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Generally favorable reviews- based on 272 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 272

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  1. Jul 13, 2012
    Consequences, Spec Ops is full of them. Whether stemming from moral choices or arising from the misfortunes destiny consequences play a large role in this third person shooter inspired by Heart of Darkness (the novel not the 1998 classic PS1 game). What appears to be at a glance a military affair in Dubai, is quickly a morbid and shrouded character driven fight for survival. The gameplay has slick shooting mechanics and satisfying firearm combat, the brutality of which sells you on the tone this shooter conveys. If only the same could be said for the level design- placing heavy emphasis on killing many soldiers with little deviation other than an occasional gun turret section or a few on rails set pieces. The sandstorms also ratchet up the variety, adding a subtle but unique dynamic. Sand is unfortunately underused though. The presentation of high sky scraper building amidst the ruins of melting hot dessert and the thunderous explosions are exhilerating. Character models look a bit bland but the chemistry between characters is engaging as you really feel the tension and pressure in the game's story. Generally The Line is a decent, functional and brilliantly immersive third person shooter that lacks variety until the very end in terms of mission design. It's a tad more than your typical third person shooter but it's one that portrays the conventions of the genre to the point it feels slightly generic. Even so how often is it do we get a full story driven third person shooter that pushes multiplayer aside? not many. Expand
  2. Apr 23, 2013
    This is the best story-based shooter I have ever played, and in fact, probably top ten of all time for stories. It forces you to take some truly gruesome actions, all under the guise of having to do the job, to protect the masses. You find yourself emotionally invested as a result, and as the story progresses, you start to feel bad about your decisions, just in time for the next moment of heroics, to build your ego back up. Well thought-out, interesting characters, and with several twists throughout, you will have no idea what happened once you achieve one of the 4 (yes 4) different endings. With the ability to replay the game at the Chapter level, you can experience all the endings without putting 4 playthroughs in, which is also nice. The only gripe is the AI on Normal mode is a little goofy at times, but overwhelmingly firefights are exciting, fun, and have you looking forward to the next one. The game is beautiful, animation is quite good. This is quite simply a fantastic game. Expand
  3. Sep 22, 2012
    what a great game. the actual gameplay is standard 3rd person shoot with nothing new, but all the controls work well. the story is where this game shines bright like a becon of hope for games every where. they say they drew inspiration from heart of darkness but thats where it ends. spec ops is its own unique take on it and is in no way similar to a Apocalypse Now. I have never played a game through twice but this i have. the multiplayer is very basic but it is unique to this game but still enjoyable. anything else will ruin it, so this is a game you need in your collection Expand
  4. Jul 16, 2012
    Spec Ops: The Line is a loose adaptation of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. It starts off like any other shooter: guns ablazing. But, somewhere between the second and third chapter it comes into its own. A thinking man's shooter with a well-acted and introspective script, it's is only let down by conventional shooter tropes. Linearity and waves of enemies serve to break the sense of immersion so expertly crafted by the engaging plot. Ultimately, this is a fun and unique experience in a sea of MWs and BFs. Give it a shot... and you might find one of the more memorable shooters in recent memory. Expand
  5. Jan 16, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Spec Ops: the line is a great game, fantastic storyline and very playable, easy to pick up gameplay. Alright the visuals are not stunning but they still look very good. Although Spec Ops doesn't really bring anything new to the table it is well worth the purchase, the 3rd person genre has plenty to offer and Spec Ops will never be top of the pile but if you like army of two or gears of war, you won't go wrong picking this up. Expand
  6. Jul 21, 2012
    Although the story wasn't really a choice by choice scenario, it was still surprising. A first person shooter now a days with a story that is better than modern day RPG games like Skyrim is a welcomed experience. Yes, it is a generic cover based shooter and no I did not play the multiplayer. Playing once through on the second hardest difficulty was challenging towards the end. I dislike how you have to play it once to get the hardest difficulty but that adds some replay value for me in the future. Getting back to what I said early about the choices in Spec Ops there really aren't any until the later parts of the game and they are few. I won't go into any spoilers but with the sequel that I am sure they are already planning it would be nice to have the player impact the game more. With that said though, I think the writers did a nice job with the twists and turns. I would recommend to a person who is looking for a bit of a challenge, would have to play the hardest difficulty available, an interesting story, and light FPS elements. Expand
  7. Mar 29, 2013
    Spec Ops: The Line will change you. If you have the capacity to fully immerse yourself in a narrative, to buy into the questions asked, and to allow even a moments thought on who and why you are killing, then Spec Ops the line will forever make impotent any high action shooter on the market. Immerse yourself, and enjoy. (Disclaimer: combat is not that great, but your not SUPPOSED to enjoy it. Convenient no?) Expand
  8. Jul 2, 2012
    God damn browser!
    I gave it a fxkking 10/10!!!
    Good luck I did check.

    Best story ever If you played a lot of Call of Duty and Battlefield, which makes you feel like a hero and is always right You have to try this game Feeling the cruelty of war, consequence of your action Making you think Am I always right? This is surely a must play for those who like to play a game for it's story 10/10
  9. Jun 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Meh. That's all I really got from this game. This game seemed to be somewhat of a vanilla version of Rainbow Six Vegas 2, but your team isn't as controllable as it was in that one. The game play was very linear, and it was basically just a constant reply of get to a zone, take cover, kill people, move on. Painfully long loading screens, wonky AI, and overusage of what is quickly becoming synonymous with many FPS story lines.....disassociative/hallucinogenic cutscenes. Didn't really wow me, although some parts of the game were marked with some "wtf" moments (in a good way). Could have some replayability to it, but I'm probably not going to. This was a one play through-er. Expand
  10. Jun 26, 2012
    A great game with a dark story. After the Spec ops in the 90's I've been waiting for another one, and this certainly delivers. I love Spec ops, all of them. When there's lots of other shooters it's hard to find a difference between them but Spec ops manages to do this. A great game for anyone who like shooters.
  11. Jun 27, 2012
    Spec Ops: The Line may look like a normal third person military shooter but, if you delve deeper into the game, the more you will notice it isn't your usual game. Spec Ops is a game that really makes you think about the decisions you make throughout the game. The story in Spec Ops is one of the best stories I've seen in a game. The characters and voice acting also make the game really come to life. I think that the setting of Dubai was a great design choice for the game and really offers a different feel than most games. The action and shooting mechanics all feel great, some of the set piece moments are really awesome. Spec Ops is actually a thinking mans game and is one of the few games that actually made me feel sorry or regret some of the things I did in the game. Yager did a great job on this game and I hope it sells well enough so they could possibly make a sequel. If you like story oriented games and a bit of good action, Spec Ops is the perfect game to play during the summer drought. Expand
  12. Jun 26, 2012
    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.
  13. Mar 14, 2013
    Although not from a mainstream blockbuster franchise, Spec Ops: The Line is a surprising solid shooter in all departments. Graphics are excellent with superb lighting and good textures one of the best looking Unreal Engine 3 games on the Xbox 360. Framerate is smooth and rarely drops even at very intensive parts. The campaign is of good length, with the highest difficulty being just right. The setting of it being in Dubai manages to mix a perfect blend between realistic and intense warzone-looking parts with beautiful scenery. Level design is fairly generic but it's not too repetitive, and is generally high quality. The story isn't your conventional military shooter; it's actually written by an author so you can expect higher than average entertainment value in that department. As for the most important part in a shooter the mechanics and controls they are very impressive. Those who have played Gears of War or even Uncharted will feel right at home here. Controls are responsive, fluid and consistent for the most part. The game mechanics are your typical third person shooter, but executed with perfection. The cover mechanic is not a hassle, aiming both in and out of cover is simple and fast, you can swap shoulders etc. All the common sense stuff is here, with logical button layout. The gunplay is similar to Uncharted's mechanics; however since the weapons are fully licensed you can take advantage of selective fire for some weapons. You should not be put off buying this excellent title if you're after a solid single-player third person shooter simply because it's not branded. Be assured that this is a high quality game with few mistakes, and excels in all areas. It doesn't push the boundaries or do anything new there's nothing 'special' or unique but it does do everything very well. The only minor setback is your teammate AI. They will not position themselves well at all in combat, and whilst you can order them to attack, you can't move them into cover. There is very little you can actually order your teammates to do, but there doesn't feel like anything's missing. All in all, this is a robust third-person shooter in all aspects. Expand
  14. Jun 29, 2012
    Spec ops the line is just one of hunders rpg ported from consoles into pc.
    Gameplay wise its pretty boring and to easy since basicly console gamers arent that fast compared to pc gamers.
    Graphics are average even on pc.
    So if this game would cost 20 or so on steam it would be a good price for it, only 50 in steam is just overpriced to hell.
    Therefor a 6 , its not that bad its just
    nothing special. Expand
  15. Jun 26, 2012
    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.
  16. Aug 27, 2012
    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
  17. Jun 16, 2013
    First the negative part of the game. There was only 1 thing that I was disappointed in. The main character always seemed to have his mouth hanging open and looked like a goober. That being said, the rest of the game was quite enjoyable. The controls were very responsive, the sounds and graphics were very good, and the story was interesting. Overall I would have given the game a higher mark than 8 but forcing me to look like a goober was just not cool Very fun, 3rd person shooter. Expand
  18. Jul 22, 2012
    The psychological aspect of this game is one of the best in a long time, the gameplay isn't amazing, but get through the first half hour of the game and you are playing one of the best games ever,
  19. Aug 13, 2012
    This is a great game. Wonderful voice acting and hauntingly compelling story. Can't praise this game enough. The only complaint I can find is that I wish you could roll out of the way but other than that the controls are good. This is a must play. Buy it!
  20. Aug 5, 2012
    I picked up Spec Ops: The Line with the expectation of just another generic, basic, third-person shooter. I expected a main character who is a generic, "made to raise the flag" American elite soldier sent into a desert environment to blow sit up in the name of Uncle Sam. I punched myself straight in the balls when I finished it! My mind was blown by the ending. I won't spoil anything, but it was not what I had expected. When you get down to the gameplay, yes it is fairly generic. The closest comparison I can make is with Gears of War: The cover based shooting does feel repetitive at times, but like Gears of War it somehow doesn't feel old, adding new weapons, and new enemies just at the right time to keep you engaged. As the story progresses, it should be noted that the dialogue during combat also changes, as well as the brutality of close quarters execution moves. However, it should be said that the gameplay is very linear, and those seeking a unique gameplay experience should look elsewhere.
    The element that keeps you engaged the most, and putting up with linear cover based shooting is the story. Dubai is destroyed by catastrophic sandstorms, and you and your two comrades from Delta Force go in to locate survivors, then radio for evac, and go home. Obviously that isn't all that happens. The story just continues to unravel deeper, and deeper, keeping you on the edge of your seat, but the real KABOOM! is the endings, which all 4 of them blew my mind. How many third-person shooters have 4 different endings????
    The graphics are fantastic with realistic shadowing, and superb realism in character detail, with increasing levels of fantastic injury detail, and the sound design is very well done, with a very good soundtrack, and mostly unique gun sounds. Overall, this game is a fantastic game. The gameplay doesn't feel old or stale too often, and the story is well done. If you want a unique shooter I highly recommend it. If you want a game solely for the story, there are better games. If you want a game revolutionary gameplay, completely pass this game by.
    A solid 8/10 in my books.
  21. Jun 26, 2012
    "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. Expand
  22. Jan 2, 2013
    Spec Ops: The Line is a great game, you can't deny that. I just wanted it to be longer, it's quite short, but still, I thought it was amazing, quite underrated if you asked me, one of the best game this gen. Yes, it is that good, please buy it as soon as possible.
  23. Sep 8, 2012
    the best storyline and script a shooter has EVER had, the gameplay is a little clunky, but the story was SOO well written that it had me thinking, WHILE SHOOTING! this isn't just a shooter, this is a shooter with a story that makes sense. However, the multiplayer is just average, so I guess that's what makes me give it a 9/10
  24. Jul 7, 2012
    War never changes.
    Welcome, to Spec Ops: The Line, a new brand of third person shooter that explores the gruesome reality of war itself, that there is no glory of firing one last bullet into your enemies; and this is why Spec Ops: The Line succeeds in what it does.

    You are Martin Walker, ably performed by none other than Nolan North, accompanied by your squad-mates Lugo and
    Adams, and you have been sent to the now swallowed by sand metropolis of Dubai, a city that was once thriving with people, disintegrated into a huge sandpit with refugees populating the city. You have been sent to save survivors and discover the disappearance of the 33rd, a division of the USMC apparently gone rogue.

    The story is very original, and very unexpected at times. There will be alot of "Where did that come from?!" moments in the story and that adds a distinctive element to this game, you literally can't mistake this game for another. The story will have you walk through broken airplanes, infested sewers and billion-dollar hotels.
    Because the main element of the games setting is sand, you will feel like you've been to some places before, although all of the set pieces still look amazing thanks to lighting effects and the darkness of indoor settings to reflect on the desolateness the Dubai really is. Graphics surprisingly look worse than the game itself due to slow loading textures, but they both look nice in the end.

    Another point in the game that really shines through slow textures is it's script; paired together with some realistic voice acting by Christopher Reid (Adams) and Bruce Boxleitner (The Radioman) makes for some scenes that make you feel like you're in the moment, even though you wouldn't want to be.

    Another annoying thing while you have to deal with through the ENTIRE game, are the controls. Buttons like X and B feel over used and sometimes unresponsive, resulting in your death. For instance, B is melee and vault. Doing one while the game recognizes it as the other is stupid and a really annoying factor to the game.

    Adding to the disappointing end of the scale, the multiplayer is unimaginative and just plain boring to play. You have your standard Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch, with classes to pick from. It just feels like a CoD clone, and you're best off playing CoD instead if you're just here for the multiplayer. Although one part I liked about the multiplayer were sandstorms interfering with the match: despite sounding untimely, it actually gives the boring multiplayer something that heats up the battle.

    Closing Comments:

    Spec Ops: The Line is pretty average, in terms of the gameplay, with cliched fights and forgettable, repetitive setpieces. The A.I is challenging and the gunplay is fun, but the narrative is mentally moving, and it really tests you as a soldier; would you follow your orders, or do what you think was right.

    Would you walk the line?
  25. Jul 5, 2012
    A refreshing take on your standard third person shooter. Keep in mind you have to play at least half way through the 6 hour campaign before things really get interesting. Up until that point your just shooting and covering a lot telling your team to do as much of the work for you as possible. What gives this game a high score is its eventual story arcs and plot twists. I do not want to have this review contain spoilers so I will go no further. Hear the full review on the podcast;
  26. Sep 9, 2012
    This is... okay. The story's decent and not gripping at all. Gameplay is sort of like Gears of War, witch does not work as well. Multiplayer is alright, nothing great like Battlefield's multiplayer. I was hopping it would be great but it not. Spec Ops: The Line 6.4/10
  27. Jun 29, 2012
    I really like this game. The campaign is interesting, challenging, and brutal. The AI is pretty good with flanking. Multiplayer is fun, the maps are well designed and the cover system works. Although a separate button for melee and vault would be nice. It is not without flaws but still a good buy.
  28. Dec 25, 2012
    2K games publishes another bland boring shooter that I can't be bothered to finish like Borderlands 2. NPC use grenades and trying to avoid them is annoying due the contextual button for wall hug is the same as run, caused most of my deaths. The only good feature to this games is that I can trade it in like B2.
  29. Jun 26, 2012
    I give this game an honest 8.5/10, since the rating only let me vote in tenths, I'll round up versus down. The Campaign is a gritty story compelling you to make decisions of war for better or worse, and leave you living with your conscience in the end. The game doesn't try to make you a hero or a victor,, it makes you slowly degrade physically and mentally (albeit your team mates too) from the ravishes of this assignment, and all you are left with in the end, is facing your decisions and living with them, and you will wonder "what if I had done this instead", in the end, and that change in gaming influence was well done. I won't detail the SP game play since 'ole Xborn74 wrote a book lol

    MP, which is why I bought it (I game tested the beta for 4 months two years ago) is good. Right now it brings to the table what the GRFS players want most, TDM and jump in the game so I can play the d*mn thing, server connectivity. Gears Of War mechanics (no roll), hardcore kills (no emptying clips for a kill, good clean shot, they're dead, that simple). Also, you can chose the rules you wanna play to a certain extent, or create a room and make your own, which I like so a friend and me can 1 v 1 each other and trash talk. The mechanics are a little loose compared to Gears, so you get clumsy now and then, but I think we all get clumsy in Gears from time to time also, so definitely not a game breaker, just learn the feel, and you're good to go. There are 5 MP modes if memory serves me right, and there isn't a big selection of maps, but neither was there in GRFS, and hopefully more will come, 2K in general, is good at supporting their games. All in all, I am pleased with the effort, sure MP might be running behind the SP in the glory, but one thing I can clearly point out to the die hard Ghost fans like myself 1) you can play the game without the server b.s. (disconnects/migrations ect...), keep your rank and awards 2) play objective or TDM/FFA 3) and save yourself the headache of hitting your head against the wall screaming wtf happened here. is it the best military shooter out there or worth $60 ? No (neither is Call of Noobs or Battlefunk), but right now it beats the could have beens, and would have beens, and that's why I believe it's worth recommending, and I have wasted $60 on a lot worse games that were promised it would to be soooo great. 2K never promised anything but a playable game to be enjoyed, and I got that (for my expectations) hands down.
  30. Dec 22, 2012
    People looked upon this game as a mediocre, paint-by-numbers shooter, and I did too. When you think about it, why shouldn

Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
  1. Aug 11, 2012
    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.
  2. Aug 8, 2012
    From around the halfway mark onwards, The Line is a gripping, at time harrowing, and unforgettable experience. [Sept 2012, p.66]
  3. Aug 6, 2012
    It may not be winning any awards, that's not to say that this is one of the most captivating shooters currently available to Xbox 360 users. The morality of your choices has never been so well presented as they are in Spec Ops: The Line and for that reason alone it's a game that everyone should experience, if only for a few short hours.