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Edited by Ropn

Playing this game after everything that's happened in the middle east recently gives it a lot more weight. This isn't just shock for the sake of shock, it shares parallels with reality.

Also, giving a game like this 3 stars when COD gets 4 stars for doing nothing interesting is why we as gamers can't have nice things. Yes, review scores matter in the grand scheme of who buys what in general.

Posted by squidster_99

THis game was amazing and extremely underrated in my opinion

Posted by Elyk247

Great story stuff from the demo, it has some personality. Cool that not all military shooters, have to be of the same mold.

Posted by chilipeppersman

Just finished it, its a very dark and depressing game. The ending isnt very satisfying imho and the overall game was subpar, with intermittent spikes of diffuculty. Good review jeff.

Posted by Ujio

Expecting this from GameFly in a couple of days. It looks OK, not $60 worth, but then that's why I have GF =)

Posted by mrpandaman

@Alorithin said:

People complaining about sub standard gameplay are out of their minds. It plays like mass effect and uncharted but with less bullet sponging on both sides of the cover.

People are going to miss the subtlety of this game (graffiti changing with your actions, intelligence narration worth listening to, "situations" having more than 2 outcomes, stories coming from the environment rather than verbose dialogue) and bang on about shitty controls and how their choices are limited.

Well... Mass Effect does have a lot more to do than just stick in cover and shoot.. You have your tech powers and biotic powers without those its just a generic third person shooter with slight rpg elements. Uncharted adds the verticality, as someone else has said, and the climbing aspect. I just wanted to say that.

Also keep in mind that this may have been a four-star game had multi-player not existed and the focus was just on single-player campaign.

Posted by Napalm

@i8246i said:

This is not a movie. This is not an art piece. This is not some thing you go to a cinema, or a gallery, or a museum to watch idly or to observe from a distance.

This is a game. You are meant to interact with it. And the main purpose of this thing is how well you can interact with this thing, and how good it feels to you to interact with it...

...and story is a part of interacting, you dolt.

Posted by Alorithin

@artgarcrunkle

Yet both ran the 9-10/10 gauntlet because people were willing to overlook it for the more interesting parts of the game.

@i8246i said:

This is not a movie. This is not an art piece. This is not some thing you go to a cinema, or a gallery, or a museum to watch idly or to observe from a distance.

This is a game. You are meant to interact with it. And the main purpose of this thing is how well you can interact with this thing, and how good it feels to you to interact with it...

If a game has bad gameplay, it deserves a low score on a game reviewing website, and it does not deserve to have people coming in droves to put lots of money towards it.

And I think I'll trust the words of someone who's been playing and reviewing games as a career for most of his life, and who has even lost a good playing job because he stuck to his guns instead of bowing to the call of greed. I think I can call this person more sane than someone who believes that we should all drop $60 (or more) towards a product that does not deliver what it advertises.

Right, because journey had fantastic gameplay and we should expect no less.

Gerstmann himself downplays his martyrdom. Don't try to put him on a pedestal when he gives games like syndicate an outlier 5 stars because he was willing to overlook so much.

People can cry bad gameplay all they want. But when, for example, it takes 2 weeks and a news story from naughty dog for people to start complaining about the differences between uncharted 3's scheme and 2s, all the 5 star and tens are already up because people are blinded by Naughty Dogs usual outstanding art direction and scripted sequences.

And trust on the internet is an outdated concept. Learn to think for yourself.

Posted by i8246i

@Alorithin said:

People complaining about sub standard gameplay are out of their minds. It plays like mass effect and uncharted but with less bullet sponging on both sides of the cover.

People are going to miss the subtlety of this game (graffiti changing with your actions, intelligence narration worth listening to, "situations" having more than 2 outcomes, stories coming from the environment rather than verbose dialogue) and bang on about shitty controls and how their choices are limited.

This is not a movie. This is not an art piece. This is not some thing you go to a cinema, or a gallery, or a museum to watch idly or to observe from a distance.

This is a game. You are meant to interact with it. And the main purpose of this thing is how well you can interact with this thing, and how good it feels to you to interact with it...

If a game has bad gameplay, it deserves a low score on a game reviewing website, and it does not deserve to have people coming in droves to put lots of money towards it.

And I think I'll trust the words of someone who's been playing and reviewing games as a career for most of his life, and who has even lost a good playing job because he stuck to his guns instead of bowing to the call of greed. I think I can call this person more sane than someone who believes that we should all drop $60 (or more) towards a product that does not deliver what it advertises.

Posted by tourgen

it sounds like the story might be worth playing thru at some point.

Posted by artgarcrunkle

@Alorithin: Both of those games had mediocre to bad gameplay.

Posted by Alorithin

People complaining about sub standard gameplay are out of their minds. It plays like mass effect and uncharted but with less bullet sponging on both sides of the cover.

People are going to miss the subtlety of this game (graffiti changing with your actions, intelligence narration worth listening to, "situations" having more than 2 outcomes, stories coming from the environment rather than verbose dialogue) and bang on about shitty controls and how their choices are limited.

Posted by bybeach

@Humanity said:

Sounds like Spec Ops is one big lantern run.

Now that.....I'm still getting this game though!!!!!

Posted by AhmadMetallic
@Metalhead980 said:

Personally I've played through the campaign three times. 

Are..you..serious? I mean, jesus. I'm currently in chapter 7 and while I'm pushing forward out of curiosity for the story, I'm literally burnt OUT on that shitty shallow gameplay and badly designed controls.. And you've actually beaten the game three times? All of those cover-based shootouts where NOTHING happens other than hiding and shooting spawning enemies, over and over and over for hours, you've done all of that three whole times? 
 
I honestly admire you. You are a stone cold motherfucker. 
Posted by Undeadpool

Having not played through the entirety of the game, I really appreciate how out of it's way the game goes to make the beginning part feel SO much like a rote, HOOAH!, bro-fistbump-fest. It LITERALLY begins with a helicopter turret sequence and leads into your squadmates cavalierly joking while they kill people. It's one of the best misdirections I've ever seen in a game since the last quarter of Earthbound.

Posted by mars188

Beat the Game lastnight its ok nothing great- Good rent game not worth 60 bucks.

Posted by Humanity

Sounds like Spec Ops is one big lantern run.

Edited by Kanuuna

I managed to pick up the game for PC for 33€. I haven't touched the multiplayer yet, but I did plow through the singleplayer in just a bit over six hours on Hard. The setting really sold the game to me back when I saw the first trailer and Dubai looks nice in the game, although some of the environments just don't look right (all the indoors are fairly wide, and there isn't too much attention to detail. Most of it just doesn't look very believable, but rather set-up).

Spec Ops's actual gameplay was probably it's weakest point for me: too much like Gears, and the sand that could've been ended up being little more than a substitute for exploding barrels The combat scenarios also a bit uninspired with no verticality speak of (which Uncharted 2 handles perfectly. I might be a bit biased there, though).

I won't comment too much on the story, but I'll say it was alright - It started out exciting, but things just escalated a bit too quickly. It was hard to care for much of the cast, because you were never quite explained your squad's background. Most of it is left to your imagination and should you lack it, you'll soon realise you're accompanied by your typical white-knight and wise-ass side kicks. Playable flashbacks (spoiler: which the game doesn't feature) could've given the characters more meaning. I will also say that I (personally) missed some of the eeriness hinted at in the game's debut trailer.

I might go for a second playthrough, but probably on an easier difficulty. The very end-game combat sequences were quite awful with enemies constantly throwing grenades at your feet, when you're stuck with a piece of sheet metal as your cover whilst being surrounded by an orchestra of foes.

Edited by AngriGhandi

I'm more than willing to put up with some tired mechanics if the storytelling is taking some risks. I'm more conflicted about risking sixty dollars for the opportunity, though.

...Which definitely highlights the problem with creating this kind of game in the "$60, $15, or it's free" video game market.

Still, the fact that it was made at all bodes well for the continuing expansion of the breadth of the industry-- at the very least. So good on them!

Posted by Spiritof

This game seems like perfect Steam Sale fodder to me.

Posted by dropabombonit

Great review. I have it on my rental list because it sounds like it's only worth playing for the story

Posted by Trilogy

@iAmJohn said:

@Trilogy said:

@simkas said:

@Trilogy: No he didn't, he specifically said those moments are really good in the quick look.

Go listen to this weeks podcast at 2 hours 9 minutes. I'll paraphrase.

"There are points where they are trying to be deliberately weighty and serious that I think don't work. Where it's like... Like oh man! We're walking through this fuckin' trench full of bodies! No impact, no impact...Yea some of that stuff feels really unearned. It's like the homefront syndrome where its like Oh look at how fucked up this is!".

Like somebody else said though, maybe it gets better later on with that stuff. Jeff was only half way through the game when they recorded the podcast so I'll give him a pass on that.

He's right, though. They did the Quick Look on Tuesday evening (the day after they record the podcast) and he was more upbeat on the story beats. Pretty sure he talks about what he said on the bombcast, too.

Apparently this game is going to be half-off during an Amazon sale this weekend. $25 for a Steam copy of this? Fuck it man, I'm in. Story sounds like they delivered well enough.

Maybe he was more positive in the quicklook. I can't be bothered to go back and check at this point so I'll take your word for it. My point still stands and we can assume that at least the first half of the game falls a little flat with the weighty/serious moments and then picks up in the second half making that stuff more meaningful. Regardless of all that, he felt better about the story stuff after he had played the entire game so that's a good thing. I hate it when games have terrible resolutions. I know making an ending to a game or anything else for that matter is extremely difficult so I have some respect for a developer that does it well.

Posted by Cirdain

I liked this game a lot. The gameplay may not be that great but I personally think that the story is excellent. Fortunately, being a PC gamer, I rarely ever play 3rd person games so I didn't really find it that bad. Apart from the multi-story car-park fight bit, fuck that. (Playing on Suicide difficulty cos' mouse-head-click is really really easy with one of the guns)

Posted by MEATBALL

Sounds like it's absolutely worth playing for the story, the combat and level design in the demo bored me to tears though (and I was disappointed in the rote way in which the sand gimmick had been implemented), so I'll most definitely be waiting for this one to go cheap.

Posted by Bones8677

Good review Jeff, I think I'll get this game when it hits the $20 range.

Posted by LiquidPrince

Never start a sentence with because Jeff! Because it's not professional! =P

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@Grissefar said:

@Oldirtybearon said:

@jmood88 said:

@Oldirtybearon

This review reads like a backhanded compliment.

Not really, it just sounds like the game has an interesting story but boring gameplay.

Spec Ops: the Line is a third person shooter with a fantastic narrative that seamlessly blends choice, consequence, and gameplay to tell a gut-wrenching story about war and what it does to people. Not only that, it succeeds and places you in this squad's position like no other medium ever could. Yager have leveraged the interactive nature of video games.

Ha ! Ha ! I've no idea if what you say is true or not but it sure looks like you took it from the back of the box, or from some scripted PR speech, or from one of those dev-diaries: "So what we've really tried to is to make a world that the players can really believe in and really immerse themselves in, making for some truely unique...".

It does sound like PR, doesn't it? I'm gushing over this game and I know that, but try it yourself and you'll see where I'm coming from.

Edited by Grissefar

@Oldirtybearon said:

@jmood88 said:

@Oldirtybearon

This review reads like a backhanded compliment.

Not really, it just sounds like the game has an interesting story but boring gameplay.

Spec Ops: the Line is a third person shooter with a fantastic narrative that seamlessly blends choice, consequence, and gameplay to tell a gut-wrenching story about war and what it does to people. Not only that, it succeeds and places you in this squad's position like no other medium ever could. Yager have leveraged the interactive nature of video games.

Ha ! Ha ! I've no idea if what you say is true or not but it sure looks like you took it from the back of the box, or from some scripted PR speech, or from one of those dev-diaries: "So what we've really tried to is to make a world that the players can really believe in and really immerse themselves in, making for some truely unique...".

Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials

I just can't buy the idea that the dialog and character development are the draw, unless the dialog exhibited in the demo was supposed to be lame and make you dislike the characters. Which would take the edge off a bit when they go crazy or whatever.

But I will buy the game on sale for PC because I was pleased with how the shooting felt.

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@jmood88 said:

@Oldirtybearon

This review reads like a backhanded compliment.

Not really, it just sounds like the game has an interesting story but boring gameplay.

Except that it doesn't have boring gameplay. It has standard third person shooter gameplay. Whether you find it boring or not is determined by whether you like third person shooters or not. Jeff wants to praise the story and its implementation, and then laments that it's not "in a better game." What exactly constitutes a "better game?"

Spec Ops: the Line is a third person shooter with a fantastic narrative that seamlessly blends choice, consequence, and gameplay to tell a gut-wrenching story about war and what it does to people. Not only that, it succeeds and places you in this squad's position like no other medium ever could. Yager have leveraged the interactive nature of video games and made me empathize with fucking war criminals. That's an achievement, and it's something this review fails to underscore.

I mean really, if we're still slobbing all over Ken Levine's knob for taking shots at Objectivism philosophy and we're failing to recognize this game, then we don't deserve more games like Spec Ops. We don't deserve characters and narratives with real depth and real humanity, because we'll be too goddamn busy bitching about the textures looking shoddy to notice.

Posted by Minion101

Colorblind Jeff mentions nothing about the interesting use of color,

Posted by iAmJohn

@Trilogy said:

@simkas said:

@Trilogy: No he didn't, he specifically said those moments are really good in the quick look.

Go listen to this weeks podcast at 2 hours 9 minutes. I'll paraphrase.

"There are points where they are trying to be deliberately weighty and serious that I think don't work. Where it's like... Like oh man! We're walking through this fuckin' trench full of bodies! No impact, no impact...Yea some of that stuff feels really unearned. It's like the homefront syndrome where its like Oh look at how fucked up this is!".

Like somebody else said though, maybe it gets better later on with that stuff. Jeff was only half way through the game when they recorded the podcast so I'll give him a pass on that.

He's right, though. They did the Quick Look on Tuesday evening (the day after they record the podcast) and he was more upbeat on the story beats. Pretty sure he talks about what he said on the bombcast, too.

Apparently this game is going to be half-off during an Amazon sale this weekend. $25 for a Steam copy of this? Fuck it man, I'm in. Story sounds like they delivered well enough.

Posted by Chris2KLee

Might give it a try after it hits the bin. Story seems worth a look, but I don't have the motivation to play another cover based shooter at the moment.

Posted by Floppypants

I enjoyed the 8-9 hours it took me to beat it. Sure, the combat is by the numbers, but the story made the game worth it. Nolan North is easily going to win a Northie for his performance; it's one of his best.

Edited by bybeach

I like Jeff''s written review for this game. Got a solid ring to it. I'm going to play it on PC, and I don't do MP, so maybe improve a few things there i saw in the review and heard on the Bombast..

Yes I am determined to get this game, though time can vary. It has my interest, at least Jeff is I believe describing a competent effort gameplay wise, if not above average. And thanks a lot to the guys that pointed out the spoiler post, gave me a chance to avoid it.

Posted by Agent47

@TyCobb said:

@Fobwashed said:

A Shame, I really liked it.

Not to be an ass, but if you really liked, then what is the issue?

You enjoyed it and that is all that matters. Also, there's nothing really bad about 3 stars. 3 stars to me means a decent game. 4 is great and 5 is awesome.

Remember, a review is just one person's opinion. There are a lot of games that have gotten mediocre reviews that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Yeah it always bothers me how people see a 3 star review and immediantly their reaction is "Oh, it's shit. Well forget that game then." a 3 is a solid game people, Jeff has said it time and time again.

Posted by jmood88
@Oldirtybearon

This review reads like a backhanded compliment.

Not really, it just sounds like the game has an interesting story but boring gameplay.
Posted by billyhoush

I just beat the game and honestly Spec Ops: The Line's story and big twist seem very similar to what I imagine Far Cry 3 will be like from the E3 previews. However, I'm sure Far Cry 3 will be a better game overall.

Posted by paulosaurus

@familyphotoshoot: Please put a spoiler tag on that. It's one of the most important sequences in the game, and it is far more impactful when you play through it yourself.

Posted by Tim_the_Corsair

@familyphotoshoot: That...was pretty fucked up.

I want this game

Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

Needs more humor in the picture captions. Too serious, maaaaaan.

Posted by Absolute_Zero

@simkas:

That reminds me, I was looking around in the game's files and found a package file titled "m02_SEQ_270_Kasavin". Thought it was weird and interesting.

Sounds like it might be a video file. Did you learn anything more about it?

Back on-topic, I'm looking forward to playing this soon. For the story at least, and the multiplayer was fun enough. I haven't had anything to play since Black Ops. Though it sounds like their previous promise of doing something interesting in MP didn't come to fruition, which is a shame.

Posted by aquamarin

Seems we have a divisive game here.

Posted by Darkstorn

Prob won't get the game but the story sounds like something worth experiencing. Intriguing, to say the least.

Edited by Rmack

I rented it and though I sometimes disagree with Jeff when it comes to shooters, I think this review is spot on. If you're interested in playing it, I would say it's worth $25-30 for what you get out of it, depending on how much you like 3rd-person shooting. It's a shame, too, because the story is just so damn good. I wish I could recommend it at full price, but for the same reasons brought up in the review, I just can't.

I feel like if this had the gameplay of something like Rainbow Six: Vegas or something, I'd be telling everyone to buy it. Maybe they just picked the wrong time to put out a cover-based shooter.

Edited by Abendlaender

Just finished the game, holy crap.

The story is fantastic, shame the gameplay is just so average. Nevertheless I think you (yes you) should play this game at some point. Maybe not right now if you're not that interested but if you find this game for cheap somewhere: Go play it

The story and Walker's character ark are just....damn

Posted by chilipeppersman

@deathstriker666: yea jeff does great reviews. Keep it real dude!

Posted by leebmx

I am going to have to get this game, I am always looking for games which do interesting or innovative things with story and narrative and this sounds like one of those things.

I kind of thought it might not thrill Jeff all that much but that's cool - one of the great things about GB is that the guys taste's are so well defined that it is possible to look at a review and see how well I will enjoy the game because I understand how my preferences stack up against the Bombers'.

For example I know a 5* Jeff review will probably be something I enjoy, but I might find the narrative/characters/dialogue a bit weak wheras a 3* review will probably have good stuff outside of the gameplay which Jeff isn't that into.

Posted by simkas

@deathstriker666 said:

One staple of Jeff's reviews is that they're super honest and not full of fluff. If it falls flat and doesn't live up to the quality of other contemporary shooters he's not afraid of giving it an appropriate, deserving score. Doesn't even matter if Greg Kasavin worked on it, he'll still call it mediocre.

That reminds me, I was looking around in the game's files and found a package file titled "m02_SEQ_270_Kasavin". Thought it was weird and interesting.

Edited by deathstriker666

One staple of Jeff's reviews is that they're super honest and not full of fluff. If it falls flat and doesn't live up to the quality of other contemporary shooters he's not afraid of giving it an appropriate, deserving score. Doesn't even matter if Greg Kasavin worked on it, he'll still call it mediocre.

When the price comes down, I'll look into buying this. For now $60 is too much to ask

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