The Great Expectations of Spec-Ops: The Line

2 thoughts on “The Great Expectations of Spec-Ops: The Line

  1. I’m sorry but this article is badly written, you per-suppose that “Spec Ops:The Line” considers itself “High Art”, back that statement up by referencing other people who consider it as such and then critique it from that avenue.

    Spec Ops:The Line isn’t a game about “video game violence”, there are certainly elements of that but I’ve noticed that it was seized on by a few authors and everyone followed to talk about it from that perspective.

    Try something for me, a mental exercise if you will, give examples where Spec Ops: The Line breaks narrative cohesion, does it explain why it broke them?

    Think of the same for Bioshock: Infinite and TLoU, both games that I thought broke it constantly. In the former, Elizabeth being a happy Disney princess made very little sense, do you think someone who’s been locked up for years in a tower with no outside contact would be able to form relationships so easily? They also talk about fixed points in time, why does Booker dictate that fixed point? If it’s a fixed point doesn’t it mean it will always happen, none of it made any sense.

    TLoU made a far worse break, Ellie constantly running out in front of enemies and they being oblivious to her.Spec Ops:The Line was obviously very cognizant of being a video game but it was never as egregious as TLoU in it’s dissonance.

    For Spec Ops:The Line, I don’t want to force you to see my perspective but how often do you think soldiers in Iraq question their orders? Suppose one of them is responsible for killing a few children, what do you think he says? Would he take responsibility or would he claim it was orders from his superior? It takes a strong man to deny what’s right in front of him.

    Spec Ops:The Line isn’t about video games or narrative structure, it might be a part of it, a hidden part that only video game players understand, just like how Inception (the movie) has elements of how a movie is made (the actor, the producer, the director etc.). It’s an amateurish explanation of the game that is oft copied.

    1. Reading my comments I felt a little bad, you still did a good job on analysis, I like your writing, keep up the good work. My point was that you interpreted based on common opinion, it’s a writing mistake I make too. Spec Ops:The Line being dismissed as a game about games is a pet peeve of mine, when I played it changed how I thought about soldiers and violence, it made me appreciate the Millgram experiment more. When I played Dishonored I didn’t play the game killing everyone but stealthy not because it added a challenge but because I’ve started seeing the people as people instead of pixels.

      Violence, regardless if it’s real or virtual, still effects your psyche, my proudest achievement in gaming is when I faced the mob after they kill Lugo, a character I loved and I looked for a way out, a way to not shoot the crowd. When an achievement “A line held” popped up, I was proud of myself, I’d been through Walker’s journey, I was still a monster just like him, but I did have a redeeming act, it wasn’t much but enough to hold on to.

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