Is Spec Ops: the Line overrated?
Yes
22% (117)
22% (117)
No
77.8% (414)
77.8% (414)
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Poll: Is Spec Ops: the Line overrated?

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kanyewhite:

Okay, I liked Spec Ops. It was good, some of the time. However, every time it pops up on these forums people call it "A SHOW OF HOW OUR MEDIUM IS ART AND BETTER THAN MOVIES!!!!" I felt like the game was hindered by all the delays and a lower budget than it deserved. The gameplay was ok, just not standout.

The STORY IS NOT THE BEST.

I think I'm way too harsh, but maybe we were too easy.

haven't played it yet, just planning (I want to find some time when I'll be able to go through it whole without being disturbed by any people or thoughts), but from what I heard (Errant Signal's and Extra Credit's analyses) I don't think it's overrated.

1. gameplay was not meant to be standout, it was "ok" intentionally

2. the story alone was also not meant to be "the best".

3. "A how of how our medium is art and better than movies!" doesn't necessarily mean that the example itself MUST be art and better than movies and excellent

4. From what I understood, the main point was that it was a game where narrative and mechanics were not contradicting each other, the main strength of the game comes from them working together in a meaningful way, so judging them separately misses the point

5. It was one of the first "close to AAA" examples of how this can be done and used for the better, the game doesn't have to be perfect to make a strong and valid statement along the lines "See how strong this can be? Now imagine making a game bearing this in mind, that has an excellent story in and of itself, and excellent mechanics in and of itself, how freaking strong that could/would be?"

6. It was (I think) kind of a historical milestone for games (and this doesn't at all require the game to be awesome), because it was, again, probably the first "close to AAA" titles to reflect on its own medium, and also culture surrounding it. I think that's the more/most important reason for which it was praised.

7. It may not be excellent, or even "very good" in and of itself, but I feel it kind of opened a door for more interesting (and potentially better) games to use this approach.

Naeras:

AdonistheDark:
If this game is so eye-opening, then where are all the ex-COD dudebros renouncing their brown people murder simulating ways?

They're hanging out with the girls that stopped watching romantic comedies because some other movie that they had no interest in whatsoever explained how dumb, overdone and borderline psychotic the majority of romantic comedies tend to be.

I'm pretty sure I love you.

MidnightSt:

kanyewhite:

Okay, I liked Spec Ops. It was good, some of the time. However, every time it pops up on these forums people call it "A SHOW OF HOW OUR MEDIUM IS ART AND BETTER THAN MOVIES!!!!" I felt like the game was hindered by all the delays and a lower budget than it deserved. The gameplay was ok, just not standout.

The STORY IS NOT THE BEST.

I think I'm way too harsh, but maybe we were too easy.

haven't played it yet, just planning (I want to find some time when I'll be able to go through it whole without being disturbed by any people or thoughts), but from what I heard (Errant Signal's and Extra Credit's analyses) I don't think it's overrated.

1. gameplay was not meant to be standout, it was "ok" intentionally

2. the story alone was also not meant to be "the best".

3. "A how of how our medium is art and better than movies!" doesn't necessarily mean that the example itself MUST be art and better than movies and excellent

4. From what I understood, the main point was that it was a game where narrative and mechanics were not contradicting each other, the main strength of the game comes from them working together in a meaningful way, so judging them separately misses the point

5. It was one of the first "close to AAA" examples of how this can be done and used for the better, the game doesn't have to be perfect to make a strong and valid statement along the lines "See how strong this can be? Now imagine making a game bearing this in mind, that has an excellent story in and of itself, and excellent mechanics in and of itself, how freaking strong that could/would be?"

6. It was (I think) kind of a historical milestone for games (and this doesn't at all require the game to be awesome), because it was, again, probably the first "close to AAA" titles to reflect on its own medium, and also culture surrounding it. I think that's the more/most important reason for which it was praised.

7. It may not be excellent, or even "very good" in and of itself, but I feel it kind of opened a door for more interesting (and potentially better) games to use this approach.

Not meaning to single you out, but you pretty much list the exact reasons why I do think it's overrated.
All those things how the gameplay is barely "ok" intentionally, how you have the exact same mechanics like "shoot baddies until timer runs out" being a reflection on the genre? All the resemblances to BlackOps (one of the last two Spunkgargleweewees I've played) "Oh, it's all in the protagonist's head" and "Oh, let's have some Vietnam/Woodstock era music"? And this claim that all this makes the game so special? For me, that's a mere statement that is being made outside of the game. While being in it, I haven't experienced these notions. And even if all of this was in fact a cunning plan of the developers - how great or difficult or genious is it really, after all, to mock all the Battlecalls of Warfares?

I do think it is an important game and I hope it leaves an impact, but praising it so much just because it shines in comparison to all the other shit reeks of superficiality.

kanyewhite:
*Puts on flame suit, hides behind bullet proof glass*

Okay, I liked Spec Ops. It was good, some of the time. However, every time it pops up on these forums people call it "A SHOW OF HOW OUR MEDIUM IS ART AND BETTER THAN MOVIES!!!!" I felt like the game was hindered by all the delays and a lower budget than it deserved. The gameplay was ok, just not standout.

This is where I'll get controversial. The STORY IS NOT THE BEST. In fact, if it was a film, I think it wouldn't be praised. The twist at the end felt like the bad Twilight Zone episodes, and the "emotional" moments were good, but not "more effective than Schindler's List" (which I was told). THe characters just felt generic even near the end, when they were supposed to be all crazy, except Walker. I also had a creeping feeling they were trying to make Konrad like Andrew Ryan in the sense you talk to him and never see him, which didn't do much for me.

The game's satire isn't exactly the video game Animal Farm, and I felt if you sort of cut out the white phosphorous stuff and the lynching, it just could have been another generic shooter.

I think I'm way too harsh, but maybe we were too easy.

When I played the game there wasnt much hype around it yet and when I did I was a little stunned. Stunned that the developers tried to tackle actual issues with themes such as "War is hell" and "Playing the hero". Not to mention the first time games have tried to touch the issues surrounding PTSD (and one that books and movies rarely touch). I believe the developers set out to use their game to express such ideals and for me they came across well (which is saying something since Ive actually been in combat).

Today people prop the game up pretty high and as an artistic endevor I think the game delivers very well. However the game is not a masterpiece IMO. It has its issues both in story and in gameplay but I can still find meaning, beauty, and emotion in it. To me that makes it worth a purchase. Few games inspire awe or provoke thought from me and the ones that do deserve support from gamers.

Ultimately whether the line is overated or not is a question that requests a subjective answer from a subjective question.

mad825:

Erm, no. They would see the mortar as a easy and quicker choice rather than risking time and effort. Even then, the result of the using the mortar is bullshit as the civilians will get killed no matter what and they would go up like they were storing gasoline in the same place.

I want to draw your attention to this phrase

"refusing to use the mortar would result in a endless spawning of snipers"

Going buy your proposed solution not using the solution would not be a solution as enemies would constantly respawn stalling the game until the mortar was used.

A forced choice

ShinyCharizard:
Why do people praise this game by saying it makes you want to quit playing it? How is that a good thing?

Please just think about it for a moment. If that is the case then the developers have designed a game that sends the message that they do not want you to play this game. In that case perhaps they are doing something wrong and should find a different industry to work in.

I kind of missed three pages of debate back there, so sorry for bringing this back up. Reading your posts, you don't seem to really enjoy the type of game that Spec Ops is trying to be. That's fine; I don't want to convince you to like it if it's not your cup of tea.

But when you're talking about how games shouldn't want to make you quit playing them, it occurred to me that it might be better to draw a comparison to tragedies in theatre. I don't if you've ever watched a tragedy played well on stage, but they're deeply uncomfortable to watch - a good actor has to simulate the psychological devastation of the character, and if they're really good, it's disturbingly similar to watching someone break down in front of you. I've seen Ian McKellen play King Lear, and I actually wanted to leave my seat - not because it was bad, but because it was so good it was almost too painful to bear.

This is because the point of a tragedy is to be painful. I'm sorry to whip out the Greek guns, but Aristotle wrote about how a tragedy works by inducing catharsis in the audience; it shows them something deeply painful and unpleasant, forces them to watch, and afterwards the audience feels better for having experienced it, having been purged of whatever unpleasant feelings the tragedy evoked in them. It's like vomiting; it feels awful doing it, because it has to come out your mouth, but afterwards you feel better because at least all that bile isn't in you anymore.

I think Spec Ops is a tragedy in the Greek sense. It's not fun to play, it's not fun to watch, it's not even particularly fun to talk about. The game is daring you to leave, but you feel compelled to stay. You're watching the hero take the express train into Crazyland, knowing that he could stop at any time but he won't. Knowing you can stop playing at any time, but you won't.

So, yeah. Spec Ops is like vomiting. Wait, maybe I lost the thread there.

AdonistheDark:
If this game is so eye-opening, then where are all the ex-COD dudebros renouncing their brown people murder simulating ways?

It's actually a really good point. I don't play CoD myself (though I did play Halo and Gears of War) so I don't know how much of an effect the game would have had on its presumed target audience. I have a whole heap of friends who've played CoD; maybe I can get them to play it and ask what they thought.

I can say, however, that I didn't enjoy the game out of moral outrage. The game was actually pretty painful to play. To the extent that I enjoyed it, I enjoyed how it played with my expectations of the genre. I mean, I expected the game to be critical of war, but I never expected Walker to be the bad guy, so when I realised it, it hit with full force.

I never really went "Ah! How awful it is that today's youth plays such games!" I sorta just went "woah" and then thought about it for a long time. I mean, it hadn't even occurred to me to try and get my dudebro friends to play it until you mentioned it just then.

bullet_sandw1ch:

Madkipz:
When compared to other games SPEC OPS: The Line is the single greatest FPS I have played since Bioshock. A ride for the century. Because I seriously doubt we will see many others like this.

The Line is a game where choice is mostly hidden and not intuitive, a game that has evoked more emotions than say Walking Dead (a game where choice is commercially advocated to you, and yet always made irrelevant).

Nothing in The Walking Dead can be "discussed", nothing in this game besides a minute or two of episode 5 caused any feels at all, and they were all contrived, and predictable as all hell. You see Clems cap on the street, check the cardboards, and BOOM ZOMBIE!

Spec Ops: The Line has no commercially advocated or marketed choices and yet it allows you to make the most profoundly relevant and different choices I have seen for a long time. How to disperse a crowd of angry civvies, do you shoot the CIA agent begging for relief after he is trapped underneath a burning truck? What do you do, and what does it mean for you?

Personally I shot Konrad, and I surrendered my weapon. It made sense to get out of this elaborate purgatory. I came, I saw, I chose, and it was good. The fact that you can shoot these guys that come to fetch you and stay is amazing. The fact that Walker / the player can decided that he should pay the price of his actions in suicide is amazing. There is even a theory that Konrad is the guy inventing up a Captain Walker persona to escape his own guilt (supported by the fact that captain Walker is wearing Konrads clothes when they come to get him).

This game is not mainstream. This game is not overrated, and yet it is. This game is not fun, and yet it is compelling, interesting, engaging, profoundly awesome when compared with every other game of 2012.

The Line has set itself apart. It is the only game of 2012 that will remain relevant for many years to come, and those who can appreciate it sometimes only have the vocabulary to express that they feel it is better than. It is the first real attempt at being different. It is the only compelling argument of video games as art made in 2012.

first, to say that spec ops is the "only game of 2012 that will remain relevant" is bullshit.

ME3 concluded the best sci fi series of all time (flaws and all).
Dishonored gave you endless choices on how to tackle situations, even if the moral code system is predictable.
Far cry 3 gave unprecedented freedom for a open world game.
TWD created what could be argued as the video game industry's first truly believable cast of characters.
Borderlands 2 is currently the best loot grinding game on the market.
Max payne 3 has what could be the best 3rd person shooting in the genre.
Journey is the first game that could be truly labelled as art, and is spearheading the "games are art too" movement.

see what i mean? spec ops is an excellent game, albeit overrated (because of the constant praise), but it is not the only thing that 2012 will be remembered for.

also, to say it's the BEST FPS since bioshock (which was only excellent story wise) is a very... strange opinion, to say the least. see, the mechanics in the game are sub-par. other games (like the previously mentioned max payne 3) have the energy and fluidity that spec ops just dosent.

sorry if it seems like i attacked you, but i wanted to chime in, and i have no ill will with this.

It`s not bullshit. I never said 2012 did not have other memorable games. I said Spec ops will retain relevance, for you will not see one like it in a long time. All the other games have gimmicks that can be copied and pasted into the infinite. Whether it be a satisfying game play mechanic, an enchanting world, freedom, or believable entities.

Spec Ops has no such gimmick. its gameplay is tried and there are better, its characters are tried, and there are better, even the setting in Dubai is horribly researched and unrealistic, but all of it comes together in a satisfying narrative with an illusion of choice that something like the walking dead can only hope to allude towards. In retaining a sense of linearity both gameplay changes, art asset changes, and narrative hooks all tie together to question not just the genre it is presented in, but also to call to question who we are to enjoy this kind of thing.

No other game in a long time has tried to venture into the realm of the profound since the time of Bioshocks Andrew Ryan, and while that was a fun experience Spec Ops does it better. A whole lot better.

bastardofmelbourne:
snip

That's fine. I think we should just agree to disagree here.

It was a drama where your choices didn't really have that much effect, but I guess it would look at YOU as a person who makes such choices. I tend to think it's testing my morals when times get bad. Won't spoil anything when I say that. It had a nice storyline.

Is Spec Ops: The Line overrated? Sure, at least here on The Escapist. But being overrated doesn't necessarily stop it from being good or even great. I, of course, think The Line is pretty special despite the many criticisms it deserves because I really appreciate what it tried to do and spoke to me in a way a game never has before. I loved the way its message was delivered, though not perfectly.

After all, plenty of my all time favourite games and franchises (GTA, MGS, Mass Effect, Saints Row, Fallout, etc.) are not without their glaring flaws and annoying fanboys, maybe even overrated and overhyped, but still pretty damn good at what they tried to do.

I also don't understand how Spec Ops: The Line should be accused of being overrated, of all things, based on its crummy gameplay when absolutely no one has praised the game for its gameplay, the narrative is what has drawn the attention. If you think the narrative isn't what people have hyped it up to be, then I can understand calling the game overrated. You might think the narrative is paradoxical and perhaps hypocritical, but I've seen some people here stating the game shouldn't have the right to use a medium to criticise that medium and I think those people are going a bit too far.

But anyway, if you don't like Spec Ops: The Line based on the bad gameplay, that's fine too. But if you're coming at it from that angle, I don't think you get to use the word "overrated" simply because the functionality and quality of the combat/gameplay mechanics never realy praised in the first place (at best, people say its supposed to be bad for narrative reasons but even I think that's reaching for it a bit). You can call the game a lot of things for this reason, boring, broken, whatever, all of them are probably valid. I just don't think the word "overrated" is appropriate when criticising the game from this angle.

Then again, take my thoughts with a grain of salt if you want because my Games of the Year were all this game, ME3, Lollipop Chainsaw and Max Payne 3 because I'm fussy and have weird tastes.

The comparison to Schindler's List doesn't hold much water. The scenarios in Spec Ops are used for a very different purpose than the scenes in that film, and presented in a different format so measuring the two against each other is pointless. Also, if the phosphorous and lynching were cut out it would still not be close to the other generic shooters, even though those moments are significant to the games purpose.

I thought it was good, not great. I got a chance to play it again, and while I still say that the game holds up better, I will still felt like the story just kept saying "LOOK AT YOUR, YOU'RE A MONSTER!!! A MOTHER FUCKING MONSTER!!!" It's still an interesting tale, it just keeps bang it's themes in my face too much.

Like all games, essentially this is a question of "Do you hang around with tedious people?".

I've only occasionally heard that it's a pretty good game with a story that behaves differently to modern FPSs, and that I should definitely try it when I get the time. So no, I don't think it's overrated, that seems like a perfectly reasonable recommendation. If people you know are doing more that's a problem with them, not the game.

It was a great game, but would be better without all the hype.

I commend the game for taking a different approach to military shooters than what most generic shooters do but that's pretty much the only reason why I would praise the game.

For me, the story was alright but the heavy parts, like the white phosphorus scene didn't really affect me because I didn't have a choice. When I reached that part, I knew that something really bad would happen if I used the white phosphorus. I even tried not to use it but the game would just spawn an infinite amount of enemies. At some point, it started spawning snipers on the roofs of two buildings that were to left and right from my position and whenever I killed one of them, another one popped right out of nothing and started sniping me. So I started using that weapon because that's what the game wanted me to do. When I reached the pit with all those little white dots, I knew exactly that I'd probably be killing civilians but again, I couldn't continue unless I did it.
And before some smartass quotes me, no, quiting the game isn't a viable option at all. I payed 60 bucks to finish it, I'm not just going to stop because I'll blow up some lines of code.
Of course the game tried to make me feel horrible for that but I simply didn't feel responsible for any of those actions. If it had been a choice, then I might have felt bad but I wouldn't have done it in that case of course and the games story wouldn't have worked out, the way the devs had intended.

Also, the gameplay was just bad and that's always a big negative point for a game. It depends a bit on the game but story alone won't make a video game in my book.

But I still recommend it to anyone who asks me, it's a breath of fresh air.

Brotha Desmond:
It was a great game, but would be better without all the hype.

For the most part, this site is the only place where this game got ANY hype at all. Most other places dismissed it as a sup-par gears of war knockoff.

My favourite part about Spec Ops is that everyone complains about not having any real choices after playing the scene where the main character rationalises away his alternatives as not real choices. It's fascinating to watch something like that come together exactly as intended. Not only that but it's divisive and provokes discussion, which is great.

Gameplay-wise I wish more games would convey character development through changes in battle animation and dialogue

Drawing from my own experience, I feel that Spec Ops: The Line deserves a notable recommendation, just because it uses gameplay as an allegory for "shooters" (or the mindset of shooters).

The degree to which the game should be praised for this feature is left to personal opinion. I consider it notable, and would recommend it to another person searching for something different in the shooter genre.

It also serves as one of "those" games that uses the concept of "gameplay" as an active narrative tool...sort of cracking the fourth wall.

kanyewhite:
*Snip*

It's the modern FPS that was made for the sorts of people who spend their time on the internet complaining vehemently about the modern FPS.

Specs Ops IS overrated. If you need to convey your message through loading screens, you have failed. I didn't feel even remotely affected by the white phosphorous because I was trying to figure out whose side those soldiers were on. How am I, as a player, supposed to feel bad about killing civilians if the game forces me to?

The game would have been better off allowing the player to make conscious choices that leads to the complete clusterfuck at the end. That would be have made an impact on me. Giving the player a clear choice to simply leave Dubai for example, before you screw everything up. If you want to criticise how people love CoD games when they should be really disturbed instead, they need to have the player be directly responsible for some of the consequences. What I got was a convoluted, linear story where the only option given to me by the game was forced distress.

At the refugee camp where Lugo dies, I tried to just force my way through the crowd instead of gunning them down. Instead, I hit an invisible wall. If the developer forces me to shoot them to continue the story, they damn well don't have the right to sneer that what I did was a crime.

Soveru:
Specs Ops IS overrated. If you need to convey your message through loading screens, you have failed. I didn't feel even remotely affected by the white phosphorous because I was trying to figure out whose side those soldiers were on. How am I, as a player, supposed to feel bad about killing civilians if the game forces me to?

People seem to get really defensive about this! The developers actually spoke on that point in an interview with RPS after the game was released. Basically, in their opinion, if you deflect blame for the white phosphorus onto the developers because they "forced" you to do it, you're making the same mistake Walker did when he blamed Konrad for "forcing" him to do it. You're shifting responsibility for your actions onto an outside party, so that you can retain your moral high ground.

I think it's funny that you wanted the game to give you the option to leave Dubai "before you screw everything up" as an alternative. It did. You can turn the game off whenever you want. Why is that so objectionable? Why do you have to play the game?

At the refugee camp where Lugo dies, I tried to just force my way through the crowd instead of gunning them down. Instead, I hit an invisible wall. If the developer forces me to shoot them to continue the story, they damn well don't have the right to sneer that what I did was a crime.

You don't have to shoot them. You can shoot in the air and it scares them off.

That's actually pretty funny. You're talking about how you can't feel responsible for crimes the game forced you to do, but you could have not done that one! You just assumed you had to shoot them to get past, didn't you? Who's responsible for that?

I think that proves Yager's point better than anything I can come up with.

I think you're missing a few key points here.

No one really praises it for the gameplay, just the story. If it were a film, it wouldn't have been able to convay its message or plot nearly as well. Being a videogame makes it a work of genius.

Also, I've seen Shindler's List. I'd say Spec Ops: The Line has it beat by multiple landslides for its story.

Far more powerful message, right there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlBrenhzMZI

It's a good game, which actually uses the fact that it's a game to pass a message. It's easy to show how evil the enemy can be and dehumanize them, but it's a different thing all together to turn the mirror on to you.

It is merely a good game, not the GOTY that so many here claim it to be.

It suffers, much like the Walking Dead, from movie-itis, which wouldn't terrible in itself if it weren't for the mind numbingly banal gameplay. You basically have a shooting gallery from behind cover with 2-3 commands that you can issue to your team-mates and you have to suffer this drudgery for 15 chapters(for me it already got old around chapter 8). The story is decent, even if it borrows quite a lot from Apocalypse now, but it only looks good because most shooters have awful or no stories, so the bar is already pretty freaking low. There are quite a handful of games that have better stories but which also don't forget that they are VIDEOGAMES and since this is a different medium that cinema, the main focus should be on having fun GAMEPLAY. Remember that word fellow Escapists, GAMEPLAY? Somewhere down the road a lot of games transformed themselves into movies-lite with 1-2 choices to give the ilussions that you are participating in what goes on on-screen and awful QTE events.

Not to mention that towards the end of the game, the pseudo-intellectual approach of "look how war has changed us, you the viewer/player are to blame" started to really wear thin. This whole "war is terrible, why are you playing this game where you are shooting so many people" would have had an effect if the whole game wasn't so linear and you actually had some quasi-meaningful choices. And please don't say that you can ALT-F4 at any time to save yourself from the "violence". No one pays 20 bucks for a game just to quit soon afterwards because they supposedly feel guilty about killing pixels. I felt that this whole approach was a lame attempt to make the game feel "deeper" since the gameplay is so weak and boring.

It's definitely the best military shooter I've played in a while but it isn't even the best in its category(shooters) for year 2012(Far Cry 3 would probably be it) and yet some people deem this the Game of the Year. Mind boggling. Personally, I think it's because boring military shooters are responsible for the biggest franchises out there and since they have little to no story(they are mostly multiplayer events), some people decided to latch on to the one military shooter that had the semblance of a story, ignoring the fact that there are games for 2012 with both better stories and better gameplay. Spec Ops the line is a hope that the modern military shooter genre might be saved so I think that's why so many people overrate it.

kanyewhite:
The twist at the end felt like the bad Twilight Zone episodes

OK, I'm going full spoiler in this post. Just a warning.

Walker (and by extension, the player) had been using Conrad as his excuse to do the terrible things he'd done. When Conrad was revealed to be dead, he didn't have an excuse to hide behind any more and he was forced to openly confront what he'd done.

The twist wasn't meant to be 'HAHA TRICKED YOU' like they so often are. It was more like the blindfold had suddenly been pulled off and the player was made to see the game again in an entirely different light.

Not overrated. Is it perfect? Of course not. But it tried to do something complex and interesting, and it generally succeeded, while managing to be commercially competitive. In a market flooded with clones and sequels and bland stuff that's been focus-groupped to death I give that massive credit.

Plus, you have to kind of admire the balls required to make a game that says "fuck you for playing our game."

predatorpulse7:

It's definitely the best military shooter I've played in a while but it isn't even the best in its category(shooters) for year 2012(Far Cry 3 would probably be it) and yet some people deem this the Game of the Year. Mind boggling. Personally, I think it's because boring military shooters are responsible for the biggest franchises out there and since they have little to no story(they are mostly multiplayer events), some people decided to latch on to the one military shooter that had the semblance of a story, ignoring the fact that there are games for 2012 with both better stories and better gameplay. Spec Ops the line is a hope that the modern military shooter genre might be saved so I think that's why so many people overrate it.

Nope. I don't even like military shooters.

I consider it to be my game of the year because it was the most gripping experience I've had with a game in years(Far Cry 3, while good, wasn't even close in that regard). I don't give a crap about military shooters and haven't played through one since CoD 4, and yet here comes a military shooter with mediocre gameplay and manages to completely glue me to the screen, and how all the little details in the gameplay reinforced the narrative. I could write up all the reasons why I hold this game in such regard, but I don't actually have time for that right now. However, I can assure you that it's not merely because "it's a modern military shooter with a semblance of story". Because that already existed, and was called Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

I don't blame you, or anyone else, for not liking the game as much as I did, though. It's not for everyone. It was definitely for me, however.

kanyewhite:

This is where I'll get controversial. The STORY IS NOT THE BEST. In fact, if it was a film, I think it wouldn't be praised.

Well of course it wouldn't. It's a game and so much of it is in the interactivity. The 'shocking moment' section of it isn't nearly as horrifying to watch as it is to play, because of the player's involvement in what happens. The same with many of the other horrors that Walker encounters: the way that the player interacts with the world around them makes these actions so much more compelling than if you'd just sat back and watched. I think Spec Ops the line's biggest strength is the fact that disasters and tragedies unfold despite the player desperately trying to intervene, rather than watching slack-jawed on the couch, occasionally shouting "OH NO!" dramatically.

It has a good plot, story and character arcs. Gameplay is decent, but I wouldn't say it's revolutionary.

Zen Toombs:

Brotha Desmond:
It was a great game, but would be better without all the hype.

For the most part, this site is the only place where this game got ANY hype at all. Most other places dismissed it as a sup-par gears of war knockoff.

To be fair the only two places I get game info from are this site and rooster teeth.

Yeah Spec Ops is a really overrated game, especially when you realise it's literally Black Ops' plot set in a single location. Plus the repetitive and annoying cover-based game play doesn't help as you start hating the game after the 5th encounter. Also I don't get this stuff about the developers sending a message. What message is it that they supposedly were trying to convey through the game? Because I was fairly certain that they intentions with this game was to create a COD competitor... As well as include battles which involved you fighting as the sand beneath you collapsed into a swirling sinkhole but they ended up not including that section at all...

Nile McMorrow:
Yeah Spec Ops is a really overrated game, especially when you realise it's literally Black Ops' plot set in a single location. Plus the repetitive and annoying cover-based game play doesn't help as you start hating the game after the 5th encounter. Also I don't get this stuff about the developers sending a message. What message is it that they supposedly were trying to convey through the game? Because I was fairly certain that they intentions with this game was to create a COD competitor... As well as include battles which involved you fighting as the sand beneath you collapsed into a swirling sinkhole but they ended up not including that section at all...

Not trying to ridicule you, but did you in fact play Spec Ops: The Line? Just how on earth do these two plots compare? I'm really curious about the parallels.

As for the message... Most players agree that it had a strong message, they just disagree what exactly it was. Was Spec Ops pointing out the flaw in the modern war shooter genre? Was it asking the question, whether the player is responsible for doing something bad in a game? Some say that it criticized war and its brutality, others say that it focuses on PTSD and the effects of war on the psyche of soldiers.

It was marketed as a competitor to COD, but never meant to be one. The tacked on multiplayer makes me irrationally angry, since those resources could have been spent much better elsewhere. It's the story which shines, not the gameplay (although I enjoyed that one too).

Karoshi:
Not trying to ridicule you, but did you in fact play Spec Ops: The Line? Just how on earth do these two plots compare? I'm really curious about the parallels.

As for the message... Most players agree that it had a strong message, they just disagree what exactly it was. Was Spec Ops pointing out the flaw in the modern war shooter genre? Was it asking the question, whether the player is responsible for doing something bad in a game? Some say that it criticized war and its brutality, others say that it focuses on PTSD and the effects of war on the psyche of soldiers.

It was marketed as a competitor to COD, but never meant to be one. The tacked on multiplayer makes me irrationally angry, since those resources could have been spent much better elsewhere. It's the story which shines, not the gameplay (although I enjoyed that one too).

Yes, I in fact did play Spec Ops: The Line. I even went through each of the endings after doing the first one I chose and still wondered why people thought this game was any good.
The plots both have lots of similarities. They both have the phantom/dead mentor/antagonist floating around that you don't actually find out about until the literal end of the game (although Spec Ops makes the stupid mistake of sticking Konrad in a place he shouldn't have been halfway through the game making the 'twist' at the end unsurprising), both the main characters go through a lot of wartime shit that makes them crazy(Mason goes through conditioning, prison and Nam, Walker apparently was involved in some shit before the game that Konrad helped his team pull out of and he killed people), both of the plots of the game revolve around saving large numbers of people except BlOps is about the whole of America rather than just the survivors holed up in Dubai. There really isn't that much difference between the two except that Black Ops made a lot more sense. Why? Because there was a number of moments in Spec Ops that don't link up even if you factor in that Konrad hasn't really been speaking to Walker throughout the whole game. For example, the moment at the bridge after rappelling down from the room that Walker acquired the walkie-talkie in. According to the plot, those snipers shouldn't actually be there meaning that Walker should not have been hurt by them and that Lugo and Adams wouldn't have been able to see or fire on them then however that point is refuted if you decided to try and save/ignore both of the 'hanging men' and get hurt by their shots and your companions can actually kill the four snipers without asking Walker if he was fucking insane. Additionally the ambush that comes 2 minutes later makes no sense either if you follow your 'orders'.

...Okay I'm completely lost regarding this supposed message or messages. What flaw was it trying to point out? It was neither a parody of modern shooter genre or truly grim realistic shooter and seemed frankly stupid at some points. I'm equally lost on the player responsibility point. The game forces you to choose from a list of preset choices, most of which lead to the same outcome anyway which really ticked me off. I mean there was plenty of moments when I thought why can't we choose to have Walker stop, turn his ass around and do what he was originally ordered to do, namely report there were people in Dubai and get them out. But nope says the game. You have to follow my stupid plot and blow things up cause I say so which also pissed me off as one of the endings showed it was highly possible to get evac conveys into the city with no trouble. On the war and brutality and PTSD points, the game makes a poor criticism/investigation if any into those themes by not only making the game not about war but rather stupid conflicts between people all from the same side with an apparent one man army (cause your companions barely do anything worthwhile) and clumsily rushing through Walker's descent into 'supposed' insanity.

I'm also kinda lost at your last point, if the developers intended the game to be a competitor to COD and even marketed it with that intent then how was it never meant to be one? (Which it wasn't as Activision isn't exactly shaking in it's boots). Though I agree about the tacked on Multiplayer, especially when it's empty, that it could have been ignored to try and make the game better than it was.

Though you want a game with a good story? Try the Zero Escape series, preferably Virtue's Last Reward. The story in that? Fucking Amazing compared to Spec Ops.

No problem Brotha Desmond, just letting you know. ^_^

Karoshi:
Not trying to ridicule you, but did you in fact play Spec Ops: The Line? Just how on earth do these two plots compare? I'm really curious about the parallels.

As for the message... Most players agree that it had a strong message, they just disagree what exactly it was. Was Spec Ops pointing out the flaw in the modern war shooter genre? Was it asking the question, whether the player is responsible for doing something bad in a game? Some say that it criticized war and its brutality, others say that it focuses on PTSD and the effects of war on the psyche of soldiers.

It was marketed as a competitor to COD, but never meant to be one. The tacked on multiplayer makes me irrationally angry, since those resources could have been spent much better elsewhere. It's the story which shines, not the gameplay (although I enjoyed that one too).

The main two parallels I can think of (at least for BLOPERS #1, didn't play the second) is "just cause you're the PC doesn't make you a good guy" (glass + mouth + face punching = fun times?) and "just cause you experience it doesn't make it real", a la

As for the tacked on multiplayer, the developers hated it too. They actually didn't spend any assets on creating the multiplayer, another group actually made it. Also, you might have noticed that every achievement has a "single player only" requirement.

Well Spec Ops The Line was far from perfect. Lot's of the great story-driven videogames are far from perfect. Silent Hill 2 had nauseating game play, The Walking Dead had a couple of pretty bad bits, Amnesia could back you into an inescapable corner if you didn't save regularly, Uncharted's (yes, Uncharted, good story) protagonist was an utter douche, Lone Survivor had baffling-ly odd design, etc. But none of those games are over-rated, their modern gaming classics. You wouldn't say The Usual Suspects was bad because the boat bit wasn't that great, you wouldn't say Aliens is over rated because the characters consisted largely of morons.

And, in the end, Spec Ops and these other games are better than lot's of AAA movies these days. Considering Syndicate would have had an above average story if it were as blockbuster film then Spec Ops is out Hurt Locker, Silent Hill 2 is out Memento, The Walking Dead is our The Walking Dead. Uncharted is out Indiana Jones. Be thankful.

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