Spec Ops: The Line. A Shooter Propelde By Story Rather Than Gameplay?

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Adam Jensen:

teebeeohh:

octafish:
Hmmm, I tried the PC demo and it just screamed "SHODDY PC PORT" at me. Does the full game have proper graphics options?

no and you also have the usual mouse issues that come with a bad port, if you have a controller connected to the PC the whole interface will just display the buttons on the controller.

While there is a slight mouse sensitivity issue, graphics options are fine. They are not great and detailed as Max Payne 3 options for example, but it's a UT3 engine game. A 5 year old PC can run it just fine. My biggest issue is the default control scheme and "one button to rule them all" like in Mass Effect 3.

Ok. So probably not full retail then. I'm not a fan of the third person anyway, and fighting the controls really does turn me off.

Gorilla Gunk:
Waiting for the console version drop down to $30.

Demo didn't "Wow" me but the game still intrigues me.

I also want to try out the multiplayer despite every review saying it wasn't that great.

Same here, the demo was just boring and looking at all the praise this game is getting it's making me reconsider ignoring it. Hell people are comparing it to "Heart of Darkness" for Christ's sake.

The only things I've heard about the game come from Giant Bomb, where they all had rather negative things to say about it, including: very poor graphics, bland, uninteresting story, sand mechanics that don't come into large play until more than half way through the game, irreversible choices that aren't explained to the player, and more.

They summed it up as a case of misleading advertising; a boring, bland playing and looking game that's been misrepresented in the media as something it's not.

I enjoyed the demo, and I will likely pick the game up. I will probably wait until the price goeas down though because I don't feel like paying the, "Release day," price. If I really decide that I want it, I will either save up a little or pray for it to show up on a Steam mid-week madness event.

The Last Nomad:

SpiderJerusalem:

Niska:
I just finished it this morning after playing for a few days on Suicide Mission difficulty. Honestly, Spec Ops has affected me more then any other game I have ever played. The moral, graphic decisions you are forced to make and your characters decent into madness make you feel horrible at times. The game play is bland but you play this game for the story.

Or you could just read Heart of Darkness and/or watch Apocalypse Now, which is the exact same story, only without the lousy Shyamalan-esque attempts at a twist and the poor dialog.

So a slightly worse version of Apocalypse now in video game form?
That makes it sound better than the majority of games released this year.

No, not slightly.

A pale shadow of a shadow of the original Heart of Darkness. It robs bits and pieces from both, trying to imitate the sombre tone and mood of the book, the overt viciousness of the film (towards the end), the philosophical aspects of the French plantation scenes from the Director's Cut, the colonialist criticisms of Konrad's original work and then tries to play it off as a generic pipe-shooter.

It's the laziest kind of attempt at trying to pose as a smart, edgy story, when all it does is takes the best bits from far superior sources, doesn't credit them and adds only unnecessary twists that create more plot holes and contrivances than they should.

tsb247:
I enjoyed the demo, and I will likely pick the game up. I will probably wait until the price goeas down though because I don't feel like paying the, "Release day," price. If I really decide that I want it, I will either save up a little or pray for it to show up on a Steam mid-week madness event.

It's 50% off on Amazon right now, and you can activate it on Steam.

Serving UpSmiles:
Hell people are comparing it to "Heart of Darkness" for Christ's sake.

Considering that the game makes a number of very obvious references to Heart of Darkness (a character named "John Konrad"), that's a natural comparison.

I just finished the game, and I'd say that the $25 I paid for it was a pretty good price. The gameplay itself is competent but lackluster cover-based TPS, and there are some issues with the story, but it's just so damn refreshing to see a mainstream video game at least trying to tell this kind of narrative, to be this kind of art. I felt genuinely bad about some of my actions in this game, and watching the main character degrade both mentally and physically over the course of the story was very interesting. The industry should be telling more stories like this.

Khazoth:
I honestly CANNOT bring myself to play this game, when I saw the commercial that made it look somehow more brown then any shooter in recent history I immediately tuned out. The commercial made it look like it had somehow taken everything wrong with recent shooters and made one long brownathon through desertestan and its close neighbor country dirtestan.

Hey, it'd be nice if I was wrong though.

I suppose they did not show any of the indoor enviroments in the commercial? Which is really a shame! They really nail the rich and colourful and spectacular designs that makes Dubai a true oasis in the desert!

Hmm... an oasis in the desert? I bet there's a huge metaphor between war and such a place as an oasis, the only sanctum and good thing in a desert, getting consumed by sand...

Aidinthel:

I just finished the game, and I'd say that the $25 I paid for it was a pretty good price. The gameplay itself is competent but lackluster cover-based TPS, and there are some issues with the story, but it's just so damn refreshing to see a mainstream video game at least trying to tell this kind of narrative, to be this kind of art. I felt genuinely bad about some of my actions in this game, and watching the main character degrade both mentally and physically over the course of the story was very interesting. The industry should be telling more stories like this.

The problem i guess, as i see it from comments here and elsewhere, is when a game advertises itself to actually tell a meaningful story, it's suddenly compared to a much higher standard.

Of course, it's a bit of the games own fault to reference and compare itself to such an important work like "Heart of Darkness", but i can't help but feel like a lot of the jaded bitching against Spec-Ops wouldn't have been thrown at less ambitious game-stories.

Many of the criticisms may be right from an objective standpoint, but i have the feeling that a game deserves praise for trying to be ambitious alone, just so Dev's will be motivated to follow up on that and improve, rather than being scared off and not even trying...

SpiderJerusalem:
A pale shadow of a shadow of the original Heart of Darkness. It robs bits and pieces from both, trying to imitate the sombre tone and mood of the book, the overt viciousness of the film (towards the end), the philosophical aspects of the French plantation scenes from the Director's Cut, the colonialist criticisms of Konrad's original work and then tries to play it off as a generic pipe-shooter.

It's the laziest kind of attempt at trying to pose as a smart, edgy story, when all it does is takes the best bits from far superior sources, doesn't credit them and adds only unnecessary twists that create more plot holes and contrivances than they should.

Thus far what I've seen and heard of the game and what it seems to be going for make it out to be exactly this. There may be a few interesting moments and overall it's setting and plot is set out a bit better than most shooters, but that's about it.
Storywise, the worst thing about it is that it pretty much screams at you 'This is deep and meaningful and clever and cutting!' all the damn time. I think the best part about Apocalypse Now was that much of it's implications and themes were quite subtle, whereas this thing just keeps hitting you over the head with a sledgehammer, constantly trying to remind you how great and edgy it is.

It's kind of odd and a little sad that this appears to be regarded by some as the current pinnacle of video game storytelling, but it's even weirder that those same players disregard the faults of it's pretty mediocre gameplay (ie, the real bones of the game) altogether just because of a few moments of apparent 'moral complexity' (or whatever you wanna call it) in game. You can accidently fry a bunch of civilians at one point so it's automatically considered on par with literary works which are just a hell of a lot better than it overall?

Blurgh, I think we should all read more books.

IBlackKiteI:

SpiderJerusalem:
A pale shadow of a shadow of the original Heart of Darkness. It robs bits and pieces from both, trying to imitate the sombre tone and mood of the book, the overt viciousness of the film (towards the end), the philosophical aspects of the French plantation scenes from the Director's Cut, the colonialist criticisms of Konrad's original work and then tries to play it off as a generic pipe-shooter.

It's the laziest kind of attempt at trying to pose as a smart, edgy story, when all it does is takes the best bits from far superior sources, doesn't credit them and adds only unnecessary twists that create more plot holes and contrivances than they should.

Thus far what I've seen and heard of the game and what it seems to be going for make it out to be exactly this. There may be a few interesting moments and overall it's setting and plot is set out a bit better than most shooters, but that's about it.
Storywise, the worst thing about it is that it pretty much screams at you 'This is deep and meaningful and clever and cutting!' all the damn time. I think the best part about Apocalypse Now was that much of it's implications and themes were quite subtle, whereas this thing just keeps hitting you over the head with a sledgehammer, constantly trying to remind you how great and edgy it is.

It's kind of odd and a little sad that this appears to be regarded by some as the current pinnacle of video game storytelling, but it's even weirder that those same players disregard the faults of it's pretty mediocre gameplay (ie, the real bones of the game) altogether just because of a few moments of apparent 'moral complexity' (or whatever you wanna call it) in game. You can accidently fry a bunch of civilians at one point so it's automatically considered on par with literary works which are just a hell of a lot better than it overall?

Blurgh, I think we should all read more books.

Games have been imitating books, movies for ages you know from Tolkien to saving privare ryan, it's nothing new, picking more intellectual works such as "Heart of Darkness" can only mean story telling is getting more complex.

I'm still waiting for a game based of American Psycho :L

Serving UpSmiles:

IBlackKiteI:

SpiderJerusalem:
A pale shadow of a shadow of the original Heart of Darkness. It robs bits and pieces from both, trying to imitate the sombre tone and mood of the book, the overt viciousness of the film (towards the end), the philosophical aspects of the French plantation scenes from the Director's Cut, the colonialist criticisms of Konrad's original work and then tries to play it off as a generic pipe-shooter.

It's the laziest kind of attempt at trying to pose as a smart, edgy story, when all it does is takes the best bits from far superior sources, doesn't credit them and adds only unnecessary twists that create more plot holes and contrivances than they should.

Thus far what I've seen and heard of the game and what it seems to be going for make it out to be exactly this. There may be a few interesting moments and overall it's setting and plot is set out a bit better than most shooters, but that's about it.
Storywise, the worst thing about it is that it pretty much screams at you 'This is deep and meaningful and clever and cutting!' all the damn time. I think the best part about Apocalypse Now was that much of it's implications and themes were quite subtle, whereas this thing just keeps hitting you over the head with a sledgehammer, constantly trying to remind you how great and edgy it is.

It's kind of odd and a little sad that this appears to be regarded by some as the current pinnacle of video game storytelling, but it's even weirder that those same players disregard the faults of it's pretty mediocre gameplay (ie, the real bones of the game) altogether just because of a few moments of apparent 'moral complexity' (or whatever you wanna call it) in game. You can accidently fry a bunch of civilians at one point so it's automatically considered on par with literary works which are just a hell of a lot better than it overall?

Blurgh, I think we should all read more books.

Games have been imitating books, movies for ages you know from Tolkien to saving privare ryan, it's nothing new, picking more intellectual works such as "Heart of Darkness" can only mean story telling is getting more complex.

I'm still waiting for a game based of American Psycho :L

No. It just means that they're just dumbing down more complex material because they've run out of safe bets.

SpiderJerusalem:

No. It just means that they're just dumbing down more complex material because they've run out of safe bets.

When a game can evoke a feeling of disgust at the protagonist and at yourself for killing people, it is of highest ignorance to say its dumbing anything down. Your own ignorance proves you either weren't paying attention, or just looking for things to complain about.

SpiderJerusalem:
No. It just means that they're just dumbing down more complex material because they've run out of safe bets.

So what you're saying is you want more CoD like games where it's war porn and going 'Murica fuck yeah!'? While your opinion is your opinion, I for one am sick of CoD and CoD-like story telling. Which is why I'm enjoying Spec Ops a hell of a lot more than I have enjoyed any of the CoDs for the past seven years.

And in regards to the mediocre gameplay, what do people expect? After 30+ years of gaming, there is literally nothing new to add to gameplay for now. If you want, you can say we've reached the gameplay pinnacle for shooters, with only technology keeping us from breaking out into something different.

matrix3509:

SpiderJerusalem:

No. It just means that they're just dumbing down more complex material because they've run out of safe bets.

When a game can evoke a feeling of disgust at the protagonist and at yourself for killing people, it is of highest ignorance to say its dumbing anything down. Your own ignorance proves you either weren't paying attention, or just looking for things to complain about.

No, it means that it's evocative by tugging at the obvious heartstrings. Killing people is bad, you're a brutal monster for doing these ridiculously over the top things that A TRAINED SOLDIER apparently does at a whim. It's not smart, it's the cheapest and easiest ploy at making people think something is deep when it isn't.

Look at something like Serbian Film, one of the most profoundly disgusting and horrific movies in existence. That makes you feel hatred and anger at the protagonist, but it does not make it deep or smart.

Have you read the Heart of Darkness? Have you seen Apocalypse Now? And, more importantly, how old are you?

LordOfInsanity:

SpiderJerusalem:
No. It just means that they're just dumbing down more complex material because they've run out of safe bets.

So what you're saying is you want more CoD like games where it's war porn and going 'Murica fuck yeah!'? While your opinion is your opinion, I for one am sick of CoD and CoD-like story telling. Which is why I'm enjoying Spec Ops a hell of a lot more than I have enjoyed any of the CoDs for the past seven years.

Wow, way to miss the point completely. I recommend actually reading what people are posting the next time you wanna jump in a conversation.

Started playing it, first impression : Oh no, another pointless unlimited ammo minigun scence. Played it some more but a friend visited so I quit and havent played it since. Will probably play it if I have nothing else to play.

SpiderJerusalem:
Wow, way to miss the point completely. I recommend actually reading what people are posting the next time you wanna jump in a conversation.

No, I got your point perfectly fine. Trying to emulate something like Heart of Darkness is dumbing it down, and safe bets are overused. And what's more safe than Call of Duty "America is awesome, everyone sucks, shoot all these weapons!"?

Or you could tell me what your point is instead of saying a long spiel on how the story of Spec Ops is horrible crud, and the developers shouldn't have even tried.

LordOfInsanity:

SpiderJerusalem:
Wow, way to miss the point completely. I recommend actually reading what people are posting the next time you wanna jump in a conversation.

No, I got your point perfectly fine. Trying to emulate something like Heart of Darkness is dumbing it down, and safe bets are overused. And what's more safe than Call of Duty "America is awesome, everyone sucks, shoot all these weapons!"?

Or you could tell me what your point is instead of saying a long spiel on how the story of Spec Ops is horrible crud, and the developers shouldn't have even tried.

Clearly you didn't. So please, go back, read it again.

Or, here, more simply this time:

Stealing from source material like Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now does not make your game deep, meaningful or smart if all you're taking is the violence and basic setting. Neither does adding in needless twists that make no sense (and add only plot holes).

Also, just because the company isn't using the safest possible bets (like WW2), they're still not even trying to jump out from the safety zone that CoD has created. They're even cribbing the game mechanics from Gears of War.

The story didnt really impress me. The main character came across as a bit of a stupid twat (though I suppose that was intentional), and the twist at the end was just so fucking stupid...

Overall, it seeme like it was trying to make a point about the violence of man or something, when that exact point has already been made dozens of times and much better to boot.

Holly Batman you people are being harsh.

Just completed it twenty minutes ago ... it did not do anything revolutionary but it was a satisfying experience.

The gameplay, while basic, was solid and fun. Some of the sequence were really engaging and tense. I especially liked some of the turret sections.

The story was nothing special but to see the degradation of a soldier in a video game was something I've never seen before. In my opinion, it probably portrays true war/battles a lot better than any other MOH, BF or COD.

The best thing about the game for me was the squad and its banter. Seeing tensions rise, fights erupt ... t'was wonderful, meaningful and something really hit the spot that made me think about my actions. Besides that I'd also like to praise the game for its setting and atmosphere. Some of the music choices contemplated the gameplay and story wonderfully.

Especially the ending.

What I don't like is the fact that higher difficulties just make you become really good friends with walls. And they could've replaced the health regeneration.

Come on people, come down of your horses and play the game with no prejudice or expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. :)

Thandran:
Holly Batman you people are being harsh.

Forget about it. Everytime a game does something different storywise a few guys will jump out of the bush to name movie examples doing it better, more meaningfull and being the original. I`m glad if we get more good book/movie ripoffs to play instead of the crap most action games call a story. Maybe it could be a start for good mature original stories in general gaming (especially shooter are in need of those).

They could have had me if the game had at least actual normal soldiers instead of the "HURR DURR WE SAY SPEC OPS BECAUSE WE'RE SO HIGH SPEED LOW DRAG WE CAN'T WASTE TIME SAYING SPECIAL OPERATIONS!" bullcrap.

Sgt. Sykes:
Besides we know they put the game in Dubai only so that the US teenagers can shoot more Arab people.

I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that real wars in the Middle East marked this decade and they kinda ran out of more countries to fuck up without inventing new ones.

Be right back, I'm going back to the Cold War and moan about James Bond films involving communists and evil geniuses.

OldDirtyCrusty:
Forget about it. Everytime a game does something different storywise

I'm not so sure ripping off things is "different".

Star Wars was cool even with all the things it ripped off, but today?
We bitch about movies not being original anymore! I think it would be hypocrisy to claim that videogames doing it is a "breakthrough". That's basically saying that videogames aren't serious yet.

It's like videogaming is a mentally disabled kid. If videogaming entered a room and knocked someone's 200€ painting people would just smile and pat him in the back.

It seems like a fascinating story and I was really interested in it...but then I heard that the single player campaign was 4-5hours long. I'm not paying $60 for a 4-5 hour game. Yeah, I know there is multiplayer, but I don't really play multiplayer.

So...yeah, I'll wait until I can get it really cheaply.

Now I'm torn.

Everything I've seen and some of the dialogue made me go, "Most generic characters ever in Brown-Filter City fighting ex-CIA guy whose probably trying to steal some secret experimental weapon that was being made there."

But if I'm wrong, color me interested, I suppose. It'll be a test to look past the generic-looking gameplay for me, but if the story is any good I can overlook it. After all, the atmoshphere, story and moral of Metro2033 is what I loved.

Smeggs:
Now I'm torn.

Everything I've seen and some of the dialogue made me go, "Most generic characters ever in Brown-Filter City fighting ex-CIA guy whose probably trying to steal some secret experimental weapon that was being made there."

But if I'm wrong, color me interested, I suppose. It'll be a test to look past the generic-looking gameplay for me, but if the story is any good I can overlook it. After all, the atmoshphere, story and moral of Metro2033 is what I loved.

You're wrong about the ex - CIA.

A fair warning --> the story is something different compared to most military shooters. However if you're remotely connected to military type books, movies ... you'll see some stuff way before it happens.

I don't wish to deter you from buying a copy though! But to be honest ... the campaign, albeit satisfying, is short. Started playing yesterday, finished today.

I'd advise you to buy it for 20 - 30 dollars/euros/drachmas?. It isn't worthy the 60 price tag. They still have some patching up to do. :)

Edit: Spelling errors. :)

Smeggs:
Everything I've seen and some of the dialogue made me go, "Most generic characters ever in Brown-Filter City fighting ex-CIA guy whose probably trying to steal some secret experimental weapon that was being made there."

I think the fact that the characters appear so generic on the surface might actually be an intentional deconstruction of the shooter clichés. Like the devs wanted to show what would happen to these types of people in the real world. They march in expecting to be the Big Damn Heroes and fix everything by killing all the Bad Guys, and fare badly when the situation proves more complex than they expect.

trooper6:
It seems like a fascinating story and I was really interested in it...but then I heard that the single player campaign was 4-5hours long. I'm not paying $60 for a 4-5 hour game. Yeah, I know there is multiplayer, but I don't really play multiplayer.

So...yeah, I'll wait until I can get it really cheaply.

It's a bit longer than that. Steam didn't record my play time properly, but the Kotaku reviewer said it took him about 7 hours. And as I linked earlier it's half-off on Amazon right now. And from what I've heard the multiplayer isn't very good. It's really something you should buy for the single-player.

I don;t often play miltiary shooters (for obvious reasons) but this certainyl got my interest...and I like 3rd person shooters

Aidinthel:

trooper6:
It seems like a fascinating story and I was really interested in it...but then I heard that the single player campaign was 4-5hours long. I'm not paying $60 for a 4-5 hour game. Yeah, I know there is multiplayer, but I don't really play multiplayer.

So...yeah, I'll wait until I can get it really cheaply.

It's a bit longer than that. Steam didn't record my play time properly, but the Kotaku reviewer said it took him about 7 hours. And as I linked earlier it's half-off on Amazon right now. And from what I've heard the multiplayer isn't very good. It's really something you should buy for the single-player.

Despite the fact that this is the Escapist, I'm not a member of the PC master race. Additionally, I don't like Steam because you don't actually own your games and from what I've heard if you upset the powers that be, you can get your account banned and then you can no longer access the games you bought. So, I prefer to stick with my 360. And the 360 version is still too expensive.

ElPatron:

That's basically saying that videogames aren't serious yet.

To me it has nothing to do with being not serious as a medium in general, it`s like this useless art discussion. It`s not about the story itself, it`s about a good mix between gameplay, story, presentation and most important entertainment.
I still like Star Wars and i can still watch Q.Tarantino movies and have fun with it, others don`t, this is no point, just a matter of personal taste.

I guess it all comes down what you expect from a game. Games aren`t movies and i`m glad about it. If you just comparing it with already seen/read stories from movies/books
you´re ruining your own fun. I`d rather experience a story like this than the usual modern war crap (cod, bf,etc). If you look at the storylines most shooter have i would call this "breakthrough" or hopefully a good start.

OldDirtyCrusty:
I`d rather experience a story like this than the usual modern war crap (cod, bf,etc)

The problem is that CoD4 had the best story I could have expected from that shooter. Nameless arab country? Stolen Russian nukes? I have seen that movie, I have read that book. However it mixed up everything really nice and justified every level I played.

Just like Star Wars. The space combat was completely ripped off from a WWII movie, but I didn't care. What about Harry Potter? Troll much? George Lucas and J.K. Rowling ripped off so much and combined it so well that it became a staple of their genre. It's almost like a tribute.

But sitting in front of my PC and thinking to myself that I have seen that story before is the same thing as when it happens when I am reading a book or watching a movie.

That wouldn't be too serious if the gameplay interested me. But since the thread is about how the story "propels" the game I have to say if the gameplay doesn't interest me it better have a great story.

Vault101:
I don;t often play miltiary shooters (for obvious reasons)

You're saying that like if it was widely known that military shooters cause cancer.

In other words: it's not that obvious what you are trying to say.

SpiderJerusalem:

Niska:
I just finished it this morning after playing for a few days on Suicide Mission difficulty. Honestly, Spec Ops has affected me more then any other game I have ever played. The moral, graphic decisions you are forced to make and your characters decent into madness make you feel horrible at times. The game play is bland but you play this game for the story.

Or you could just read Heart of Darkness and/or watch Apocalypse Now, which is the exact same story, only without the lousy Shyamalan-esque attempts at a twist and the poor dialog.

How about we play video games with great stories instead of insult them for not being an older medium then? This kind of thinking is freaking awful and should be noted for the sane fact that people who say this kind of stuff should just be ignored by video game makers overall. I would rather have an amazing story than a amazing journey of gameplay. Mainly for the fact that we would keep getting stuff like Gears of war instead of master pieces like Bioshock.

Jay444111:

SpiderJerusalem:

Niska:
I just finished it this morning after playing for a few days on Suicide Mission difficulty. Honestly, Spec Ops has affected me more then any other game I have ever played. The moral, graphic decisions you are forced to make and your characters decent into madness make you feel horrible at times. The game play is bland but you play this game for the story.

Or you could just read Heart of Darkness and/or watch Apocalypse Now, which is the exact same story, only without the lousy Shyamalan-esque attempts at a twist and the poor dialog.

How about we play video games with great stories instead of insult them for not being an older medium then? This kind of thinking is freaking awful and should be noted for the sane fact that people who say this kind of stuff should just be ignored by video game makers overall. I would rather have an amazing story than a amazing journey of gameplay. Mainly for the fact that we would keep getting stuff like Gears of war instead of master pieces like Bioshock.

How about we praise game makers (like film makers) for crafting original, engaging stories instead of those who steal and rehash works from sources. Stuff like Bioshock, which features not a single original idea to it's name, or Spec Ops, which steals (or borrows, depending on who you ask) from Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, without originality or even putting a new spin on the material. They're essentially remakes of great stories, but without the audacity or the courage to truly stand out as worthy storytelling continuations.

Now, something like Uncharted, as corny, cheesy and by-the-adventure-genre-book it may be, they still were daring enough to take the story into new places, work with the mythology they had and craft new, interesting characters and plots. I regard them just as highly as I regard the Indiana Jones trilogy.

SpiderJerusalem:

No, not slightly.

A pale shadow of a shadow of the original Heart of Darkness. It robs bits and pieces from both, trying to imitate the sombre tone and mood of the book, the overt viciousness of the film (towards the end), the philosophical aspects of the French plantation scenes from the Director's Cut, the colonialist criticisms of Konrad's original work and then tries to play it off as a generic pipe-shooter.

It's the laziest kind of attempt at trying to pose as a smart, edgy story, when all it does is takes the best bits from far superior sources, doesn't credit them and adds only unnecessary twists that create more plot holes and contrivances than they should.

This. I finished the demo, and was instantly not impressed. I'd heard of all the "Trying to adapt Heart of Darkness as a videogame" talk, and, as a fan of (Though, by no means any sort of expert on, it's an amazingly complex book, Heart of Darkness, I thought I'd check it out.)

Firstly, the characters are a terrible representation of the military: I mean, seriously, at least look up what body armour looks like on a man before you put in this protagonist wearing what seems to be paper thin nonsense. The concept of sending in a 3-man "Delta team" (No, special forces does not mean what you think it does Game devs. Think "All Gillied up" rather than every other level in Modern Warfare). Then I get to the gameplay: Magical 1-button does everything, ridiculous contextualisation, and the levels are utterly linear (Like, depressingly so. It's a corridor shooter out in a desert. Yeah, really) The Unreal 3, as you'd expect, looks utterly dated.

My first encounter with enemies (Outside of a turret section on a helicopter (Entirely scripted, poorly animated, and just reinforcing the lack of reality of the situation [Before someone says: No, I don't think realism is a good thing, however, a certain level of maturity and reality is needed for the type of commentary they want: Firing a minigun during a rail section at scripted helicopters is not. It's fucking duck hunt.])) was a group of scavenger/survivor types. They don't speak English, so one squad member (Only one? In a mission into Dubai, without reinforcements? What the fuck?) converses in his native tongue. Rather than any choices, or any option apart from mindless violence, we shoot and kill all the survivors, then progress through more linear bullshit killing guys who've magically determined where we are, and now hide behind chest high walls waiting their turn. There's no sense of desperation, or that these guys have any motivation, you're just killing. You don't even have a pack of supplies they could concievably want to rob you of for christ's sake.

After brutally murdering the fuck out of everyone (And the finishing moves are entirely stupid. Seriously, the military doesn't act like this, and half of these things are non-lethal against deadly threats, with weapons, which we leave right next to them. It's just completely stolen curb stomps from GOW), we get to rescue some soldiers being held prisoner (There's no real reason they are, they just are).

Then onto a skip, (demo), we get to find out that a crazy hippy on the radio is actually ordering all the torture and murder (Which is bizarre and just plain silly, as presented in the game), kill some more enemies (Now military guys, who, bizarrely, have a tactic of running, unarmed but for a knife, up to you, letting you shoot the hell out of them), learning that there's some sort of CIA activity against the deserters. Riiight.

So onto more killing of dudes (Seriously, you kill relentlessly, it's just GOW gameplay non-stop, completely at odds with the themes of the story.)

That's about all I remember before the demo ends.

So, let me get this straight: Murdering hundreds of enemies, cutting through hordes of boring Serious Sam-esque archetypes who are meant to represent sympathetic or interesting characters, with your team of standard Special Forces stereotypes, for a mission that isn't clear, while observing a story about a military man who may have gone Konrad Krazy in the middle of a desert is meant to be the retelling of Heart of Darkness? No matter how dark of ruthless that the protagonist gets, that's not the point of the story, and the complete disconnect between story and gameplay just further demonstrates the soul-less adaptation it is.

It's a Dante's Inferno. It's pretending to be meaningful, rather than being meaningful, brings nothing new to the concept, dumbs down the concept, and then sells it with the generic UT3 Engine GOW clone. They want to be compared to Heart of Darkness, they want to seem clever without doing the work. They're hoping you've seen Apocalypse Now, and read HoD, so you'll fill in the gaps to assume the intent of the original work.

Homefront is more meaningful than this. Fuck, Bulletstorm had a better narrative and theme than this.

Oops, double. CAPTCHAAAA!

SpiderJerusalem:

Jay444111:

SpiderJerusalem:

Or you could just read Heart of Darkness and/or watch Apocalypse Now, which is the exact same story, only without the lousy Shyamalan-esque attempts at a twist and the poor dialog.

How about we play video games with great stories instead of insult them for not being an older medium then? This kind of thinking is freaking awful and should be noted for the sane fact that people who say this kind of stuff should just be ignored by video game makers overall. I would rather have an amazing story than a amazing journey of gameplay. Mainly for the fact that we would keep getting stuff like Gears of war instead of master pieces like Bioshock.

How about we praise game makers (like film makers) for crafting original, engaging stories instead of those who steal and rehash works from sources. Stuff like Bioshock, which features not a single original idea to it's name, or Spec Ops, which steals (or borrows, depending on who you ask) from Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, without originality or even putting a new spin on the material. They're essentially remakes of great stories, but without the audacity or the courage to truly stand out as worthy storytelling continuations.

Now, something like Uncharted, as corny, cheesy and by-the-adventure-genre-book it may be, they still were daring enough to take the story into new places, work with the mythology they had and craft new, interesting characters and plots. I regard them just as highly as I regard the Indiana Jones trilogy.

To be fair, while Bioshock is rehashing old ideas, it's doing so to express those ideas in the context of a game, rather than exploiting the source material. It's a commentary on Objectivism, rather than hoping you'll play it and think of Atlas Shrugged. I'd say that it's the right sort of adaptation.

Serving UpSmiles:

Games have been imitating books, movies for ages you know from Tolkien to saving privare ryan, it's nothing new, picking more intellectual works such as "Heart of Darkness" can only mean story telling is getting more complex.

I'm still waiting for a game based of American Psycho :L

Using someone else's story isn't more complex. I'm waiting till we can make our own Heart of Darkness, not steal someone elses.

I'd say games like Portal and Bioshock start to get there, some like Farcry 2 try too hard, and fail, and that Bastion and Metro 2033 certainly have an interesting perspective that's worth considering.

GOW clones with references to classic literature won't get us there, not ever.

Having finished it, I will say this: The game's gameplay is fairly standard fare for FPSes these days, with one exception - it's pretty fucking hard!

That being said the gameplay being hard is good, because the difficulty adds to what this game's gameplay primary purpose really seems to be - Spec Ops: The Line's gameplay serves primarily to tell the story.

This is extremely apparent because the more and more you play the game, the less and less you feel like killing enemies "just for teh lulz." and more and more you wind up killing enemies "because the bastards fucking had it coming!"

Does that mean the gameplay is great? On its own merits...no. But it does mean that it has absolutely terrific synergy with the story of the game. Not to mention the art...GOD! No brown/grey shooter tropes here...colors aplenty in post-apocalypstick Dubai!

To conclude - DEFINITELY give this one a playthrough if you appreciate a good story. I can't say the characterization is phenomenal since I feel like the characters primarily serve the overall story and message of the game too rather than being their own persons, but it is solid regardless.

And to those saying this is just another samey boring military FPS or GOW knock-off or whatever...ugh...you have no clue how wrong you are. GOW's story is filled with all kinds of ideals and delusions - this game's story may start on such a familiar note, but the more you play it the more you realize that it is literally about having all these ideals and delusions being stripped to the bone until by the end the only thing left is the cold hard truth about war.

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