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Spec Ops: The Line dev wary of “gore porn” direction

Thursday, 9th February 2012 12:12 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Spec Ops: The Line senior designer Shawn Frison has told RPS that the development team has constantly walked a line between “messed up” and “gore porn,” saying it’s difficult to portray the horror of war without tipping towards gratuity.

“I think it’s a really fine line,” said Frison. “It’s something that we have really struggled a lot with while making the game. How do you show how messed up all of this is and then moving into gore porn or gun porn. I think there’s less risk of that 20 years ago because people hadn’t gotten so used to it, but it’s become such a huge part of gaming, that it’s fun to make somebody’s body explode.

“It’s difficult to say, ‘This is happening because this is what happens in war,’ rather than, ‘This is happening because it’s fucking awesome.’”

Spec Ops, set in a ruined Dubai, has leant towards “horror” war from the outset, with a mentality similar to the seen in Apocolypse Now. Heart of Darkness has been named as an inspiration. Frison added that finding the right tone has been a tricky business for developer Yager.

“There is a tension between the horror of war and a fun shooter, and it’s hard to balance,” he said.

“We have you joyfully bombing the hell out of people, which gives a sense of power, but then you have to go down and walk through the aftermath of what you actually did, so you get both sides. The fun side and then the regret of what you did. I think the fact that it felt fun makes the impact that much worse.”

Watch it in action below. Spec Ops was recently pushed back from “spring” to an unspecific release in the first half of Take-Two fiscal 2013.

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6 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    “We have you joyfully bombing the hell out of people, which gives a sense of power, but then you have to go down and walk through the aftermath of what you actually did, so you get both sides. The fun side and then the regret of what you did. I think the fact that it felt fun makes the impact that much worse.”

    Yep, i have seen some gameplay footage of that scene, really horrific.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I’m interested in this, looking at it. I hope they manage to create impact, as opposed to making “another shooter”. It’s a good premise.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/chemical-warfare-spec-ops/726575

    Some more gameplay material.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. IL DUCE

    Same dev diary was posted on here a couple of days ago….

    Here’s an new one from today though:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRyAfmVQOZU&feature=relmfu

    #4 3 years ago
  5. shogoz

    Yeah lets totally introduce gore porn to war scenarios thanks america. why not take ideas from the japanese from world war 2 to make it more realistic by being able to rape people by shoving bamboo poles in the females vaginas until they’re mutilated what a brilliant idea i cant wait to hear more

    #5 3 years ago
  6. shogoz

    I just reread the article and am unable to remove my comment, can somebody please remove it? Sorry, got it totally wrong.

    #6 3 years ago

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