Spec Ops: The Line Demo Review

Well, it’s been a fun 4 months so far writing for GamerVets.  And yet another shooter to test out.  I can’t even remember how many I’ve played.  Let me put my thinking cap on:

How is Spec Ops: The Line?  Toss it in with the other steaming piles of you know what.  I’ll do it now:

  • Spec Ops: The Line.  Crap.

I don’t remember much about Spec Ops: The Line leading up to this demo.  All I remember is some vague previews and that the game is set in Dubai with sandstorms or something.  Who knows.  Doesn’t really matter.  I don’t play shooters for jaw dropping storylines or settings.  If it plays great, I’m in.  If it stinks…  Delete.

Great start!

I find out the demo (despite being a shooter at heart) is only single player.  I just read on forums earlier this evening the multiplayer beta test was last year!?  Strike One

I played through 5 or so minutes and got to the part of the opening scene where your buddy checks the bloody jeep.  I press B to skip cinematics (this game has lots of them).  Game froze.  Had to reboot and start from scratch and play through that repetitive helicopter scene again.  Strike Two


  • The game boots up and you get treated to a nice, creepy, yet patriotic title page!
  • Mediocre in-game graphics as a whole
  • MASSIVE SCREEN TEARING.  Think Skyrim proportions
  • Decent frame rate.  Looks pretty steady at 30 fps most of the time
  • Textures overall are below average.  Your character actually looks pretty good though.  He’s got good detail in uniform, head and even hair
  • I’m not going to fault the game’s yellowy/brown setting as it’s suppose to be sandy, but checking out any details in debris, interiors and such are meh
  • Lots of jaggies


  • Decent dialogue.  Some nice cussing
  • Very repetitive lines you’ll hear over and over again


  • Tons of cut-scenes.  Thankfully, you can skip most by pressing B
  • Terrible screen tearing leads to jumpy and jittery gameplay, especially if you turn fast
  • Set your horizontal and vertical sensitivity bar to 1.  Or else your reticule will be moving at mach speed all over the screen
  • Third person shooting.  Standard fare with some basic tweaks.  LT to aim, RT to shoot, LB to grenade.  A to cover, B to vault, LS to crouch.  You can sprint by pressing A and not have to hold down A.  To reload is Y
  • Enemies can be hurt enough to go into a “Last Man Standing” kind of mode.  You can run up to them and press B to execute them with a fancy kill
  • You can command your two buddies to take out enemies you single out for them by pressing RB
  • Some canned gameplay additions like pressing A to rappel, press B (I think) to kick down a door and such.  All during non-combat gameplay
  • You can’t step or jump down small ledges or steps unless it is part of the yellow brick road of handholding.  If you are allowed, you have to press A to bunny hop down
  • The game’s waves of enemies are an assortment of knifers, snipers and typical gunners
  • Seems like wave after wave of respawning enemies pour out unless you progress forward like Call of Duty
  • Shooting mechanics are fairly decent.  Pretty responsive, but screen tearing makes it ugly
  • The game only gives you two difficulties to try in the demo (looks like the easiest and second easiest difficulties, the two higher ones are greyed out).  I played the harder one.  Hard to get killed as your guy can absorb lots of damage.  Your teammates can also absorb lots of damage, but don’t seem invincible.  One time, a guy went down and I had to instruct the other guy (RB) to heal him
  • Surprisingly, you can kill people from far away with SMGs.  Just be gentle on the trigger and pop shots slowly
  • Very linear paths
  • You can find Intel drops and listen to recordings

The Old Guy in Me Says

Strike Three!

Another demo to delete off the HDD.  The game screams bargain bin.  So if you must get this game, wait for it to hit $20.  This demo doesn’t include MP, but the SP was sure lousy, canned, and repetitive.

I’ll eat my words if the final game actually has a great SP and MP.


  • I advise anyone reading this awful review to ignore it completely. It’s like telling a musician with no interest in sports to go review a Madden game.

    • M1GO

      LOL – Hockey Glory is definitely our harshest critic, but I can say that his reviews are pretty entertaining at least.

      I played the demo – it wasn’t bad. Controls were actually better than Ghost Recon: Future Soldier IMO, but of course these are two different games. If Gears of War had a younger, shinier, weaker cousin, this would be it. I did notice the screen tearing (and I’m normally terrible at noticing stuff like this unless its in your face).

      The demo actually reminds me of Binary Domain – promising, but not worth 60 bucks + tax

    • Hockey Glory

      LOL. I like shooters. Just not bad ones.

  • evilenger

    I’ll just pipe in here and say the demo was alright. There were too many cutscenes that broke up the action. They need to pump up the gun sounds more too as they sounded very thin to me or “tinny”. The cover mechanic needs a bit of tightening up as well. Overall, might be a good pick up for some fun as a bargain bin game down the road.

  • evilenger

    A bit of a surprise but the general consensus from the usual suspect of reviewers is that the game is actually pretty decent with scores ranging from 7-8s.

  • Hockey Glory

    That demo was dreadful and I bet the final game is no better.

    If you really want it, wait for it to hit $20-30, which will be in 2 months.

  • harbinger

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I’ve got to side with the reviewer on this one. The game is just plain bad. Waiting till it drops to $20 is giving it too much credit, I would hold out till its $10 or so.

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  • playa

    spec ops SUCKS save ur money
    difficulty level is either wayyy too easy or wayy to hard. story line is completely linear. same, duck and shoot, over and over

    • Hockey Glory

      Well said. Terrible game! That’s why hardly anyone bought it, played it and it hit the $20 bargain fast.