Tuesday, March 2, 2010

War? What's It Good For?

I'm not interested in military shooters. I'm just not. Especially realistic ones. (Shooting aliens and monsters is fine by me.) That's why I'm kind of shocked that I'm totally intrigued by Spec Ops: The Line from Take-Two/2K. It appears to be a pretty standard third-person affair -- I mean, even the title is as generic as it comes. But the story is pulled straight from fantasyland, in which Dubai has been rocked by a series of devastating sandstorms. As a result, the city is flooded with sand, and apparently it directly affects gameplay. The sand reacts to the game physics, enabling you to bury your enemies or create cover. I think it's quite creative and interesting!

Which is why I am so shocked that the marketing seems to completely ignore this very cool feature. As I mentioned already, let's start with the title of the game: Spec Ops. This was really the best they could come up with? "Spec Ops: The Line" sounds like a budget military shooter. What about "Spec Ops: Sandstorm" or "Spec Ops: Trial By Sand" or SOMETHING evocactive? A missed opportunity. Not to mention the trailer, which depicts the bizarre Dubai setting with no further explanation. It really boggles the mind. This game obviously has a nice differentiator to help make it pop in a very crowded marketplace, or I wouldn't even be writing this. Why isn't the publisher taking advantage? I'll be interested to see how the game performs when it is released.

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