There is such a dearth of good storytelling in games, let alone shooters, that when a title actually has a narrative that doesn't make you reach for the skip button, you sit up and take notice. Spec Ops: The Line is such a game, injecting some life in a worn-out genre by creating a tense atmosphere and story that make you look forward to the next chapter.
The story in Spec Ops rises above the typical "us" versus "them" mentality that's been used so often that dialogue isn't much more than a "hoo-ah," "tango down" or a choice use of profanity. Spec Ops: The Line's story draws its inspiration from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, replacing the jungle with an abandoned, sand-swept city of Dubai, and Kurtz with Colonel Konrad, leader of the 33rd division that defied an order to leave the city in order to help its residents.
After receiving a distress call, members of a three-man reconnaissance group discover that members of the 33rd are apparently still alive, and the city is not as abandoned as once thought. Instead it's home to suffering citizens, competing factions, and a sense of lawlessness and dread. The voice acting is excellent across the board, featuring such actors as Bruce Boxleitner, Jake Busey, and the ubiquitous Nolan North, and the music is used effectively to set the mood of each scene (such as Deep Purple's
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