I didn't know what to expect when I picked up the controller and began my play through of Spec Ops The Line. The game wasn't even on my radar, but I figured I would give it a shot -- pun intended. What I discovered was a little known shooter with a big mouth; think Uncharted meets Three Kings, and you'll have an idea of what I was in for.
Dubai, the diamond of the desert has seen better days. A huge sandstorm has demolished the entire city, swallowing a War Hero along with it. It's your job to get in there and find your mentor, hopefully alive, and save him before the sand eats the entire city. Trouble is, rebels and other ne'erdowells have taken up residence since the disaster, and the people running their cartels aren't exactly happy to see you.
The first stage I encountered in Spec Ops The Line was a helicopter run where I was told to man the Gatling gun and shoot down enemy choppers. Still unfamiliar with the controls I didn't do so well, but I was incredibly impressed by the destructible environments. There were times that shooting through a building was the easiest way to reach my target, and boy did the world explode in a shower of shattered glass and metal.
Overall it's a very pretty game, considering it's set in the desiccated carcass of Dubai. Golden light met golden sands in more than one breathtaking moment as my team and I moved through the crash site looking for the "Damned 33rd" battalion, the men the previously mentioned War Hero was in charge of.
Combat is nice and easy to manage, especially for people familiar with basic shooters like Uncharted. There's even a basic team leadership mechanic, that allows you to tell your guys to focus on certain targets. Not being the console FPS girl it took me a while to get the hang of things, but eventually I got the hang of it and was able to move with relative ease through the level.
But more than anything, the best part of the game is the banter. Throughout the entire play session, my character was lobbing incredibly funny dialog to his teammates. The writing reminded me of a foul-mouthed version of Firefly. Dialog this good can't live in a vacuum, so I have to assume that the game's story is equally as entertaining.
Find out for yourself with the game launches on June 26th, 2012 on PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.