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Most other games don't get close to this masterpiece!
on 22 July 2014
Having read a recent interview with one of the game designers from this game's developer YAGER and the statement, that the low and disappointing sales of the game would prohibit YAGER from ever even considering a sequel compel me to write this review more than two years after the game's release.
Spec Ops – the Line is a 3rd person anti-war shooter with plenty of style and action that in fact managed to impress me in ways that only the Metal Gear series had before, and that in itself is a huge compliment. The game's storyline is absolute powerful, haunting and deeply meaningful, the whole tone/vibration of the setting in postapocalyptic Dubai is groundbreakingly executed. Both the visual/artistic style and art and the sound/music pull the player deep inside the terrible events the game portrays. The game as well as it's characters feel absolutely genuine and real and I have rarely found playing a game as impactful as having completed Spec Ops – The Line multiple times. While many critics and players critisized some of the rather „casual“ gameplay mechanics I on the contrary found that very aspect of not having to study the control scheme that extensively to be rather accessible and polished. I am a hardore gamer and by no means a casual gamer by the way, but I believe gameplay should be accesible without multiple hours of getting into it.
Summing it up and referencing aspects of the aforementioned interview with one of the game's producers obviously video gamers seem to prefer simple and in fact rather idiotic stories that add nothing to the gameplay experience itself because they are rather perceived as a waste of time anyway. I know I will always love and cherish this game and measure future games to its standard just because it broke the conventional formula as well as the fourth wall and held a mirror to my face as a videogamer: it made me think about myself and my actions within the game's context and it showed me the ugly side of war and human conflict without lecturing me or providing easy answers for me to swallow. I am proud to own this game and very few games can claim to have a similar impact on a player willing to not just be entertained by a game but to actually get a meaningful experience out of playing it. Thanks YAGER, I guess in the future that aspect of videogaming will have to be handled by Kojima productions and their intensely genius Metal Gear series that explores similar aspects of the human cost of war alone...