E3 2012 Hands-on Preview: Spec Ops The Line

I may be the resident shooter expert, but even I have a hard time getting excited when I see new military shooters. They all start to blend together after awhile. When I strolled up to play Spec Ops: The Line¬†at the Take Two Interactive booth, I was already feeling the “meh” building up. I am so glad I was wrong.

Unlike most of the military shooters on the showroom floor, this demo was for the single-player campaign, not the multiplayer. The 2K Games rep explained that they had a great story to tell with Spec Ops, and they wanted to demonstrate that over a multiplayer mode that will feel just like every other shooter. Let’s face it; no matter what new features a military shooter claims to have in multiplayer, they all feel the same after awhile. Hardly any of them have a great story, so I was instantly curious.

The story is set in modern times, but the main characters have been tortured by the enemy and they somehow escaped. Their torture looked physically brutal, as evidenced by the scarring and disfigurement of their faces, but it took a mental toll on them as well as they don’t remember what happened. The main character is also plagued by hallucinations from his torture, so he has a difficult time discerning what is real and who he can trust. In the brief section I played, the main character was trying to find his mentor to learn exactly what occurred. As they journey back to where they last heard of his whereabouts, they run into both foreign military AND American mercenaries. The character was confused, I was confused, his partners were confused, and it quickly turned into a free-for-all with lots of yelling, gunfire, and no clue who is on your side and who isn’t.

The firefights were so intense, I didn’t notice when another rep placed a game T-shirt on my shoulder. With the headset on, I no longer heard the deafening sounds of E3 buzzing around me, because I was that focused on what I was doing and trying to stay alive. I play a lot of games at E3, and games rarely entrance me the way this one did. When the demo was over, I just wanted to play it again.

Fortunately, I won’t have very long to wait, as Spec Ops: The Line¬†releases later this month on June 26th.