User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 962 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 962

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  1. Jul 30, 2012
    10
    Where is the love? I don't want to give a good story away, so I'll talk about what I liked. Graphics are good, but the story as mentioned is great! It definitely sucked me in and this was definitely a game for me to replay at least the end to get all the endings. I also think this game is a work of art. I also can't remember another game that has told me, 'If you were a better person, you would not be here' or said something like, What is necessary and what is good are the same. Expand
  2. Jun 26, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I love the game. Its very different from what I've ever played on the computer. If your into graphics and want a full HD experience then you might have a bad time with this game.The game is naturally bright and will cause some pixelation problems during cut scenes. Make sure to turn the brightness down just a bit. The gamma setting is tricky to use though. Game might end up too dark or too bright. The controls take awhile to get used to. I recommend playing with a controller. The cover system is interesting. It's similar to Ghost Recon but more defined and stable. The multiplayer is OK. It's extremely rare that you will find a match. If you do find one there's a guarantee that there will be cheating. Only play it if you have nothing better to do after you finish the main story. The main story is raw. There are a few scenes that show a lot of death. As a warning, The "White Phosphorus" mission will make you sick to your stomach and probably make you feel depressed. I made the mistake of getting too attached to the story. It felt is if i was feeling the character's pain and suffering during that gruesome segment.
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    Pros:
    Amazing story. Many twists and turns.
    The setting is new. not the same old locations

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cons:
    AI is frustrating at times. AI tends to push you into fire fights.
    No revive system for your character in the main story. Controls are clunky. Might accidentally get stuck on the wrong wall for cover
    Multiplayer is almost dead already and its only day one.
    Way too many exploits on MP maps. Lighting is way too heavy. Reflections and major light sources will cause lag on occasion.
    Expand
  3. Jul 16, 2012
    9
    This game has an outstanding story! Yes, some of it could be a little quirky....but it is still one of the best fps stories I've ever encountered. Also, the game has excellent character progression. The gun gameplay, is simple cover and shoot... Nothing special. The level design, visuals, and AI are mediocre to downright awful. Conclusion: get it for the story, but don't buy it for full price. There are a ton of places to get it for $25 Expand
  4. Jun 28, 2012
    9
    This game is a great tribute to Heart of Darkness. The storyline and plot is riveting. Voice acting is superb and enhances the game greatly. My only gripe is the clunkliness of the controls, even for a 3rd person shooter. Overall, you won't get any better of a plot from a shooter.
  5. Jul 7, 2012
    9
    one of the best games i've played this year, and certainly the best shooter i've played so far..
    why? not by its gameplay mechanics, which are basicaly the same as most 3rd person shooters you see.. but by the story, which might be the best i've seen in a videogame.
    the soundtrack is also amazing and only brings more depth to the game.
    one of the few shooting games i actually enjoyed
    from the start to the end and the first of its kind i've ended in this year..
    truly a masterpiece based on the "heart of darkness" book with a very competent multiplayer, that proves that any shooter can have a solid singleplayer even better than the multiplayer (which is also great) and still be engaging and worth buying.

    a punch in the guts of major publishers like activision, ea and ubisoft.
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  6. Jun 29, 2012
    9
    I just completed it and it was one of the most intense shooters I ever played. The story is kind of in the line with Apocalypse Now and the ending is a disturbing surprise...
    The gameplay is fun and I really enjoyed that we finally get to play a new environment for a change. The game really gives you a good feeling about the destructive force of sand. The shooting is mostly fun, but, as
    always, third person shooters can be frustrating from a camera perspective at times.
    What else is there? This is kind of the thinking man of shooters. You have to flank enemy positions a lot and sometimes use different weapons to meet your goals. It is really a lot of fun to play.
    The downside? Well, we are normally used to "fun shooters" that hide the tragedy and violence on civilians. Spec Ops is not doing that. You are always aware that civilians are getting killed because of your actions... Furthermore, it shows how senseless war really is. I mean we players typically just enjoy the clean combat aspect and even if entire street blocks go down (e.g. CoD) we never get to see the consequences...
    Anyhow, this shooter is well worth your time. If you haven't picked it up yet, you probably should. Enjoy!
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  7. Dec 9, 2012
    10
    This game is mind-blowingly brilliant. Just buy it. The people who say they didn't like this game are the very people whom this game criticises. It is perfect. It's one of the extremely few games that deserve a 10 out of 10.
  8. Jun 26, 2012
    10
    A shooter with a proposal completely new, excellent graphics, customizable keyboard mappings remarkable multiplayer, a campaign full of surprises and sudden changes, with some bit of tactics, a game well done
  9. BMF
    Jun 29, 2012
    10
    This game completel took me by surprise the story is a brutally accurate depiction of just how **** up combat situations can get and what that can do to a soldiers mind. The combat suffers from some consolitys but is still very fun and visceral.
  10. Nov 21, 2012
    10
    This game is AMAZING. The story is very captivating and very exciting. I can say without a doubt that Spec Ops: The Line is the best video game I've ever played, and I've played many games. The graphics are amazing, and the best I've ever seen. I strongly recommend this game to everyone.
  11. Jun 30, 2012
    10
    Surprised me. I did not expect this game to be anything but average. And yet it has a dope story, and the finest backdrop scenario I've seen in modern gaming. I mean, come on...abandoned Dubai, where half the buildings are under sand the other half blaze high into the sky. It's fantastic, and the set pieces are top notch. I'd say I'm halfway through playing the singleplayer. The action so far is varied and interesting, despite what some reviewers are saying. I find it rewarding to pop heads, because when you do time slows down for a second allowing you to line up that next shot. Beautiful idea. And when large explosives go off RIGHT NEXT to a guy his body disappears into a mist. Haha, Awesome. Story is interesting so far. Maybe not a perfect 10 game, but there are reviews putting down 0 as the review score.... Saying this game is worth nothing is basically lying and makes you look like a dick. Expand
  12. Jun 27, 2012
    10
    The story and voice acting in this game are phenomenal. Couple with solid gameplay and controls, plus the "sand mechanics" and you've got a winner. I haven't tried multipler but the single player is great.
  13. Aug 17, 2012
    10
    Great singleplayer experience. A breath of fresh air in a stale genre. Way better than popular games like Call of Duty. Not the multiplayer though. This is a pure singleplayer game with a great story.
  14. Aug 8, 2012
    10
    This game reallyq sells itself by blowing you away immediately. The gameplay is exciting and the visuals are astonishing.I must say I love the beginning levels way more than for example BF3's and MW3's. I play the game at resolution 3240x1920 which makes it all way more high res off course. Buy pc systems, so technical progress like made in this game will continue. X360 or PS3 aside is ok but build up your real game monster aka PC with care first. Expand
  15. Jun 29, 2012
    9
    The campaign for this game was amazing. The cover system is the only thing that really needs work. (I need some more characters)
  16. Aug 29, 2012
    9
    Comparisons to Call of Duty and the like are inevitable, and at its core, here is how that comparison breaks down: Compared to Call of Duty, Spec Ops: The Line has half the fun and ten times the balls. Competent but Mediocre gameplay, dated but well realized graphics and above average writing and voice acting may be a recipe for a decent time killer, but the narrative as realized through play, and the way that the narrative punches the player right in the gut makes Spec Ops: The Line as different from other Military Shooters as Paintball is from the real life Normandy landings. With very few misses, Spec Ops deals with the idea of war in a way that maybe no other modern military shooter before has: With heart-wrenching, deadly seriousness. That, "Mature" title can be taken literally. This game deserves your time and money, and even a GotY nod. Expand
  17. Jul 22, 2012
    9
    The gameplay is bog standard cover based shooter, nothing special. But the story is really good, at least when compared to any videogame released in the last ten years, with an ending that lives up to premise. Chuck Palahniuk crossed with Apocalypse now. What I really liked was the fact that they went with the checkpoint system, which doesn't allow the player to simply reload and redo their decision. The first decision you make is the one you have to live with...great stuff. I just wish the actual gameplay matched the rest. But what I'm thinking is that if it had a budget of a Mass Effect 3 or COD, they couldn't have went with the risky story, so maybe the cost of a good story is mediocre gameplay that is limited by budget. Anyway, no regrets on my purchase. Expand
  18. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    Very detailed environment. So far the story is very entertaining and it has grabbed my attention. I like it as a single player game. And for $5 on sale, it's a tremendous value. Looking forward to the next installment. Great job by the developers.
  19. Jul 21, 2012
    9
    The story is the strong point of this game, along with the music, and the voice acting. It's an extremely different approach to the 'Modern Warfare' archetype that we've seen become common in video games. The narrative is well thought out and executed, slowly dragging you in and making you feel disgusted, angry, and confused. The gameplay however is not nearly as polished and enjoyable to sit through. It's clunky at times, and when it's not it's just point and shoot. Very little variety, and it actually manages to take you out of the experience. It's hard to be preachy about the ruthlessness of war and then have special mechanics that give extra ammo for executions. The A.I is also an issue, it can range from decently boring to very broken. Squadmates can sit around shooting a wall that the target is stuck behind for hours if you let them. In spite of that though, I was able to sit through the bland combat and enjoy the journey it took me on. The story and approach to 'shoot'em up' games saved the game from the boring mechanics Expand
  20. Mar 7, 2013
    9
    If you are still on the fence about this one, wait no more and buy it.
    This was for me one of the best games i've played in 2012 and one of the most underrated too.

    Storyline is fantastic and quite a (in a good way), i think you'll enjoy it. The voiceacting is perfect (Nolan North, a.k.a Nathan Drake from Uncharted).
    The gameplay is good, a little repetitive but not a big problem.

    Visually amazing and Dubai looks incredible in this game, even if it is in ruins and covered in Sands. :p
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  21. Aug 13, 2012
    9
    a beautiful, brutal surprise of a game.

    immaculately detailed environments draw you in to the game's world, but its the story that will leave the most lasting impression. it's a breath of fresh air to encounter a game that approaches modern combat from moral 'other side': examining the horror and confusion - the fog of war - through the eyes of one soldier attempting, and ultimately
    failing, to make sense of it all from within the thick of it. if call of duty is equivalent to 'black hawk down', then this game is 'apocalypse now' (and in fact draws inspiration from the same novel, 'heart of darkness'). certainly not a perfect game (enemy AI is weak, gunplay can get a bit repetitive), but it's so bold, daring and risky an attempt one can't help but applaud the effort. Expand
  22. Aug 27, 2012
    9
    I'd be lying if I said that this game was the best thing since sliced bread. The gunplay, while serviceable, is fairly average, the cover system needs a bit more work and the sand mechanic is simply too contextual to be of any interest. However, the game contains what is quite possibly the most profound story I have EVER experienced in a game. This is story that won't just make you question the motives your character has for fighting, it will ask you in quite a lot of different ways "Why do you enjoy playing these sort of games? Do you enjoy butchering and slaughtering people on screen?". It is a game that will ask you, the player "Do you feel like a hero yet?". Couple this with fantastic environments and you will be in an experience you will NEVER forget. It may not be game of the year, but Spec Ops: The Line might be the most important game of our generation in terms of its story and the questions it asks. Expand
  23. Jan 8, 2013
    10
    The story in this game is Oscar worthy, and overcomes any flaws with gameplay.

    It's unfortunate I need to expand this sentence to 150 characters.....
  24. Nov 11, 2012
    9
    This is the first true game that isn't necessarily as fun as it is moving but that, in no way, is a bad thing.

    By this point, I hate modern shooters. Call of Duty and Battlefield are doing the same thing over and over with knockoffs spawning every year. When I first saw this game I counted it off as another knockoff/clone but I was so incredibly wrong. This game brings so much more to
    the table. This game tells an emotional story based around Joseph Conrad's literary masterpiece Heart of Darkness. Yes, the reviews are correct, the FPS shooter mechanics aren't top notch. The multiplayer feels (and according to the developers was absolutely) tacked on last minute so it could say it had multiplayer, making producers happy. I got frustrated with the 3rd person cover system at times as well. But none of these are the point of the game. The developers even said in interviews they wished in was a standalone campaign without a multiplayer, because it's the campaign that breaks radically new ground in the games industry.

    The point is the narrative. PAY ATTENTION TO IT.

    After playing FPS clones, we are used to worthless dialogue that doesn't mean anything or hold any value. This game is different. If you pay attention you might see the massive twists before they are spelled out for you. The game also shines in the little things. There are even creepy highly metaphorical scenes near the end of the campaign that don't repeat if you die and have to go through the same section again. The overall level design (it doesn't make sense for a reason), the artwork and the mechanics work together to share an emotional story about PTSD, what war is like and how pathetic we are for wanting to be a part of it.

    Overall this game took me completely by surprise and I couldn't be happier.
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  25. Aug 25, 2012
    10
    First off, the game play itself is good, not great. Combat can be a bit of a slog, and I always found myself wanting to just turn the game off.
    But here's the beautiful thing: this works perfectly towards the narrative. By far, this is the most effective and engaging story I have experienced in any medium. Its unabashed deconstruction of the modern shooter genre is near perfect, and it
    always feels like the game is yelling to you: "Is this really what you want? Is this your idea of fun?" There were so many moments where I just had to stop- it was that moving.
    If you're looking for something fun, this is not your game, but if you want to see what a mature game can do, play on.
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  26. Mar 5, 2013
    10
    Anyone who reads this and has yet to play this game needs to correct that ASAP. This kind of experience comes extremely rare in video games and quite frankly that needs to be fixed. I will admit that the gameplay itself could probably have been better. Either though giving your squad mates more options for u to take advantage off or making them more useful overall by improving their AI so as to make them more than distractions.

    In conclusion if u want a excellent or at least different story that would make up for the average gameplay then go for it. Also that aspect alone makes it a 10 for me personally.
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  27. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    In a field of games that are created to build the player up to a godly status of superhero, Spec Ops: The Line dares to fly in the face of that, deciding instead to actively fight the player and their sense of heroism. Based on Heart of Darkness, the same story that inspired Apocalypse Now, It is set in a destroyed Dubai, where a squad is sent to rescue survivors. This is a game that is built on traditional mechanics, a samey brown fps that most gamers that pick the title up will identify immediately and become comfortable with. This is the moment Spec Ops chooses to throw the player into disarray, forcing them to question their very motives for even playing a video game, as well as the characters choices. The player, in the end, is drawn into a state of distance from the character, a sort of last shred of sanity and conscious that the character has left. By the end, you are changed in parallel. You are a different person. Expand
  28. Dec 31, 2012
    10
    Spec Ops: The Line. Only took me four hours to complete the campaign. I very much enjoyed this game and it had a great story line, there were very many parts in this game that are stunning. The visuals are fantastic, but the mechanics and some of the little things are weird. I found myself taking many screen shots of awesome landscapes and gruesome sights. Another plus, the main character is voiced by none other than Nathan Drake. I highly recommend this game. Expand
  29. Jan 1, 2013
    10
    One of the most truthful story i have ever experienced. The story alone is worth the purchase. Action is fun but not the best, but that's not why you should buy the game. If you want have a meaningful emotional experience buy this game!
  30. May 9, 2013
    10
    Seriously, who cares about the mediocre gameplay. It's only there to tell a horrific story of violence and madness. Play it as the modern classic it is.
  31. Aug 25, 2012
    0
    This game was quite a bit different than I was first expecting. First, the good: This game has the most original storyline in a shooter in a long time. It's super engaging and the voice actors really do a terrific job selling it to the player, especially Nolan North, who plays the main character of the game, as he delivers one of his most impressive performances in a long time. It's really engaging and will have you guessing till the end. Now the bad: The gameplay is average at best. It's a cover based style shooter, much like Gears of War, but the cover system is nowhere near as sound as that game was and the controls in this game are pretty bad. The controls themselves will cause a few deaths in the later stages of the campaign mode so just prepare yourself for some cheap, unavoidable deaths toward the end. The multiplayer is not very good, mostly because of the same problems as above. I had problems staying in the few games I tried playing, and only finished one of the matches I went into cause of connection issues. But this game is single-player focused and you should buy it for the single-player.....but not right now. Spec Ops is not worth the full price most places are asking for it right now. This game would easily be worth 20-30 bucks, and I wouldn't hesitate to jump on it if I were to see it at that price. However, the flaws and the fact that there's plenty of better shooters to play if all you is multiplayer, keep this from being a game that is worthy of your average person's hard earned cash. I can personally see this game being in that price range toward the end of the year so wait till then unless you see some sort of special deal. But wait on this game and go buy Gears 3 and the DLC for the 360 if you REALLY have to fill a need for a 3rd Person Shooter right now. Collapse
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Oct 13, 2012
    80
    Spec Ops: The Line tries new and interesting ground on storytelling, but falls short on the action department. Still, it's worth playing through for the atmosphere and few different endings alone. [Aug 2012]
  2. Aug 31, 2012
    89
    Were it not for some technical issues and console-related shortcomings (gamepad controls and no anti-aliasing), Spec Ops: The Line would be one of the best games for 2012. But, things being as they are, it remains merely a diamond in the rough, destined for wicked crazy status within the following years. Definitely superior to the related series of Kane & Lynch, it proves that, with a steady vision and soul, a genre so clichéd like military shooters, can not only surprise us pleasantly, but totally overwhelm us. [August 2012]
  3. 70
    Expectations were greater than game could have achieved. Yet the new Spec Ops game is a good excuse to stay home and play. [Issue#220]