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4.0 out of 5 stars
27
4.0 out of 5 stars
Platform: PlayStation 3|Change
Price:£32.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


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I'm not a massive shooter fan but when this came up free on PS+ (still is at time of writing), I looked into it and intrigued I gave it a shot. Ok, lots of shots...

Set in the present, Dubai has been buried following an apocalyptic sandstorm. Into the sandy abyss are sent Captain Walker and his sergeants Lugo and Adams on a recon mission to search for civilians and fellow soldiers alike. It is not long before they discover life apart from the wandering oryx. Refugees, CIA and marines from what's left of the 33rd. Unfortunately, none are too pleased to see the new boys in the dunes and they are soon fighting for survival to the backdrop of broadcast taunts and insults from "Radioman" and Walker's ex-boss General Konrad.

As mentioned the story intrigued and combined with solid gameplay I really got involved with this game. Enjoyed might be the wrong word as you are not shielded from the horrors of war here and as Walker you "cross the line" and back several times. Those familiar with Apocalypse Now will relate to the story which itself was based on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (see what they did there?). Special mention to the loading messages which are quite poignant and provocative. As it progresses you struggle to hold your squad - and your mind - together and although I more or less predicted the fittingly surreal ending, it is worth holding out for.

As for the gameplay, it is best described as "solid" rather than spectacular or innovative. I prefer third person shooters as you get a better overall view of the scene and can relate to your character more IMO. It's essentially an on-rails cover shooter but executed very well with excellent AI and a progressively challenging difficulty. Graphically good, stunning in parts and whilst you don't get to drive, gunning the radio tower from the helo is pretty spectacular. Lots of cheap trophies to pick up on completion, though good luck with getting very far on FUBAR difficulty.

More" mature" than a pound of twenty year old cheddar this is a great game, though "game" may not be the right word.

[ Tip - if you follow a certain path (search online for a guide if necessary) in the final chapter you will unlock an excellent epilogue after the credits. This will give you two choices to follow - and two easy silver trophies for your trouble ]
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on 16 June 2013
This is an awesome games that has been a great game for me to play as I have had about 6 months away from gaming. In the opening 20-30 minutes there is little to differentiate it from other generic shooters, but give it patience and you will be rewarded with a cracking story line. My only gripe is that the camera control is a little schlonky and could be improved (such as in the outstanding GTA4). I found that the action is a little OTT at times but the storyline is a deep and interesting narrative that borrows heavily from Apocalypse Now and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. This is a refreshing change from the balls-out shooters that have been churned out from Activision and I wouldn't mind playing this game again in a few months time.
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on 24 December 2013
Go to any search engine on-line and type in "PS3 - most underrated games" and I can almost guarantee you that Spec-Ops: The Line will be on most people's lists. Reviewers in general didn't rate this game too highly and there's one main reason for that. The multi-player is rubbish. The single-player campaign however is great - unfortunately nowadays, the on-line modes always overshadow the main game and account, in my opinion, for way too heavy a percentage of the game's final score. Great game? graphics? story? fun? enjoyable? cool, sounds like an 8/10, but wait, the on-line multi-player is a bit poor so let's give the whole thing 5/10 instead.

Spec Ops: The Line is a 3rd person shooter as the title of this review suggests. It will be familiar to those of you who have played Gears of War, Binary Domain or Vanquish for example, as the control mechanics are very similar. The graphics are very nice, depicting a post sand storm-ravaged Dubai where the game takes place. There are some small frame rate issues after cut-scenes as well as the textures needing a moment to sharpen up, but this doesn't ruin the experience.

People have compared the story to Joseph Conrad's, "Heart of Darkness" (of which there is a film, Apocalypse Now) and they are more or less right with this one. 3 soldiers (American of course...) are sent into Dubai to search for survivors of the tragic sand storm. What begins as a simple in and out turns into a long (and very violent) struggle to discover the truth of what happened to the previous US military mission into the city, which takes the player on a story of surprises, twists and shocks.

Overall positives (+) and negatives (-) then:

+ Great story
+ Great graphics overall
+ Great single-player campaign (6-8 hours to complete first play through)
+ Great dialogue/voice acting
+ Fun and satisfying to play
+ Intense fast-paced action

- Poor on-line multi-player
- Small frame rate/texture issues during gameplay
- The classic "why do my squad members keep dying and I have to run through a hail of bullets to revive them" issue
- Sometimes getting in and out of cover positions can be tricky and clunky

Overall, 8/10 from me. Very fun and intuitive gameplay mixed with a gripping storyline. The game is very much intended for adults (lots of violence, bad language and disturbing scenes of war) so if you're thinking of buying this as a gift for someone, bear that in mind.

Thanks for reading.
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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...
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on 20 October 2013
I got this game free with my PS Plus subscription. It terms of the game as a shooter it nothing special you just clear through the enemies like any CoD game. Where this game is truly special is the story, the game forces you to make difficult moral decisions of war (I made a few wrong ones). I have genuinely sat there looking at the screen with the game paused thinking about what I had done which is something I don't recall doing with any other game.
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on 5 March 2013
Just played through this one and I gotta say its an interesting take on the third person shooter. Gameplay consists mostly of killing enemies, with some variation, i.e mounting heavy machineguns, grenade launchers etc. And there is a gameplay segment involving white phosphorous.....

Controls, feel of the weopons and all that is good. If you take away the story you would have an little above avarage 3rd person shooter. But the story gives everything another layer so to speak. The game have a bit eerie and Apocalypse now like atmsophere.

Havent tried the multiplayer much, seems to be quite generic but OK.

If you want to play a third person shooter with a very high body count and an interesting story on top of that, this game is for you.
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on 13 June 2013
Brilliant. However this game is NOT meant to be fun, It's Harsh and Brutal story is reflected through a fantastic script and becomes so immersive that opportunities arise where you must decide What the right thing to do and the better thing to do.
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on 17 December 2015
I'm no longer a huge gamer, and rarely play games for more than a couple of hours before losing interest but I absolutely had to see this one to the end, then replay it again doing things differently.
Starts off like a bog-standard war game but soon becomes far more engaging and immersive than your standard blast-through-the-levels affair.
Forces your hand, making you act on impulse, then live with the consequences.
Impressive gameplay centered around controlling a small team, and giving orders with a couple of basic tactics that are suited to different scenarios.
Wish more games were this engaging and thought provoking.
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on 15 April 2015
Awesome shooter. looks great through my HDMI cable. Story is plausible and graphics and game play are a joy. As i am new to the PS3 I wanted a great game to play on the console and this game delivers for me. Already one of my favourite shooters. Certainly feels like it has replay value in a game which is always a bonus as is the fact it feels like it goes on for hours, although that could be because i am such a bad gamer. Basically if you like shooters buy this game you wont be disappointed.
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on 12 February 2013
Overall SO:TL is like a cross between Apocalypse Now and Gears of War, third person over the shoulder action all the way in a future disaster struck Dubai setting, as the main character gets ever closer to the col. Kurtz like main enemy though increasingly crazy surroundings. This game is full of surprises and solid gunplay and is worth a go if you like that style and can stomach the gruesome violence.
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