Push to Smart Games Club: Let’s All Play Spec Ops: The Line

Welcome back to the Games Club! This month, we invite you to play Spec Ops: The Line with us! The 2012 game from Yager Development and 2K Games generated a lot critical discussion back when it was first released, and we’re going to see if it still stands up to scrutiny.


Hello and welcome back to the Games Club. This month we’ll be playing the 2012 third-person shooter by Yager Development, Spec Ops: The Line. The game demanded critical attention upon release due to its unconventional interrogation of violence in video games.

On the surface, the game has all the hallmarks of the shooter genre. The action is bolstered by heart-pumping rock music; then-omnipresent Nolan North voices your all-American action hero; you play over-the-shoulder, cover-based combat popularized in games like Gears of War.

The twist is this: Spec Ops: The Line takes the procedures and aesthetics of popular shooters and turns them upside down. While it seemingly starts just like any other shooter, before long, Nathan Drake is commanding troops against people instead of monsters. That music that sustains your adrenaline suddenly takes a turn for the Bjork. Spec Ops poses the question: when the hallmarks of the popular shooter are warped and perverted, what does that make its hero? What does that make you?

This game is challenging, both in its difficulty and its subject matter, so we want to make sure you know what you’re getting into before deciding to play. Throughout the 8 hour single-player campaign you’ll experience graphic scenes of violence and war crimes. We understand this is not for everyone. If that’s the case, we had a lot of fun with the more accessible Never Alone, and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Spec Ops: The Line is available for PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3, and we hope you’ll join us in discussing the highs and lows of this divisive game. So meet us back here in two weeks for the first part of our discussion, and don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on all of our latest episodes and Games Club releases.

LUGO: Let me go on record and say this shit just got weird.

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