercilessly shoot lots of bad guys. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll be beating around the bushes here, but take my word for it. This is a great game to play.
The shooting mechanics take a page from Gears of War. You are in a squad of three guys and you can control two of them indirectly by pointing out targets. You are their squad leader after all, and they will follow your orders reasonably well. There’s no telling them to move anywhere though so don’t expect advanced tactics. Individually, you’ll take cover behind generally obvious points and duck out to shoot a few baddies. And the crazy swarm of bad guys doesn’t stop for the 6 hour game. It gets tiresome by the end, but the intensity of the game and interesting story more picks up the slack.
In the game, you take command of Martin Walker (voiced by none other than Nolan North who famously voices Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series). Your mission is to look for survivors and get out. As simple as it sounds, things go awry pretty quickly. You trudge forward, making difficult decisions that many soldiers in war must make in tough situations. As the mission continues to intensify, you begin to feel the emotional turmoil that these soldiers are all going through.
The creators of Spec Ops: The Line really have a message to say in their story. It makes you think about your actions in any shooter by the time it’s done. Why are you mowing down all of these people? Is it the right thing to do? What would drive you as a person to play these games? It’s not exactly calling you out for wanting to unwind by shooting all these virtual pixels. But it is going to make you stop and think.
By the time the game is finished, all of the squad character in Spec Ops: The Line and you as the player will be forever changed. It’s like the creators of Spec Ops: The Line realized that this game is centered around a war. I’m truly amazed by the lack of realism when it comes to these types of military shooters that ignore obvious negative side effects of battle. Spec Ops truly takes these things into account.
In addition to a few choices that will make you really reconsider your actions; the game also has four different endings to choose from. You’ll basically select them all towards the end of the game so it’s pretty easy to see them all (or look them on YouTube after the fact). If you haven’t played Spec Ops: The Line yet do yourself a favor and buy anytime you see it on sale. Honestly, it’s probably worth the full price but for only six hours of play many gamers might scoff. At a sale price of 50% off or more though, it’s simply a no brainer.