Spec ops : the line, a great game not to be missed!

Since i heard about spec ops the line i was all ready interested in the idea of showing the effects of war and fighting on the solider. sadly when the game came out i was unable to get it if i wanted money for other games that got ranked higher on the "buy it" list. but now i have the game and must say that i am very happy with it.  The controls are good and really only frustrated me every now and then, mainly due to how you must face the thing you want to take cover behind to take cover. i cant really describe the camera but i like it and think it makes it seem more like its the characters perspective.   The graphics in this game are amazing and you can tell some time went into making the game look as beautiful as it is.  But what really shines in this game is the story. it starts off as a standard shooter story, go in find out what happen and kill dudes. but the game really builds up as it goes along leading up to a great ending that brings Bioshock and singularity to mind.its one of those endings that made my brain hurt alittle as i tried to grasp what the game just told me, and i LOVED it, going back and thinking about all you did but now knowing the twist.the game isnt very long and gets pretty hard near the end IMO. but if you have some money to spare and want a great shooter that will make you think long after the credits have rolled, u should pick this game up and give it the play through it deserves.       Now to those who have played it, what did you think? do u agree with what i said? why or why not? SPOILERS  i read on the wiki that the game creator said that when the chopper crashes that walker died and is in pergitory. pretty neat idea and makes me look at the game very differently.    so thanks for reading my first blog/review thing and keep gaming! 

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Comment by Tokyochuchu on November 5, 2012 at 8:39pm

A small bit of advice, sir. Use paragraphs and capitalize your 'I's.

Comment by crazyjackal (Jimmy Jones) on November 5, 2012 at 10:05pm

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD

 

 

Do you feel like a hero now?

The game is really well done. It stands a mile apart from other shooters in the genre.

I love how you play the game as a generic shooter (even when you KNOW it isn't and it's going to be different somehow) and yet you expect to be the hero. Even deep into the game, you think everything will resolve itself, that you'll succeed in your mission. It was great that the more you played, the more chaos and death you created and yet, just like Walker, you were in denial about it about what you were doing.

You're no saviour. Your talents lie elsewhere.

This is your fault god damn it, he wouldn't listen - we didn't have a choice - He turned us into fucking killers.

Whilst the game definitely plays with the idea of his personal hell and reliving the moment of his traumatic stress, I do not believe that he is dead and in purgatory. I believe these are simply metaphors to his PTSD. I believe this because of the ending and epilogue in the game after the credits if you manage to get the other ending (more on this later).

In my first playthrough, I chose to shoot myself because it seemed a fitting end for the game and how I had caused so much destruction and death around me. A friend of mine had played equally as destructive and tried to shoot Konrad but he told me it ended with Konrad shooting you (thus you shooting yourself).

I played the game a few more times having seen other discussions about the game and whilst I definitely noticed it on my first playthrough, it became so apparent and ridiculous how much descending and falling was in the game (as a metaphor for his decline in mental state). You always seemed to restart levels at high points. It also became apparent in the moments where Walker is talking to Konrad (himself) that your two squad buddies kept looking at each other in confusion questioning your sanity.
 It always bugged me a little bit about why the squad mates never said anything about you but having replayed it, I think it's obvious that they had mentally broken down before you. Before the WP incident, Walker had been reasonably in charge of his senses whilst Lugo and Adams were at each others throats about the hostages and Gould.

There were other mechanics used in the narrative that weren't obvious. Even knowing about it, it was still hard for me to notice in my second and third playthrough but the scenes where he is delusional actually end in a different fade out colour from those cinematics of actual events.


I really, really enjoyed the games mechanics towards making choice through gameplay. It was so much more satisfying to make a decision through my actions rather than a dialogue tree and actually see that the game accepted my choices.

For example, the moment where you see the hanging corpses and you have to decide between one or the other, on my first playthrough, I chose NOT to  choose either of them and instead kill the snipers. On my second playthrough, I chose to shoot the rope to "save" the hanging corpses. My favourite decision moment was easily the part where Lugo was killed by the civilians and they were surrounding you and throwing rocks at you. Adams was shouting for the kill order. Instead, I shot at the ground and I was awesomely and pleasantly surprised to see that the game registered that action and the people scattered in terror. It was such an awesome feeling to make decisions that weren't given to you.

My friend had slaughtered them all because he had been put into the state of mind that he couldn't care any more about whether they were civilians or not, they killed his squad buddy. It highlights the mentality and stress that the 33rd were probably under to have taken such drastic actions and of course it highlights the real world theme of real soldiers possibly doing horrible things because of the fragility of their minds in such stressful scenarios.

Back to the alternate epilogue ending. I decided to play the game making as many decisions as possible that would result in a clearer conscience. I chose not to kill people when given the choice. To choose innocent lives over the mission. To save the hostages and avoid combat when I could. In the end, I was able to shoot Konrad in the ending. However, it seems more symbolic that even though Walker survives, the way Konrad shatters represent the mental state and fragility of Walker. Further emphasised by the fact that he imagines other soldiers asking him for new orders and he continues about completing the mission until he realises his delusion. 

This is Captain Martin Walker, requesting immediate evacuation of Dubai. Survivors, one too many.

After the credits, you actually get a scene where U.S. soldiers finally come into Dubai following your radio signal and they find you dressed in Konrad's jacket, shell-shocked and armed. Here you can choose to surrender your weapon, die fighting or kill them all. The 3 endings, I believe, still fully suit the game and its narrative. None of them are happy endings.

Your argument about being dead in purgatory could be further substantiated in the ending where he survives, where he is asked by the US soldier about what happened here and how he survived and Walker replies, "Who said I did". Whilst this could be used as an argument that he's actually dead, I do not believe this and I think he's just talking about his mental state. His body may have survived but his mind did not.

The narrative and the way the developers told it through the game was simply outstanding. This has to be one of the best games I've ever played. Its attention to its narrative and use of themes shows a level of maturity not really present quite yet in the gaming industry (I have not played RDR if that is similar) but I do believe video gaming is progressively getting better and better and heading in the right direction when Yager can deliver such a game. My biggest disappointment is this game was not financially rewarded for its risks to deliver such a great game and was heavily criticized by critics because of its lacklustre multiplayer component and the fact that its mechanics were not of Call of Duty's stature. I believe this is a failing within this industry. The publishers were at fault for feeling the need to force a multiplayer component into the game even though they knew that it was not its focus and that it would be lacklustre having taken so much risk on its campaign, they should have felt comfortable to have the game judged primarily on its campaign and I feel it would have been better praised had it done so. I believe the marketing is at fault for trying to sell this game as something it was not but I also understand that because of the very nature of this game, that it would be hard to sell it as what it was without spoiling it. I also heavily blame reviewers who should have taken this game more seriously. They should never have downgraded this games score based on its multiplayer and should have seen it as an extra rather than a component or feature. It is this behaviour in the industry that leads to clones after clones because taking risks will be punished. I personally have bought this game four times (excluding my purchase) and gifted it to people who I believe would appreciate this game because this game and the gaming industry deserves better.

You're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not. A hero.

Comment by crazyjackal (Jimmy Jones) on November 6, 2012 at 5:37am

Ugh, I write too much. I swear it's all discussion/opinion and not just random mumbling... well, I hope.

Comment by Summoner10 on November 6, 2012 at 6:25pm

This game was a huge surprise for me.  I rented it for a few days on a whim and enjoyed it immensely.  Very cool and well written narrative and the combat flows very well.  Some fire fights can be difficult but they're difficult in a good way.  If you take your time and be smart you can overcome the enemy, you never feel as if the game is trying to be difficult just for the sake of padding time or to be frustrating.  The gun selection is a little lacking, but that doesn't take away from the game. 7/10

Comment by Brandon fulton on November 6, 2012 at 9:49pm

lol crazyjackal ill let you write my blogs from now on 

Comment by Richard N on November 10, 2012 at 8:06pm

This has always interested me especially with the word of the great tale that it had supposedly. A shooter that actually questions the shooting, SAY WWHHHHAAATTT!

Unfortunately this game, as long with every other has Nolan North as the main character and man am I getting tired of hearing his voice. Give some other voice actors a chance.

Comment by crazyjackal (Jimmy Jones) on November 11, 2012 at 8:42pm

Although Nolan North doesn't display a range beyond his norm (which he is capable of) in this game, he does a very good job in this game as well as the other cast members.

He may be getting lots of work in the VA department for games but I don't think that should dissuade you from playing this game. He's a good voice actor and he does a really good job in this game.

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