Because of circumstances in my personal life, these last couple of weeks have
been a real drag, to say the least. So I have been struggling to find the
motivation to write anything of late as I binge cooking shows on TV. However,
you can’t stay stuck on the couch forever, and I thought if I was going to
write it should be on something I care about a lot, so bring on those video
games. Much like my personal
top 10 films list I needed to come up with some criteria to be able
to sort through all the really good games I have played in my life.
Games that are beautifully constructed
(art, story, etc)
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.