Battle games are usually more about enjoying the action than feeling what a soldier really goes through on the field.
Game-maker 2K goes the harder route with "Spec Ops: The Line," available now for $60 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. A typical action/shooter game this isn’t, thanks to the rough choices that will guide you through unpredictable situations.
You portray Capt. Walker, sent with a pair of fellow soldiers to the city of Dubai, which has become ravaged in the game. Your mission is to investigate the disappearance of the 33rd U.S. Battalion platoon. It turns out that their leader, Col. John Konrad, was heard in a garbled audio transmission, indicating that he might still be alive. However, when the team arrives, they learn that not everything is at seems, and all descends into an "Apocalypse Now" style of chaos.
Deliberate or not, the "Spec Ops" soundtrack of classic rock tunes blared through loudspeakers reinforces the Coppola allusion. That’s just some of the atmospheric touches you’ll experience throughout, from soldiers yelling madly at you to sandstorms that kick up at a moment’s notice, blinding you in the middle of heated combat.
But it’s the choices you make that really provide "Spec Ops" with its weight. No matter what you decide over the course of the game, people will die. To those unprepared for an emotional toll, it might be a little rough. However, to fans of military shooters, it’s a step up in the game experience that they might be looking for. [ 'Beyond: Two Worlds' On the PlayStation 3 ]
"Spec Ops: The Line" is a hard-hitting action game that really makes you feel the aftereffects slowly creeping in after each battle. You don’t often get that kind of emotional pounding from a game. The events are often hard to endure, but they offer a level of storytelling that should be experienced.
RATING: 3.5 / 4