Crossing Spec Ops: The Line

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Crossing Spec Ops: The Line

All it took was one scene to break the mold on shocking videogame moments.

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Dammit, i had to stop reading after the first paragraph because yahtzee told me to . I don't see myself buying it anywhere down the line , but he does have a point . I would probably buy it if i won some moneg at the dogtrack.

Except it's NOT the player that makes the decision, it's the game. The entire sequence was so poorly written and played out that I knew that the "oh god, what have you done?!" moment was only seconds away. So I did nothing. I refused to start shooting.

The game went nowhere. It just sat there.

"this is a bad idea" my friends repeated. I agreed and kept waiting.

Nothing.

Pfft. Fine, Spec Ops, if that's how you wanna play it. Bang.

OH GOD WHAT DID YOU WHY DID YOU DO THAT OH THE HUMANITY WAR IS AWFUL!

Yeah, real smooth and profound storytelling there. Not to even mention that Shyamalan twist at the end that attempts to be deep and startling, but just reads like a bad episode of Dallas.

I really enjoyed the campaign in this game because of it's story, it was just really refreshing after all the "here's the foreign guys now go kill them all" stories of other war games. Although the gameplay itself was your typical 3rd person shooter fare.

By the way, I don't know who's in charge of this sort of thing or if they're reading this, but the screenshot on page two is the actual full-size screenshot squeezed into a smaller space using HTML, not an actual shrunken-down image. Took forever to fully load that thing.

SpiderJerusalem:
Except it's NOT the player that makes the decision, it's the game. The entire sequence was so poorly written and played out that I knew that the "oh god, what have you done?!" moment was only seconds away. So I did nothing. I refused to start shooting.

The game went nowhere. It just sat there.

"this is a bad idea" my friends repeated. I agreed and kept waiting.

Nothing.

Pfft. Fine, Spec Ops, if that's how you wanna play it. Bang.

OH GOD WHAT DID YOU WHY DID YOU DO THAT OH THE HUMANITY WAR IS AWFUL!

Yeah, real smooth and profound storytelling there. Not to even mention that Shyamalan twist at the end that attempts to be deep and startling, but just reads like a bad episode of Dallas.

Ah but you see, you DID make the choice...you made it when you popped the disk in. You started playing to game the kill people...and you got your wish. You could have just turned the game off and walked away...but you didn't.

Well, that's one interpretation of what they were going for anyway. Some can say that this is a massive deconstruction of military war games. I get the feeling that you knew about the bad thing that he was going to do before you started playing the game, which pretty much counts as a spoiler. I myself knew about it and the second I pressed the button to bomb the trench, my mind put two and two together. So yeah, it kind of does act like a spoiler.

The "best" part of the white phosphorous sequence is that, as you rain mortar fire on to the entrenched camp from above, they enemies are dehumanized white dots- but once you've had your fun you then have to advance through the killing fields, walking slowly, and seeing the results of your actions in a very human and personal way. Chilling stuff.

Yep. Pretty much the same for me with the whole point being: "What was frightening were my thoughts while I was doing this thing, not so much just the thing itself."

Though funnily enough, even though the final choice of pulling the trigger on Walker 'felt' like the right one, that's not necessarily also true. For me the endings where Walker survives the guilt trip are moreso interesting than the suicide ending.

In one of them Walker becomes a complete monster.
In the other he is taken down and Yahtzee's viewpoint is expressed through Konrad's words.
But in the last one you surrender your weapon and you do go home.

Of course you're not particularly cheery about it, Walker doesn't feel like he even survived at all when being asked by the soldier...and yet he is still alive.

It reminds me of the final words in Full Metal Jacket: "I am in a world of shit...yes. But I am alive. And I am not afraid."

I guess that's all one can ask for if they cross that line. The strength to cross back home when it's finally over. I doubt it will truly be over for Walker for a long time - PTSD is a bitch. But if he shoots himself in the head that chance will never be given...

But yeah, one's viewpoint on the 'right' ending does depend a lot on how much you can relate to Walker hahah. No argument there.

krazykidd:
Dammit, i had to stop reading after the first paragraph because yahtzee told me to . I don't see myself buying it anywhere down the line , but he does have a point . I would probably buy it if i won some moneg at the dogtrack.

Buy it. I spent a day playing it and I can honestly say it's one of the better gaming experiences I've had in a while. Other than the fact that I always seemed to be out of ammo, there is nothing about this game that wasn't great.

Yeah, I kind of called the fact that you were slaughtering innocents. But it was seeing how the squad reacted that made me love the scene and hate myself, and that's kind of what I can say about the whole game. The fact that your squad is going through this hell, it's changing them, and they don't like you for putting them through it. They don't like you for being the crazed gunman that you play in every video game. In Arkham City the enemies regard you with fear when you start taking out their allies, their movements will change, their demeanor will change, and they'll panic. Because you're Batman and playing like Batman. In this game you're you as a gamer controlling this guy with a gun, and everyone you talk to sees the action of this gamer as the actions of a real person. And they fear him, like any sane man would.

It's kind of fantastic.

My problem with the white phosphorous scene was the way the game tried to make me feel guilty about it afterwards. You know, with the walk through the burning bodies and the cutscene with the dead mum and kid.

It didn't work because the game didn't give me a choice beforehand. If it had said, "Either use the phosphorous or face a really tough fight on foot" and I had chosen the phosphorous then it would have worked fine. But as it was, I didn't feel anything because I wasn't responsible. It was as if Bioshock had started telling me off for killing Andrew Ryan.

erttheking:

SpiderJerusalem:
Except it's NOT the player that makes the decision, it's the game. The entire sequence was so poorly written and played out that I knew that the "oh god, what have you done?!" moment was only seconds away. So I did nothing. I refused to start shooting.

The game went nowhere. It just sat there.

"this is a bad idea" my friends repeated. I agreed and kept waiting.

Nothing.

Pfft. Fine, Spec Ops, if that's how you wanna play it. Bang.

OH GOD WHAT DID YOU WHY DID YOU DO THAT OH THE HUMANITY WAR IS AWFUL!

Yeah, real smooth and profound storytelling there. Not to even mention that Shyamalan twist at the end that attempts to be deep and startling, but just reads like a bad episode of Dallas.

Ah but you see, you DID make the choice...you made it when you popped the disk in. You started playing to game the kill people...and you got your wish. You could have just turned the game off and walked away...but you didn't.

Well, that's one interpretation of what they were going for anyway. Some can say that this is a massive deconstruction of military war games. I get the feeling that you knew about the bad thing that he was going to do before you started playing the game, which pretty much counts as a spoiler. I myself knew about it and the second I pressed the button to bomb the trench, my mind put two and two together. So yeah, it kind of does act like a spoiler.

Yes, how dare you buy our action game. How DARE you? Wanting an action game, pfft, what is the matter with you? Repent!

It's poorly written moralizing on a level that first year grad students would write. "Haha, see, you thought you were reading a romantic story, but it's all about how you should be judged for wanting to love!"

Basically, it gives poor choices, or none at all, and tries to be profound about them when in truth it never really gives the player any choice at all.

The part that really got to me was the fact that the entire time, you see a reflection of your characters face in the screen.
All the Modern Warfare types have a sort of detached feel to them. You're just some distant AC-130 lobbing genocide at anonymus blobs.
In Spec-Ops it hammers it home, YOU! YES YOU! are the one doing this horrible thing.
If you got a glossy screen you can see your own face superimposed over Walker's face.

That my friends is ART!

Spec Ops: The Line is somebody's Art Game that just so happened to be born a Third Person Modern Warfare Shooter.

SpiderJerusalem:
Except it's NOT the player that makes the decision, it's the game. The entire sequence was so poorly written and played out that I knew that the "oh god, what have you done?!" moment was only seconds away. So I did nothing. I refused to start shooting.

The game went nowhere. It just sat there.

"this is a bad idea" my friends repeated. I agreed and kept waiting.

Nothing.

Pfft. Fine, Spec Ops, if that's how you wanna play it. Bang.

OH GOD WHAT DID YOU WHY DID YOU DO THAT OH THE HUMANITY WAR IS AWFUL!

There was no other choice. No other way around. It was the only way forward. It was either that or go back and abandon the mission. And if you want to abandon the mission all you have to do is turn off the game. You chose not to abandon the mission.

But I agree about the final twist. Pulling a Fight Club ending is never a good idea.

SpiderJerusalem:
Basically, it gives poor choices, or none at all, and tries to be profound about them when in truth it never really gives the player any choice at all.

The illusion of choice was the whole point.

Also, how many people here know about this?

SpiderJerusalem:

erttheking:

SpiderJerusalem:
Except it's NOT the player that makes the decision, it's the game. The entire sequence was so poorly written and played out that I knew that the "oh god, what have you done?!" moment was only seconds away. So I did nothing. I refused to start shooting.

The game went nowhere. It just sat there.

"this is a bad idea" my friends repeated. I agreed and kept waiting.

Nothing.

Pfft. Fine, Spec Ops, if that's how you wanna play it. Bang.

OH GOD WHAT DID YOU WHY DID YOU DO THAT OH THE HUMANITY WAR IS AWFUL!

Yeah, real smooth and profound storytelling there. Not to even mention that Shyamalan twist at the end that attempts to be deep and startling, but just reads like a bad episode of Dallas.

Ah but you see, you DID make the choice...you made it when you popped the disk in. You started playing to game the kill people...and you got your wish. You could have just turned the game off and walked away...but you didn't.

Well, that's one interpretation of what they were going for anyway. Some can say that this is a massive deconstruction of military war games. I get the feeling that you knew about the bad thing that he was going to do before you started playing the game, which pretty much counts as a spoiler. I myself knew about it and the second I pressed the button to bomb the trench, my mind put two and two together. So yeah, it kind of does act like a spoiler.

Yes, how dare you buy our action game. How DARE you? Wanting an action game, pfft, what is the matter with you? Repent!

It's poorly written moralizing on a level that first year grad students would write. "Haha, see, you thought you were reading a romantic story, but it's all about how you should be judged for wanting to love!"

Basically, it gives poor choices, or none at all, and tries to be profound about them when in truth it never really gives the player any choice at all.

So basically, what you don't like is that there is no 'real' choice in this videogame, because (big surprise) that is the whole point of the narrative? The point that in war there really isn't that much of a choice if you want to survive/go through with it to its bitter end?

I've always found it humorous how every time the detractors for this game scream 'But there isn't a real choice like an RPG!!!' I just chuckle to myself and think: 'Yes. And that's why this story works so well in the context of war.' You either get that concept or you do not. If you don't well...I guess this game really isn't for you and feel free to play other games that pat you on the back and tell you what a good person you are, because it seems to me that's what most of the gaming generation really does want out of games. Their own virtual security blanket, their own romantic quest where they overcome the odds by the end heh.

Trouble is war is not a story with a clearly happy ending and no choice you make (other than not to play the game) will lead you to one. And that's why this game's narrative works so well.

captcha: do more sit-ups

HOO-AH!

SpiderJerusalem:
Wank wank wank wank wank.

That's all I'm hearing. "Oh, you don't like these choices? Stop playing the game you bought. Yeah, we totally made a product that costs 60 euros so we could tell you to stop playing it."

Bullshit.

We should totally stop making games with good narrative because of people like you. Let's just make CoD and give gamers big explosions. That's all they deserve.

Jesus fuckin' Christ. This is the first modern military shooter with some depth and you're complaining that it's not more like CoD.

Well, I spoiled myself by reading it, but this article only made me want to play the game even more. I don't really mind spoilers all that much, it actually lets me think about what led up to the event. It's on sale on STEAM for a small discount for $30 and I'm fairly tempted to go for it.

When I first heard that this game was based off of "Heart of Darkness", having read the book myself and seeing gameplay/playing the demo, I called complete bullshit on it. It was just another military shooter that was going to have some vague references from its source material, all the while you shoot foreigners and go gun-ho at the enemy with a gimmicky sand mechanic to make it stand out.

I may still be right, I haven't played the game and my personal opinion might be more critical, but as I said before in Yahtzee's review of the game I am much more open to giving this game a chance. I'm as jaded as can be, I'm not impressed by anything anymore, but this sort of peak into this game by several reviews have taught me to not just toss out a concept just because I expect it to fail. It could still fail, sure, but it's not fair to not give it the chance.

Loonerinoes:

SpiderJerusalem:

erttheking:

Ah but you see, you DID make the choice...you made it when you popped the disk in. You started playing to game the kill people...and you got your wish. You could have just turned the game off and walked away...but you didn't.

Well, that's one interpretation of what they were going for anyway. Some can say that this is a massive deconstruction of military war games. I get the feeling that you knew about the bad thing that he was going to do before you started playing the game, which pretty much counts as a spoiler. I myself knew about it and the second I pressed the button to bomb the trench, my mind put two and two together. So yeah, it kind of does act like a spoiler.

Yes, how dare you buy our action game. How DARE you? Wanting an action game, pfft, what is the matter with you? Repent!

It's poorly written moralizing on a level that first year grad students would write. "Haha, see, you thought you were reading a romantic story, but it's all about how you should be judged for wanting to love!"

Basically, it gives poor choices, or none at all, and tries to be profound about them when in truth it never really gives the player any choice at all.

So basically, what you don't like is that there is no 'real' choice in this videogame, because (big surprise) that is the whole point of the narrative? The point that in war there really isn't that much of a choice if you want to survive/go through with it to its bitter end?

I've always found it humorous how every time the detractors for this game scream 'But there isn't a real choice like an RPG!!!' I just chuckle to myself and think: 'Yes. And that's why this story works so well in the context of war.' You either get that concept or you do not. If you don't well...I guess this game really isn't for you and feel free to play other games that pat you on the back and tell you what a good person you are, because it seems to me that's what most of the gaming generation really does want out of games. Their own virtual security blanket, their own romantic quest where they overcome the odds by the end heh.

Trouble is war is not a story with a clearly happy ending. And that's why this game's narrative works so well.

captcha: do more sit-ups

HOO-AH!

Did I say anywhere that it needed to be like an RPG? No. So stop putting words in my mouth.

If the game is hellbent on moralizing something that it claims are my choices, then it better give me actual choices. If it decides to drag the conclusion to one single point every time, the writers should at least consider what they want to say. As it stands, they have nothing of value because they're basic way of going about it is broken.

Adam Jensen:

SpiderJerusalem:
Wank wank wank wank wank.

That's all I'm hearing. "Oh, you don't like these choices? Stop playing the game you bought. Yeah, we totally made a product that costs 60 euros so we could tell you to stop playing it."

Bullshit.

We should totally stop making games with good narrative because of people like you. Let's just make CoD and give gamers big explosions. That's all they deserve.

Jesus fuckin' Christ. This is the first modern military shooter with some depth and you're complaining that it's not more like CoD.

Next time, actually read what was said. If you can't do that, stop trying to get in the conversation. Nobody is wanting more COD, it's one of the most boring franchises going around. But thinking that Spec Ops is somehow a step in the right direction with this kind of storytelling, then we're at odds.

At least provide something to the discussion, something of value other than "it was spectacular!"

SpiderJerusalem:

Loonerinoes:

SpiderJerusalem:

Yes, how dare you buy our action game. How DARE you? Wanting an action game, pfft, what is the matter with you? Repent!

It's poorly written moralizing on a level that first year grad students would write. "Haha, see, you thought you were reading a romantic story, but it's all about how you should be judged for wanting to love!"

Basically, it gives poor choices, or none at all, and tries to be profound about them when in truth it never really gives the player any choice at all.

So basically, what you don't like is that there is no 'real' choice in this videogame, because (big surprise) that is the whole point of the narrative? The point that in war there really isn't that much of a choice if you want to survive/go through with it to its bitter end?

I've always found it humorous how every time the detractors for this game scream 'But there isn't a real choice like an RPG!!!' I just chuckle to myself and think: 'Yes. And that's why this story works so well in the context of war.' You either get that concept or you do not. If you don't well...I guess this game really isn't for you and feel free to play other games that pat you on the back and tell you what a good person you are, because it seems to me that's what most of the gaming generation really does want out of games. Their own virtual security blanket, their own romantic quest where they overcome the odds by the end heh.

Trouble is war is not a story with a clearly happy ending. And that's why this game's narrative works so well.

captcha: do more sit-ups

HOO-AH!

Did I say anywhere that it needed to be like an RPG? No. So stop putting words in my mouth.

If the game is hellbent on moralizing something that it claims are my choices, then it better give me actual choices. If it decides to drag the conclusion to one single point every time, the writers should at least consider what they want to say. As it stands, they have nothing of value because they're basic way of going about it is broken.

Adam Jensen:

SpiderJerusalem:
Wank wank wank wank wank.

That's all I'm hearing. "Oh, you don't like these choices? Stop playing the game you bought. Yeah, we totally made a product that costs 60 euros so we could tell you to stop playing it."

Bullshit.

We should totally stop making games with good narrative because of people like you. Let's just make CoD and give gamers big explosions. That's all they deserve.

Jesus fuckin' Christ. This is the first modern military shooter with some depth and you're complaining that it's not more like CoD.

Next time, actually read what was said. If you can't do that, stop trying to get in the conversation. Nobody is wanting more COD, it's one of the most boring franchises going around. But thinking that Spec Ops is somehow a step in the right direction with this kind of storytelling, then we're at odds.

At least provide something to the discussion, something of value other than "it was spectacular!"

Dude , Yahtzee didnt said "STOP PLAYING THE GAME " but he said that the most heroic thing to do its to stop . That pretty much the game`s point about war .

SpiderJerusalem:

erttheking:

SpiderJerusalem:
Except it's NOT the player that makes the decision, it's the game. The entire sequence was so poorly written and played out that I knew that the "oh god, what have you done?!" moment was only seconds away. So I did nothing. I refused to start shooting.

The game went nowhere. It just sat there.

"this is a bad idea" my friends repeated. I agreed and kept waiting.

Nothing.

Pfft. Fine, Spec Ops, if that's how you wanna play it. Bang.

OH GOD WHAT DID YOU WHY DID YOU DO THAT OH THE HUMANITY WAR IS AWFUL!

Yeah, real smooth and profound storytelling there. Not to even mention that Shyamalan twist at the end that attempts to be deep and startling, but just reads like a bad episode of Dallas.

Ah but you see, you DID make the choice...you made it when you popped the disk in. You started playing to game the kill people...and you got your wish. You could have just turned the game off and walked away...but you didn't.

Well, that's one interpretation of what they were going for anyway. Some can say that this is a massive deconstruction of military war games. I get the feeling that you knew about the bad thing that he was going to do before you started playing the game, which pretty much counts as a spoiler. I myself knew about it and the second I pressed the button to bomb the trench, my mind put two and two together. So yeah, it kind of does act like a spoiler.

Yes, how dare you buy our action game. How DARE you? Wanting an action game, pfft, what is the matter with you? Repent!

It's poorly written moralizing on a level that first year grad students would write. "Haha, see, you thought you were reading a romantic story, but it's all about how you should be judged for wanting to love!"

Basically, it gives poor choices, or none at all, and tries to be profound about them when in truth it never really gives the player any choice at all.

...I don't think you know what a deconstruction is. It takes a concept and explores all the flaws it in reality has. In this case it's a mindless military shooter. A game with emphasis on everyone having a choice doesn't essentially mean it is a game with focus on the player making choices. Not every game has to be wide and sprawling like mass effect, some are linear, which allows them to tell a specific story.

Blueruler182:

The following is the case:

If you try to save Gould instead he still dies before being able to tell you exactly what his plan is, so the game is pretty much the same no matter how you decide at that point.

Essentially the thing that bothered me the most about the white phosphorus scene was that I had decided to save the civilians earlier on, and my mind was constantly asking if this could have been averted if I had only decided to save Gould instead. I ended up constantly regretting that decision while I continued to play.

I felt pretty relieved when I played through the game a second time and realized, as mentioned above, that it could not have been averted, because it made me feel that the eventual outcome had in fact always been out of my hands. I understand that this can cheapen or perhaps ruin the story for some people, but as was already said, it is kind of the point. Bad things happen in wars, and the only way to avoid it is to avoid war itself. If all of the bad things in the game could have simply been avoided by making all the right decisions that overall message would have been greatly cheapened.

So, killing is wrong. They should come up with a new adjective for killing. Like, say, bad-wrong, or wrong-bad, or wrad. That's it. Killing is wrad. from now on I stand for the opposite of killing: DARWin.

erttheking:

...I don't think you know what a deconstruction is. It takes a concept and explores all the flaws it in reality has. In this case it's a mindless military shooter. A game with emphasis on everyone having a choice doesn't essentially mean it is a game with focus on the player making choices. Not every game has to be wide and sprawling like mass effect, some are linear, which allows them to tell a specific story.

That's not deconstruction in anything but the most simplistic sense. "Oh, you have no choice in the matter, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU JUST DID" isn't saying anything new.

War is hell? Yeah, Spec Ops, we got that in the 70's when much better films and books were doing this. You're trying to evoke Heart of Darkness, way to miss the point of Konrad's book.

Nobody is asking for a sprawling massive game. Stop assuming that. It's tiring and ridiculous. Instead, focus on the argument at hand: the game loses the power of it's message and meaning by forcing your hand to do an inane and pointless slaughter of civilians and is no better than what Modern Warfare does - it only pretends to be.

One of the big things for me in this was not just the white phosphorous, that was only the beginning, but at the end when

And then there's the fact that the game keeps on poking you in the loading screens when you die. "You're still a good person", "The US military does not condone killing unarmed civilians, but these people aren't real so what does it matter".

SpiderJerusalem:
War is hell? Yeah, Spec Ops, we got that in the 70's when much better films and books were doing this. You're trying to evoke Heart of Darkness, way to miss the point of Konrad's book.

The book isn't about war at all. It's about the ivory trade.

SpiderJerusalem:

erttheking:

...I don't think you know what a deconstruction is. It takes a concept and explores all the flaws it in reality has. In this case it's a mindless military shooter. A game with emphasis on everyone having a choice doesn't essentially mean it is a game with focus on the player making choices. Not every game has to be wide and sprawling like mass effect, some are linear, which allows them to tell a specific story.

That's not deconstruction in anything but the most simplistic sense. "Oh, you have no choice in the matter, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU JUST DID" isn't saying anything new.

War is hell? Yeah, Spec Ops, we got that in the 70's when much better films and books were doing this. You're trying to evoke Heart of Darkness, way to miss the point of Konrad's book.

Nobody is asking for a sprawling massive game. Stop assuming that. It's tiring and ridiculous. Instead, focus on the argument at hand: the game loses the power of it's message and meaning by forcing your hand to do an inane and pointless slaughter of civilians and is no better than what Modern Warfare does - it only pretends to be.

Dude, it's a deconstruction of war video games. How many other times have you played games where you have an ac-130 bombing a couple dozen people every minute and mowing down legions of brown people by the hundreds? The point is that there are countless games like the ones with the white phosphate where you bomb the enemy by the hundreds and no one ever goes "you FORCED me to do that!" in fact people sometimes look forward to those sections. Spec Ops takes a section from a pretty generic war game and makes you look at the consequences of it.

Loonerinoes:
Yep. Pretty much the same for me with the whole point being: "What was frightening were my thoughts while I was doing this thing, not so much just the thing itself."

Though funnily enough, even though the final choice of pulling the trigger on Walker 'felt' like the right one, that's not necessarily also true. For me the endings where Walker survives the guilt trip are moreso interesting than the suicide ending.

In one of them Walker becomes a complete monster.
In the other he is taken down and Yahtzee's viewpoint is expressed through Konrad's words.
But in the last one you surrender your weapon and you do go home.

Of course you're not particularly cheery about it, Walker doesn't feel like he even survived at all when being asked by the soldier...and yet he is still alive.

It reminds me of the final words in Full Metal Jacket: "I am in a world of shit...yes. But I am alive. And I am not afraid."

I guess that's all one can ask for if they cross that line. The strength to cross back home when it's finally over. I doubt it will truly be over for Walker for a long time - PTSD is a bitch. But if he shoots himself in the head that chance will never be given...

But yeah, one's viewpoint on the 'right' ending does depend a lot on how much you can relate to Walker hahah. No argument there.

Actually, I would say that what you make Walker do could depend on what you think is the more appropriate punishment for the things he did. If we can get all "psychological" for a second, at the end of the game we (the player) are Walker's will, mind, conscience, whatever you want to call it, and in those last moments we (Walker) have to decide.

Do we A. Pull the trigger. End it all right now. No guilt, no PTSD, and no judgement besides our own (For right now lets not debate if Walker is going to Hell for what he did. Maybe later.) Or B. Put the gun down and live. Live with all the memories of what we did to be alive right now, and maybe if we're lucky we can be halfway worthy of still living.

Me personally? If Walker gets to just shoot himself and be free from it all. Doesn't that mean everyone he killed along the way really did die for nothing? Don't get me wrong. I don't think Walker is even an 1/8 near to being worthy of such sacrifice, but if he kills himself after all that then all those people don't even have his live to give their deaths meaning. Basically, I'm trying to say I don't think Walker deserves to just be done with it.

However, what you decide to do also depends on two important things as well. Do you think Walker can actually do anything after all this to gain redemption, or at least try to? And do you think he will actually even make the attempt?

That's how I see it anyway. You either take the easy way out, or you attempt to take on the probably hopeless challenge of living with what you have done. I don't think I could really blame Walker for pulling the trigger though.

evilthecat:

SpiderJerusalem:
War is hell? Yeah, Spec Ops, we got that in the 70's when much better films and books were doing this. You're trying to evoke Heart of Darkness, way to miss the point of Konrad's book.

The book isn't about war at all. It's about the ivory trade.

Yes, I know, hence the sarcastic "good job Spec Ops".

erttheking:

Dude, it's a deconstruction of war video games. How many other times have you played games where you have an ac-130 bombing a couple dozen people every minute and mowing down legions of brown people by the hundreds? The point is that there are countless games like the ones with the white phosphate where you bomb the enemy by the hundreds and no one ever goes "you FORCED me to do that!" in fact people sometimes look forward to those sections. Spec Ops takes a section from a pretty generic war game and makes you look at the consequences of it.

Again, having a single scene does not a deconstruction make - especially considering that after that point the game continues without missing a beat and has still the exact same slow motions for head shots and only climaxes at a lazy twist ending that drives even further the thinking that the developers and writers couldn't decide what kind of game they were making.

erttheking:

SpiderJerusalem:

erttheking:

...I don't think you know what a deconstruction is. It takes a concept and explores all the flaws it in reality has. In this case it's a mindless military shooter. A game with emphasis on everyone having a choice doesn't essentially mean it is a game with focus on the player making choices. Not every game has to be wide and sprawling like mass effect, some are linear, which allows them to tell a specific story.

That's not deconstruction in anything but the most simplistic sense. "Oh, you have no choice in the matter, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU JUST DID" isn't saying anything new.

War is hell? Yeah, Spec Ops, we got that in the 70's when much better films and books were doing this. You're trying to evoke Heart of Darkness, way to miss the point of Konrad's book.

Nobody is asking for a sprawling massive game. Stop assuming that. It's tiring and ridiculous. Instead, focus on the argument at hand: the game loses the power of it's message and meaning by forcing your hand to do an inane and pointless slaughter of civilians and is no better than what Modern Warfare does - it only pretends to be.

Dude, it's a deconstruction of war video games. How many other times have you played games where you have an ac-130 bombing a couple dozen people every minute and mowing down legions of brown people by the hundreds? The point is that there are countless games like the ones with the white phosphate where you bomb the enemy by the hundreds and no one ever goes "you FORCED me to do that!" in fact people sometimes look forward to those sections. Spec Ops takes a section from a pretty generic war game and makes you look at the consequences of it.

Yeah, I watched Apocalypse Now after playing the game to see what they used out of it (and to see the movie since I have been wanting to see it even before the game) and the key message of the game isnt in the movie and it most likely isnt in the book.

For me the key message is that while other shooters makes you want to be the hero this one shows you the opposite, it teases you into letting you think that you are the hero but at the end they just ask if you still want to be some kind of avenger that never surrenders or if you will finally accept the fact that you cant be a hero (the drop the weapon part at the end). While it borrows a lot of things from the movie and book (dont know how much from the book) the things that define this game are not from those two. This game isnt even about war but war games

SpiderJerusalem:
Yes, I know, hence the sarcastic "good job Spec Ops".

Yeah, but short of paying someone to dump you in the uncharted jungle or a real-life warzone for a few months, I don't see how the game could adequately prepare you for moral failure.

Conrad's point, at least as I read, is that Europeans of his time could sustain the delusion of being more moral than the "savages" around them not because they were a different class of people, as they believed, but merely because of the environment in which they lived.

I dunno.. If you give people a moral choice with success and failure, most people will choose success, in fact if they make a mistake they'll reload their save game and go back and make the choice again. Why not? They're sitting in a comfortable room somewhere eating crisps and playing with fictional characters on a video game console.

I think there's a good argument that it's not possible to replicate Heart of Darkness in video game form, but I think there's also a very good point that if we're going to try then we need to accept that a loss of agency is required to tell that story, because it's not the story of us, of fat people living in luxury in nice houses, it's the story of what our fat arses would do if we were deprived of all the things which allow us to view ourselves as moral people.

The structure of video games with its sense of choice and interactivity is based around providing us with gratification, it's pre-loaded with the idea that if we press the right button combination we can get the good ending, or at least the least-worst ending. Heart of Darkness is a story which has no good ending, so in order to replicate it you either need to subvert that idea or you need to accept that you can't tell a story with those themes.

SpiderJerusalem:

evilthecat:

SpiderJerusalem:
War is hell? Yeah, Spec Ops, we got that in the 70's when much better films and books were doing this. You're trying to evoke Heart of Darkness, way to miss the point of Konrad's book.

The book isn't about war at all. It's about the ivory trade.

Yes, I know, hence the sarcastic "good job Spec Ops".

erttheking:

Dude, it's a deconstruction of war video games. How many other times have you played games where you have an ac-130 bombing a couple dozen people every minute and mowing down legions of brown people by the hundreds? The point is that there are countless games like the ones with the white phosphate where you bomb the enemy by the hundreds and no one ever goes "you FORCED me to do that!" in fact people sometimes look forward to those sections. Spec Ops takes a section from a pretty generic war game and makes you look at the consequences of it.

Again, having a single scene does not a deconstruction make - especially considering that after that point the game continues without missing a beat and has still the exact same slow motions for head shots and only climaxes at a lazy twist ending that drives even further the thinking that the developers and writers couldn't decide what kind of game they were making.

You do realize that it started off with the steryotypical insurgent enemies who turned out to be the good guys right? And your actions constantly make thing worse as your team mates constantly call you out on how much of a physco you are and your physical and mental state continue to decay? That sounds like a deconstruction to me.

evilthecat:

SpiderJerusalem:
Yes, I know, hence the sarcastic "good job Spec Ops".

Yeah, but short of paying someone to dump you in the uncharted jungle or a real-life warzone for a few months, I don't see how the game could adequately prepare you for moral failure.

Conrad's point, at least as I read, is that Europeans of his time could sustain the delusion of being more moral than the "savages" around them not because they were a different class of people, as they believed, but merely because of the environment in which they lived.

I dunno.. If you give people a moral choice with success and failure, most people will choose success, in fact if they make a mistake they'll reload their save game and go back and make the choice again. Why not? They're sitting in a comfortable room somewhere eating crisps and playing with fictional characters on a video game console.

I think there's a good argument that it's not possible to replicate Heart of Darkness in video game form, but I think there's also a very good point that if we're going to try then we need to accept that a loss of agency is required to tell that story, because it's not the story of us, of fat people living in luxury in nice houses, it's the story of what our fat arses would do if we were deprived of all the things which allow us to view ourselves as moral people.

I agree to an extent. I think there definitely is a demand and need for something that valuable, but I really disagree that Spec Ops is it.

It feels like they've tried cherry picking bits from both the novel and Apocalypse Now, thinking that it worked in the past and the overall message and purpose is muddled in the final product. In Apocalypse Now there was never a question that Willard wouldn't find Kurtz, their meeting was inevitable. But in a game, attempting to try and pull the "war makes villains of us all" angle and then try and spin that with the whole "you, the player, are responsible" when no choice is ever given - even if there's a clear distinct possibility for it - is disingenuous.

Now, had Spec Ops, for instance, given that moment and let the player choose what to do it still could have spun the same story forward from that point and deliver the message of ruthless, brutal slaughter by allowing the players actions define the person they become towards the end. Do you sneak by the opposition or do you go in, guns blazing? Did you shoot that wounded guy on the ground or walk by? Let that work seamlessly into the ending and I'd be right there with you, hailing Spec Ops as a leap forward.

But having a forced decision like that lead to one single outcome every time and then pretend like it's a moral tale about something? Pfft.

Zhukov:
My problem with the white phosphorous scene was the way the game tried to make me feel guilty about it afterwards. You know, with the walk through the burning bodies and the cutscene with the dead mum and kid.

It didn't work because the game didn't give me a choice beforehand. If it had said, "Either use the phosphorous or face a really tough fight on foot" and I had chosen the phosphorous then it would have worked fine. But as it was, I didn't feel anything because I wasn't responsible. It was as if Bioshock had started telling me off for killing Andrew Ryan.

Agreed. It was a well-made scene, but it would justify it further if you could actually attempt to attack the Gate on foot. They could make the battle almost impossible (or literally impossible), so that you're forced to go back and use the mortar simply to make things easier for yourself. That would actually make the aftermath your responsibility, even if the game did rig the playing field for that.

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