Sandman – Spec Ops: The Line gets hellish launch trailer

Monday, 25th June 2012 13:49 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Yager’s Spec Ops: The Line releases in the US tomorrow, sinking Walker and his squad of Dubai-probing numpties down to an especially sandy hell, apparently. Still trying to work out exactly why these people are walking around in the UAE without any water or support, but whatever. Extreme prejudice, and all that. It’s out in Europe this Friday.



  1. YoungZer0

    Definitely plan on buying it. Loved the demo, though i had some serious problems with it, so i probably download it first, to see if the bugs are in the final version. If they are i’m gonna have to buy the console version.

    The Ai didn’t react in the PC Demo. As in, it just stood there, waiting for something and most of the scripts weren’t triggered, which lead to me having to reload the checkpoints.

    Hope it’s not in the final product, because i expect a lot from this game.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. SplatteredHouse

    Did you like the section where a helicopter arrives, and then lots of enemies run to attack you on a rooftop, some with sniper rifles? I thought it was great. Amongst the best parts. It took me several attempts to get through, and my squad got shot up a lot lol!

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    The demo was so bad I didn’t even finish it. I just don’t have any words for it. I don’t see myself getting this, even on sale.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Maximum Payne

    Looked much better at ”beginning ”

    #4 3 years ago
  5. SplatteredHouse

    That’s interesting. I don’t think there was much that I disliked, in fact. It’s a pity that no art book is available, especially. Features like the huge banner adorning the building, and the variety of the environments brought to mind 2K’s Rapture, several times. I thought the level layout was very good.

    I particularly liked how they weren’t just funneling you through corridors, you could take the scenes in, and there was good verticality. I didn’t find any of the technical problems that YoungZero mentioned.
    When it was over I was still really interested to see what is to come, and I will probably get the game on the strength of the demo, and the promising multiplayer. I liked the comradery in the script between your squad – it was intelligently chosen, didn’t seem forced, but still got the idea across.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    @5 I pretty much had the opposite experience.

    The scenery is nice, but that’s pretty much it. I don’t see how it compares to Rapture though.

    The chase scene in the beginning is just ridiculous. The effects look terrible, the choppers are scripted to crash, kinda like a GTA game where the chase ends whenever the designer decides it should. You’re just being strung along and allowed to shoot a few guns while you watch.

    If that wasn’t some kind of poorly hidden loading screen, I don’t get it.

    I thought the banter was totally out of place. It was really the worst kind of writing. “We just got attacked by a million choppers and suffered a brutal crash that killed our buddies, but that doesn’t mean we should take any of this seriously. I sure hope nothing bad happens, because that would be completely unexpected! And by the way, we’re Delta, we just like saying that to eachother, durhurhur”.

    And then, even though the entire city is destroyed and even though something is very clearly fucked up, they really don’t expect to see a dead body. They’re like “Oh noooo, someone died!”.

    I mean really, if you didn’t see that coming from a mile away, then how the hell do you get yourself dressed in the morning?

    The gameplay was just the final nail in the coffin for me. It makes Homefront feel inspired. There’s no physics, no real response. Just a little pop pop with some splat splat, after you press A to cover.

    Granted, I wasn’t hot on the game to begin with, but the demo was a lot worse than I thought.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. SplatteredHouse

    @6: The city’s condition is the result of a natural circumstance. The team have been sent in to investigate a missing person, and military unit. I think that the surprise over the corpse was understandable. After all, it does raise questions about the state of the area that they’re headed into, to find that kind of disregard and neglect.
    The jaw jacking squadmates can get in to isn’t about not taking a situation seriously, but just sometimes keeping their own apprehension under control, and reinforcing the team dynamic.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DSB

    @7 So being attacked by a hundred American choppers on the way in didn’t raise any suspicions? Okay then.

    I don’t really get how you can find that sort of pathos in what they’re saying. It’s a highschool play. I doubt the writers ever considered any sort of irony.

    They just got shot down, everyone died but them, they’re walking around a wasteland full of dead civilians, that has obviously also seen combat, and they’re just casually cracking jokes.

    The last transmission from Dubai, which triggered their mission, pretty clearly stated that a lot of people were dead. How on earth did they forget about that?

    It’s just awful :P

    #8 3 years ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    I missed the part that they were American attacking helis. I just took it as a given that because I’d spawned straight in to the main gunner’s place on a helicopter after starting, and other choppers were shooting at the craft I was in – it was a fair guess (well, that and the prompt ;) ) that they needed to be shot out of the sky to advance.

    “wasteland full of dead civilians”…I thought it more to be a wasteland formed from the abandoned vehicles of fleeing civilians, in the wake of Dubai’s devastation.
    “everyone died but them” Their aggressors died, and they didn’t. On the point you make about the initial transmission, lots of people died, we’re told, in the evacuation – lost beneath the sand, the city cut off?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DSB

    @9 What happened to the pilots and the rest of the people in the chopper? I’m guessing they died pretty hard.

    I just don’t think there’s any room to be that naive :P

    It’s the classic “clueless person” routine you see in every horror movie.

    Not that you can’t enjoy that, but I don’t see any kind of depth in that conversation.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. YoungZer0

    @8: I think you missed something important here. The chopper opening fight is not the real beginning of the game, but takes place later in the game. You can see that in the clothes the main character wears (mostly in bad condition) and i could swear after you complete the opening, right before the main character talks about Conrad, you see a text at the bottom right saying “EARLIER…”


    Around 4:00

    #11 3 years ago
  12. NeoSquall

    Man DSB, you sure don’t know jack about “flashforward”, do you?
    The chase was obviously a flashforward to introduce players to the game, before the actual story begins.

    Also you didn’t seem to undestand the backstory and the story itself, which says that Dubai was hastily evacuated before huge sandstorms began to hit it and cover it in sand. Colonel Konrad and his soldiers volounteered to stay behind and try to rescue the last refugees but they didn’t make it.
    After this the Army receives the transmission saying “a lot of people are dead”, he’s obviously referring to the people he was supposed to save, so they send the Delta to find Konrad and save him and the refugees because they don’t know Konrad has gone nuts.

    That’s the reason the Delta are surprised to see a FRESH dead body from the 33rd Regiment (the Konrad’s ones), and from being attacked by Insurgents first, and then by Konrad’s men.

    But please, go on with your baseless rambling.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    @11 My bad. It still doesn’t really make the chase itself, or their behavior less cringe-worthy though.

    @12 Fair points, but it still does absolutely nothing to explain why a bunch of highly trained operators are frolicking around like highschool girls, when they’re supposed to be working.

    I don’t see anything specific about “a lot of people are dead”. Aren’t soldiers people? Considering that it’s his last message and there’s no communication with the rest of the force, I’d say you’d have to be quite the optimist, not to sense that something was seriously wrong.

    You do realize that military commands don’t only communicate through their highest ranking members, right? That hasn’t been the case since the 19th century.

    Even if people weren’t smart enough to put two and two together, which is pretty unlikely, I think most people in the military and government would still be expecting those guys to act professionally, and doubly so when they don’t know what’s going on.

    Doe-eyed Delta operators isn’t usually something you’d see outside of 1980′s action movies, but regrettably that’s where a lot of the less talented games writers get most of their material.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. YoungZer0

    @13: I think you’re dismissing it too early. Sure the demo wasn’t long, but just after a few minutes they stopped ‘taking it light’ as Lugo put it.

    The lighter the tone at the start, the better the chance that you could get a crass reaction from the player when it changes. You’d see this mostly in films that try to shock you and i don’t think there is a lot wrong with that approach.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. DSB

    @14 Yeah, that’s what they’re trying to do, but that’s also part of what makes it disappointing for me.

    Horror movie logic is “good” for horror movies, which are basically about toying with your emotions in the cheapest possible way. But it’s really not if you want to create any kind of story around it, because those characters lose credibility by being that dumb.

    I could get past that if it had been flanked by some solid gameplay, but to me it felt like playing Homefront. I didn’t get any feeling from the guns, just running from one very neatly composed shooting gallery to another.

    It felt way too simple in the way it used cover too. “Have a concrete block to crouch behind”. I didn’t love Kane and Lynch 2, but I think it did a better job on the basic mechanics.

    I guess I’ll see when it’s launched, but I think the demo set the bar pretty low.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. NeoSquall

    @13 Why don’t you seem to understand that people can actually die in a violent sandstorm, even if they comply with the supposed military personnel that is there to help you (it’s one of the things I think you’ll have to find in the game)?
    The dead people in the transmission can be read like a simple status report given by a supposed trained and professional ranking officer of the Army in a dire situation.

    Also, I find it hard you still didn’t get the mutiple Apocalypse Now/Heart of Darkness citations and apparently fail to realize why they’re there.
    This game is like a modern day, interactive version of Apocalypse Now, set in a modern day, fictional conflict zone (Dubai struck by huge sandstorms and pretty much more of that), with a probably deranged colonel named Konrad (colonel Kurtz is the antagonist of the movie and the author of the original book is Joseph Conrad) guiding his own personal army against the protagonist, the protagonist is a captain Walker (Captain Willard is the protagonist of Apocalypse Now) and his crew is apt at making crass jokes (like the PBR crew of the film).
    Also the protagonist is from the Delta because this type of mission is what they do for a living, and I think Willard would’ve been a Delta if the force existed in the Vietnam War.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @16 Well, Apocalypse Now is my favourite movie, and I thought that was pretty obvious, even before they named the guy.

    But how is that impressive?

    “We couldn’t come up with anything, so we just stole Apocalypse Now”.

    The difference of course being that Apocalypse Now is one of the best movies ever made, and Spec Ops, at least judging from the demo, is awful in pretty much everything from writing to mechanics.

    I don’t see any major parts of Heart of Darkness in there, beyond the name.

    Comparing the PBR crew to a Delta operator doesn’t strike you as slightly stupid? That crew is made up entirely of undisciplined, potsmoking, acid dropping rejects, including a surfer, a chef with anxiety and a kid from the ghetto.

    Being undisciplined is what you’d expect from those guys.

    You somehow feel that’s comparable to some of the best trained and most highly professional soldiers on the planet?


    Also, Delta are not assassins. Willard was part of the Phoenix Program under the CIA, which recruited special forces to carry out assassinations. If they wanted to make him regular army or navy, they could’ve made him a green beret (the 5th Special Forces Group are widely regarded as the father of Delta) or a navy seal. They didn’t.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. YoungZer0


    “You somehow feel that’s comparable to some of the best trained and most highly professional soldiers on the planet?”

    While i also think ‘Apocalypse Now’ is one of the best films ever made, i don’t think it’s wrong to make the main characters highly trained professionals. Again, the developer is trying to provoke a reaction from the player.

    I think they’ve chosen them for 2 reasons:

    A.) Sending 3 undisciplined soldiers into Dubai would seem even more unrealistic.

    B.) From the few glimpses we saw, it’s clear that Yager wants the squad to go through hell. The fact that they are professionals makes it much more interesting. They want the player to see those battle-hardened soldiers to ‘break’ after what they experience.

    “Also, Delta are not assassins.”

    And that’s fine, because they aren’t there to kill Konrad.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. absolutezero

    The one think that kept on popping into my head while playing away at the pretty average demo was, Dubai is a coastal city right next to the sea. No amount of sandstorm is going to blot out the fucking sea. Its the sea.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DSB

    @18 Basically I think it’s pretty silly to make a pseudo-Apocalypse Now, for a number of reasons. One of the major ones being that Francis Ford Coppola is one of the best screenwriters in history, or at least the most recognized.

    If you were going to borrow a plot… Don’t make it from one of the best movies ever made.

    The second one being that games in general use far too much material from movies, instead of trying to go their own way. It makes videogames look like a wannabe medium.

    Sending in Delta makes perfect sense for the game though. The primary job of special forces has always been surveillance behind enemy lines, and this is the sort of job they would be handed (even if the sandstorm is unrealistic, the game isn’t meant to be realistic).

    I’m just saying that it makes the dialogue so out of place that it triggers my disbelief, since these units are defined by an extreme level of discipline. They’re not regular infantry, they’re not in a safe situation, and there’s no comparison to the PBR crew in Apocalypse Now.

    #20 3 years ago

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