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Sand, morality appear to be central to Spec Ops: The Line

10:20 AM on 12.15.2009 // Brad Nicholson

The recent Spec Ops: The Line unveil at the Spike Video Game Awards left us wanting more details as to what this clever reboot of the bargain bin series is all about. Will it be a Modern Warfare 2-influenced set-piece shooter? Will it focus on combat-based psychological trauma? Is the protagonist acting alone?

The answer appears to be a mix of the former two, but sand seems like the bigger deal at the moment. In the press release shot out by 2K Games the other afternoon, we got a sense of how big of a roll the sand plays in the game: it’s both atmosphere and a mechanic -- plot and action-centric.

The game is based in Dubai, a broken, almost post-apocalyptic one because of a “series of cataclysmic sandstorms.” Thus, these tons of sands serve as a mechanic -- we saw the protagonist fall into a building through the sand in the short teaser and it appears situations like that might be par for the course.

“The very sand that blankets the city plays a marquee role in altering combat situations and serves as a powerful but unpredictable force that will both help and hinder players throughout the course of the game,” the press release reads.

The voice in the trailer was US Army Colonel John Konrad*. His words indicated some sort of mental trauma, and it appears that’s what 2K Games and developer YAGER are gong for. The game’s subtitle, “The Line,” speaks to that. Hit the jump for more.

“Players will experience “The Line”, that razor's edge known only to men who deal in war. It is the line they cross when death and duty become one and the same. It is the end -- of self and sanity -- when their duty is done and only they remain,” the press release reads.

That aside, we’re looking at a game about a rescue attempt. Apparently, Konrad and a squad have been left behind in this desolate version of Dubai and its up to the playable character, Captain Martin Walker, and his own crew to save them.

How they do that, though, is to be the part we’re most eager to see.

Spec Ops: The Line is set to release on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

[Update: there was a bit of name confusion going on in this article. The person talking in the trailer is Konrad -- the guy you play as is Martin Walker. This little factoid makes that (private) conversation in the trailer much less confusing.]



Brad Nicholson,
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