Spec Ops: The Line developer YAGER licenses URE4 for unannounced next-gen title

Thursday, 14th March 2013 13:50 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Epic Games has announced its licensed its Unreal Engine 4 to Spec Ops: The Line developer YAGER, which is the first independent studio in Europe to license the tech.

“Unreal Engine 4 is, hands down, the best toolset for creating next-generation, AAA games,” said Timo Ullmann, managing director at YAGER. “Unreal Engine 3 enabled our great team to tap its full potential for the development for our award-winning game Spec Ops: The Line and beyond.

“YAGER is thrilled to be utilizing Epic’s latest technology for our foremost project as the new workflow is incredible, and Blueprint visual scripting gives us more control over building our games than ever before.”

The developer plans to use URE4 to develop it’s unannounced next-generation title, which YAGER plans to unveil in the coming months.



  1. bitsnark

    Fucking excellent.

    Next to Binary Domain, Spec Ops: The Line is one of the most under-appreciated games of this gen in my opinion.

    Looking forward to seeing what they do with it!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. SameeR_Fisher

    Absolutely fantastic.

    YAGER are freaking awesome guys and gals.

    I can’t wait to see what they are doing next.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Night Hunter

    I’m so glad they are still alive and kicking. After the weak sales of Spec Ops I thought that maybe they could be in financial trouble …

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Max Payne

    @3 Yea agree.
    I also think game was done way before it was released , but they just delayed it until they found ”no busy” month

    #4 2 years ago
  5. YoungZer0

    Yami. I wonder what they have in store. I loved Spec Ops: The Line.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. heroes159

    everyone loved Spec-ops the line story. I hope they will release a sequel or a Prequel or something. but the way game ended , i don’t think sequels are possible

    #6 2 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    Personally, I don’t want a sequel. The game delivered what it wanted to deliver. No new protagonist, no new setting, a new Game.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Takeshi

    I hope their next game is a lot more well-polished in the gameplay section. Spec Ops had some above average writing, but the gameplay mecanics could definitely have used some more work.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Night Hunter

    @8: I hope that if they make another shooter with a strong story that they break with gameplay conventions a bit. From the gameplay side Spec Ops was a TPS as bland as they come. They nailed the story part, now it’s time to make gameplay a little bit more believable and maybe not have a body count of 2000 in a 10 hour game …

    #9 2 years ago
  10. redwood

    finally some news on yager :) and it’s all good, here is hoping to see something on their next title sooon

    #10 2 years ago
  11. KrazyKraut

    Speck Ops was nice (besides its bad ending).
    Hope to hear from them soon.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    Why are the endings bad?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    Spec Ops would’ve been good if they hadn’t put 5 hours of mediocrity in front of those 10 minutes of quality at the end.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. theevilaires

    Spec Ops the line was very good to me. Shame most people on my friends list who have PS+ aren’t playing it.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. YoungZer0

    @13: I didn’t think it was mediocre at all, the gameplay wasn’t fun sure, but it was engaging and that was enough for me. Or maybe that was the point? Why should it be fun to kill all those people?

    It was interesting to watch the characters develop and change, see Walker lose it more and more. The more you read about it, the more you realize just how many things you’ve missed if you have played it like a regular TPS, pay more attention to the little details and you will be rewarded.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DSB

    @15 So it wasn’t really gameplay, it was meta-gameplay? There’s really no way I’m buying that. Nobody puts 60 million dollars into a parable, and it’s not like it was horrible to kill those guys at all. It was just repetitive.

    I also don’t think the game was that smart. It was really pretty simple, except for the ending.

    I didn’t see the characters develop, because the characters were never established. You didn’t know anything about them, except for the fact that they were awful clichés. To me they were ragdolls being abused until they were, quite simply, sad ragdolls.

    There were a couple of points where I felt like it actually lived up to the promise though. One is the part where you’re told to “condemn” one of two defenseless guys (without presenting the third option) and the other is at the very end when you have to decide whether to shoot at friendly forces or surrender.

    If the game had made more of an effort to have me doubt myself and my own choices like that, I could’ve bought into it.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. YoungZer0

    @16: Just to be clear, I’m not buying it either, but many people including the guys at ExtraCredits do make some interesting points how that could actually be the case:

    But I didn’t went in to actually feel bad about myself (although I have to admit, after finishing the game, I avoided playing those mindless military shooters for a long, long time). I went in for the experience. The characters didn’t have to be established to actually show signs of ‘development’.

    At the beginning Walker and his team were joking around, the tone was light as in most shooters these days. In a sense they were your typical FPS Team. The smart ass Sniper, the tough Black Guy who NEEDS to have a light machine gun and of course the focused Leader.

    They were focused and concentrated at the beginning, it was “Tango down” here and “Reloading” there but, it that changed into “FUCK YOU!” and “FUCKING RELOADING!”. His takedowns that started out as quick and effective turned into brutal and sadistic.

    That’s what I mean by development. Walkers voice was pretty much fucked at the end, his face all messed up, he looked like a Harvey Dent cosplayer. Most games completely miss that. The tone never really changes, there are still smart ass one-liners even at the last level, but The Line does that different.

    All Walker wanted was to redeem himself. Find a situation where he could actually do something good, but that never came. Like the player he only listened to the voice in his ear telling him what to do, without second guessing it.

    For me the most interesting thing about the choices is that they were small and had no real impact on the game, but they had an impact on me.

    They weren’t spoken out either.


    Do I shoot the American Soldier who thinks I am spy or do I take the risk and leave him alive? Either way I’m screwed.

    Do I help the agent or the civilians? The agent is important, the civilians are too.

    Do I shoot the thief or the family murderer? What if I just kill the snipers? What if I shoot them both (Haven’t tried that)?

    Do I shoot the CIA Agent who betrayed me out of mercy, or do I wait for him to burn, because THAT MOTHERFUCKER DESERVED IT!?

    Do I shoot the civilians who killed Lugo or should I just try to shoot in the air? Do they deserve this? Do we deserve this?

    Do I shoot myself or Conrad? He says it’s my fault, but I only followed orders.

    Do I shoot the soldiers who came for rescue, or let them take me? And what happens if I fail, what happens if they manage to kill me (My favorite ending btw.)?

    I also heard about little details, like some of the ads showing Conrads face only to disappear a few seconds later. A blooming tree, full of green leafs that turns into a burned on when you turn around to look at it again.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. xxJPRACERxx

    I was “wtf is URE4?”. You know that the Unreal Engine is abbreviated UE and not URE since the 1st one?

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DSB

    @17 If the point is just to beat up a few videogame clichés, then that just makes it a cheap joke to me. It’s like Limbo beating up on the player. It’s fun for two seconds, and then it just feels cheap.

    If they wanted to make me care, they’d have to make those guys into genuine human beings, or at least symbols of genuine human beings.

    Some of those choices feel like actual choices, and some don’t.

    The CIA douche might be an asshole, but why would I want to watch him burn? The agent may be important, but people are still people. Lugo is dead no matter what, why would I make 50 new corpses?

    I didn’t feel like a lot of those decisions truly challenged the sanity of the guy I was playing. I’d have to force myself to be an asshole for there to be a real question.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @19: Sorry, I’m not really following. It’s taking everything that is wrong about modern shooters and shows you how ridiculous and simple-minded those games are, while at the same time trying to tell a story about a soldiers downfall.

    Limbo is just annoying the player for shit and giggles. Trial and Error is not something I consider a good gameplay mechanic.

    I had watched some walkthroughs on Youtube and people reacted very erm, extreme to Lugo’s death, started killing everyone.

    And some of them watched the CIA dude burn, I simply walked away. I thought he deserved it. If he excepts the people of Dubai do die and suffer for ‘the greater good’, then it’s only fair to expect the same from him.

    But then again, I remember your feedback from the demo and that didn’t went well. I’m also remembering your comments before the game even hit the stores, I’m guessing you never forgave the game that it used Heart of Darkness as an inspiration. :P

    I simply loved it, from start to finish, which is also how I played it, in one go. No pause, no nothing, no room to breath, at the end I was just as exhausted as Walker.

    Anyway, I rather play this than any Call of Duty/Medal of Honor/Battlefield Singleplayer. Those games just don’t seem to get it.

    Oh and the soundtrack was fantastic! Beautiful score as well.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DSB

    @20 I just don’t buy the first paragraph. If you want to show me how ridiculous and simple-minded modern shooters are, then please outdo them. Show me how it’s done. Don’t just copy them for 5 hours and go “Oh, by the way.. This is all ironic”. I don’t feel like that’s what the game did at all though.

    And I wasn’t talking about Limbos mechanics. Limbo is about piling misery onto the player, just as Spec Ops is about piling misery onto those three guys. Unless there’s something there to qualify that misery beyond “Oh look, war is hell” or “Oh look, you sure are in Limbo” then I don’t see it as profound. It’s just crude and mean, and obvious.

    I don’t mind that it riffs on Heart of Darkness, or that it’s anti-war. Apocalypse Now did and is both, but that movie went about it in a much more intelligent way.

    The characters are people. The protagonist has already been through hell, unlike the happy clappy boyscouts you see in the beginning of Spec Ops. He’s then joined by at least three people who make up the backbone of the US military – The ghetto kid, the southern boy and the all american, under the command of a guy who clearly feels a strong sense of duty – Although it’s mostly a duty to stay out of trouble and protect those kids.

    You can pretty much stop the tape right there. Compare that to three roughly drawn clichés of cocky American soldiers. For me it’s just too damn simple. It seems less like an ironic jab, and more like a writer picking the low hanging fruit.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. YoungZer0

    @21: You gotta look at it from a different perspective. The Average Joe has probably never heard about this game.

    So when he walks through his gamestore, looking for another military shooter, he sees Spec Ops Cover.

    This were it already begins, just another soldier looking at the camera. He buys it, gets home, starts the game and expects the same old military shooter bullshit. Which is what the game gives him until the WP-Scene, this is where the tone shifts into a completely different direction.

    Everything the game does, it does just for that one twist.

    You never second guess your actions in other military shooters, because you always have a big threat to stop. Something that endangers the whole world. “Who cares about torture? I had a nuclear war to prevent. Don’t think about it, you’re a hero”. Walker never had that luxury.

    I think the guys from ExtraCredits are right, when Conrad tells Walker “you came here because you wanted to be something you’re not; a hero.” then he really is talking to the player.

    If you look at it from this perspective then a lot of the things they did make sense.

    I think Spec Ops biggest problem was the release date. I dunno what happened, but the game went silent for a long time and then came out too late. People were fed-up with military shooters and the market was flooded with it. I keep hearing from people who did buy the game without knowing anything about it and excepted it to be another military shooter. The twist and everything that happened after it had a huge effect on them.

    “The ghetto kid, the southern boy and the all american, under the command of a guy who clearly feels a strong sense of duty”

    I think you missed the french guy and I gotta ask, how are those characters not cliché? We’ve seen them in all military movies, or series.

    But that’s beside the point I’m trying to make. I think if they wanted to deliver characters with more depth or more realism, they would’ve done it.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. DSB

    @22 I get what they wanted to do, I just don’t think they did a very good job of it. The idea is sound, but instead of courting intelligence, it uses a sledgehammer.

    To me a truly good writer is one that doesn’t feel the need to always answer his own questions. That’s what Spec Ops keeps doing, there’s little room for ambiguity except for the final part. It’s something that most games do, and that’s why it’s so disappointing to see in a game that obviously had higher ambitions. I don’t see a big difference between the Lugo scene and No Russian.

    Very few game designers seem to be able to trust gamers enough to really tell a story intelligently.

    That’s really my main problem with Spec Ops. Instead of being eloquent it just rubs your face in it, like most other games.

    In terms of Apocalypse Now, I haven’t seen a lot of movies with characters like that, but however they make you feel, at least they’re eminently human. They’re not just singleminded boyscouts with no background. They’re people first and soldiers second. Incredibly naive, each in their own way, and for their own reasons, and they have no place in a warzone.

    The Chief is a classic military type, but I see him as mainly being there to contrast Willard. Order versus chaos. Willard has no idea why he’s doing what he’s doing, or what he hopes to accomplish, whereas the Chief knows exactly what he’s doing, and what he hopes to accomplish.

    That’s why they call it a supporting character.

    The french guy is the southern guy.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. YoungZer0

    Alright, I can definitely agree on that. I too was hoping the game would be more subtle. Yet, even with the sledgehammer the message flew over the head of some people. How that’s even possible, I don’t know. There are still some subtle elements in the game, like the tree and the ad, so I like that.

    Anyway, I still think the game is fantastic. What it tried to do, it achieved. It could’ve been better, yes, but then again what couldn’t? Even a masterpiece (I don’t use that word often) like Apocalypse Now had it’s flaws. The anti-climatic ending for example.

    I definitely think that The Line did a better Job than games like Bioshock (still don’t understand the praise for that game) or the Metal Gear Solid series (if The Line uses a Sledgehammer, MGS uses an orbital strike).

    Just hope that a few developers look at what YAGER did and will try to at least tackle some controversial subjects, because most FPS/TPS leave just don’t try anything. Just the fact that they basically made US soldiers the bad guys takes some balls. Dunno how they were able to sell that Idea.

    And I thought you meant the blonde guy who would regularly paint his face. I think you forgot that one.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. DSB

    I think we just come down on two different sides of opinion. It’s obvious that Spec Ops was ambitious, but the sledgehammer approach and the pretty standardized gameplay dulls it down.

    It definitely is time for gaming to grow up, and start caring about the content.

    It’s just pretty difficult to do when you have executives who measure quality in dollars. They really have no clue what they’re producing, and I don’t think they could care less about something like the writing.

    Gaming just isn’t a creative-driven industry right now. If the leadership doesn’t value talent, the organization won’t either.

    I thought Bioshock was great personally. The gameplay was the weakest bit. I can’t remember another game that actually dared to touch something like objectivism. Metal Gear Solid is really just a parody of itself, it’s like the Benny Hill of core gaming.

    The blonde guy is the all-american in Apocalypse Now. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Probably loves apple pie.

    The three crew are Mr Clean (Ghetto kid) Lance (All-American) Chef (Southern kid).

    #25 2 years ago
  26. YoungZer0

    So we agree to disagree. Good.

    I dunno what is about Bioshock, but it was just boring for me. I had a friend spoil the ending and somehow the game lost all appeal after that.

    Since then I’ve tried to finish it three times, but the storytelling, gameplay and the world, feel completely flat to me. I wasn’t a fan of the art-direction too, same problem I have with Bioshock Infinite, which kind of looks like Disney gone wrong. I really can’t put my finger on it, but everytime I play it, I mildly enjoy it and then start thinking of all the other games I could play right now.

    It wasn’t subtle about its themes either.

    Bioshock looks to be just as unsubtle about its themes, but at least the storytelling seems to be much better.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. biggbadddadd

    this is the best fuckin game of all time!! i truly hope they will make another one! its to bad people did not support and buy this game….what a shame!!! forgive them….they are morons!! please make another one!!

    #27 2 years ago

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