Spec Ops: The Line is a third person shooter, that reignites a franchise we haven't seen in a decade. This demo reintroduces you to Spec Ops in explosive style, under attack in a helicopter flying through a wrecked Dubai skyline as a sandstorm is raging.
Multiplayer will be included, but for now we've only played a portion of the single player campaign. The story is that catastrophic sandstorms have forced Dubai to be evacuated, and that a US Army Colonel has stayed behind to protect those who couldn't escape. Your squad has been sent in to find out exactly what happened.
Can the story deliver on its promises?
Spec Ops: The Line stays true to the third person cover shooter model, with additional squad controls. It's atmospheric, with good graphics and SFX making the sand-ravaged urban environment believable, although the script is a pretty jaded assortment of gruff clichés. The Spec Ops: The Line demo is very linear, and although you are nominally the leader, it feels like you are following your squad mates, and you have to proceed at their pace. This scripted feel is common in action shooters, but the rest of Spec Ops: The Line will have to be pretty special to make the scripted moments acceptable.
2K Games promises a game that will force players to make difficult decisions in morally gray areas - it claims to be influenced by the same novel as Apocalypse Now. That's a bold hope, and not one that seems very likely on the strength of the demo. Still, the ruined Dubai makes an interesting environment for Spec Ops: The Line, and the basic cover/shoot gameplay is solid.
If you're looking for a story driven shooter, Spec Ops: The Line offers more depth than most military games.