Critical Miss: Top Five Games of 2012 #5

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Yeah, guys, they should have totally made the white phosphorus scene into a binary moral choice. 'Cause those are always so impactful in Bioware games, and nobody ever criticizes Bioware's writing because of them.

Listen, listen, given how much shit you're given for that scene, a lot of people would have gone back and redone it because they would have been like, "Oh, I made the wrong choice. Okay, game, I'll go back and redo it." The scene would have turned into a game mechanic instead of a story point. Nobody would talk about this scene, it would just be all, "Oh, did you do a good play through or an evil play through?"

Pyrian:

Farther than stars:
Actually, there were quite a lot of instances in which you could take a humane alternative, with the exception of the white phosphorous scene. It's just that the humane options weren't always that explicit, which I suppose they wouldn't be on the battlefield.

I think they should've gone all the way; non-explicit sane options all the way. It would be very difficult to complete the game as a saint, but not impossible.

Naw, subtlety's too rare these days. This is a game that's trying to make you look from the self-justifying point of view of a villain and that's something fresh to video games. This isn't about playing as a saint.

erttheking:

Machine Man 1992:

erttheking:

Pal, no matter how you look at it, there are a large amount of unfortunate implications surrounding the modern military shooters, and while I have no problem with the people that like them, they clearly either don't see these implications or they don't care. The point of Spec Ops the Line is that it's pointing out the darker and more horrific side to modern military shooters to people who normally don't see it or think about it. That's what he was trying to point out.

The Medal of Honor games maybe, but I fail to see what unfortunate implications there are in the CoD games besides "player characters are all secretly Captain America" and "air support is awesome".

And before you go into the whole "shooting brown people in the desert," CoD4, MW2, MW3, and BlOps 1 all had Russia as the main antagonist. Hell, in Blops 2, you fight mercenary Cubans, and they had invisibility suits, killer robots, a secret underground science base, and a laser equipped techno-fortress in Haiti.

Then I won't say how it's about "shooting brown people in the desert," it's about "shooting Russians because Russians are evil, because we say so." Blops 2 I have not played however, therefore I am not talking about that one. I have played Cod 4 through Blops 1 though, so I feel confident in criticizing them one, battlefield bad company 2 and battlefield 3 did the same thing now that I think about it, although to be fair I had a hard time following what the fuck was going on in BE 3. Maybe Blops 2 breaks the formula and is actually pretty good, but it came out after Spec Ops, so Spec Ops wasn't trying to deconstruct that game. The point is that while I don't hate the people who play these games or the games themselves (I fucking hate the term spunkgargleweewee) you can't deny that they're not particularly deep, just saying "kill these people because because" and said people have a tendency to be foreigners, especially Russians for some reason. I mean, when was the last time there was a game about France taking over the world?

To be fair, the games are supposed to be from the perspective of a common soldier. To one of the grunts, how much of the conflict is anything other than "shoot these guys because the guy higher up on the totem pole says so."? What we perceive as a lack of depth could in fact be a deliberate obfuscation in order to simulate the feeling of being another cog in the machine.

operationgenesis:
Yeah, guys, they should have totally made the white phosphorus scene into a binary moral choice. 'Cause those are always so impactful in Bioware games, and nobody ever criticizes Bioware's writing because of them.

Listen, listen, given how much shit you're given for that scene, a lot of people would have gone back and redone it because they would have been like, "Oh, I made the wrong choice. Okay, game, I'll go back and redo it." The scene would have turned into a game mechanic instead of a story point. Nobody would talk about this scene, it would just be all, "Oh, did you do a good play through or an evil play through?"

I and some other dude made the argument that the choice could have been "bomb shit or go home". If there was a choice for Walker and team to just say "fuck this, I'm out" and turned around and went home (thus ending the game earlier) it would have been doubly effective: not only is WP your fault, but every other thing afterwards is also your fault.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
I like that the game made me consider my actions, to bring actual morality into the question. I didn't like that it immediately condemned me upon presenting these questions. And that it assumed I was your stereotypical CoD player.

A specific example for my dislike:
'None of this would've happened if you had just stopped', says Konrad at one point and this got me thinking, because it is technically true. I really never would've experienced Spec Ops if I just stopped playing. Just like I wouldn't have finished any other game. Just like the Iron Giant would not have died if I just stopped watching. Just like Winston Smith wouldn't have suffered the horrors he did if I just stopped reading. The game was condemning me for consuming media wherein horrible shit happens, on the grounds that I'm the cause for said shit happening.

And the game was advertised purposely as another run-of-the-mill shoot the non-white people FPS.
I'm pretty sure someone got way too into being a prophet of truth and lambasting an imagined audience of frat boys from a moral high ground.
But that's just as well, because this game is bold and daring and different and brilliant.

WaitWHAT:

Zhukov:
[snip]

Really, guys? The...."BAD THING" in Spec Ops the line happens because the player in a bad position, where they are desperate and have to rely on hard decisions and a little bit of moral duplicity just to pull through. It wouldn't be much of a game if it said "YOU ARE IN AN INCREDIBLY BAD SITUATION AND THIS IS YOUR ONLY HOPE TO SURVIVE: DO THIS DANGEROUS AND DAMAGING THING TO YOUR FELLOW MAN!" and you could just look at it and say "nah".

Besides, I think the greatest part of Spec Ops, apart from the "BAD THING" was the fact that for all the choice it does allow you, bad things still happens and tragedy occurs. I think the that the way Spec Ops drags you kicking and screaming into its unpleasantness makes it so moving in what it does and highlights the potential for video games to expand in this field.

It wasn't bad because you were forced to do it. It was silly because after forcing you to do it the game tried to make you feel bad about doing it. I can't feel bad about something for which I am not responsible.

I wasn't dragged forward kicking and screaming, I was led forward by the nose while sighing and rolling my eyes.

Also, Walker wasn't in a desperate position and the white phosphorous thing wasn't his only hope to survive. The people down in the encampment didn't even know he was there. He really could have looked at that WP mortar and said, "nah". But then the game wouldn't have been able to harangue you over it for the rest of the duration.

Grey Carter:
Critical Miss: Top Five Games of 2012 #5

Five days. Five of 2012's best games.

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Nice to see the artist challenging themselves with a shift in perspective. Keep up the good work.

Machine Man 1992:

operationgenesis:
Yeah, guys, they should have totally made the white phosphorus scene into a binary moral choice. 'Cause those are always so impactful in Bioware games, and nobody ever criticizes Bioware's writing because of them.

Listen, listen, given how much shit you're given for that scene, a lot of people would have gone back and redone it because they would have been like, "Oh, I made the wrong choice. Okay, game, I'll go back and redo it." The scene would have turned into a game mechanic instead of a story point. Nobody would talk about this scene, it would just be all, "Oh, did you do a good play through or an evil play through?"

I and some other dude made the argument that the choice could have been "bomb shit or go home". If there was a choice for Walker and team to just say "fuck this, I'm out" and turned around and went home (thus ending the game earlier) it would have been doubly effective: not only is WP your fault, but every other thing afterwards is also your fault.

Hm, that's actually really interesting, but I don't know how well it would work out. The game's already silly short, so making it possibly even more so probably isn't a good idea. Though it would be interesting, because, seriously, how many people would ACTUALLY go back home? And the people that did, they would totally feel jipped and go back and play the white phosphorus scene anyways, and then the game could be all "HAHA GOT YOU"

Arkham City actually does something pretty similar, in that it gives you a choice as Catwoman to go help Batman or leave Arkham City, and if you leave Batman dies and the game's over and everything's terrible forever, but this I guess would be a positive version of that. So putting in a kind of "nonchoice" is totally interesting, and pretty much defeats my point, but I think in the end a lot of players who have a problem with the game as is would still have the same reaction of "the game made me do it," because the white phosphorus is the only way to actually PROGRESS, you know? They would have a less strong argumentative point, but I don't think that feeling of being forced to do it would go away because nobody's actually going to stop playing the game.

Blunderboy:

DeadpanLunatic:

Blunderboy:
It would be more effective if there was an actual choice. Rather than being forced too.

See, the entire point of Spec Ops is that you don't get to argue "Oh, I had to this to progress in the game, not my fault". You did have a choice. You chose to play Spec Ops.

Actually I didn't. But after hearing all the hype I read up on it. I'm not convinced.

...there's a bit of a hole in that logic, but alright, I'll roll with it.

There's another moment later on...actually, two moments. Among a pile of others, two moments really stand apart as times when you're given a choice in an emotionally tense moment, and that moment dictates how you feel just as much as it does Walker's. Play the game, man. It's a worthwhile game in and of itself, but I've far too much respect for it to give away what those moments are.

Odin311:
During the whole game I kept thinking "this isn't what I would do" Forcing a player to do something isn't innovative or unique.

If the game convinced me as the player to make the choices, that would have been something.

As it is it was a OK game with an OK story line and OK game play.

Then you missed the point. Just imagine if players were able to avoid the white phosphorus event...

You don't get to have an opinion on the game if you haven't played it. It's well and good to say "Well, I don't see why you didn't get a choice, because I would have never..."

While playing the game the atmosphere is such that you really, as a player, have no reason to suspect the action you are about to take is going to have such horrendous results. If you either knew about the scene before hand, or haven't ever played it, you did it wrong and that's why you didn't enjoy it.

If you are just so hipster cool that when you played you actually didn't, as a player, want to use the bad-ass weapon the game was handing you on a silver platter, you probably need to pull your head out of your ass.

Blunderboy:
It would be more effective if there was an actual choice. Rather than being forced too.

I think that would invalidate the game's entire argument. As a player we did have a choice. We could've turned off the game, and never play White Phosphorous, but instead we keep playing so we can progress through the story and feel better about ourselves by playing the "hero." You can argue how effectively the game does this, but offering any other choice defeats the point.

Machine Man 1992:

Madkipz:

Blunderboy:
It would be more effective if there was an actual choice. Rather than being forced too.

Remember No russian? remember this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMnnMRWJ-0

Do you feel like a hero yet?

You could fire over their heads. You could not fire at all. You could take one of the many prompts the game throws up and skip it entirely.

You can fire over their heads. The civvies still die in front of you. You can fire not at all. The civvies still die in front of you.

You can skip it entirely, and guess how that would translate into spec ops. I guess, I dunno. You could maybe stop playing the game. <,<

Waah! Waaah! I had no choice! The game never allowed me to avoid being sucker punched into a guilt trip. Guess what. Spec ops is not a choose your own adventure game. <,<

Zhukov:

MANIFESTER:

Zhukov:
[snip]

I am curious, however, as to what you think it could of done to make the game better?

That's a good question.

I suppose the obvious answer would be to provide some choice then only try and guilt trip the player for the nasty things they choose to do. However, that would kind of... miss the point I suppose? What do you do if someone plays the game as a complete saint? Have Konrad shake their hand and give them a pat on the back at the end? It would derail the whole character arc.

I guess for this kind of thing to work you have to make the plater want to commit atrocities. I don't know how to do that, but I do know that Spec Ops didn't manage it (In the scene with the angry mob I just fired into the air to scare them off. Given what Walker and Co had done earlier I thought that, in the absence of any law enforcement, the locals were well within their rights to do a bit of lynching).

Perhaps you could give the player the option to simply have Walker turn around and walk away at any point. After all, I spent a lot of the game wondering why he didn't report back to his superiors at some point since I'm pretty damn sure his original orders didn't cover fighting rogue US soldiers. That way it would be the player's own curiosity driving them on. Of course, then you have the problem that if the player chooses to have Walker quit the scene they'll never see the cool ending and will essentially be screwing themselves out of content.

So I guess my answer to your question is... I have no bloody idea.

you could make the other choice seem like a good aternative but in the end it just gets worse since you or better said your avatar is determined (by any means) to bring a boogeyman to justice. (and perhaps "justify" the phosphorus scene thats why se keeps saying "we didnt do it, he did it")

or the choices dont do shit at all since you are too deep in the shit for it to matter.
(which would cause a white phosphorus shitstorm on every gaming forums)

like the scene where you can chose to let the guy burn alive or make a coup de grāce and kill him before he suffers a lot.

or the riot scene where you can either shoot in the air or the rioters.

and so on.

btw, didnt he tried to contact the HQ but he couldnt do it since the sandstorms interfered?

Zhukov:

Also, Walker wasn't in a desperate position and the white phosphorous thing wasn't his only hope to survive. The people down in the encampment didn't even know he was there. He really could have looked at that WP mortar and said, "nah". But then the game wouldn't have been able to harangue you over it for the rest of the duration.

i kind of have to disagree on that point.
it would clearly not be as effective but you still would feel mad after finding out that all the "bad" guys you shot turned out to be "good " guys that didnt want the rest of the survivors to die of thirst, like the actual plan of the cia was.

the cia wanted to hide the fact that the Lieutenant Colonel John Konrad tied to evacuate the city several times and failed, sacrificing a really big portion of the cities population.

one point of this game is the power information has that is given and/or withdrawn to/from you.
like the info that these people over there are the "bad guys" and these people are the "good guys".

please read this also:

This explains why he knew what Walker was going through. Konrad had also tried to be a hero, which had dire consequences of the actions he made.

http://specops.wikia.com/wiki/John_Konrad
http://specops.wikia.com/wiki/Grey_Fox

Madkipz:

Machine Man 1992:

Madkipz:

Remember No russian? remember this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMnnMRWJ-0

Do you feel like a hero yet?

You could fire over their heads. You could not fire at all. You could take one of the many prompts the game throws up and skip it entirely.

You can fire over their heads. The civvies still die in front of you. You can fire not at all. The civvies still die in front of you.

You can skip it entirely, and guess how that would translate into spec ops. I guess, I dunno. You could maybe stop playing the game. <,<

Waah! Waaah! I had no choice! The game never allowed me to avoid being sucker punched into a guilt trip. Guess what. Spec ops is not a choose your own adventure game. <,<

Context! It's all about context! No Russian had you as a deep cover operative embedded into a terrorist cell lead by the most ruthless bastard in the western world. Sure civvies still die, but not by your hands. According to information at the time, you could not stop the massacre without blowing your cover, and you did not have standing orders to kill Makarov, merely lie in wait. Not aiding in the massacre is all you can do.

And it all means dick at the end anyway, as Makarov caps you in the face before getting away.

Also, for the record, if the purpose of WP was to guilt or shock me, then it failed by several orders of magnitude. It's little different from the Token Shocking Moments from the Modern Warfare games. Especially since I've done way worse things to people in other games. Expecting me to feel bad about killing people I've never met or, indeed never seen, is just stupid.

Machine Man 1992:

Madkipz:

Machine Man 1992:

You could fire over their heads. You could not fire at all. You could take one of the many prompts the game throws up and skip it entirely.

You can fire over their heads. The civvies still die in front of you. You can fire not at all. The civvies still die in front of you.

You can skip it entirely, and guess how that would translate into spec ops. I guess, I dunno. You could maybe stop playing the game. <,<

Waah! Waaah! I had no choice! The game never allowed me to avoid being sucker punched into a guilt trip. Guess what. Spec ops is not a choose your own adventure game. <,<

Context! It's all about context! No Russian had you as a deep cover operative embedded into a terrorist cell lead by the most ruthless bastard in the western world. Sure civvies still die, but not by your hands. According to information at the time, you could not stop the massacre without blowing your cover, and you did not have standing orders to kill Makarov, merely lie in wait. Not aiding in the massacre is all you can do.

And it all means dick at the end anyway, as Makarov caps you in the face before getting away.

Also, for the record, if the purpose of WP was to guilt or shock me, then it failed by several orders of magnitude. It's little different from the Token Shocking Moments from the Modern Warfare games. Especially since I've done way worse things to people in other games. Expecting me to feel bad about killing people I've never met or, indeed never seen, is just stupid.

They are by far the exact same scenes. The agent had a choice there. A choice that entailed breaching his own cover, but he didn`t. Walker had a choice too. He could have gone home, but he didn`t. Instead he used whatever means necessary to advance and move forward. Just like the player of both games uses whatever means to advance the game. So he can feel like a hero.

Modern warfare used the scene to paint the situation as a fairly dark vs white, pro jingoistic scenario, and used it to paint the protagonist / player as a hero.

The Line used the scene as a turning point to try and express what such a scene would have actually done to the man being played, and the player playing it.

I think The Walking Dead series did something that also made me feel like an 'arsehole' at times. But I'm older and less naive than I used to be. Given a specific context, anyone could be forced 'into being kind of a dick'. It's human nature, and we all do the best we can (er...OK, not ALL of us, but you get the idea). It'd be more surprising to me if someone just White Knighted it completely, because in terms of the real world, that's simply foolish.

"What makes The Line brilliant isn't the way it - quite boldly, for a game - suggests that the American military might not be the force for universal good it's often made out to be, and that our collective obsession with violence, both real and imagined, might not be healthy. It's the fact it does this in a way only a game could."

Really? So, the American Military is often made out as a universal force for good...and saying both that and that society's obsession with violence is unhealthy are bold statements?

*Looks at the movies "Full Metal Jacket,""Three Kings,""The Invisible War,""Jarhead,""Body of Lies," and the following news stories, op-ed pieces and sites:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/international/asia/22abuse.html?ex=1274414400&en=35951e72c65a2185&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/27/us/women-sue-military/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/19/us/bales-court-martial/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/14/health/military-sexual-assaults-personality-disorder/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/14/16510852-military-suicide-rate-hit-record-high-in-2012?lite

http://prospect.org/article/media-violence-versus-real-violence

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Hate-Americas-Obsession-ebook/dp/B00APDE2BA

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/01/11/biden-talks-video-game-violence-with-industry-representatives-to/

http://voices.yahoo.com/is-american-society-obsessed-violence-529611.html

http://ncronline.org/blogs/making-difference/americas-deadly-obsession-violence-and-guns

Riiiiiiight. Look, I'll concede that video games are a new medium to explore the concepts about the atrocities of war and the issues of morality when taking violent action against others. In that way, Spec Ops: The Line is an experiment in an interesting new perspective to approach such subjects. BUT...the statements being made in this game aren't revolutionary, going-against-the-flow sorts of things that should get the developers of Spec Ops: The Line proud badges to wear that read "Bad Ass Maverick". The truth is, they're just jumping on the bandwagon that Hollywood and much of the mainstream entertainment media AND mainstream news media have been on for the longest time and bringing up issues about violence that have already been talked about PLENTY of times before. But from the degree to which reviewers and gamers alike are orgasming over this game, you'd think it was the first to ever broach the subjects in ANY medium, like all unflattering talk and facts about the American military up to this point has been nothing but underground whispering and nobody's ever taken a good, hard look at how much violence has become a norm in our society from an entertainment perspective.

News flash people: Spec Ops: The Line is NOT forging ahead into completely unexplored territory here. More like it's going over very well-trodden ground with a different set of glasses on.

Zhukov:

It wasn't bad because you were forced to do it. It was silly because after forcing you to do it the game tried to make you feel bad about doing it. I can't feel bad about something for which I am not responsible.

I wasn't dragged forward kicking and screaming, I was led forward by the nose while sighing and rolling my eyes.

Also, Walker wasn't in a desperate position and the white phosphorous thing wasn't his only hope to survive. The people down in the encampment didn't even know he was there. He really could have looked at that WP mortar and said, "nah". But then the game wouldn't have been able to harangue you over it for the rest of the duration.

I can't help but get the teensiest feeling that you were deliberately trying to exploit that section to see if you could bypass it....

But seriously, I think it's fairly reasonable for the game to place an army of that size in front of you and say "you can't defeat this through standard means". Even though you've killed at least 3 times that many people by now.SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP But I do somewhat agree with you in that I wish it had done it more organically. Instead of them just putting on a cutscene that said "YOU TOOOTALLY CAN'T BEAT THESE GUYS! Use this gun instead", it might have been nice to, say have put the player into a brief firefight with them so they'd have really known that they didn't have any option. I guess it's the whole principle of "show, don't tell", really.

Madkipz:

Machine Man 1992:

Madkipz:

You can fire over their heads. The civvies still die in front of you. You can fire not at all. The civvies still die in front of you.

You can skip it entirely, and guess how that would translate into spec ops. I guess, I dunno. You could maybe stop playing the game. <,<

Waah! Waaah! I had no choice! The game never allowed me to avoid being sucker punched into a guilt trip. Guess what. Spec ops is not a choose your own adventure game. <,<

Context! It's all about context! No Russian had you as a deep cover operative embedded into a terrorist cell lead by the most ruthless bastard in the western world. Sure civvies still die, but not by your hands. According to information at the time, you could not stop the massacre without blowing your cover, and you did not have standing orders to kill Makarov, merely lie in wait. Not aiding in the massacre is all you can do.

And it all means dick at the end anyway, as Makarov caps you in the face before getting away.

Also, for the record, if the purpose of WP was to guilt or shock me, then it failed by several orders of magnitude. It's little different from the Token Shocking Moments from the Modern Warfare games. Especially since I've done way worse things to people in other games. Expecting me to feel bad about killing people I've never met or, indeed never seen, is just stupid.

They are by far the exact same scenes. The agent had a choice there. A choice that entailed breaching his own cover, but he didn`t. Walker had a choice too. He could have gone home, but he didn`t. Instead he used whatever means necessary to advance and move forward. Just like the player of both games uses whatever means to advance the game. So he can feel like a hero.

Modern warfare used the scene to paint the situation as a fairly dark vs white, pro jingoistic scenario, and used it to paint the protagonist / player as a hero.

The Line used the scene as a turning point to try and express what such a scene would have actually done to the man being played, and the player playing it.

No Russian doesn't get the chance to show what happens to the the players psyche, because they just get killed anyway. The fact that it doesn't shame you for it make it all the stronger for it.

Machine Man 1992:

Madkipz:

Machine Man 1992:

Context! It's all about context! No Russian had you as a deep cover operative embedded into a terrorist cell lead by the most ruthless bastard in the western world. Sure civvies still die, but not by your hands. According to information at the time, you could not stop the massacre without blowing your cover, and you did not have standing orders to kill Makarov, merely lie in wait. Not aiding in the massacre is all you can do.

And it all means dick at the end anyway, as Makarov caps you in the face before getting away.

Also, for the record, if the purpose of WP was to guilt or shock me, then it failed by several orders of magnitude. It's little different from the Token Shocking Moments from the Modern Warfare games. Especially since I've done way worse things to people in other games. Expecting me to feel bad about killing people I've never met or, indeed never seen, is just stupid.

They are by far the exact same scenes. The agent had a choice there. A choice that entailed breaching his own cover, but he didn`t. Walker had a choice too. He could have gone home, but he didn`t. Instead he used whatever means necessary to advance and move forward. Just like the player of both games uses whatever means to advance the game. So he can feel like a hero.

Modern warfare used the scene to paint the situation as a fairly dark vs white, pro jingoistic scenario, and used it to paint the protagonist / player as a hero.

The Line used the scene as a turning point to try and express what such a scene would have actually done to the man being played, and the player playing it.

No Russian doesn't get the chance to show what happens to the the players psyche, because they just get killed anyway. The fact that it doesn't shame you for it make it all the stronger for it.

uH, the fact that it doesn`t shame you for it, detracts from the gravity of the scene in question. No russian is basically just a scene made to cause controversy without any of Spec Ops`s depth.

Madkipz:

Machine Man 1992:

Madkipz:

They are by far the exact same scenes. The agent had a choice there. A choice that entailed breaching his own cover, but he didn`t. Walker had a choice too. He could have gone home, but he didn`t. Instead he used whatever means necessary to advance and move forward. Just like the player of both games uses whatever means to advance the game. So he can feel like a hero.

Modern warfare used the scene to paint the situation as a fairly dark vs white, pro jingoistic scenario, and used it to paint the protagonist / player as a hero.

The Line used the scene as a turning point to try and express what such a scene would have actually done to the man being played, and the player playing it.

No Russian doesn't get the chance to show what happens to the the players psyche, because they just get killed anyway. The fact that it doesn't shame you for it make it all the stronger for it.

uH, the fact that it doesn`t shame you for it, detracts from the gravity of the scene in question. No russian is basically just a scene made to cause controversy without any of Spec Ops`s depth.

There's being deep and then there's amateur ham-handedness. Spec-ops falls in the latter category.

Machine Man 1992:

Madkipz:

Machine Man 1992:

No Russian doesn't get the chance to show what happens to the the players psyche, because they just get killed anyway. The fact that it doesn't shame you for it make it all the stronger for it.

uH, the fact that it doesn`t shame you for it, detracts from the gravity of the scene in question. No russian is basically just a scene made to cause controversy without any of Spec Ops`s depth.

There's being deep and then there's amateur ham-handedness. Spec-ops falls in the latter category.

That is subjective as all hell. Clearly a lot of people do not agree, and clearly some do agree. When put into perspective of gaming media in general, and compared with all other FPS`s in general. The Line is a shining star above a dirty, brown village with burly bromen that salute flags and can do no wrong.

The game has some problems, but mainly in it's press coverage.

I, personally, absolutely just skip anything that seems like a generic shooter.
However, I heard this WASN'T just a generic shooter; it had a smart story and it was mature and it was special! This is inherently the problem.

I could see the game's story being shocking and having great twists if you were just mindlessly plowing along, shooting enemies; but I wasn't doing that. In fact, I never play games like that. Even in CoD I would try to analyze the narrative and second guess what the game was telling me. This became impossible, as there really wasn't one; and what there was was a huge messy shit I just couldn't stomach, so I stopped playing them. In spec-ops, I did the same; I was carefully trying to pick apart the story. However, due to press coverage, I was constantly waiting for all these big twists.

What I got was nothing short of massively disappointing.
I'm glad I only paid $5.09 for this game, because it was essentially a waste of my time.

IMO, the press coverage for this game absolutely ruined the only good part of it. Even just alluding to it's smart story ruins it for players, because you're looking out for it - or in my case, expecting something that was at least above average. Seriously, this game's story really isn't that good. Just because it's alright, people are propelling it into this legendary status; but it's not.

And really, what does the game teach you? Mindlessly killing everyone is bad. We all knew that. And as a person who is generally outspoken on war; especially on America's current and past conflicts (keeping in mind, I'm not American), I just feel almost insulted that the game felt it needed to "teach" me these things.

Maybe above average for shooters, but in terms of more narrative driven titles, it absolutely falls flat.

AC10:
The game has some problems, but mainly in it's press coverage.

I, personally, absolutely just skip anything that seems like a generic shooter.
However, I heard this WASN'T just a generic shooter; it had a smart story and it was mature and it was special! This is inherently the problem.

I could see the game's story being shocking and having great twists if you were just mindlessly plowing along, shooting enemies; but I wasn't doing that. I was carefully trying to pick apart the story, and I was constantly waiting for all these big twists.

What I got was nothing short of massively disappointing.
I'm glad I only paid $5.09 for this game, because it was essentially a waste of my time.

IMO, the press coverage for this game absolutely ruined the only good part of it. Even just alluding to it's smart story ruins it for players, because you're looking out for it - or in my case, expecting something that was at least above average. Seriously, this game's story really isn't that good. Just because it's alright, people are propelling it into this legendary status; but it's not.

And really, what does the game teach you? Mindlessly killing everyone is bad. We all knew that. And as a person who is generally outspoken on war; especially on America's current and past conflicts (keeping in mind, I'm not American), I just feel almost insulted that the game felt it needed to "teach" me these things.

Maybe above average for shooters, but in terms of more narrative driven titles, it absolutely falls flat.

The press coverage for this game had to happen for you to even notice Spec Ops in the first place -.-

I agree, the story isn`t clever, in fact the setting is poorly researched and unrealistic, but the game is at least trying to give you a different experience (and make a statement about the current trends within the fps market itself )while adhering to the core gameplay of a third person Jingoistic shooter.

I loved the polish and care presented in lot of the basic features of The line`s game mechanics as they evolve to reflect the story ( stuff like evermore grueling and rough edged executions, ingame "chatter", to the ever downwards spiralling squadmembers, and morphing apperances). The Line has tried to polish every aspect of this unlike say a mass effect where backstory, ingame actions, and everything in between is just "fluff" (to pad out a checklist of things that lack any sort of gravitas added to it outside a very contrived and shoehorned decision).

So yes, please direct me to a more complete experience / game. I would love to see a list.

I just bought this game. You guys better not have lied to me.

Blunderboy:
It would be more effective if there was an actual choice. Rather than being forced too.

You always have a choice, you can stop playing.

Okay, obviously you're going to finish the game you paid for, but that what's the theme's going for, and I think it does it well.

The way I interpret this comic is it's a joke on all the game critics lining up to kiss SO:TL's ass. Why would we go with Erin's opinion? She's nuts! Even before her accident, she was a hateful misanthrope (Yahtzee with boobs) and bit of a mad person.

Blunderboy:

Yes, there's a choice not to play, but if you've just spunked your cash on something you want your damn moneys worth.

I think you're missing the point with this line of thinking. The never actually wants you to stop playing. I'm quite sure the developers are happy you paid for their game and want you to experience the whole story they worked hard on. It has more to do with why the player would want to play the bland, militaristic shooter the game initially presents itself as.

Honestly, I almost wish the game didn't get all the publicity it did because the story's power comes from its subversiveness. If you already know the game's deal and start playing thinking "Okay, ready for this arty game to teach me a message about violence" it's not nearly as effective.

Madkipz:

Machine Man 1992:

Madkipz:

uH, the fact that it doesn`t shame you for it, detracts from the gravity of the scene in question. No russian is basically just a scene made to cause controversy without any of Spec Ops`s depth.

There's being deep and then there's amateur ham-handedness. Spec-ops falls in the latter category.

That is subjective as all hell. Clearly a lot of people do not agree, and clearly some do agree. When put into perspective of gaming media in general, and compared with all other FPS`s in general. The Line is a shining star above a dirty, brown village with burly bromen that salute flags and can do no wrong.

Which is, ironically, and oversimplification of the genre.

Glass Joe the Champ:

Blunderboy:

Yes, there's a choice not to play, but if you've just spunked your cash on something you want your damn moneys worth.

I think you're missing the point with this line of thinking. The never actually wants you to stop playing. I'm quite sure the developers are happy you paid for their game and want you to experience the whole story they worked hard on. It has more to do with why the player would want to play the bland, militaristic shooter the game initially presents itself as.

Honestly, I almost wish the game didn't get all the publicity it did because the story's power comes from its subversiveness. If you already know the game's deal and start playing thinking "Okay, ready for this arty game to teach me a message about violence" it's not nearly as effective.

Maybe that was my problem. Massive expectations for this game, with an equally massive letdown followed by critical disgust.

AC10:
I'm glad I only paid $5.09 for this game, because it was essentially a waste of my time.

Borderline off topic, but where did you find that kind of deal?

Blunderboy:
It would be more effective if there was an actual choice. Rather than being forced too.

So it would be more effective to completely miss the entire point of the game?

DataSnake:

AC10:
I'm glad I only paid $5.09 for this game, because it was essentially a waste of my time.

Borderline off topic, but where did you find that kind of deal?

On greenmangaming.com they were having a sale on Spec Ops, and they also had a 30% off voucher!

ccdohl:

SonicWaffle:
snip.

That's what you'd call worship? It's a bit like saying that the United States worships non-felons over the age of 18, but okay.

There's a big difference between elevating a group that does something extra and punishing a group that committed a crime.

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