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Spec Ops: The Line


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25 minutes ago, Mawdlin said:

Some devs, and I suspect Yager is one of them, survive on projects which are funded by big publishers but never see the light of day. It's never meant to be that way but if the dev hits a particular milestone then they still get their payment.

 

I once met Timo and a few of his crew back in the day and they are passionate guys with lots of talent. I suspect a few of their (often secret) projects got sidelined and probably not due to any fault of their own.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they do a fair bit of publisher assistance, parachuting team members in to work on projects that need a kick out the door elsewhere.

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-DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED-

 

This is remarkable. I've seen loads of these high-quality analyses before, but this guy manages to spot a bunch of stuff that i've not seen anyone mention before in any of them.

Edited by Smitty
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6 hours ago, Smitty said:

 

This is remarkable. I've seen loads of these high-quality analyses before, but this guy manages to spot a bunch of stuff that i've not seen anyone mention before in any of them.

 

Wow. That's a brilliant little video.  For anyone who hasn't played the game, don't watch it.    Do play the game though. Then watch this. 

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52 minutes ago, rafaqat said:

 

Wow. That's a brilliant little video.  For anyone who hasn't played the game, don't watch it.    Do play the game though. Then watch this. 

 

Good point. Edited my post. 

 

A lot of the big YT guys have done a video on this, its worth watching them all tbh. Superbunnyhop, Raceyvik, Errant Signal, thinreaper and others.

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It still makes me smile to see this thread bumped occasionally. I was the database manager on the QA team at 2K LA for this and I got to work the E3 we showed this at and met some of the developers.

 

I also got to play the multiplayer and the expansion map packs with our team before all the MP got cancelled. We found it quite fun!

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14 hours ago, Unofficial Who said:

The only issue I have with it is for the most part it’s preaching to the converted.

 

I would love to see hear or read the reaction to this game by someone who it wasn’t made for.

 

Everyone should play it.

 

What do you mean by people that it wasn’t it made for? I can’t stand third person cover shooter, and from a pure gameplay point of view this won’t change my view, but as an experience it’s amazing.

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On 17/07/2018 at 10:41, Unofficial Who said:

The only issue I have with it is for the most part it’s preaching to the converted.

 

I would love to see hear or read the reaction to this game by someone who it wasn’t made for.

 

Everyone should play it.

 

I suppose I’m someone this game was made for, and I find it very over-rated, especially on here.

 

The writing is ‘good for a videogame’ good, as a shooter it’s fairly pedestrian and the bit that everybody raves about as being poignant is, frankly, just silly. You have no choice over it, so it’s redundant in terms of what it thinks it’s conveying.

 

It starts off well, but after the first three or so ‘levels’ it runs out of ideas and becomes a game of shooting men’s hats off.

 

Admittedly though, as a 3rd person shooting-men’s-hats-off-er, it’s a lot of fun indeed. Pretty unparalleled in that department for my money, really.

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13 hours ago, ZOK said:

 

I suppose I’m someone this game was made for, and I find it very over-rated, especially on here.

 

The writing is ‘good for a videogame’ good, as a shooter it’s fairly pedestrian and the bit that everybody raves about as being poignant is, frankly, just silly. You have no choice over it, so it’s redundant in terms of what it thinks it’s conveying.

 

Maybe branching dialogue options would have solved that.

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On 18/07/2018 at 10:28, gossi the dog said:

 

What do you mean by people that it wasn’t it made for? I can’t stand third person cover shooter, and from a pure gameplay point of view this won’t change my view, but as an experience it’s amazing.

 

I guess I'd love to see it played cold by someone who's gaming diet was purely COD and or Battlefield. It was probably the game that killed military shooters for me (I just played through CODBLOPS 3 and I couldn't get The Line out of my head every time I sat down to play it.)

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I’m having a bit of a clearout and found a copy of this that I’m pretty sure someone on the forum gave to me for nada. If anyone’s not played it and fancies it let me know and I’ll pop it in the post.

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6 minutes ago, ZOK said:

I’m having a bit of a clearout and found a copy of this that I’m pretty sure someone on the forum gave to me for nada. If anyone’s not played it and fancies it let me know and I’ll pop it in the post.

What format mate?

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  • 5 weeks later...

First off, thanks to Zok for sending me this game. Much appreciated. I actually have something of an interest in this title as I was in one of the early meetings where the game was being pitched/discussed between publisher and developer.

 

So ultimately I think this is a landmark game when we talk about narrative development in the medium. But I also think there's been a tendency, at least in this thread, to give the writers more credit than they're due. It's great that people are finding a lot of narrative juice in the gaps but I personally found the metatextuality a bit basic. But bravo to the developers for even exploring it.

 

But here's the thing, I have never played a videogame to experience a great story. I play videogames to 'play'.

 

That's not to say a good story can't enhance a game, but surely the games the thing.

 

The game here is mediocre. I enjoyed parts of it but there were also levels that were just a slog. And I do think there's been a tendency for (some) people to forgive a lot of the average game and level design as being brilliantly metatextual. Woohoo, look at how the tougher iron-clad enemies foreground the stereotypes and well-trodden tropes of videogame shooters. Er, no.

 

Plotting this on a graph with narrative excellence on the Y axis and gameplay excellence on the X axis Spec-Ops may score a 9 or a 10 on the former but it's merely a 5 on the latter.

 

The game is great for any literature student who wants to impress their historiographical metafiction tutor but it's still an average game.

 

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I'll admit, the gameplay is ... serviceable. It does enough of a job to adequately service the, frankly superb, narrative.

 

But it does depend on what you want. One of the industry darlings of the 360/PS3 generation was Bayonetta, which I found utterly puerile and pathetic. But it had amazing gameplay, I just couldn't get past everything else in the game. It was downright embarrassing.

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After finishing the 2013 Tomb Raider Reboot, I noticed this is sitting in my Steam Library, heard nothing but good things over the years but never got round to a full playthrough as yet. My newly acquired One X might have to take a back seat for a while. 

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13 minutes ago, Thor said:

I'll admit, the gameplay is ... serviceable. It does enough of a job to adequately service the, frankly superb, narrative.

 

But it does depend on what you want. One of the industry darlings of the 360/PS3 generation was Bayonetta, which I found utterly puerile and pathetic. But it had amazing gameplay, I just couldn't get past everything else in the game. It was downright embarrassing.

Exactly. But surely it comes down to playing a game for the game? I mean, it's a game. The narrative (if there is any and I propose a lot of games would've turned out better if the developers hadn't wasted valuable time and resources on putting together some awful script) should be serving the gameplay not the other way around... I guess it comes down to whether you're a ludologist or narratologist.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Mawdlin said:

Exactly. But surely it comes down to playing a game for the game?

 

 

Well I guess it depends.  I don't play a game FOR the game.  I just want to be entertained.  Whether that's through a movie or a game that requires input from me.    If the game has an interesting story then it's a crap load more entertaining than the same game with no story.   At least for me. 

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@Mawdlin I don't think it's that black and white. A huge number of games are a combination of the two. Even your imaginary Pritchard's Scale of a Successful Computer Game acknowledges that. Even more than the narrative I think the aesthetics, setting, and characters in a game make up a huge part of their appeal. Would Call of Duty still be as popular if you played as anthropomorphised squids shooting ink at each other? (What... ? Eh...? Oh...)

 

Anyway, in this specific game there was enough about the setting and the story to keep me playing even though the game itself was only average. And once I'd finished it I still considered it a "good" game, in spite of the fact that there were probably long periods in the game I didn't especially enjoy. As a whole it was successful. It's like I enjoy The Hunchback of Notre Dame even though you have to sit through 100 pages of Victor Hugo complaining about Parisian architecture.

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While I do play a game for the game, it usually takes a good story, or at least a compelling setting to hold my interest. I'd rather play a middle of the road shooter with a great story than a great shooter with a rubbish story, as the two aspects combine to make a better experience for me.

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53 minutes ago, Mawdlin said:

First off, thanks to Zok for sending me this game. Much appreciated. I actually have something of an interest in this title as I was in one of the early meetings where the game was being pitched/discussed between publisher and developer.

 

So ultimately I think this is a landmark game when we talk about narrative development in the medium. But I also think there's been a tendency, at least in this thread, to give the writers more credit than they're due. It's great that people are finding a lot of narrative juice in the gaps but I personally found the metatextuality a bit basic. But bravo to the developers for even exploring it.

 

But here's the thing, I have never played a videogame to experience a great story. I play videogames to 'play'.

 

That's not to say a good story can't enhance a game, but surely the games the thing.

 

The game here is mediocre. I enjoyed parts of it but there were also levels that were just a slog. And I do think there's been a tendency for (some) people to forgive a lot of the average game and level design as being brilliantly metatextual. Woohoo, look at how the tougher iron-clad enemies foreground the stereotypes and well-trodden tropes of videogame shooters. Er, no.

 

Plotting this on a graph with narrative excellence on the Y axis and gameplay excellence on the X axis Spec-Ops may score a 9 or a 10 on the former but it's merely a 5 on the latter.

 

The game is great for any literature student who wants to impress their historiographical metafiction tutor but it's still an average game.

 

 

But do we play games for the gameplay or the experience nowadays? Something like Life is Strange has next to no gameplay, but as an experience is great. Same with the Uncharted's or the recent Tomb Raider reboots, where most of the gameplay revolves around pressing forward, with some occasional jumping, shooting and puzzle solving. The gameplay at it's core isn't that good, but as an overall experience? Great.

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The best bit about the Spec Ops is that you can send the guys’ hats flying off when you go for headshots.

 

That aspect is not celebrated nearly enough, and it really is the devs’ crowning (ha!) achievement.

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2 hours ago, Mogster said:

While I do play a game for the game, it usually takes a good story, or at least a compelling setting to hold my interest. I'd rather play a middle of the road shooter with a great story than a great shooter with a rubbish story, as the two aspects combine to make a better experience for me.

We are opposites then. I read books for good stories. Not to say a game can't have a good story but the game always comes first for me.

 

Thinking about it most of my favourite games have practically zero story, or the story is incidental.

 

Most of the games I've hated/struggled with have been narrative driven. Heavy Rain. Painful.

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I need a hook. I reason to play. Destiny (1&2) is the game I play that is the closest to what you describe. No-one plays destiny for the story, but the gameplay is exceptional. But there's a hook with that game - the co-op multiplayer in teams of up to six other players, all working together.

 

From what you describe, you'd be just as happy playing Pac-man forever. 

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