Spec Ops: The Line at E3 2012

We Go Behind Enemy Lines for a Trigger-Finger Fix in Our Hands-On Preview

June 11, 2012 by

The ninth game in a series that hasn’t seen the light of day for a decade, 2K Games’ Spec Ops: The Line was inspired by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, elements of which were obviously evident (the guy you’re looking for is named John Konrad) in the singleplayer campaign levels that we got to get our hands on at E3 this year. As a third-person shooter that plays like Gears of War 3, looks like Call of Duty, and sounds like Uncharted (your main character is voiced by none other than Nolan North), Spec Ops: The Line is totally my kind of game.

Although it doesn’t come close to matching that holy trinity of elite blockbusters that I just mentioned, Spec Ops: The Line could very well provide gamers with a quick trigger-finger fix this summer. The third-person shooter encourages appropriate use of squad-based tactics, especially since the campaign was designed to be challenging, even on the easier difficulties. But when your bullet does land its mark, you may be treated to one of my favorite parts of the game: various killshots, such as those that rip through necks or completely turn heads into crimson clouds, are presented in oh-so-satisfying slow motion, reminiscent of Max Payne 3.

Developed by Yager Development (singleplayer) and Darkside Game Studios (multiplayer), the game features dynamic terrain (à la Red Faction and Fracture) with randomly generated sandstorms that can swing a shootout either way if used strategically. I had one such experience in which my buddies and I were pinned down from surrounding sides, but a sandstorm gave us the cover to pick off enemies who were forced to take a bottlenecking alternate route to maintain engaging us.

Spec Ops: The Line plays smoothly with exciting cinematic and in-game sequences that you’d expect from a violent action shooter set in Dubai. However, we’re hoping that some lip synching issues with the characters are fixed very soon, for Spec Ops: The Line is set for release in just a couple weeks on June 26, 2012, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.