So, that ďSpec Ops: The LineĒ was quite the game, right?........Right?.......Ugh, sometimes I hate being me.
Just the other day, I finished my journey through Dubai in what seems to be record time; 5 hours. I played on the hardest default setting, otherwise known as Suicide Mission. This game was far from that.
While I found the narrative very ambitious and intriguing, ďSpec Ops: The LineĒ seems to run at breakneck speed through all of its high points. I mean, in the first hour alone, I conquered 5 of the games 15 chapters. They get considerably longer after that point, but I hadnít even realized how little time I had spent.
I have no problem with games being short, but I just feel a little short changed here. This game was touted as having a very deep and complex narrative and most of the anecdotes Iíve heard from gamers are how affecting they felt the games ďdecisionĒ scenes were. I saw them so close together; I donít even know how the hell Iím supposed to think.
This contrasts with ďHotline Miami,Ē another game that brings up questions of violence and does so in an even shorter time span than Spec Ops. I managed to plunk through that little gem in about 3 and a half hours, but the pacing worked much better.
Some missions gave some breathing room in terms of combat and there was even a break from the constant murder for a stealth mission (even if that level was a little crappy). Hotline wasnít a constant bloodbath and it worked to make me more interested in the combat and plotline.
Spec Ops, though, doesnít give you a single minute to reflect on anything. Even the cutscenes arenít that long, with the longest probably being around 6 minutes. You simply deal with a firefight, walk to the next room and repeat. When a decision comes up, you make it in a snap fashion and then proceed to shoot some more.
I canít say I was disappointed with the game (and I got it for dirt cheap, so how could I truly be?), but I feel like it would have been a greater story if I was just given more time to explore it. Let me sink in the details of the gameís world, let me reflect on my awful actions and give me periods that help build character instead of pushing me directly into the action.
One of the best moments in ďUncharted 2Ē comes during chapter 16. After practically non-stop action, Drake finds himself stranded in Nepal. The only task for the chapter is to walk around and soak in the sights. This gives you ample time to think about how you arrived at this location and reflect on what Drake has gone through.
NaughtyDog understood that packing a game with minute to minute firefights would sully the experience and leave the gamer wishing for a break. While you donít want to have too much time dedicated to simply doing nothing, even just the smallest amount of leisure or padding can create a sense of relieve and a desire to continue.
For all the flack the Zelda series may get for sidequests and lack of innovation, the padding in that series really drives home the desire to press on. The early games in the series (namely Zelda 1 and 2) suffer because there is nothing else to do. You simply proceed with quest or you donít play the game. Without any break of alternate activity, the quest feels longwinded (even being only an hour!).
This is completely related to saving the Princess...trust me!
So honestly, while I wonít deem a game of lower quality because itís short, some titles need extra game time to justify their existence. I canít sit here and whole-heartedly recommend ďSpec Ops: The LineĒ because I feel like itís incomplete. Itís too damn short and leaves too much unexplained.
If I only simply had more time to feel the anguish that Captain Martin Walker was going through, maybe Iíd be in love with the game. As it stands, itís a very ambitious experiment, but one that ultimately doesnít feel as impactful due to a sense of being rushed.view gallery