Spec Ops: The Line Trailer Is A Horrifying Shining Light

By James Hawkins in Gaming News
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm
SpecOpsTheLine wallpaper.jpg
A year and a half ago, I sat in at 2K's booth demo room for Spec Ops: The Line. The space was small, loaded with overstuffed chairs facing a projector. Crystal chandeliers plastered the ceiling. The walls were dusky and unlit, with images of distant buildings appearing faintly in the background. We were meant to feel like we were in the glass-enclosed lobby of an upscale resort in the heart of Dubai. But it was dim. False sand dunes were covering the outside. The illusion was that we under the rubble of the desert, an audience in an avalanche of sand.

This is how 2K markets their products. They tailor their booths to mimic the majestic set-pieces of the games. And I think they strive to emphasize the atmosphere that pervades the story of a game throughout its whole life cycle, through trailers, teasers, and in the final product. Rare, when gameplay and action tend to carry the flag for most other video game publishers. I've always liked where 2K puts its priorities, and it looks like they are heading the right way with Spec Ops: The Line. The game promises to be a complicated, heady mess of a story, set in sandblasted Dubai to the tune of Heart of Darkness. You'll see what I mean in this fucking radical trailer.

The ad juxtaposes modern pop culture with an incredible amount of violence. Normally, as I've spouted off so frequently before, gorlified war game violence bugs me. But the light fantasy and literary sourcing that comes with this fictional situation looks like it might be enough to make a deep story, without capitalizing on the real life drama of real life suffering. There's the potential for injections of humanity in the tale, which is what 2K is promising, and that's what makes the difference. It looks like a shining light through a gloomy miasma of shitty military stories and action sequences.

Slated for 2012, this is one to keep on your radar. 2K doesn't always produce the greatest games, but they strive to tell complex stories in unique and bold ways. And that's something I can always get behind. Let's just hope they live up the their promises.

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