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Showing 1-10 of 193 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 293 reviews
on July 5, 2012
At first glance, Spec Ops: The Line appears to be an incredibly generic game. The trailer shows a soldier standing in front of various war scenes while an ominous narrator talks about "dramatic" things. The name itself makes it sound like it is part of a series of cheap knock-off games you could find in Walmart for 10$. The boxart brings out the cliche black and white soldier with a fire (or brown and white in this case).

But do not let all that fool you. This game is amazing.

I was lured into reading more about it after I saw amazon had it on sale for 50% off. After hearing glowing reviews of the games story, I grew high expectations for the game.

They were exceeded in every way.

The games graphics are lovely, only marred by slightly off talking animations (they seem slightly rigid). The detail on the pc version outshines the ps3 and xbox versions by miles. The game is running the Unreal 3 engine, and it is the best use of the engine I have seen yet (to the point where I did not actually recognize the engine for the first half of the game). Your character looks excellent (which is good considering you will be staring at him for the entire game), full of small details you only notice if you look closely. As the game goes on, your character becomes more and more beat up, wounds covering him and sand caking onto his blood. It is very impressive visually.

Also helping the wonderful graphics along is the art style. Normally I would not expect a realistic modern shooter to have any kind of an art style at all, but this game does. It takes place in a sand-flooded almost vacant Dubai, letting the designers create beautiful landscapes with contrasting colors that give the entire area a surreal feeling. They purposefully mix up the environments both in design, light, and color, always giving you something fresh to look at. The entire game almost feels like a dream because the art direction is so well done.

Aiding the sense of immersion the graphics provide is the sound design. Whoever was in charge of this game completely nailed it, and needs to be hired elsewhere. Sound effects become appropriately deepened, echoed, cut short, etc based on the environment you are in, and I have never heard it done better. Guns are recognizable by their sounds, which should be expected in all games but seems to be a low priority for many developers these days. The voice acting is excellent, both by the main characters and the various other people you come across. Enemies shout out to each other amid the chaos of a firefight, even sometimes shouting to you. It did not once feel forced. If there was any issue at all to it, it would be that your own character does not display the varied emotion as well as the other characters, but I thought this was deliberate and part of the character development.

Another point of sound related excellence was the music - due to clever writing there is plenty of reason to have music playing in several sections. Not background music, like a score to a film, but actual songs like "Nowhere to Run" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Not only are the songs good, classic tunes, but they also fit the situations they are played in perfectly and make the game more enjoyable.

Speaking of enjoying the game, we should talk about the absolute best feature of this epic: the story. The story for this game is gripping, thrilling, horrific, haunting, surreal, and in an odd way, beautiful. If this game were a movie, it would be the greatest movie of all time, and all other movies would be compared to it. It was too good to stop playing, I simply had to stay up and keep playing due to my thirst to know just what happened next. This is one of the rare games where your character develops over the course of events, becoming a different person by the end. As rare as it is to find that in a game, this game goes a step further by also making your squad mates and even some of the people you meet continue to change. The people in this game were interesting and compelling, almost like several character studies happening at once. The story wrapping them all together is equally impressive, painting a picture of every side in a terrible conflict twisting right up to a climax worthy of the events that preceded it. It was amazing.

Helping to deliver the story is the games directing (for lack of a better word). The game has a terrific pace to it, deliberately drawing emotions out of the player with carefully crafted scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat. The views from your character is almost cinematic, taking you through the game with what I would otherwise describe as careful camera work. The excellence of this aspect just adds to how unbelievably gripping the game is.

Unfortunately, even after all this praise, the game is not perfect. The unfortunate controls need to be addressed, as this game combines the "take cover" and "sprint" buttons to poor effect. This can occasionally cause problems, and though I did adapt to it, I was bothered that the buttons were not simply seperate. The same button is also context sensitive, changing to give medical aid when you are next to a downed squad mate. This did not ever cause a problem for me personally, but I can imagine situations where it would. On top of that, squad commands seem to be slightly off. Frequently the game would tell you to tap the squad command button to tell them to use a flashbang grenade, but it seems that when the game does not tell you to do it, it does not work. Otherwise you can hold down the squad command button to designate a target that one or the other of your squadmates should focus on, depending on the location of the enemy. Once again I thought these commands should be on two different buttons, and holding down the squad command button in the middle of a firefight is not really the easiest way to control the situation. Other than those gripes, I occasionally ran into situations where my character would come "unglued" from the wall he was taking cover behind. I would push in the direction I wanted him to move, but instead he would stop leaning against the wall and run in the direction I had indicated. This only happened in two places during the campaign, but those were two times that I died unfortunate deaths!

Also not perfect is the gameplay itself. It is not bad, in fact it was quite enjoyable for me, but it seriously lacks variety. There are only a few enemy types to deal with, and though they are aggressive and work together (when you let them live long enough to), it does detract from the game a bit. There are melee enemies, heavily armored enemies, snipers, RPG toting enemies, regular soldiers, and shotgun toting soldiers. Occasionally you have to deal with an enemy getting on an armored turret, and at various points you deal with helicopters. I believe that covers all the enemies in the game. Personally, I felt that I could put those enemies into "groups" that I dealt with the same way, making even less variety. I would handle RPG soldiers and snipers the same way, and shotgun enemies and melee experts the same way. With the constant variety in the setting, I definitely noticed the lack of different enemies more. With that said though, the game struck a great balance with foes it included, and I thoroughly enjoyed (and was thoroughly guilt tripped for) slaughtering them.

With all those details addressed, I want to again stress that this is a must play game. I am about to start my second play-through right now, already having my different choices planned out. I could only stall myself from the game long enough to write this review because I want to let everyone else know how excellent this game is, and to keep them from missing out.

PS: I ignored multiplayer and you should too.

Edit: The information below is no longer relevant.
[PPS: Nvidia beta drivers have a profile for the game, including FXAA and SLI support. You need to use nvidia inspector to add the games exe file to the profile, though.]
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on March 20, 2017
Game Review: If this is the first ever PC game you play, you'll like it, but you won't feel utterly blown away by it as I did. This game is a criticism and a love poem to all the FPS that came before - and it pulls no punches. So while the "twist" might seem silly and cliche, when this game came out, it was just the opposite. Before then, FPS were not introspective, and certainly did not paint Americans as the enemy. I recommend this game to everyone, since, story aside, it is quite enjoyable, but you will get 100% more out of this game if you have played another FPS that pre-dates it beforehand. This game runs on surprisingly low requirements (I can't imagine any non-Chromebook not making them), and the graphics aged well.

Seller Review: I got the game right away and in perfect condition, so 5/5 stars for the seller.
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on July 4, 2012
Spec Ops: The Line is a refreshing new take on third person shooters. Although the gameplay itself does not quite present anything new, it tells a great story accompanied by a varied and beautiful soundtrack.

1. Story: 10/10

The story is highly original by video game standards (although it has been seen in a very popular movie and a classic book). The writers, however, did an amazing job at adapting it for a modern day combat situation, the pace is perfect, the tone is extremely dark. Overall, it's just extremely thought provoking: as a soldier in Delta Force, it's up to you and your squad to evacuate the city of Dubai after it has been pummeled by monstrous sandstorms for the past six months. However, as you get deeper into the city, you realize the situation isn't as cut-and-dry as you thought, and it will come down to you to make some tough decisions. The story primarily unfolds as you progress through the game, giving you no additional information outside of what your character sees and hears. However, there are a few "intelligence items" scattered throughout each level, ranging from tape recordings to dolls, which provide additional (often chilling) narration and back story to the already emotionally charged atmosphere.

2. Gameplay: 7/10

Unfortunately, the Gameplay is the weakest part of this Game. It's just generic compared to other titles in the genre; run behind cover, take shots at the enemy, find your next cover position, etc. You're limited to two weapons, with an available assortment of P90's, UMP-45's, Scout Sniper Rifles, M249's, SCAR-H's, etc, which you'll need to loot from your dead enemies. You're teamed up with two squadmates, but only have very limited control over them, which reduces any strategic element the game may have had. Sand plays an important role in the game, and in every level there's an opportunity to bury your opponents, or at the very least kick up a cloud of sand to slow them down. There's really not much else to expand on here. You'll never encounter any puzzles, annoying quick-time-events or deep planning, although sometimes you do find a random flanking position and are able to sweep the enemies.

The checkpoint system could have been improved upon, also. Before many of the battles, there's a cutscene. If you die, guess where the checkpoint takes you.... Right back to the cutscene. It's easy enough to double tap Enter to skip it, but it regrettably and unnecessarily adds to the loading time of the battle again.

Controls are a bit sluggish. It can be somewhat difficult to maneuver your character around the battlefield. Detaching from cover is often much easier than it should be, which can make you accidentally exposed to enemy fire. Sometimes you'll be trying to run away from a grenade and accidentally duck behind the wrong side of a car... These kinds of things are minor annoyances in the grand scheme of things, but they do happen and they do frustrate from time to time unless you get a good feel for it.
I do recommend changing the default controls as soon as possible, though, as they don't really feel all that intuitive. Also, as of the time of writing this review, I noticed the Mouse Sensitivity settings didn't really seem to change anything. At the default level, the sensitivity felt too high for me, and at the lowest setting, it felt exactly the same... I don't know if that's just my impression or something that needs to be patched. Again, minor nuisance, as you'll get used to it.

3. Sound: 9.5/10

The sound here is amazing. Voices are clean and crisp and the radio filters on voices are spot on. The soundtrack is perfect, featuring modern day rock, custom compositions and classic 70's hits. The music always seems to fit the battle to which it's playing, too. The only reason I refrain from giving it higher than a 9.5 is that the sound effects you're likely to hear most often, the gunshots, sound somewhat silly to me. Now, I've only fired a few weapons in real life, and never the M4, but I'm fairly certain it doesn't sound like a laser... One of those things that you get used to after a couple of levels, though. There were also a couple instances where cutscene audio just did not play for me. I know it may be my system, but the other cutscenes loaded just fine.

4. Graphics: 8.5/10

The visuals themselves (the destroyed Dubai cityscape surrounded by an impossibly high mountain of sand, the aquarium with swimming fish, etc.) are awe inspiring and perfectly complement the storyline. But, like the gunshot audio complaint I have, the things you look at the most are just unimpressive. Character models are bland and lacking fine detail (though they did a good job of showing just how progressively beat up your character and squadmates are as you move through the story). The same thing can be said of many of the textures in the game. Maybe it's a stylistic effect of the designers, but there are times when the world around you looks like GTA Vice City when you're going 60 MPH down the road, and there are times when it makes you feel like you're actually there. It's hard to tell if that's the effect they were going for, to suspend your disbelief, or... if they just figured it was dark enough and that they didn't need to waste time.
I mentioned earlier that sand plays an important role in the game... and, it looks beautiful when it's burying an enemy alive, or when your grenade kicks up a cloud of it into the air.

All in all, this game is highly worth getting, especially if you can look past the mundane gameplay and concentrate on the story. It will make you think, and it will make you feel.
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on July 2, 2012
I was expecting this game to be a mediocre, run of the mill, third person shooter. I saw it on sale on here for half off the weekend after it's release, and I picked it up. It has been a long while since I've looked forward to getting home to play a game, and this game makes it so. The story does not drag. It is enticing and interesting. You fill the role of a captain of a 3 man squad who were sent into Dubai which has been ruined by war and extreme, near constant sand storms (which lead to very interesting gameplay and visuals), to recover survivors of the whole situation. You start to uncover a long strange line of destructive behavior from the different sides of the war, while being caught right in the middle. Currently I am about 3.5 hours in, and have not once been in any way bored. The game does currently seem a bit easy. I started on the hardest unlocked difficulty, suicidal I believe it is called, and it has gone pretty quickly. I do enjoy that the enemies are not bullet sponges. They die in about 3 bullets or less, and headshots are OHKs. The majority of the enviroments allow you to flank the enemy. While the levels tend to progress in a generally linear fashion, most of the fire fight areas are large, interesting, and varied. This game portrays the feeling of stranded that you are very well. You are constantly low on ammo, you swap weapons very often, and you rarely come across someone who isn't trying to kill you. Overall, for 25 dollars I completely feel this game is worth it. I have not been able to try multiplayer, due to some kind of issue with steamworks. I don't know what it is but the game believes I'm in offline mode, when I'm not, but if the multiplayer is good, then this is a 5 star game, in my opinion.
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on July 3, 2012
It's hard to judge a game by its cover. Most people would try to compare this to modern warfare or battlefield 3, these games have their own standards in their own lights. But Spec Ops truly fits in a different class. The story mode is not the longest in the world, you should finish it pretty easy within 6-8 hours playing through it, the game is quite linier and there is not a lot of free roaming that one can do. But what it does have is a story, an epic story that keeps you locked in. It's rough, hard to watch, but keeps you wanting more of the game which is, in my thoughts, what makes a game great. After playing through the story modes on Call of duty games, and even battlefield 3, I've felt that connection missing when you play as your character. This games gives it back to you, it makes you experience the game not just as a run and gun, but as someone who is partaking in a story in Dubai. For a new release title, this game is worth the deals price this month. Don't even think twice about picking it up especially if you're computer can handle the graphics output. The visuals are simply stunning. Play with a good set of headphones and you'll be locked in.
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on December 30, 2013
This is a good solid shooter, the gameplay is good and rewards patience and care - you can't go in all guns blazing. The cover system was a annoying at times, not sticking when you really needed it to, but by and large it worked very well. The story and the tone were good for a change, and genuinely shocking at points - you may find yourself not liking your character though.

The game has a choice mechanic in it, with you choosing what to do faced with various ethical challenges. The game's still linear though, but you might find some decisions tough to make ethically - which lends itself to the greater message of the game : War is hell, and sometimes it presents choices where there is no right decision.

LAST TIP : This is a steam universal game, so you can buy the PC version but then download the mac version (Amazon normally sells the PC version cheaper, sometimes by $10/$20). To get the mac version, just buy the PC version on amazon and download steam (google 'steam powered'). Then open steam, go to 'add game' in the bottom left of your library, choose activate steam product, then paste the CD Key which Amazon will give you (it's displayed in your Amazon Games Library). You'll then be able to download the Mac version and save yourself the dough.

NB: This is possible because Amazon sells the Steam DRM version of the game, check that this tip is not out of date by looking at the DRM listed at the top of the product page (scroll right up, it's next to the title by DRM).

Enjoy!
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on July 2, 2012
I like the smooth cover mechanic, the pretty set design (gleaming glass towers, half-buried in sand) and relatively intelligent storyline and dialogue.

The grim implications of your necessary actions make this the most mature shooter I've ever played.

Especially attractive during amazon's current (July 2012) 50% off sale!

EDIT: finished the single player campaign. Dug it. Fun armchair philosophy. Steam says it took me 5hrs 49min, but I think that only counts successful level completions -- it doesn't include failed attempts at completing a stage (which happened about 1/3 of the time on normal difficulty). So, it's kinda short. Also, I was unable to find any multiplayer matches, which seems odd, and disappointing.
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on February 1, 2014
As this was one of the view video games recommended by The Escapist's own Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, I had to give this a try. Although this game isn't the most fun or exciting to play in terms of mechanics alone, the dynamics in character development, smooth transitions, consistent gameplay, and visceral tension make this one of my most loved titles. As I completed the campaign, I sat for a few moments to contemplate my morality. This is how deeply this game hits the issues of self-delusion, hero worship, violence in society, and the theater of war.

Play this game.
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on December 3, 2013
I really like FPS and this one was on sale. It activates through Steam so you'll know and initially it wouldn't play but found through forums that it was a missing .dll causing the problem. If anyone is having the same problem there is a fix. Can't remember off hand the exact .dll that caused it but do know it had to be copied and pasted in the game itself even though it is a Steam game (usually not a problem) and did find the answer on the Steam forum covering this game. BTW my OS is Win7x64.
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on June 2, 2017
Wasn't sure what to expect, after only a hour of game play, I am kinda lost for words. Graphics are good, but need additional time to get use to the controller functions. Will provide a update, when I have more time to play the game.
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