Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams has suggested that violent video games are creatively "too easy", and that he'd like to see more developers push the boat out and take risks.Click here to read more...
Epic Games announced that it has licensed its Unreal Engine 4 to YAGER, the independent outfit behind the thinking-person's shooter - Spec Ops: The Line, making YAGER the first independent studio in Europe to license the tech.Click here to read more...
I rented this a few weeks ago and it absolutely blew me away. The story is an incredible harrowing tale of a group of soldiers sent into the sandstorm-wrecked city of Dubai to rescue any remaining civilians. They're met with a gone-rogue/mental Colonel and a series of difficult moral choices. Some of your choices directly affect the story and you'll have genuine emotional responses to them. Gameplay features solid third-person cover shooter action, but it's the whole experience that makes this one of the most important releases this gen. Get involved.
It didn't matter if you wanted to play with or without company; if you were looking for an expansive, open-world bundle of gunplay, or a tightly focused corridor shooter; it didn't matter if you preferred your MP co-operative or competitive; whether you were a fan of the super-serious, or the terrifically tongue-in-cheek...2012 had what you needed, and it had it in swathes.
NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.
Like the very best mad scientists, Binary Domain proved incredibly entertaining, stuffed with smart ideas, and occasionally got things wrong. But the very fact that it tried to innovate in such a relatively lazy genre was worthy of applause. Boasting some incredible boss battles, slick gunplay, and a cracking story, Binary Domain threw off any Gears-clone tag it might have attracted and became a barnstorming title that married the best East and West had to offer.
As usual, Call of Duty delivered another comprehensive content package this year, with Treyarch making tweaks here and there to expand and enhance rather than overhauling. Reliably excellent fun as always, the simple -yet brilliant- revolution of giving players total freedom to tailor their loadout made Black Ops II a joy to play. Not many new modes to speak of, but existing party favourites, deathmatch options and shiny futuristic boomsticks made it a surefire online MP hit, with an excellent singleplayer campaign to boot. Another stunning content offering that saw Treyarch step out of Infinity Ward's shadow and become COD's premier dev team.
We described Borderlands 2 as "the best co-op shooter of its generation" and it still holds true to that accolade. Outstanding AI, superlative scripting, one of this generation's finest villains in Handsome Jack, and more loot than we knew what to do with, Borderlands 2 was a huge step up from its predecessor. Not that Borderlands 1 wasn't great, it's just that its bigger, badder, bolder brother was so very pleasing.
Far Cry 3 undoubtedly takes took the SP crown in the shooter category this year. Magnificently epic in scale, stuffed with things to do, and set in a living, breathing jungle, Far Cry 3 empowered the player to become the ultimate tropical predator, with a cracking story and lashings of immersion.
343 Industries were up against it, the pressure must have been huge. Yet, with Microsoft's biggest frnachise in their hands, they pulled off the incredible: not only did the match up to Bungie's predecessors, they even managed to surpass some of them. Halo 4's campaign was excellent, but it was in the multiplayer modes that 343 really pulled out all of the stops. War Games is still giving us tons of fun, with expanded loadouts and greater gameplay variety than ever before. And then there was Spartan Ops: yes, there were examples of some lazy content recycling, but we've simply been having too much fun to care. An utter blast.
Providing probably the most striking narrative we've seen in the shooter genre for some time, Spec Ops: The Line was Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coppola's Apocalypse Now relocated to a seemingly post-apocalyptic Dubai. As a pure shooter it was admittedly lacking, but excellent presentation, a storming Vietnam-era soundtrack, thought-provoking writing, and a barnstorming performance from a nearly unrecognisable Nolan North rendered it one of the greatest surprise packages of the year.
Spec Ops: The Line is one of the top new IPs released this year. This third-person shooter sees you leading a military team through a sandstorm ravaged Dubai, tracking down one of your former comrades. Taking a large dose of inspiration from Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness, the story is a step above the usual bullet fodder. We loved the gunfights too of course, especially when we were allowed to use the desert sand to our advantage by shooting out windows to drown enemy soldiers. This is the Fubar edition of the game which gives you a few boosted items for the multiplayer.
Thanks to YoSingh at HotUkDeals.
At nearly a tenner cheaper than anyone else, Zavvi are onto a winner here. If you're after a solid third-person shooter experience then this should do nicely. Spec Ops: The Line offers a more mature plot than most shooters thanks to it's story. Set in Dubai after an enormous sandstorm reclaims the city, you're tasked with tracking down a rogue soldier that's been well, murdering everyone on the city. Heavily influenced by Conrad's Heart of Darkness and the film Apocalypse Now the story can get pretty dark and has Vietnam written all over it. Uncharted fans can look forward to some stellar voice-over work from Nolan North too. Check out Matt's review for the full scoop or try the demo online, but be quick, stocks can't last at this price. NB: The 360 version may take up to three days to dispatch.
I want to talk about three buzzwords today, and I'll have to ask for your indulgence as I get slightly angry about the semantics of marketing doublespeak and the damage it's doing to our industry. So many of the press releases we get these days, usually pertaining to shooters or hack and slash titles, come bearing emphatic statements supposedly to do with quality. But a trend has arisen wherein, perhaps in attempt to move away from the somewhat childish connotations associated with the word "game", titles bearing 18-certificates now have to come with a blurb that spells things out. Just in case you weren't aware, folks, these are "mature" games, with "dark" subject matter, told in a "gritty" way.
This is all bollocks, of course, because nine times out of ten, what this actually means (and this is a direct translation) is "We've filled this game with guns, violence, and maybe some boobs, you'll shoot a lot of people in the face, and everyone will speak in a gravely voice and act like The World is at stake."
To be honest, I think the game that first started to really make mme angry about this was Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, the insinuation being that a bit of wobbly-cam and buckets of grime would make for an intense, dark, and gritty adventure. Except it didn't. It made for a nausea-inducing standard third-person shooter. There was talk of Inversion featuring a relatively gritty and mature storyline. Of course, it had about as much bearing on the action as an ant might have on a football match. The obvious current talking point is Visceral's take on Army of Two, which is literally described as "intense, mature and grittier" by EA.Click here to read more...
Spec Ops: The Line wowed gamers with its surprisingly mature and engaging storyline when it released earlier this year, but its multiplayer mode failed to impress. Yager's lead designer has now spoken out to state - in no uncertain terms - that 2K outsourced a "tacked-on" and "low quality" suite to a different studio (describing it as nothing less than a "cancerous growth"), but praised the publisher for taking a risk with the project to begin with.Click here to read more...
It’s day six in the Summer Sale, and it’s all change in the top nine. We’re here once again with the highlights from the current offerings on Steam, and you can check them out below.
Although the London Expansion packs for the original game are absent, every other installment of the Grand Theft Auto series is thrown into this bundle, including GTA IV and Episode From Liberty City. That’s a lot of gaming for a mere fiver.
The monochrome indie darling falls to a ridiculous price. Minimal in its presentation, and thought provoking in its content, it’d be rude not to try it for under £2.
Considering how recently this one came out, this is a great offer for Yager’s latest. A powerful and mature storyline helps create a worthwhile experience, even if the gameplay is a fairly standard affair.
While not quite matching yesterday’s rather excellent collection, today’s bundle is still filled with some rather good games. AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome, DEFCON, SpaceChem, Ticket to Ride, and Trauma are your five games on offer today.
Yager Development's managing director, Timo Ullman, has spoken briefly about the current console cycle, explaining that he feels there's still a market for fresh, new ideas, and for approaching well worn genres from different perspectives.
He should know a thing or two about that, having recently shipped Spec Ops: The Line - a military third person shooter that actually manages to distinguish itself from the rest of its run-of-the-mill peers.Click here to read more...
Spider-Man, Spider-Man. He does whatever a Spider-Man. Though Beenox' latest movie tie-in can't quite knock Lego Batman 2 off of this week's top spot, instead swinging into second place ahead of newly-released shooter Spec Ops: The Line.
SEGA's official London 2012 game (not the Sonic and Mario version) clocks in at a respectable fourth, further relegating chart mainstay FIFA 12 into fifth place, where it may continue to languish now that the Euros have come to an end. At the bottom end, the Metal Gear Solid HD collection caps off the top ten; its sales revitalised by the new Vita version. I daresay that many of you will have bought it on the PlayStation Store at its (surprisingly?) competitive price of £19.99.
As always, we have the full UK Top Ten below along with links to our reviews where available.Click here to read more...
Publisher: 2K Games
Within seconds of firing up Spec Ops: The Line, with an overdriven and slightly sneering cover of "Star Spangled Banner" greeting gamers over the opening title screen, there's a palpable feeling that in spite of the desert backdrop - depicting a Dubai landscape submerged beneath millions of tons of sand after a freak storm - we're in firm Vietnam territory here.
From tense, vicious firefights that play out to the sounds of Deep Purple's "Hush" being streamed over a makeshift PA system, to the brooding and atmospheric, guitar-led soundtrack that sounds like it could have been plucked from any number of 'Nam films, it's a game that reflects upon the horrors of war, and how shock and revulsion can turn a man's mind. At its core, Spec Ops: The Line is a game all about three rather altruistic Delta Force operatives, tossed into a frying pan of physical and moral conflict, and left to try and find their way out...with their minds and bodies somehow intact.
Given the desensitising nature of violent video game culture, and the rather flippant attitudes of the majority of action titles out there, it's refreshing to see a developer strive to take a slightly different look at warfare. This is a game seemingly at odds with the flippancy and casual attitudes to mass murder found in most military shooters these days, and at times Spec Ops: The Line appears to indulge in a spot of self-awareness - asking questions of the very industry and genre of which it is a part. Taking on a third-person perspective with their shooter, Yager allows us an everyman we can project onto, before breaking him down in rather brutal fashion, and forcing the player to consider what they have done.Click here to read more...
Click here to watch the Spec Ops launch trailer >>
Yager-developed shooter Spec Ops: The Line is out this Friday, and this new launch trailer shows off some of the gritty bloodletting that will take place amidst the sand-strewn ruins of Dubai. We're currently working on a full review, but after you've watched the video, why not check out Carl's Spec Ops: The Line hands-on preview for more intel?
2K have dropped a demo for their sand-strewn shooter Spec Ops: The Line today. It'll be available to all on PlayStation 3 owners, though only Gold Membership holders will be privy to the demo on Xbox 360 for now. Free subscribers will need to wait a week until 15th May.
You can check out Carl's Spec Ops: The Line preview here, and it launches on 29th June for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Carl's in-depth Spec Ops: The Line Hands-On Preview recently gave us an insight of the singleplayer campaign promised by Yager's upcoming shooter, but this latest trailer offers a glimpse into the multiplayer offerings. Two factions of abandoned US soldiers will fight for survival in Dubai's ruined husk, using tight team work and class skills to prevail. Environmental factors such as sandstorms will also dynamically affect visibility and engagement range.
Spec Ops: The Line is dated for June 29th on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.Click here to read more...
Developer: Yager Development
Publisher: 2K Games
A lot of expectation has been placed upon Yager Development’s shoulders with Spec Ops: The Line. A franchise that has previously been hounded by mediocre reviews, and being in development for two and a half years, will do that you see. However, we are just a few months away from finally seeing what the end result will be, and I had to chance to get hands-on at this year’s Gadget Show Live to see if this one was worth putting on the radar.
The demo began with the team of three soldiers (the lead voiced by… you know what, I’m not even going to write it, you KNOW who it is) exploring the outskirts of what was once Dubai, now reclaimed by the desert and covered in sand. Sent in to find missing Spec Ops teams, it doesn’t take long before the locals show up and turns what was a lovely walk in the sand into a bullet-ridden battle amongst the ruins of a crashed airplane. It is during this starting sequence that the mechanics of the game, from sprinting to shooting, are slowly presented to the player in an exposition-heavy sequence that also introduces the personality of the lead character and his teammates.Click here to read more...