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It seems that reviews of Spec Ops: The Line have been greatly exaggerated.


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I didn't proofread this shit so...


OK, maybe that title is the exaggeration, but I didn't find the game to be that great overall. Now, I knew there was a twist so that probably makes my perspective of the game different than the people who love it and went in blind, but yeah...


So, the majority of the game play is lame. It is also the only part of the game I had known nothing about. I actually thought it was an FPS until the very moment I started moving my character. The shooting is basically fine, but everything else isn't. The cover system is crap and has caused me to die more than once because I was wasn't directly facing the piece of cover I wanted to latch my back on to. I had many issues with the default keybindings, and I couldn't fix the biggest issues because multiple commands are forced to share the same binding. Even until the very end I was messing up because of those bindings. I played of the hardest difficultly I could, suicide mission, and at times it felt too easy and other times it felt like bullshit. There was one mission were i died a handful of times because I was told to shoot out some windows, but they just wouldn't break. I don't know what I did different when they finally broke but it was just some BS. But most fire fights were far too easy. Most things just died after clicking on them once. I almost want to blame the mouse for making it too easy, but really it was the devs for making a console shooter and then putting it on the PC with no changes. I bet everything about he game controls far better with a game pad, other than aiming. I generally prefer TPS, but I almost wish this was an FPS. But, for the sake of the story, maybe it is better that is isn't. 


So, when I when into the game I knew of the twist, but it wasn't exactly what I thought. I had this vague idea in my head that the twist was that you were the bad guy the whole time. While that is kinda true, it also really kinda isn't. But just knowing that changed a lot of the story. The story was kinda meh at the start and I really just wanted to get to the "good stuff". When the game started couldn't believe this standard military shooter had actual fans. It did pick up its pace, but nothing came out of left field or left me in shock. Because of what I thought the twist was, I had instantly assumed Konrad wasn't real, and that Walker was actually Konrad. I wasn't sure how that was going to workout but in the end I was kinda right and kinda wrong. Of course my knowledge of the twist was factor for thinking this, but when I realized that Walker was basically the only one actually talking to Konrad I knew Konrad wasn't real. At least the Konrad talking to Walker wasn't real. When I got the the mission I call, White Phosphorus, I was not shocked. I did not expect to be raining hell fire down on innocents, but I saw the final white blobs all huddled around not really doing anything I knew what was going to happen. I have two thoughts about this part. The first is that you can't avoid killing them so even if you know there really isn't much you can do. You just gotta to it to progress the game. I can't really feel all that bad about it. Second is that it did change how I played the game, but I am not really sure if I should be crediting the game/devs for this. From this point on, I really didn't care about being a good guy. If this was Mass Effect, I had basically picked all paragon options until this point. Partly because I had thought Walker was gonna be the bad guy all along so I wanted to go against that. But after finishing White Phosphorus I no longer bothered picking the good guy options. When Lugo, or whatever his name was, got lynched I instantly just started mowing people down. I just didn't see the reason not to. If White Phosphorus was never in the game, well, I think I just would have walked past the crowd. The only ending I liked is the one I got first, and it was the only one that felt right to me. The ending were you "kill" Konrad, and then kill the people who came to save you is what I consider the most fitting out of all the endings. I felt this was the real true ending. But maybe that is just due to how I played the game. The worst ending, IMO is the suicide ending. I literally can't understand why Walker, at that point, would kill himself instead of just lying to himself like he has been the whole game. 


If there was message this game was trying to get across I didn't get it. I often don't as I generally don't care about the message a movie, game, or music has. All that matters is if the story or song is good. For the most part, I still thought the story was good and I can see why people like it. I honestly think this story could make for a good movie, and I would see a Spec Ops The Line movie if it came out today even tho I already know the ending. But there is something that spoiled the story for me about an hour after I beat it. And that is the theory that Walker has been dead the whole time, and that he died in the helicopter crash at the beginning of the game. There are many things to support this and I can only see this theory as being true. I hate these kinds of stories, where none of it is real within the context of the story.  I hated it with Shutter Island  and there has been a trend of VRMMO novels that I can't stand due to none if it being real within the context of the story. The theory could be wrong. I really just want this to be a story about a man's PTSD, but I can't see it that way anymore. I also have questions that I don't know if I missed the answers or if they were plot holes. 


Why were walker and his men actually in Dubai? I don't get this, or maybe I am just over thinking it. 

Was the 33rd even real? Like, Did walker actually even fight anyone?

Why would The 33rd want to kill Walker if Konrad was already dead? 

Was the CIA actually there? 

If Walker died in the helicopter crash, what parts before that were real? How did Walker actually end up in that chopper the first time? Were your allies even real?


I actually had more and better shit to say, but I forgot it when I started trying to type some of this shit. 

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The twist and the story (and even little things like your team getting more ragged and panicked/stressed when doing simple things like reload callouts as the game progresses) are great for the most part, especially if you don't come in expecting a twist --and then you're spending time trying to figure out the story instead of letting it play out as you observe-- and just play it normally. The problem is, as you noticed, the gameplay is pretty mediocre. People use this as a shield for the game, to talk about how it re-contextualizes all the shitty samey military shooters you play and tries to re-frame how you see shooting the "bad guys," but I don't think the gameplay had to be mediocre for that. In fact, not only does it do the gameplay side of the equation a disservice, it did the story side a disservice because the only way to get people to play the fucking thing is telling them it has a cool twist, because otherwise the dull ass gameplay turns them off immediately.

I don't think the gameplay was bland because they wanted to make a statement, I just think that was the best they could do, which is a shame. If it had a great gameplay hook that really made killing people feel good, I think it would've hit home a lot better and found a much larger audience, and had a bigger impact with the twist to boot.

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