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Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 889 Ratings

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  • Summary: Spec Ops: The Line is a provocative third-person modern military shooter that challenges players' morality by putting them in the middle of unspeakable situations where unimaginable choices affecting human life must be made. Spec Ops: The Line unfolds within the destroyed opulence of Dubai. Once the playground for the world's wealthiest elite, Dubai has fallen victim to a series of cataclysmic sandstorms. The city's ultramodern architecture lies half-buried under millions of tons of sand. The very sand that blankets the city plays a marquee role in altering combat situations and serves as a powerful but unpredictable force that will both help and hinder players throughout the course of the game. While most people have fled the now-barren wasteland before the sandstorms swept through, U.S. Army Colonel John Konrad and his loyal squad remained behind to protect those incapable of escape. Unable to reach anyone in Dubai after the storm hit, the U.S. Army feared Konrad and his team dead until they picked up a weak distress signal and launched a rescue operation. As U.S. Army Captain Martin Walker, you and your elite Delta Force team are sent to infiltrate the treacherous region to bring Konrad home. Players experience “"The Line," that razor's edge known only to men who deal in war. It is the line they cross when death and duty become one and the same. It is the end -- of self and sanity -- when their duty is done and only they remain. [2K Games] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 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]
  2. Jun 26, 2012
    85
    It does not forget the madness of war.
  3. Jun 27, 2012
    81
    A solid third-person shooter that delivers intense action and a compelling setting, but relies too much on established mechanics, rather than delivering something new. The story however really stands out - a grim and challenging reflection on violence is something you won't find in any typical shooter. Fortunately it's also missing that dull patriotism you've come to expect from today's military action games.
  4. Jul 3, 2012
    80
    A big surprise among military shooters. Spec Ops will present you a dark story that's opposing the well-known clichés of the other military games. It's a pity, however, that the action part doesn't go along with the game's storytelling.
  5. 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]
  6. Jul 6, 2012
    70
    As it is, the story must be commended for tackling the horrors of war and the effect it has on the human mind, and the techniques it deploys to accomplish this. It tries things no other modern military shooter has even come close to, boldly stating that shooters don't always have to be wrapped in mundane and convoluted storytelling, and that's quite the accomplishment considering the oversaturation of the genre.
  7. Jun 27, 2012
    65
    The disconnect between the gameplay and the narrative elements of Spec Ops: The Line is numbing, which makes it more difficult to contemplate the murky morality of war in the way the game wants you to.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 208
  1. Jun 25, 2014
    10
    Although the game play is nothing special and could be considered very bad, that is not what this game is made for. This has to have one of the best, if not, the best story line in a long time. It shows what war is like.

    It does not make you feel good about your choices, it shows how horrific war is, and what killing people is actually like. Not your typical stories like Call of Duty, where you kill terrorists or the "bad guys" for America.

    For a game that makes you feel like human garbage, it's amazing. Again though, don't buy it if you want multiplayer.
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  2. Aug 7, 2013
    10
    Although adding nothing new to the genre gameplay-wise this shooter is an outstanding piece of art when it comes to terms of story and picture.
    Yes, the graphics aren't topnotch but they are good, the AI is close to awful and the level-layout is pretty simple yet all this becomes insignificant when you get blown away by stunningly beautiful Levels (speaking of the crafted images not the layout) and a story so dark and moving that I just sat there staring at my monitor for what felt like minutes more than once.
    Spec Ops: The Line isn't by any means a great shooter yet it tells a unique story which makes a playthrough well worth your time.
    Expand
  3. 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
  4. May 6, 2013
    9
    Simply an amazing game. Spec Ops: The Line offers high end, fast paced action game play to the player. If you're in it for the story, then this game will give it to you. If you're in it for the game play and mechanics, well...then this is just your average shooter. Overall, I'd say stick to enjoying the story line. It clearly shows that the devs have put a lot of time and effort into crafting such an intense story. It really hits you in the gut at some points in the game. It is not for the weak hearted because there are a lot of disturbing elements that drive you to the edge of your seat. (I won't give any spoilers however).

    As for the game play mechanics, it may not be the best engine used in the world, giving it's only unreal 3, but it is your average low end 'Gears of War' or Ghost Recon Future Soldier.' Main guns are typically the ones used in every military shooter, but why else must you complain? It's post apocalyptic modern military warfare. All in all, great game for what it is. Definitely worth a shot playing it. It will surely leave you questioning, what you just played.
    Expand
  5. Sep 29, 2013
    8
    Spec Ops: the Line really is something else but it mimics the mainstream mechanics so well that many players mistook it for yet another CoD clone and a below-average one at that gameplay-wise.

    My opinion is a little biased because I've never played any Call of Duty, Battlefield, Army of Two, or other war simulators so many rehashed mechanics were quite new to me and I couldn't complain about the graphics either. But the beef of the game is not it's technical side, it's the storyline, the atmosphere, and the narrative.

    I can confirm that SO:tL really is quite engaging but often simply not fun, curiously enough. While you explore the beautifully designed environments, the constant slaughter overlaid by a perfectly-fitting yet weirdly presented (via in-game radio broadcasting) soundtrack leaves you with the feeling that something is very off. For a good portion of the game you battle different people but you don't really know who they are. Then you realize that you don't really know why you're fighting them. Everything goes so weird that you don't really know why you do what you do and start wondering if the choices you make are really there or the game just drags you along to prove a point. Even the loading tips start changing slowly but surely from game hints to... something else.

    The ending is close to flawless. I was not only surprised but also relieved that there really was a good reason for all the weirdness. SO:tL represents an excellent achievement through the combination of its setting, storyline, voice acting, graphics, mechanics, and atmosphere. It will keep you guessing, taking away the fun from the gameplay while holding you until the end. Or at least that happened to me and I fully appreciated it.

    Give this game a shot, it might change your perception of the whole genre more than its technically superior counterparts ever could.
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  6. Jul 16, 2012
    7
    This game has it's strengths and weaknesses. I wouldn't call it a master piece, but it creates a distinct and interesting world that made me want to learn more about what's going on in the devastated city of dubai.
    It's story is different to what one would expect from a typical military shooter and that makes it worth playing.
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  7. Jun 23, 2013
    0
    Zero effort console port, did not finish.

    As a matter of fact I quit playing ten seconds into the game when I realized I couldn't disable
    the fake dof.

    I flatly refuse to play such drivel
    Expand

See all 208 User Reviews