E3 Encounters: Spec Ops: The Line for PS3

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Sand. It gets everywhere. In your undies, in your flip-flops, in your tactical military shooters. In 2K Games’ upcoming PS3 third-person action game Spec Ops: The Line, catastrophic sandstorms have assaulted Dubai and left the City of Gold’s famous gravity-defying skyscrapers entombed under mountains of choking, swirling sand.

Spec Ops: The Line for PS3Spec Ops: The Line for PS3

I sat in on a demonstration of Spec Ops: The Line at the 2010 E3 Expo, and learned more about the game’s improvisational combat and tense atmosphere, as well as the difficult decisions you’ll face as a Delta Force squad leader.

The story finds inspiration in the film Apocalypse Now. As Delta Force Captain Martin Walker, your team ventures into the Dubai wastes to track down a distress signal from Colonel John Konrad, who went AWOL following the sandstorms. The fate of Col. Konrad and his men will be revealed as you play, but if you’ve seen Apocalypse Now, you might have some clues about the dark territory this tale will explore.

Spec Ops: The Line for PS3Spec Ops: The Line for PS3

Post-apocalyptic imagery aside, sand plays a key role in The Line’s action mechanics. During the third-person shootouts, you can target barricades and barriers to unleash sand avalanches on top of nearby enemies. Enemies can also exploit the sand traps, so it will pay to keep a close eye on the treacherous, ever-shifting terrain. At times, the action will migrate into the tomb-like skyscrapers that lay beneath Dubai’s suffocating sand dunes. These scenarios are tense and atmospheric, veering closer to survival-horror territory as Cpt. Walker and his men try to piece together the bigger picture while fending off surprise attacks from squatters and survivalists who have reclaimed the ruined city.

In firefights, Cpt. Walker can issue commands (flank, advance) to his Delta Force squad mates — though the developers promise that the computer-controlled allies can easily take care of themselves if you’d rather focus on the dirty work. Combat is up close and visceral, with a large arsenal of high-powered military shotguns, rifles, and carbines at your disposal.

Spec Ops: The Line for PS3

Other surprises abound, such as a white phosphorus attack on Cpt. Walker’s team that sets an entire city block ablaze and sends fireballs drifting lazily through the air. Your decision-making prowess will also be put to the test during the game. In one scene I saw, Cpt. Walker had to choose between interrupting the execution of an ally or holding fire in order to conceal his presence and succeed in a larger objective. Choosing between what’s “moral” and what’s “necessary” will be a reoccurring theme in Spec Ops: The Line, meaning that your gameplay decisions will have a direct outcome on the characters, relationships, and outcomes of the game. And yes, there will be multiple endings.

Spec Ops: The Line for PS3

Spec Ops: The Line hits the PS3 in 2011 and will support multiplayer features, though specifics aren’t public yet. If you have questions about the game, ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Comments are closed.


7 Author Replies

  • another Post-apocalyptic FPS? Like we don’t have enough of these games already.

  • Now were is Resistance 3 dammit?

  • If they bring back the $10 price tag with the Spec Ops name, I may be interested in playing this. Or at least a cheaper price. In it’s own I don’t see this game getting noticed with all similar shooters like it out there.

    The only reason the PS1 Spec Ops games sold so well was because of the price. That being said, there may still be some nostalgic fans of the series who will give this a try. I suppose I’ll give it a try, because I like to give each game it’s fair shot. Who knows, it may be a pleasant surprise.

  • gasps! Using this song for any promotional purpose is blasphemy!
    *throws holy water and watches their faces melt*


  • Hey again Sid! This game kinda looks like SOCOM 4 to me. :p

  • VanilaGorila-x-


    It’s actually a TPS.


  • I would like to have more specific time frame, first quarter of 2011, first half, when?

  • You guys are all idiots, if you are not interested then skip it and don’t comment! And @1, come correct before you dis, you come off looking like an idiot, this is a TPS.

    On topic, it looks great and I can’t wait to hear about the multiplayer part. Story looks interesting and campaign co-op would be awesome!

  • demo please or a 60-minute trial for playstation plus subscribers! show me the good stuff! :D

  • Please have playstation move support. i would be more than happy to get this game if it is supported all the way. please make it happen:)

  • XScreamingEagleX

    this is why third person shooter are so appealing!!

    cant wait to see more of it.

    any demo to the ps3?

    will there be coop mode?

    and is it a sandbox game?

  • Will this game be co-op like the last one? :O

  • If you release it Q1 2011 you will be doomed to sell very little.

  • Sorry, but this is an awful song to use for a game. Unless the game is meant for teenagers only (and below).

    It made me really hate this game, before knowing it.

  • the game looks great im definately will keep my eye on this game for 2011.

    cant wait to hear some Multiplayer news

  • Awesomeness! A…nother shooter… God…!

    Well it looks pretty damn good all the same… for a shooter.

    Where’s my ultra-realistic-looking RPG?

  • The game looks good so far! Push the frame rate to the max and make sure the scale of the environments are huge for single and multiplayer. Do that and I’m sold!

  • You couldn’t get a video without the Xbox brand in it? xD

    Anyway,can’t wait for this game!

  • *GASP*!!!!!

    I can’t BELIEVE it!!!! You guys on the blog actually properly embedded a Viddler video one one of these Blog posts so that it actually works on the PS3 browser for the first time in probably close to 2 years!!!! INCREDIBLE!!!

    I KNEW it wasn’t a problem with the PS3’s flash player. Because the Viddler videos worked flawlessly directly on the Viddler site, which is why I had the SCEA Blogs’s Viddler page bookmarked on my PS3 browser, so I coud see the videos posted here on my PS3 browser, even though I couldn’t see then here. After I realised that these same exact video worked fine directly on the Viddler site, I knew for sure you guys on the Blog just weren’t correctly embedding the videos.

    It’s nice to see you guys finally got it figured out. Better late than never. Hopefully you guys continue to properly embed your Viddler videos for people using the PS3 browser such as myself.

    • PS3 Blog video compatibility is new. It partly has to do with HTML5, partly with a workaround to make it work on the PS3 browser. Enjoy it!

  • This game looks like its going to be pretty BEAST. Only question is, are the Spec Ops guys MARSOC, RANGERS, SeALs, or some Tier 1 CIA funded group? Should be obvious who I’m pulling for.

  • Any change of PS1’s “Spec Ops: Stealth Patrol” to be given out with the game?

  • I can see this being compared to Socom 4 when comes out. Even though it may or may not have anything in common.

  • I like the use of Alice in Chains in the trailer, the game looks interesting, although with some of the shooters coming out next year, this might get overlooked

  • Wow that trailer looked fricken sick… I’ll be keeping my eye out for this game.

  • Honestly, WHERE SYPHON FILTER?! Gabe? Gaaaaaaabe?!

  • Game Story: 0%

    Sucks game use objects of Projects on Dubai to be a game ?!

  • Sweet, looks like it could be really good depending on the freedom of movement you allow the players. I also really dig the whole “previous team went rogue” scenario.

    Full campaign co-op? Pretty, pretty please?????????

    @ 26 what the $*%& are you talking about? Your post makes no sense at all but if you’re trying to say the story is going to be bad then re-read the part where the reference Apocalypse Now. And if you haven’t seen that movie go watch it before replying.

  • I usually totally dislike TPS video games but this actually might end up under my list of exceptional TPS content :) hopefully i’ll be able to use those hanging corpes as a piñata and maybe some easter egg hunting??

  • The trailer was awesome!!!!

    If that was all in-game footage, then the game looks absolutely beautiful! And I definately like how the story will revolve around darker themes. Seems extremey interesting!

    I’ll definately keep my eye out for this one!

  • Really interested in this game, looks fun!


  • Hah, I just noticed the videos work on my ps3.
    This is from the guys that made Bioshock right? Should be good. Looks very different tho.

  • The first trailer at E3 last year looked really good, and I was interested..until SOCOM 4 was announced. Maybe the 2011 release will give it time to marinate again.

  • This game looks awesome and i get the whole apocalypse now thing perfectly.Good job using Alice In Chains great song.I also like the morality choices and multiple endings kinda like Heavy Rain.

  • Holy [DELETED] this game looked amazing at first glance, but now I know it’s inspired by Apocalypse Now?! Hot dam, can’t wait for it!

  • Any chance that the inspiration for your multiplayer is taken from classic SOCOM games?

    I think the game looks really good, and there aren’t enough 3rd-person shooting games, which I VASTLY prefer to 1st person.

  • this looks nice, thanks guys and also i can finally see ps blog videos from ps3 again yes


  • Hooray for another shooter making environments an integral part of gameplay.

  • Hooray for another shooter that romanticizes American militarism!


  • Yager Development? Wow, never heard of them. But after seeing this, I’m expecting big things from them. I hope that they got something going online besides regular TDM game types. Im really loving MAG right now simply because I get to choose different game types, that all include team work, but enough of variety that I never really get bored. Definitely keeping my eye out for this title.

  • thoses graphics look really realistic!!
    Man this game look so Good!
    i Love you Devs!

  • This looks like a very solid game. Im looking forward to seeing more in the coming year.

  • what do you mean by “improvisational combat”?
    like there’s a few options you can take?
    or there’s a director-esque system that controls where and when and how many enemy troops are deployed meaning you every play through is just a little bit different?

    • Improvisational combat relates to the sand traps, using the environment and obstacles against your enemies.

  • I must admit I’m a bit skeptical about another shooter. Ever since Battlefield: Bad company 2, my bar sky rocketed, it’d be nice to see multiple paths to an objective though, say deciding whether to open one path, block another, ect ect.

    also, 2 more unrelated things! How about that 3d comparison guide you said it’d be neat to make up? And lastly, Sid, you are awesome, More bloggers on PSBlog should use you as your model and actually reply to us!

  • game looking good so far keep it up

  • If the story and characters are strong and consistent, I’m there.

    any idea who is doing the foley work? can’t wait to hear incredible explosions in 24-bit surround sound!

    are there any gay characters?

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