Game Impressions Daily: Spec Ops: The Line (2)

Welcome to Game Impressions (not really) Daily, a look at games and how our opinions of them change over time, even while in the midst of playing them.

Expectedly, The Line was not a particularly long game so I managed to finish it up in two 3-4 hour stints. Much of what I had observed in the first half remained roughly true through the rest of the game: although saddled with mediocre mechanics the game design actively supports the twisted narrative excellently, as do the audio and visuals. One touch I quite liked was that the call-outs that your character makes for each kill change over the course of the game, going from calm and composed to viscous and aggressive as he becomes more and more unhinged. The story progresses in much the same way, making a violent downward spiral towards a rather shocking, but pointed conclusion. Without revealing too much, the questionable sanity of the protaganist is put front and center and the themes of personal accountibility and shifting responsibility, most notably seen before now in the imfamous "white phosphorus" scene, but exploerd throughout the game, are given their ultimate dues. The writing is very strong and while its certainly not pleasant, Spec Ops challenges and requires thoughfulness in a way that very few games have even attempted, and for that it absolutely deserves to be played, flaws and all.