In our Spec Ops: The Line review we said that while Yager's shooter is "tonally confused across the board, it's not brainless".
"Snatches of well-paced story and snippets of existential battle-chatter show hearts and minds at work. The higher aspirations don't always pay off, but underneath is an always-entertaining shooter."
Reviews of the Dubai-based action game have been very positive, with everything from its solid third-person shooting to it's daring narrative praised. We've collected up all the reviews and put them in a list below.
Will you be picking this up on Friday?
- CVG: 8.0 - The thoughtful philosophy can go AWOL when the guns come out, but at least when they do, the fun doesn't follow.
- Digital Spy: 4/5 - Spec Ops: The Line lacks innovation or polish in its gameplay, but makes up for it with a story that genuinely has impact and meaning. Whilst the ending is a bit limp, the overall narrative raises serious questions about the duty of a soldier, and how far that goes. Whilst the multiplayer does not quite hit the same heights, this is still a shooter that stands on its own and is not afraid to show the ugly side of the Call of Duty dream.
- VideoGamer: 7/10 - Yager should be admired for its bravery and effort in building something different - this could so easily have been an entirely generic shooter - but it just doesn't have the fundamentals to back up its grand ideas or the confidence to go completely off the wall and truly stand out from the crowd.
- The Guardian: 3/5 - The developers at Yager have proven they can tell a great story, write interesting characters and build a unique and disturbing world to house them all in. If they can marry these assets to an experience that's more fluid and fun to play in their next outing, they'll be flat-out dangerous.
- Eurogamer: 8/10 - It tries, though. It tries to do something special, and it tries to create something memorable and something strange. In Dubai itself, it genuinely succeeds, perhaps because the reality of the place is already so gaudy, so cloyingly, oppressively weird, that it provides a good hard shove in the right direction before the first bullet's been fired. There are such a lot of shooters these days, and so many tend to blur into each other if you're not careful. This one won't, however - and that's quite an achievement.
- IGN: 8/10 - Spec Ops isn't about a war, protecting the world, or defeating some evil threat -- it's about you, the effects of your actions, and events that are out of your control. The sum of Spec Ops' unexpected story is an army shooter that makes killing people mean something. This, along with its thoughtful aesthetic and intelligent enemy encounters, defies the standard established by low-aiming action games. Multiplayer can't muster up the same courage, though, and while the hollow online experience doesn't detract from the single-player campaign's accomplishments, its reliance on convention doesn't do anything to elevate it.
- Destructoid: 8.0 - We don't need to come to terms with killing people, because it's all fun and games for us. Not so for Captain Walker, who must find reason and purpose in his rampage. Walking that long sandy, bloody road through Dubai is one of the most captivating gaming experiences of 2012 because of it.
- Edge: 7/10 - The first shot has been fired in the battle for a smarter, morally cognisant shooter. The numbers aren't in its favour and its foes are both relentless and well-armed but, if the genre has taught us anything, that's never a reason to surrender.