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Posted by joshthebear

Keep 'em coming Scoops.

Edited by Gauzy

Haven't read this yet, looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Posted by andrewf87462

I loved the game, so I look forward to reading this book.

Edited by Yummylee

Martin Walker... MW... Modern Warfare--OMGITALLMAKESSENSENOW!

Online
Posted by vikingdeath1

I still don't really know what happened at the end of that game.

Posted by TournamentOfHate

i think I heard about this book. I've only got about 4 chapters or so to finish in Spec. Ops after getting it free on PSPlus, so I should finish it and listen to this.

Edited by ReCkLeSs_X

Awesome! I actually read this when it came out. Kudos, Patrick!

Posted by GERALTITUDE

Nice dump duder.

Edited by heatDrive88

I read some of this book.

If I am going to be completely honest, it grasps at straws rather desperately. It's not necessarily a criticism either - as much the word criticism is thrown around in this interview - it read a lot like a highly speculative high school essay, which is hilarious because the point of an essay is to NOT be speculative.

When I mean speculative, I mean seriously. If you think that MW thing was dumb, it doesn't even scratch the surface. I had to put the book down because it made my eyes roll too far into the back of my head.

Edited by chilibean_3

I honestly believe that Spec Ops will be an influence for any game that prides itself on it's narrative in the next generation.

Posted by biggest_loser

Spec Ops bored me to tears. If a game was a critique of a genre wouldn't the best way to deconstruct it be to subvert the conventions rather than following them? Thief in 1998 for example showed how to subvert the FPS genre by avoiding the action. Also, does anyone else find the term "video game journalism" cringing? So much of it at the moment is just hyperbole.

Edited by gamergutz
Posted by chilibean_3

@biggest_loser: You're pretty much confirming my fears about what this book is after listening to the interview.

Posted by Microshock

I didn't really "feel" anything while playing Spec Ops. I felt like I was supposed to be empathetic and shocked, etc but I just wasn't.

So to me, it's not really deserving of this.

Posted by ZeroV2

Wow, I understand that Spec-Ops has an usually grim story for a generic modern military shooter, but it's not like it's anything that hasn't been done before or particularly poignant. Writing an entire book about it seems excessive.

Edited by Rasgueado

I'll have to chime in as well that I really like these audio segments. Good stuff all around.

Edited by d715

@heatdrive88:

Well that does sum up Spec Ops rather well.

The game only notable event was "opps you killed a bunch of civies, you monster" that's it.

It doesn't need a 50k word book to tell you this. Here's what it is

Spec Ops tries to tell a message about how modern fps are highly unrealistic compare to real warfare and how its messed up to enjoying killing so many people. However it fails to do this well because it fails to grasp the ideal that most people who play FPS in fact hate real warfare and know the differences. This is because fictional violence is very difference form real life.

The only people who even like this game are people who already hate FPS like this guy who wasted few months of his life writing a 50k word book.

Edited by Undeadpool

@d715 said:

@heatdrive88:

Well that does sum up Spec Ops rather well.

The game only notable event was "opps you killed a bunch of civies, you monster" that's it.

It doesn't need a 50k word book to tell you this. Here's what it is

Spec Ops tries to tell a message about how modern fps are highly unrealistic compare to real warfare and how its messed up to enjoying killing so many people. However it fails to do this well because it fails to grasp the ideal that most people who play FPS in fact hate real warfare and know the differences. This is because fictional violence is very difference form real life.

The only people who even like this game are people who already hate FPS like this guy who wasted few months of his life writing a 50k word book.

Spoken like someone who has read the HELL out of the Spec Ops wiki and a lot of forum posts. Besides ALL the points you're objectively wrong about (not to mention treating opinion as fact), this is pretty accurate.

Posted by flanker22

this guy's head is so far up his own ass.

Edited by Myomoto

@zerov2: Have you played it? It's definitely not just an "usually grim story", it's basically a deconstruction of the entire genre and even modern video games.

Edited by avantegardener
@mmmorrowind92 said:

Spec Ops wasn't a very good game nor was its story at all complicated or hard to understand. This guy is a fucking moron.

Thank you, I was trying to find the words to express this, but you nailed it. It's an ok game with a twist which if it was any other medium, you wouldn't raise an eyebrow to.

Posted by patrick

@d715 said:

@heatdrive88:

Spec Ops tries to tell a message about how modern fps are highly unrealistic compare to real warfare and how its messed up to enjoying killing so many people.

It tries to say that desert heat sucks too, but I gather neither is the crux of the entire game.

Posted by Triumvir

@patrickklepek I'm sure this has been asked, but are you dudes going to put these up on iTunes with the Bombcast and Gaming Minute?

Keep these coming. It is solid content.

Posted by d715

@undeadpool:

I don't know really all I'm saying Spec Ops isn't all that deep or deserving of the mass praise form it kinda insane fanbase or needing a brick in book form.

Edited by crithon

interesting, the man is very open about all of this. great work

Edited by nakke

Since there's probably someone here who hasn't heard this but has played Spec Ops (or is just generally interested in the story and doesn't mind getting spoiled), https://soundcloud.com/gamespot/gamespot-gameplay-special/s-7E7XF

Also not sure why everyone is getting so hung up on the 50k words thing. 160 pages is a pretty short book. It shouldn't take many hours to read. I think I enjoyed the spoilercast with the lead writer more, but found much of the book interesting as well. Definitely worth a read if you found the game's story and storytelling interesting.

Posted by Joeku

I read this and it was not really a "criticism". It was just a chapter-by-chapter pointing out of notable things. Still, I read about things that I didn't notice in my times playing through this game.

So...worth it.

Edited by GERALTITUDE

@joeku: Why wasn't it criticism? I mean, what was missing? Haven't read it, curious.

Edited by thetenthdoctor

I liked Spec Ops and thought it was a nice modernized version of Heart of Darkness, but that's about it. I think all the navel gazing and talk of deconstructing an entire genre is a bit much.

Posted by nakke

@joeku: Why wasn't it criticism? I mean, what was missing? Haven't read it, curious.

It doesn't really judge the merits and faults of the game. More of an analysis of the different themes, and other interesting small tidbits you encounter.

Posted by FengShuiGod

I haven't read/heard anything about this beyond the subheading above, but I like the idea that this is happening. You see stuff like this all the time w/r/t "legitimate" art forms and it is common to see long dissertations on everything from Derrida to Kripke (though these get zero press and are often buried in dusty stacks where they await some intrepid Phd student). Hopefully this helps demonstrate that legitimate, rigorous intellectual works about lowly video games are possible and can lend credence to the power of video games in and of themselves.

Edited by Abendlaender
@d715 said:

@heatdrive88:


The only people who even like this game are people who already hate FPS like this guy who wasted few months of his life writing a 50k word book.

That's the stupidest thing I've heard all day.

@avantegardener said:
@mmmorrowind92 said:

Spec Ops wasn't a very good game nor was its story at all complicated or hard to understand. This guy is a fucking moron.

Thank you, I was trying to find the words to express this, but you nailed it. It's an ok game with a twist which if it was any other medium, you wouldn't raise an eyebrow to.

Really? You had problems expressing "It was not a good game and the story is not complicated" and a random insult?

I rellay, really loved Spec Ops but reading a book about it? What? No! The story was in my opinion great but seriously? That's a bit too much.

Posted by avantegardener

@d715 said:

@heatdrive88:


The only people who even like this game are people who already hate FPS like this guy who wasted few months of his life writing a 50k word book.

That's the stupidest thing I've heard all day.

@avantegardener said:
@mmmorrowind92 said:

Spec Ops wasn't a very good game nor was its story at all complicated or hard to understand. This guy is a fucking moron.

Thank you, I was trying to find the words to express this, but you nailed it. It's an ok game with a twist which if it was any other medium, you wouldn't raise an eyebrow to.

Really? You had problems expressing "It was not a good game and the story is not complicated" and a random insult?

I rellay, really loved Spec Ops but reading a book about it? What? No! The story was in my opinion great but seriously? That's a bit too much.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Edited by Nettacki

Spec Ops bored me to tears. If a game was a critique of a genre wouldn't the best way to deconstruct it be to subvert the conventions rather than following them? Thief in 1998 for example showed how to subvert the FPS genre by avoiding the action. Also, does anyone else find the term "video game journalism" cringing? So much of it at the moment is just hyperbole.

The point of a deconstruction is to follow the conventions to their logical conclusions, not merely subvert them (though they're not mutually exclusive. You can subvert conventions so that they reflect Real Life consequences, but not in the way you describe).

Posted by michaelfossbakk

Haven't played Spec Ops: The Line yet. Are there spoilers in this interview?

Posted by nakke

@abendlaender said:
@d715 said:

@heatdrive88:


The only people who even like this game are people who already hate FPS like this guy who wasted few months of his life writing a 50k word book.

That's the stupidest thing I've heard all day.

@avantegardener said:
@mmmorrowind92 said:

Spec Ops wasn't a very good game nor was its story at all complicated or hard to understand. This guy is a fucking moron.

Thank you, I was trying to find the words to express this, but you nailed it. It's an ok game with a twist which if it was any other medium, you wouldn't raise an eyebrow to.

Really? You had problems expressing "It was not a good game and the story is not complicated" and a random insult?

I rellay, really loved Spec Ops but reading a book about it? What? No! The story was in my opinion great but seriously? That's a bit too much.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Calling a guy a "fucking moron" is wit? Ah, the internet.

Edited by Veektarius

I'm not really interested in reading a book specifically about it, but I think there are some good lessons about how one can make a player feel responsible and attached to the decisions he makes in a game, or the decisions he feels he has made (even if they were forced). I feel like I learned something from it, anyway.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

Anyone killing that many people has to be a bad person? Man, fuck you. Killing isn't evil, killing without reason is evil. Plenty of people out there have killed a lot of people, without being "evil." That's an incredibly narrow sighted view for someone who's trying to be more open about things. You can even be an asshole, and kill a bunch of people, and still not be evil. Hell, plenty of the good guys are kind of assholes, but they are still fighting the good fight. Just because it sucks that that fight is there to be fought does not mean anyone taking part in it is evil.
I'm a little fucking tired of being told by liberals "IF AMERICANS ARE IN A WAR, THEY ARE BEING RACIST OVERLY AGGRESSIVE ASSHOLES." No, the guys who go around with big guns and taking advantage of a civilian population, those are the assholes. The ones that kill and torture innocents people over asinine bullshit. Or put guns in the hands of young men and tell them to fight or suffer the consequences. Or stone homosexuals to death.

I'm all for peace, but I'm a little sick of guys like this coming along and acting like all violence is completely wrong. It's gnarly, it's not much fun, but if we could get away with never getting involved, we'd do it.
/rant

I mean, go ahead and think about the ramifications of violence and how they are portrayed in games. But come on man.

@zerov2 said:

Wow, I understand that Spec-Ops has an usually grim story for a generic modern military shooter, but it's not like it's anything that hasn't been done before or particularly poignant. Writing an entire book about it seems excessive.

50,000 words isn't much of a book. It's a pretty short one. You could write that in a month, for example. I want to say that's around 150 pages. Keeping in mind that book pages don't hold much info.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

@nakke said:

@geraltitude said:

@joeku: Why wasn't it criticism? I mean, what was missing? Haven't read it, curious.

It doesn't really judge the merits and faults of the game. More of an analysis of the different themes, and other interesting small tidbits you encounter.

nah duder, that's not right. Have you listened to the interview yet? That's exactly what he set out to do. What you just described is a review: merits and faults. He wanted to write a critique.

Posted by clumsyninja1

These days, our culture is so violent and war related. There no grey area in death, killing or war.

Edited by heatDrive88

@d715 said:

@heatdrive88:

Well that does sum up Spec Ops rather well.

The game only notable event was "opps you killed a bunch of civies, you monster" that's it.

It doesn't need a 50k word book to tell you this. Here's what it is

Spec Ops tries to tell a message about how modern fps are highly unrealistic compare to real warfare and how its messed up to enjoying killing so many people. However it fails to do this well because it fails to grasp the ideal that most people who play FPS in fact hate real warfare and know the differences. This is because fictional violence is very difference form real life.

The only people who even like this game are people who already hate FPS like this guy who wasted few months of his life writing a 50k word book.

I wholly disagree with you.

My previous opinion does not sum up Spec Ops at all. It only sums up Brendan Keogh's dissertation, which I believed was poor and overly speculative - almost as speculative as you assuming anything about people who play first-person shooter games, or as to who would even like Spec Ops to begin with. People who already hate FPS games? Riiiiiight. No idea where you pulled that from.

Aside from the fact that you've completely been reductive about what Spec Ops tries to say about video game violence and post-traumatic-syndrome, you make some kind of assumption that a "50k word book" is useless or a waste of time. Do you have that little depth of thought to think critically, to think a "50k word book" is a waste of time? That's rather insulting. Frankly put, your opinion is baseless.

No, I don't think Brendan Keogh's book is very good, but that doesn't mean I believe there is nothing in Spec Ops worth talking about - regardless of the length of that conversation, let alone to the restrictiveness of a simpleton's "50k word book" which you have so aptly described.

Spec Ops maybe isn't the greatest video game around, but it's one of the few unique games out there with something unique to say about topics such as video game violence or PTSD, in a medium that usually has very little to say. You're right that Spec Ops isn't the craziest plot to understand with a little effort, but you're completely missing the point. It's just not about what happened in the plot of the game, or what certain parts of the game were trying to symbolize - it's about the conversations of some topics that the game is trying get you to think about in post-mortem.

Edited by AssInAss

I bought this book but have yet to read it :P

Spec Ops The Line was my 2nd favorite game of last year, a real game-changer in storytelling.

Thanks for the great interview!

Posted by Alorithin

If you want to listen to other people talk about the game for free (May whiff of intellectual pretension)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlBrenhzMZI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjaBsuXWJJ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJZIhcCA2lk

Posted by HedinnWeis

Great game (my one complaint is how cover/melee was handled) and great book. I really hope more journalists go this route and write about games at length.

For instance... I'd totally read a book by Adam Sessler about Bioshock Infinite.

Edited by Brad3000

Spec Ops was an awful game. Boring, repetitive, predictable and dumb. It's story was no better, more interesting or more shocking than any of the modern military shooters it purports to deconstruct. And it's gameplay stood starkly in opposition to anything the story was attempting to make me feel. When I have to take out the 50th wave of generic enemies in a row, I'm not feeling anything except bored.

Posted by ThePantheon
Edited by Alorithin

@brad3000 said:

And it's gameplay stood starkly in opposition to anything the story was attempting to make me feel.When I have to take out the 50th wave of generic enemies in a row, I'm not feeling anything except bored.

That's an unfair shake at the game. Parroting genre standard for effect is half the reason the game has had this much lasting appeal in the first place.

@brad3000 said:

Spec Ops was an awful game. Boring, repetitive, predictable and dumb.

Bioshock Infinite is amazing. It's visceral, fantastical, gorgeous, and somber.

When you use opinions try to avoid cafeteria adjectives.

Edited by MMMorrowind92

@nakke: Whereas openly professing (I'm assuming, mind you) that you can't understand a blandly written game like Spec Ops is the height of intelligence. I never claimed I was being witty, so please don't put that on me.

Edited by Undeadpool

@d715 said:

@undeadpool:

I don't know really all I'm saying Spec Ops isn't all that deep or deserving of the mass praise form it kinda insane fanbase or needing a brick in book form.

From a gameplay perspective, you're right, but remember: the game only hinted at what it was "really" about, so a lot of people were VERY caught off guard. And if you listen to the interview with the head writer on Gamespot (which Jeff sat in on), there's actually a LOT of depth that most people (myself included) didn't notice in the plot.

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