Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
  1. Jun 26, 2012
    80
    Spec Ops: The Line has its issues, but they're overshadowed by a brave, compelling narrative that treats the medium with respect, and calls you a son of a bitch for playing it.
  2. Jun 26, 2012
    80
    I can't think of another game where I replayed chapters, after beating it, for the sole purpose of fully understanding the gravity of key story moments.
  3. 80
    In a season where game releases generally slow down, gamers should take a close look at Spec Ops: The Line as it has some great qualities that most should enjoy, but the ride may be over a little too quickly for those who those who invest the money and don't play online.
  4. 80
    Spec Ops: The Line is a cut above the usual generic military shooter with solid gameplay backed up by a story that pulls you in and doesn't let go. And it makes you think. It's a grim day at the beach for sure, but then war is hell.
  5. Jul 7, 2012
    79
    Spec Ops: The Line uses a tried and tested shooter formula to deliver a powerful and thought-provoking story.
  6. Jun 26, 2012
    78
    While the story remains riveting up to its questionable conclusion, the minute-to-minute gameplay is uneven.
  7. Jul 2, 2012
    77
    German developers Yager put the horror of war on the screen – brutal, ruthless and depressing at times. In its' quiet moments it generates a fantastic atmosphere set in the Dubai desert. But this is still a shooter and regarding action and especially AI it falls short.
  8. Jul 2, 2012
    75
    Spec Ops: The Line is a decent third-person shooter that doesn't bring much original features to the table. The amazing and brutal narrative, however, will keep you ploughing through this sandy shooter.
  9. Jun 30, 2012
    75
    Spec Ops: The Line tries to take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride to try and distinguish itself from other 'Hollywood-ish' competitors. It makes you doubt your morality and who your enemy is. These moments usually work well, but don't always tug at the right strings. The complete experience can be seen as a very decent one and a nice surprise at that.
  10. Jun 28, 2012
    75
    There is certainly room for a thoughtful shooter or fifty among the brain-dead gorillas that currently populate the genre, and what is on offer here in that regard is encouraging, even if it's not executed to the highest standards. The Line's dramatic punches would have landed with a lot more force had the in-game macho quotient been dialled back a few notches and had all involved not made the choice to speak through clenched teeth, but it does represent a welcome step in the right direction.
  11. Jun 26, 2012
    73
    I expected an awesome desert shooter, but I only got a midclass shooter. There is to much scripting, an environment with few details and nothing special. The multiplayer mode looks fun but over all it's not enough to be a summer highlight.
  12. Aug 11, 2012
    70
    Spec Ops: The Line turned out to be a genuinely nice surprise, is designed for people over 18, not only by the constant shooting scenes but also for the tone, mature theme and psychologically demanding posture.
  13. Jul 26, 2012
    70
    A decent tactical shooter, but the campaign is too short and too average to provide anything more than a weekend's distraction. [Issue#87, p.76]
  14. Jul 12, 2012
    70
    The game is pretty much a must-play for anyone interested in videogame narrative or the debate on virtual violence, and the sheer subversiveness it brings to one of the most profitable and least nuanced of gaming genres is certain to be influential in future. But dubious mechanics, cursory multiplayer and niggling design shortfalls all weigh heavily in the other scale. Spec Ops may turn out to be less notable for what it is than for what it inspires.
  15. Jun 28, 2012
    70
    In a nut shell, it has a few "neat" things but in the long run they aren't worth the $60 price tag. I recommend waiting for a price reduction or saving your hard earned money for the next "Call of Duty".
  16. Jun 27, 2012
    70
    A well executed game lacking much in the way of original gameplay. Play it for the story, grind it for the interaction.
  17. Jun 26, 2012
    70
    A good shooter with nice mechanics and fun multiplayer modes. It's a darn shame that the dialogue is so embarrassingly bad.
  18. Jun 26, 2012
    70
    Should you buy Spec Ops: The Line? Well, it's the usual yes and no. Yes if you enjoy the setting and like the idea of a descent into the madness of a buried city, but no if you're fed up of cover-based, Unreal 3 engine-powered shooters. If you get it, you can force your way through the carnage to get to the more interesting nuggets of non-shooting. You won't be disappointed if you do stump up the cash, but neither will you be fisting the air with glee at having made an inspired purchase. It's alright, basically.
  19. Jun 26, 2012
    70
    One of the most daring marriages of narrative and action game ever seen, and yet still the end result never fully satisfies as either a game or story.
  20. Jun 26, 2012
    70
    It would also be an overstatement to call it profound: in any other medium such themes would hardly be revelatory, and although The Line is a thoughtful and well-intentioned game, the level of its writing is carefully engineered to be accessible to those expecting a brainless bullet exchange. Even so, it is brazen in its critique, and a rarity besides. It may not be subtle, but it engages with problems that the bellicose ilk of Modern Warfare and Medal Of Honor have yet to acknowledge.
  21. Jun 26, 2012
    70
    Yager should be admired for its bravery and effort in building something different - this could so easily have been an entirely generic shooter - but it just doesn't have the fundamentals to back up its grand ideas or the confidence to go completely off the wall and truly stand out from the crowd.
  22. Jun 26, 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.
  23. Aug 2, 2012
    60
    However, the overall design and experience of Spec Ops: The Line is too heartbreakingly conventional to do anything more than wander distractedly towards the general direction where new ground might be broken.
  24. Jun 29, 2012
    60
    The story in Spec Ops: The Line isn't amazing, but the way that it's told really stands out and, in many ways, saves the entire project from being a complete waste of time. But that doesn't make it easy to recommend.
  25. Jun 27, 2012
    60
    The kind of game we think we want. It aims to be thoughtful and mature as it ponders our recurring role as the trigger-happy mass murderer. And yet it casts us in that same spot again, making a boring job out of it and highlighting why even "stupid" games can better engage, entertain and challenge.
  26. Jun 27, 2012
    60
    Yager wanted to make us live a contemporary war in the shoes of a soldier on the field. Its a success despite a too short adventure, some sequences that lack a little punch, and some hiccups in the production values. The multiplayer should compensate for its lack of durability and replayability.
  27. Jun 26, 2012
    60
    While there's some genuine heart and originality in Spec Ops: The Line, the experience of playing the game is just too hit and miss for me to recommend it unreservedly.
  28. Jul 19, 2012
    58
    I was quite disappointed when I realized that this is "Spec Ops" game in name only. From a gameplay perspective it's basically a throw-away of everything the franchise was about, instead opting to amalgamate it with the rest of the homogeneous military-action titles currently out there.
  29. Jun 27, 2012
    55
    The Line lacks a strong direction. There's a very powerful hint of an outstanding game sitting beneath what is ultimately a flawed experience. I can imagine it being easier to play on PC - not something you'd typically say about a third person shooter - and yet I can't see that making up for all of its faults.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 269 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 72
  2. Negative: 5 out of 72
  1. Jun 26, 2012
    9
    "Spec Ops: The Line" is the ninth game of the franchise dating back to PC, 98, and is produced by 2K Games, using the Unreal Engine 3. The story is set in a Dubai devastated by a sandstorm, 6 months ago: some of the city's population escaped, but many were left behind in this chaotic and anarchic city; among those who stayed behind, there is a US Army Colonel, who contrary to orders, he decided to stay to help - all thought he was dead, until a weak broadcast is capted, and now, you and your squad enter this anarchic scenary to rescue him, and find several things toward this goal.The graphics are good but not excellent, being comparable to other games like Rainbrow 6 Vegas II or Operation Flashpoint 2 - the textures of characters have a good detail, but nothing to go to minimal skin texture. The same applies to other details such as footprints in the sand, which does not always appear, and the destruction effect, with large pieces - the details of the scenarios in the campaign are very good, and detailed.The colors of the game, that passes in a desert, have many strong colors that are heavy on a color theme, depending on the stage, and abuses of yellows and oranges, and you can opt for three tonal variations when starting the game (Vintage, Exaggerated and Normal) - obviously, the graphics are obscured a greater distance, by sand and wind, or the darkness that spread through the city without electricity.The game has a mixed musical background mixed, the main part orchestrated, with the typical style of action games. The acting is mixed, usually dialogues are good, but the acting is not perfect, and the voices are very constant in volume, whereas the general sound effects are good, especially in the climate of the place.You notice another similarity with Vegas II in relation to the enemies: it is always easy to know if there is any hidden in the stage, they scream incessantly, even when they are alone.The gameplay is of a great shooter in the 3rd person, strategic, but tending much action: there are 4 difficulties, and the most difficult (FUBAR) shall be released only after finishing the game on Hard (Suicide). The highlight is that the controls are intuitive and smooth, with no difficulty to play and enjoy the game.The stages are linear and with physical borders, having a goal, displayed on the screen, with its distance, and generally among them are facing waves of enemies to reach them - and the enemies are plentiful in the game, and are varied among survivors, and other military forces.The importance of the cover system is higher here, two or three shots from enemies kill you - and allied to it, the choice of weapons and the use of certain commands to your squad to ensure that you live longer. The grenades are throw with LB, and you can see the trajectory and possible deviations that they may have hiting objetcs.The life has regeneration, when in cover, and the damage is shown by taking a shade screen over white and black with blood around it - here, the damage in the higher difficulties is higher than in other games, but nothing too extreme.The enemy AI is mixed: generally do not have much strategy, just attack and use some cover, but every once in a while you, being the primary target of them do strange things like running behind our team, not caring that they are there, to kill you. The same applies to your Team AI: in general has a good performance, but are not extremely well-aimed and sometimes make suicidal decisions too, but do not die so much, by what I said above the enemy AI.The highlight if the gameplay is the destruction of certain structures in the game, which can fall or break in the case of glass, and the presence of climatic factors relating to sand in the game, and that much influence on the strategy used (many enemies attack from skylights high above), from the point of obscuring the vision enemy with storms of sand to break the structures of Cover / support of opponents.The variety of weapons is very good, and despite ammunition goes away fast in the action, you can get any weapons of the enemy, and re-supply points are abundant. The game's collectibles are items in the form of intelligence that give greater insight into story and do not always have the same look, with different objects each time.The game has Multiplayer, which can be played on Live or via System Link, and from what I read it is a competitive mode, based on the struggle between teams, in which changes in the scenarios by sand avalanches / storms or destruction of scenery. Seeing the trailer, seemed very similar to the MP of Vegas II .Summary: I found a great 3rd person shooter, being among my favorites: it has good graphics, with great weather effects and destruction, coupled with a strategic gameplay with more action, and well polished gameplay and controls (a detail that many other recent shooters do not have). If you like shooters with lots of action, this certainly deserves to be in your collection. Full Review »
  2. Jun 26, 2012
    9
    When there are already hundreds of shooters like this already available, Spec Ops: The Line manages to offer a whole new experience. A mysterious and unpredictable plot, brand new game mechanics and a decent enough multiplayer, Spec Ops: The Line should manage to keep you busy this summer. Full Review »
  3. Jun 26, 2012
    10
    Great 3rd person action game and deep dark story. I really enjoyed the original Spec Ops games and the new one combines great story telling, seamless level transition into the game I've been waiting for. Complete with environment effects, environment kill options, and morality choices, this is a sure sleeper hit. Multiplayer was mediocre and felt tacked on but its a solid single player game. Full Review »