Spec Ops: The Line by 2k Games had all of the promises to be the new wave of FPS games…With the exception that it isn’t an FPS at all. It’s a Third-Person Shooter. For those of you who are of the Battlefield 3, Call of Duty, or Counter-Strike persuasion you might not understand what a TPS(Third-Person Shooter) is. It’s an over the shoulder, “follow-camera” angle of your character (If you play Xbox, think Gears of War). TPS is generally strong in the sense it almost always utilizes the “cover” ability. This is the key difference in FPS (First-Person Shooter) and TPS. You have many more camera angles in TPS than you do FPS. You can look over walls, look over cover while you’re hiding from gunfire, etc. FPS generally only allows you to look in realistic angles and fields of view.
I digress, Spec Ops: The Line loaded like a fantastic new game. If 2k Games could beat Electronic Arts (EA) in NBA style video games, why couldn’t they beat EA in arguably a genre that they are nearly dominating? The answer is simple: Players do not want new key maps. That’s truly it. Spec Ops: The Line offers the unique TPS perspective, but it also tries to introduce a completely new key map to a basic shooter that the average customer will despise. Aside from WASD, your map is almost totally different than any other shooter that you have played. At least it was for me, and I’ve been playing shooter games since Goldeneye on the Xbox. I also hail from Quake 2, Counter-Strike 1.2 – Present, Battlefield 1942 – Present, Call of Duty 1 – Present, and Medal of Honor 1 – Medal of Honor: Allied Assault all on the PC. I also played the entire Hitman series (TPS at its finest), so my knowledge is quite extensive in the field. All of these games had virtually the same key mapping. The simple reason again is because the perfect key map for FPS was discovered long ago. You can’t really improve upon it, unless a new keyboard becomes mainstream, which I sincerely doubt will ever happen. Then again, this is a TPS.
Players that want to indulge in this game will. They will go through the painstaking motions of remapping the ENTIRE key map (and no, I’m not kidding), and they will probably have an O.K. time. The graphics were on par with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. An outdated, dry engine to today’s standards (compared to EA’s Frostbite 2). You start the game by shooting several helicopters out of the sky over a populace Middle Eastern city. Repetition at its finest. I thought three or four helicopters would have been enough, but this game pushed it into many more than that. After quite a long while (I’m an FPS gamer, I want my action fast, and I want it NOW), the level ends and there’s a wonderful cut scene. Who isn’t tired of cut scenes in shooter games at this point?
I played a few more levels and became bored. The game possesses nothing fresh, and very little was unique. In a dry genre of gaming, this game was another turd in the punch bowl. 2k needs to stick to the sports genre and leave the shooter scene to the companies that know it best. My ratings on a scale of 1 – 10 in current popular shooters are below:CoD:
MW3 – 5/10; BF3 – 6/10; SO: FL: 3/10; CS:GO 8/10