Spec Ops: The Line Demo Impressions

Spec Ops: The Line is a third person action game from independent German studio Yager Developers and publisher 2K Games.  In the demo, released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox360, you play as Captain Martin Walker, voiced by Nolan North (Is there any game he isn’t involved with?). He along with his two teammates, Adams and Lugo, must find U.S. Army Colonel John Konrad. Konrad, along with his group the 33rd, volunteered to lead survivors from the post-catastrophe destroyed city of Dubai. Soon contact with Konrad and his men is lost, and the U.S. Army sends you and your squad to find them. But not all is as it seems. You soon find that the 33rd have in fact gone rogue and are in a sort of civil war with the refugees left in Dubai. To make matters even worse, the refugees are being led by an American CIA agent. And both sides want you dead.

Gameplay for Spec Ops: The Line is in third-person. You can take cover, fire over cover and sprint ahead to your next cover spot a la Gears of War. Hit detection for the game is good but could use a bit of refinement. Interestingly, you can assign specific commands for your teammates. Lugo will act as your sniper class and take out enemies that are too far for you. Adams can act as your heavy gunner, and you will take a balance of both at times. Giving commands to your squad seems easy.

The demo automatically detected if enemies were at a distance (to have Lugo attack), or, if close by, have Adams open fire. We can only hope that this teammate AI is better than other past games done by other developers.

Enemy AI is a bit more cumbersome. Some enemies will take cover and attempt to flank you while others will simply walk into crossfire. At times they will stand out in the open, which will give you a clear shot. Also, enemies will sometimes walk slowly into rooms. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that this will turn the game into walk into a room, take cover, shoot all enemies, move to the next room, rinse and repeat.

The graphics in this demo are something to behold. At times huge open areas will be your battleground and viewing what appears to be a sandstorm destroyed Dubai from high above the ground is something to see.

It’s interesting to see what Yager is doing with this game. Hopefully they can create an interesting game with a story to tell and not fall into the past (sand) traps that other games have.

Spec Ops: The Line will be released on June 26 in North America and June 29 in Europe.

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