Link:http://beefjack.com/features/spec-op...ox-360-ps3-pc/Spec Ops: The Line preview [Xbox 360/PS3/PC]
Posted April 18, 2012 by Ed Smith.Preview: Adapting great literature into a videogame is no easy task but, in SPEC OPS: THE LINE, that’s exactly what Yager Development are looking to do…
Since his first appearance in 1899, Mr. Kurtz has gone through a lot of changes. In Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness, he was a rogue ivory trader, living as a king amongst the tribes of deepest Africa. 80 years later, in Francis-Ford Coppola’s film adaptation Apocalypse Now!, Kurtz became a disillusioned colonel, driven mad by the chaos and hypocrisy of the Vietnam war. After deserting to Cambodia, he consolidates power over the local militias and turns them into his own private, barbarous army.
John Konrad, the AWOL Delta Force commander from Yager Development’s upcoming Spec Ops: The Line, has more in common with Coppola’s Kurtz than his namesake’s original character. After a cataclysmic sandstorm destroys most of Dubai, Konrad disobeys orders to evacuate his men and sets-up an outpost in the ruined city, ostensibly to provide aid to the remaining civilians.
After several weeks without contact, the US Army finally pick up a weak distress signal from Konrad and dispatch Captain Martin Walker (voiced, obviously, by Nolan North) and his Delta team to investigate. What starts out as a simple rescue mission quickly turns complicated, as Walker and his men begin to realise that Konrad has ulterior motives.
Yager Development too seem to be following different orders to other third-person shooters. The Line takes more cues from Conrad’s book and Generation Kill than it does from Gears of War or Uncharted. Though you can still expect a heavy volley of tense shootouts and spectacular set pieces, Yager are making a big effort to foreground their writing.
Having Nolan North on board is a good start. As perhaps the first legitimate leading man in computer games, he’s become the go-to guy for developers who want their dialogue to ring true.
Then there’s The Line’s inspiration, Heart of Darkness. Direct tie-ins notwithstanding, few games have taken their cue from the world of literature. In Conrad’s novel, Yager have the blueprints for a game that would examine the human condition more closely than any shooter to date.
The Line looks set to ask you to make some very tough decisions and force you to deal with the repercussions later on. The orders you give to your team and the way you behave around them will influence their loyalty towards you. Walker himself is in constant danger of falling apart, slowly disintegrating both mentally and physically as the game goes on. You and your team will be constantly forced into questionable tactics, potentially leaving you with some pretty searching questions long after The Line has ended.
But it’s not all melodrama; Yager have put a lot of work into Spec Ops: The Line’s gunfights, and it shows. Weapons sound out with ear-shattering volume, quickly turning bad guys into a red haze of sprayed blood and flailing limps. Buildings too fall apart under the brunt of your ordnance, dropping gallons of trapped sand onto helpless goons below.
Perhaps most striking is The Line’s licensed soundtrack, which is pumped in mid-battle through the PA systems dotted around the city. A local pirate radio station continually plays hits, from Deep Purple’s ‘Hush’ to ‘Rooster’ by Alice in Chains, and hundreds more.
They give a surreal, dramatic edge to each prolonged shootout, punctuating every grenade and bullet with a pang of guitar. Wandering through Dubai’s deserted streets with Bjork whistling in the background promises to be an eerie experience, offering up a little more food for thought than your usual cover-based blaster.
It’s possible that Spec Ops: The Line could struggle to balance third-person action with its narrative inspirations, ultimately collapsing under the weight of Yager’s devotion to story. Nevertheless, it’s looking extremely promising. If the resulting gunplay can live up the same expectations we have for Yager’s script, this could be one of the more interesting games of 2012.
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i'm looking forward to this game looks real nice
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really looking forward to this game. thank god they didn't put this into a fps.
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