Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Jun 27, 2012
    90
    The Line rivals thatgamecompany's Journey in terms of overall impact, serving as a brave step forward for developers who want to help us get more from games than just gunplay. If you're tired of the same old firefight, you really ought to play it.
  2. Jun 27, 2012
    90
    It's a campaign that merits multiple playthroughs, and a story as strong and daring as those of Bioshock, Shadow of the Colossus and Dead Space 2. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that it achieves this in spite of mechanics that are noticeably dated and bereft of innovation. For that reason, the game is best taken as a whole, and not as something that can be played simply on the strength of its mechanical composition.
  3. Jun 26, 2012
    90
    It blends a brilliant story with strong characters and gameplay mechanics that rival much more established franchises. Yes the difficulty spikes can be a grind, but push on through and you'll find one of 2012's best games.
  4. Good or evil doesn't really exist in The Line, most of the time you have to choose between doing something bad or doing something very bad. Just don't expect any branching story paths, because The Line is about as linear as it gets. [July 2012, p.82]
  5. Jun 27, 2012
    82
    The gritty story supersedes the game's mediocrity elsewhere, and finally delivers something outside the box. It dives into a disturbing realism that war, racism, and the psychological repercussions that could ensue, going far beyond the dramatic fluff that we've seen in other shooters.
  6. Jun 27, 2012
    81
    Spec Ops: The Line forces the main character Captain Walker to be a killer. It forces you to be a perpetrator as well as it shows perfectly how Walker is to collapse because of that violence. A very good story for a game.
  7. Aug 20, 2012
    80
    Spec Ops: The Line is a solid, action packed shooter that sets itself apart by demonstrating the brutal realities of war. The fragile lines of morality are easily blurred, and sometimes, only visible when crossed.
  8. While it's marred by frequent visual pop-in and frustrating checkpoint placement, Spec Ops is nevertheless a pretty significant achievement. [Sept 2012, p.79]
  9. Jul 16, 2012
    80
    As a shooter, Spec Ops: The Line disappoints. The coversystem is a constant source of frustration and the hit detection is way off. On top of that, the multiplayer is generally uninteresting. However, as a story-drive singleplayer experience, the game shines like few have before it.
  10. Jul 8, 2012
    80
    Spec Ops: The Line is one of the better shooters of 2012, and shouldn't be missed. With an interesting and well told story the game offers a journey through a horrible situation that shows how fast a civilized society can crumble under extreme circumstances.
  11. 80
    There are no heroes here and it´s not up to you to be one. This is as far away from the shiny-happy shooterindustry as you can get, as long as you still want to sell a few units. The 'fun'-part lies in the excessive shooter-sequences, that will spare The Line from the fate of being a highly praised but commercially unsuccessful case of auteur gaming.
  12. Jul 2, 2012
    80
    Fun even if the pretensions to thinkiness flounder. [Aug 2012, p.96]
  13. 80
    A deeply engaging narrative set in a unique sand-dusted Dubai, Spec Ops: The Line is a terrific adventure that lacks a bit in the gameplay department. It's certainly worth a spot in your summer playlist.
  14. Jun 26, 2012
    80
    The line between an outstanding game and a very powerful game but without shine is in this Spec Ops. The story of Walker, Adams and Lugo is deep and interesting, as are the situations they will be exposed too. But the multiplayer is not very inspired and other areas have shortcomings.
  15. Jun 26, 2012
    80
    Yager deserves credit for trying something bold and different, with an adult narrative and that, maybe for the first time on a videogame, shows the real horror behind war.
  16. 80
    From the moment I turned it on, it took me by surprise. The setting of a once luxurious, sand-covered Dubai is a true stroke of genius, and makes for both gameplay and story situations that are a cut above the norm-especially when it comes to cookie-cutter military shooters.
  17. Jun 26, 2012
    80
    For the first time, a game with guns doesn't want you to be the hero -- it's wants you to feel terrible about trying to be one.
  18. Jun 26, 2012
    78
    Spec Ops makes an admirable attempt to inject morality into a standard shooter experience. The narrative unravels at the end and the controls are subpar compared to the top-tier competitors, but the journey into madness is unlike anything I've played before.
  19. Jul 8, 2012
    77
    Spec Ops: The Line spurs you through the eight hour campaign thanks to some incredible cut-scenes and storyline progression, but sadly makes every interactive experience in-between fairly mundane.
  20. Jul 4, 2012
    75
    Spec Ops: The Line has a great story and manages to show a gruesome, yet beautifully destroyed Dubai. It's just a shame that the moving sand is all scripted and that the campaign doesn't last for more than 6 hours.
  21. Jun 26, 2012
    75
    A brutal, cruel, and impactful trip in the frail psyche of a soldier, and a brilliant re-imagining of the Heart of Darkness story, that unfortunately falls short in the gameplay department due to lack of real innovation, the lacking companion AI, and a badly-calculated challenge level. Truly a pity - could have been an amazing game.
  22. Where Spec Ops succeeds – just – is with its themes of the end justifying the means, the ravages of war on a man's psyche and its portrayal of extreme violence. This is simultaneously its downfall as the team haven't quite nailed the execution until the final moments, where the full extent of what's happened over the last eight or so hours dawns on the protagonists. We wish Yager had teased and fleshed out the concepts sooner than leaving it to the beguiling endings; we doubt many players will bother reaching the credits. A year and half ago we might have been more impressed with The Line, but its poor presentation and boring shootouts completely let it down. [August 2012, p70]
  23. Jul 5, 2012
    70
    Spec Ops: The Line is a game that tries to be different, and succeeds somewhat at doing this. It's enticing story and great design only goes so far though, and gameplay-wise the game is hampered by clunky controls, thus feeling very much like your average third-person shooter.
  24. Jun 26, 2012
    70
    Spec Ops: The Line tries to offer new ways to play third person shooters. It's a more adult attempt to reach player's feelings but sometimes it fails in mantaining the tone of the production. Yager's game also lacks a strong multiplayer experience, without which it can't be a must buy.
  25. Jun 26, 2012
    66
    There are several great ideas here, but they're sort of mired beneath the weight of a generic shooter. The multiplayer isn't overwhelmingly great, either, and despite a really solid story with a lot of potential, a few compelling characters, and an immersive, challenging environment, Spec Ops: The Line doesn't make good on its lofty claims.
  26. Unfortunately the system chokes as things get more frantic. Manoeuvring often means accidentally popping off cover, and performing tasks like reviving downed teammates whips the camera around wildly – minor complaints, but ones that are frustratingly at odds with the fragility of your character. Later stages see you downed by two or three hits, and it's impossible to keep a lock on foes or stay tucked safely away from bullety harm.
  27. Jul 10, 2012
    59
    What would be a ridiculously bland and forgettable experience is rendered that little bit less so through a fairly interesting setting and narrative. But it's still not very good at all, and not particularly worth your time. Unless you're REALLY bored. [Issue#220, p.74]
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 279 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 74
  2. Negative: 7 out of 74
  1. Jun 30, 2012
    9
    Wow, this game really achieved something unique... Can't quite put my finger on it, at first it felt like a ordinary shooter, and it is gameplaywise but the story is what makes it worth your money. At several points later in the game I was confused, but in a good way, haven't felt the same way since.... Well, Bioshock I suppose, it's truly a unique game in that aspect, it's not just a generic war story, it's extreamly dark so sensitive gamers might wanna avoid this one... But take my word on this, it will even make the most hardened gamers feel unease at certain parts. Still, I do recommend this to all who can handle this kind of adult material, because the amazing use of colours and storytelling is really rare in games today, I've been wating for this game for years now and it was indeed worth the wait! Yager have really done a good job, although the multiplayer is pretty standard but once again, you ARE buying this game for the story, which you should. Goddamn, I really hope they make more games like this, this, people, is a real step towards much more mature stories, and I like it alot! I give it a 9/10, really deserving, great graphics, great sound/music, it's a really good buy for those who have nothing else to do this summer! Full Review »
  2. Jun 28, 2012
    9
    Without spoiling anything for the Singleplayer campaign the storyline is worthy of a book. I loved it from the first second to the very last. There are not many bugs in this game either the biggest is slow loading textures but that's alright since for the most part this game is a graphical beauty. For the multiplayer side of things it would have had alot more potential if they expanded it to more than just 8 players in total. The maps are way to big and with the cover system players will camp thus making it seem like a ghost town at times. Unfortunately the same could be said about the gamemodes as there is really nothing special offered here and the objective modes just don't work because of the lack of players. However there is surprisingly alot of things you can unlock to keep you coming back for more. I absolutely love the character customization, armor system, perk system, gun play, huge amount of weapons and the environmental aspects to the online play. Great game by 2k and I hope they produce a sequel. Full Review »
  3. Aug 26, 2012
    10
    If you finish Spec Ops: The Line without learning anything about yourself; without ever feeling genuine anger, sadness, or regret; without truly examining where the line is drawn between right and wrong; then you played it wrong. Full Review »