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Edited 2 years, 4 months ago

Poll: Rate Spec Ops: The Line (394 votes)

Great 53%
Average 26%
Not so great 7%
Show me the results 15%

So IMO Spec Ops was a pretty great game however what's the general GB consciousness?

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#1 Edited by Guybrush (191 posts) -

I voted Average, but I would say "Good" which I'd put between Average and Great.

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#2 Posted by giliad (72 posts) -

@guybrush: Proably would have been a better idea, too late to edit now though

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#3 Posted by Blackout62 (2189 posts) -

It's great. If you want more words than that we can start getting into its faults.

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#4 Posted by imhungry (1095 posts) -

I voted average but that's probably cause I consider 'great' to be a pretty serious descriptor. My real feelings fall somewhere in between average and great. Like @guybrush said, probably something closer to a 'Good'. But eh, semantics and polls are weird.

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#5 Posted by bdhurkett (191 posts) -

I voted Great, but the more I think about it I should have said average. I've never got around to replaying it but despite still liking a bunch of the individual setpieces I remember a lot of the combat feeling tolerable rather than fun. And I hadn't seen Apocalypse Now when I played it, so I missed some stuff there.

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#6 Posted by BigSocrates (1957 posts) -

I would call it good but also overrated. It does some interesting story stuff and subverts expectations, but it's not some masterpiece. The shooting gameplay is also only above-average and that's what you're spending the vast majority of your time actually doing.

People setting it up to "change the way you think about games" or "make you question everything in games" are asking it to carry more than it can. It was an entertaining game that had something to say and said it in some really cool ways, but ultimately it was a B+ if I'm grading on a letter scale.

Of course all this is for the single player. The multiplayer, which I dumped a few hours into, is more like a C-. I realize it was tacked on, but it was part of the game, and it was...not very good. It had sort of a desultory mood too, since everyone playing KNEW it wasn't very good and was just playing to try to squeeze a little more value from their purchase.

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#7 Posted by BeachThunder (15106 posts) -

Slightly above average. The story is only compelling if you compare it to other modern military games and I don't think there's anything positive to say about the gameplay. One thing though that I really liked about the game was the visual design:

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#8 Posted by Howardian (187 posts) -

Gameplay is everything to me.

The interactive side of this amazing movie, is very bad. The shooting is average if not below average. Most of the shooting sequences are just taking cover and shooting across the street or the room. There is no gameplay beyond just shooting.

Average, and I'm being generous.

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#9 Posted by Pezen (2361 posts) -

I remember quite liking the game's narrative to a point, I wasn't blown away by it or anything though. I did think it was quite clever how they used the characters combat banter to illustrate their gradual attitude change. I also remember thinking the white phosphorus scene felt forced and didn't really work at all for me. Been too long since I played it to be honest for me to really give it a fair shake. I seem to mostly remember it as a decent shooter with an interesting idea on story but as I think on it I mostly just remember where it faulter, and I am not sure that's what I thought of it at the time. But I'll say average.

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#10 Posted by Yesiamaduck (2508 posts) -

In a world of ham dusted politically charged video games this is arguably the only military shooter ever to nail the narrative. Justifying your sociopathic actions in a way that doesn't make you face palm.

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#11 Posted by Ezekiel (2257 posts) -

Pretty tedious. Not fun to play and a bore to watch. I'm sick of cutscene-reliant stories in general.

2/5.

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#12 Posted by gkhan (1043 posts) -

In a world of ham dusted politically charged video games this is arguably the only military shooter ever to nail the narrative. Justifying your sociopathic actions in a way that doesn't make you face palm.

Bad Company would like to have a word with you.

(yeah, totally different tone and attitude, but they pretty much nail it)

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#13 Posted by Veektarius (6403 posts) -

As a game, average. As an experience, unforgettable.

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#14 Posted by BigSocrates (1957 posts) -

@gkhan said:
@yesiamaduck said:

In a world of ham dusted politically charged video games this is arguably the only military shooter ever to nail the narrative. Justifying your sociopathic actions in a way that doesn't make you face palm.

Bad Company would like to have a word with you.

(yeah, totally different tone and attitude, but they pretty much nail it)

It is so frickin' weird how Battlefield found a single-player narrative style that worked well with its gameplay and then, after one sequel, completely abandoned it for the boring-ass overly serious narratives of recent Battlefield games (I only played 4 single-player of the recent ones, but it was...not good) that nobody seems to like. It's like they keep trying to solve the problem "How do we make a compelling single-player experience with the free-form mechanics of a Battlefield game" and the answer is "you solved this problem back in 2008!"

Battlefield 4 remains one of the most "Why does this even exist?" single-player experiences I've ever had. And I beat both "new" Medal of Honor games.

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#15 Posted by nickhead (1254 posts) -

I really didn't like playing the game, but the story was enjoyable and the setting was very well done. I loved those instances when the desert environment actually felt like a real part of the experience.

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#16 Posted by Lazyimperial (486 posts) -

I'd go for "meh," but it's not an option. :-P

I was not very impressed with Spec Ops: The Line. For all its bluster, it's really just an absolutely standard, run of the mill, third person cover-shooter with occasional turret sequences. You wander down a linear path through a ruined Middle Eastern city setting shooting thousands of dudes and then it ends after about six hours. What seems to get the game so much praise is that it tried to subvert the military shooter genre with its story, but I thought that they kind of shot themselves in the foot with that effort via the gameplay itself.

Remember those RPGs that would mock the idea of collecting ten zebra hooves and five lion fangs... and then immediately send you out to collect teeth from toothless lions and hooves from hobbled zebras? Or the efforts at edginess from that PS2 Bard's Tale game that constantly mocked the Chosen One trope as you played what was effectively a Chosen One story? "A Chosen One could use that weapon to save our village, but bah! Chosen Ones are a ridiculous, tired, cliché concept. Now, hero, go get that weapon to save our village. You are the only one strong enough to claim it!" That's the kind of category I tend to put Spec Ops: The Line into in my mind. It tries to convey that "war is hell" by forcing you to do deplorable things to progress its linear story while chiding you relentlessly for doing such said things... as it also makes you slaughter a hundred dudes to Deep Purple or murder two hundred dudes with a turret to protect your AI companions as they wander as slowly as possible around a plaza. Blandness with shock jocking. After one giant firefight that has blurred into all the others in my memory, a loading screen came up that pretty much asked me how many babies I had killed, and I pictured some prick typing that question into the system, sipping a latte, and going "yeah. Take that, establishment." *sigh* It all flat for me, especially the white phosphorous reveal that lingered almost voyeuristically on a mother's burned corpse holding her burned-up baby. The game posed them in a kind of "Virgin Mary w/ Baby Jesus" fashion and just fixated on them, shifting from angle to angle and lingering on each detail in order to maximize the horror of... what they made you do as part of scripted turret event. *shrug* It was such a banal gameplay experience meshed with such a tacky, overt effort at prodding the player. Eh.

But... I bought the game for $5.00 so I probably shouldn't complain. For that price, it was great. There. I've compromised. :-P Seriously though, I'm glad you liked it. To each their own. I can be overly critical, haha.

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#17 Posted by AlisterCat (8046 posts) -

The poll options are a bit messed up. I would say the story elevates it above average but I wouldn't rate my experience as great. I chose Great just to register that I think it's good, whereas average sounds a bit too negative.

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#18 Posted by ToySoldier83 (305 posts) -

I voted average. The gameplay was very mediocre and the much allude storyline I found to be...childishly manipulative? Yeah I'll go with that. It is done in a way that is so obvious and in your face that it makes it even more of an insult when the game acts as if it pulled its multiple twist without you noticing.

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#19 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

Good Gameplay, great story, multiplayer is trash. I'd say like the 3rd or 4th best 3PS on previous gen.

One of the few games where you can watch someone else go through the story then go through it yourself and have an equally compelling experience the second time.

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#20 Edited by Nodima (2551 posts) -

I really struggled to get through it. There were those knife rush enemies in particular that made the game frustrating as hell for me, but in general I never found the shooting to feel rewarding at all. One could argue that's part of the game's argument but I also wasn't all that intrigued by the plot. Part of that could have been attributed to all the hyperbole thrown its way about the subversiveness of what was going on there but while playing I didn't feel like the plot stuck the landing at all. Everything about the game was sloppy to me. I voted "average" just now but in thinking back on it I probably should have gone with "not so great".

On second thought I shouldn't say "everything". I thought the setting was pretty cool, its style was part of what I enjoyed about Destiny's Mars setting as well.

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#21 Edited by OurSin_360 (6105 posts) -

I believe it is an important if not underrated step in the history of video games. i think it tackled a really serious and complex theme without seeming hamfisted or trying to hard. It also felt like a commentary on video games themselves and the cognitive dissonance everyone loves to talk about. It micro stuttered hard on PC though when i played it, i should go back and give it a shot again.

@toysoldier83: I didn't see that coming at all actually, maybe it's because i didn't expect that from a videogame?

*edit* i voted great

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#22 Edited by GERALTITUDE (5984 posts) -

It's been overblown in importance by now but I would say it was a great experience with an average game.

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#23 Posted by chilibean_3 (2361 posts) -

When you rate this game you are rating two different things. The gameplay is pretty boring, just a basic cover shooter with bullet sponge enemies. Possibly the least satisfying shooter I've played.

The story telling and narrative though? One of the best of it's generation. So much so that any team developing a story heavy action game absolutely needs to find influence in this game.

It's so weird to me that whole character in game voice lines and actions stuff changing as the story changes hasn't just become a standard thing.

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#24 Edited by FlashFlood_29 (4350 posts) -

Loved it. The gameplay itself was only acceptable (and AI was terrible) but the adventure was amazing, and well worth it. The commentary of how war is depicted in video games was a great aspect of the game; it's less about war itself than it is about war in video games. I really really enjoyed going through this game. Wasn't interested at all in the MP and really don't think it even needed to be included.

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#25 Posted by Yesiamaduck (2508 posts) -

@gkhan said:
@yesiamaduck said:

In a world of ham dusted politically charged video games this is arguably the only military shooter ever to nail the narrative. Justifying your sociopathic actions in a way that doesn't make you face palm.

Bad Company would like to have a word with you.

(yeah, totally different tone and attitude, but they pretty much nail it)

Sadly I missed that game, played the 2nd Bad Company and never went back to the first :(

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#26 Posted by L33T_HAXOR (938 posts) -

Same here. I'm not sure if the narrative entirely worked for me, but at least they really tried something new. But the basic gameplay never felt all that great...

I seem to remember the art-style actually being really good for a military desert shooter... There was one part where you're running through a ruined hotel and you pass by this crystal giraffe statue, it had a lot of cool little details like that.

@guybrush said:

I voted Average, but I would say "Good" which I'd put between Average and Great.

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#27 Posted by Hairyreddog (31 posts) -

I never made it through the game but I played several hours. The gameplay was not fun. But I really want to see how the story revealed itself. I've heard how it ends but I'd like to see it.

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#28 Posted by yurimegumi (120 posts) -

The narrative is unbelievably lazy and seems to just want to blame the player for everything bad that ever happens. You never get a say in your actions and the game doesnt seem to realise that forcing you to do bad thing isn't wanting to do bad things. It's a game that been blown completely out of proportion by a massive base of players who seem to think it's the best narrative ever (and really, REALLY want you to know this because they mention it CONSTANTLY) despite the fact it's sloppily hashed together and has very little to actually say that isnt a malicious "well it's not OUR fault" when it definitely is. Fuck spec ops.

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#29 Posted by mems1224 (2478 posts) -

@guybrush said:

I voted Average, but I would say "Good" which I'd put between Average and Great.

My thoughts exactly. It had a really interesting story but some gameplay sections are just boring.

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#30 Edited by whitegreyblack (1946 posts) -

I liked the gameplay, personally. Takes a bit of time to get used to the feel of the game (I restarted the game after taking a break with it after the first hour or so) but then I was on a roll with it.

I also enjoyed the story, though once you get midway through the game (past the big traumatic event) you may see the end "twist" coming from miles away. It's not a novel story in the grand scheme of things, but is pretty novel when you consider it's in what you'd otherwise think is just another military shooter video game.

I voted "great".

What I'd say to anyone interested in the game is: if you're curious, pick up the game (it's cheap as chips as of this post) and find out for yourself whether it's your cup of tea. If you can, stick with it right to the end.

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#31 Posted by AlexW00d (7570 posts) -

A bad game with some interesting ideas.

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#32 Edited by deactivated-5a00c029ab7c1 (1777 posts) -

I vote great I love in the age of military cod dude bro shooters they went the complete opposite way of that garbage. Also the location makes the game feel fresh Dubai was a great setting and using sand as a weapon was a cool idea and the ending was a nice surprise also it had a great soundtrack, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple ect.. it's a unique gem IMO.

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#33 Posted by CatsAkimbo (790 posts) -

Great at the time. I'm not sure it'll hold up as time goes on.

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#34 Posted by bassman2112 (1200 posts) -

My opinion on Spec Ops is kind of similar to the other one's already present. It's fairly split.

On one hand, it was doing some really interesting & novel things. The story addressed some subject matter that I had and have not seen other games tackle, and it handled them in a fairly mature way. I was also in love with the sound design on the characters and their VO, how as the game went on, it wasn't the same lines over and over - they changed dynamically with the situation. I also loved not knowing what was coming next, there were a lot of surprises and a lot of "wow" moments. It was a really fascinating, psychological experience.

That being said, playing it was a chore. I went through it on normal and, upon reflection, wish that I'd bumped it down to easy. The shooting was meh, the cover system was meh, the control was meh, and the combat scenarios were - at best - bad. Being able to use the environment was interesting; but it didn't make up for the bad gameplay.

So, as an experience, I look back on it fondly. I remember the cool stuff, and the moments that really stood out to me. At the time I was frustrated with how it played, though. I can't really choose between "average" or "great" on this poll for the reasons I just said. It had some amazing aspects, but it had some bad ones too. It is certainly above average, but not great. I'd give it 4* if I were rating it.

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#35 Posted by bemusedchunk (905 posts) -

If you play it now, it seems kinda average.

However, at the time it was definitely great. Kinda crazy what 4 years will do to a game...

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#36 Edited by Blackout62 (2189 posts) -
@bigsocrates said:

Battlefield 4 remains one of the most "Why does this even exist?" single-player experiences I've ever had. And I beat both "new" Medal of Honor games.

Whoah, whoah, hang on. That first new Medal of Honor game has a damn passable narrative and that's more than you can say for most military FPSs.

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#37 Posted by Dixavd (2887 posts) -

As a game, it is pretty average. but in terms of influence and importance to narrative in games, then I'd say it is one of the best games in the industry for showing off how gaming can impact traditional story-telling. I would say, it's second only to the original Bioshock in terms of the waves its storytelling had on games' criticism.

It's a little funny to me how people forget this game had such a long and troubled development history. Despite releasing after Uncharted 3, Nolan North recorded the lines for Spec Ops: The Line before starting the Nathan Drake role. It's arguably why his voice-acting works so well - he's playing a slightly-grizzled military-fit young man, while he was still figuring out what that sounded like before Nathan Drake (making the twists in the story sound like a symbolic Nathan Drake is being broken on screen).

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#38 Posted by huntad (2407 posts) -

It was great. The gameplay was functional and it tried and succeeding at doing something new with story/themes.

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#39 Posted by Toastburner_B (468 posts) -

I didn't really enjoy it. Then again, I also didn't play it until after it was out for a while so I knew where the story went, so when I got to the end of the white phosphorus sequence, I was all "Oh, this must be the part where I commit a horrible war crime because those folks back there are obviously non-combatants and the game won't let me continue until I 'accidentally' burn them alive." I also thought the ending twist was a bit unearned since it relied on two highly trained guys following a guy who has obviously cracked mentally into ever more dangerous situations. That said, I did bother to play it to the end, so I gave it an "average".

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#40 Posted by beforet (3470 posts) -

Somewhere between Great and Average.

I'm happy that the game exists and that someone tried to do something there. It was different, and I think that's worth something. That said, I don't know if they did a great job. It felt pretty forced, and the big "moments" of the game feel kooky thinking about them. I would definitely recommend someone play it, if only as an interesting piece of game history.

The gun play being good also gives it a leg up.

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#41 Posted by deactivated-5c5cdba6e0b96 (8259 posts) -

4/5, good game.

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#42 Posted by Evilsbane (5618 posts) -

I found it to be pretty bad, didn't look that great and it played like a garbage Gears of War game and by the end of it I was pretty disappointed in the story after that being the one point of "hype" around it.

Also one of the last levels where you are out in the open moving from boat to boat in the sand (I think it was boats) was God Awful.

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#43 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4350 posts) -

@jec03 said:

I vote great I love in the age of military cod dude bro shooters they went the complete opposite way of that garbage. Also the location makes the game feel fresh Dubai was a great setting and using sand as a weapon was a cool idea and the ending was a nice surprise also it had a great soundtrack, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple ect.. it's a unique gem IMO.

How can you mention the great soundtrack and not mention The Black Angels. I'm so glad that game introduced me to them. I've listened to their album Passover in one sitting more time than I can remember. Great great soundtrack.

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#44 Posted by Castiel (3467 posts) -

I would have voted good if that was an option. So I ended up voting average since that's the closest to how I feel.

But average sounds a little to harsh. Yet I still wouldn't vote great since I think the game has a number of flaws which I just can't overlook.

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#45 Posted by deactivated-5a923fc7099e3 (534 posts) -

The whole PTSD plot was cool but the gameplay was just avarage at best. There were a lot of people that have praised this game too much so when I played it my expectations were quite high. I never got the feeling I was playing a masterpeice. It was a sub par shooter with an intresting story and cool sand tech. 7/10

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#46 Edited by RainDog505 (161 posts) -

Mediocre forgettable game buoyed by a halfway decent modern take of Heart of Darkness. Some cool sand, though.

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#47 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

You could have given us more than "great" or "average" dude. C'mon. So I am not voting. Anyways, it's pretty good I would say. The gameplay got boring but the story was interesting for sure.

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#48 Edited by ChrisTaran (2054 posts) -

If I didn't think they were completely justified in using the white phosphorus, I'd have thought it was a much better game. As it is, they did not pull off the moral they were going for at all, which severely hurt the game for me.

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#49 Posted by hermes (2578 posts) -

Given the options, I would say "great". It is not perfect, but taking it down to "average" for its problems would be nitpicky.

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#50 Posted by Colonel_Pockets (1312 posts) -

Great is way too much praise for this game. It is a good game at best.