TL;DR – Why do we play Shooter Video Games?, Why do we want to be a hero?, Can we understand?
Spec Ops: The Line was billed as a middle of the road shooter, which was released in 2012 to not much fanfare by its publisher. It wasn’t technically impressive, the only really new thing was sand physics, which were, well something a bit new. The controls were clunky, and even for its time the presentation felt old, enemies appearing from monster closets (or in this case monster shipping containers), the guns and action felt not as refined as its contemporaries, the level design had some issues ‘look a bunch of chest high walls, looks like we are going to have to fight now’ and it does not hold up as well on a second play through (which I did to put together this retrospective). Yet this semester when I have been teaching Media and War at University I have had many long conversations about this game and the profound impact it had on me and the impact it had (or should have had) on the genre.