Desert Desserts: Spec Ops Adds Free Helping Of Co-op

By Nathan Grayson on August 22nd, 2012 at 11:00 am.

People who've fired big guns before: is that whole thing he's doing there actually, you know, possible?

You’ve finished Spec Ops: The Line. You’ve seen its harrowing tale through from start to finish and felt the moral conflict claw its way into your gut. So then, what now? Do you go back to other shooters – which are significantly lacking in both awareness of their own problematic place in the cultural landscape and heaping mountains of sand? At one point in time, I would’ve hung my head low and sent you on your way, but now you can play in Yager’s sandy cesspit of human filth for just a little bit longer. And you can bring friends!

Two-player co-op’s apparently the “perfect compliment” to Spec Ops’ single-player campaign, and 2K describes it as follows:

“The cooperative bonus content in Spec Ops: The Line features a series of objective-based cooperative multiplayer scenarios set in Dubai after a series of cataclysmic sandstorms have wrecked the city. It includes four fast-paced missions, each with its own unique objectives, environments and playable characters. The two players must work together to fight through waves of enemies and blinding sandstorms to complete their objectives, emphasizing teamwork and utilizing a variety of weapons and explosives.”

So it sounds fairly mindless, but there are far worse things in this world than another (free) trip into Spec Ops’ fantastic setting. That said, while Spec Ops’ handled decently enough on a moment-to-moment basis, its levels sometimes ended up frustrating due to less-than-great checkpoints and characters who – unlike many of their gung-ho shooter compatriots – weren’t especially capable of shrugging off lethal bullet wounds. Perhaps having a friend around will make some of those issues a bit more bearable?

Spec Ops’ co-op DLC is out now, so you can give it a go if you’re feeling so inclined. And if you haven’t played Spec Ops proper, I highly recommend it. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s a game that actually tries to say something. Any developer daring enough to tackle these sorts of topics in this day and age deserves a gold star. Or, I suppose, money.

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24 Comments »

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  1. anotherman7 says:

    Isn’t Spec Ops having a multiplayer component at all cognitive dissonance? I mean, I get the constant push from publishers for more bullet points on the box but god damn if it doesn’t undermine the entire game.

  2. jroger says:

    Since the “big gun” seems to be a machine pistol, yes firing like that should be possible, especially if you take your second hand as support as he does. You won’t hit anything and will spray like hell, but if everything you want is to get bullets in the air so your opponents hide, it could work. It completely unnecessary in this case, of course, because without any cover (drums and thin wood don’t count), he could just get up and fire normally.

    • El Mariachi says:

      Cover doesn’t have to be bulletproof to be effective (although it certainly helps.) Just being concealed enough that the enemy can’t draw a bead on you is a big step up from standing around in the open.

    • MaXimillion says:

      Considering the setting, those drums could plausibly be full of sand, making them a fairly decent cover.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      You should also note that any material between you and the bullet might change the bullet’s trajectory. Especially the curved sides of the drum barrel. Bullets losing energy on that and ricocheting off that can really save your life.

  3. 01davisolivia says:

    Awesome post.. I also love spec ops.. Maybe you want to post about Halo-4 too? I follow your blog and this one Crust Games Official Site Thats it..Thank you again:)

    Olivia

    • Slinkyboy says:

      Fuck Halo 4 until it’s on PC.

      • KauhuK says:

        I would like Halo 4 on PC. I remember playing the first Halo on PC but never finished it.

    • Jake Albano says:

      Haha that site has to be a joke.

      Article about Max Payne 3: Screenshot of a Final Fantasy game.

      “Call of Duty 3 (abbreviated as Call of Duty: MW3 or MW3) […]”

      “Minecraft is a programmer Markus Persson of Sweden known as Notch developed computer game where the player is put into a very large, randomly generated 3D landscapes.”

      It’s also obviously a spam comment.

  4. Jason Moyer says:

    I finally got around to playing Homefront recently, so here’s a serious question: What exactly is it that Spec Ops The Line does that Homefront doesn’t? I enjoyed both games, so I’m not trying to be critical of the latter, I’m just trying to figure out why the campaign in one was dismissed as rubbish and the other is still being talked about.

    • Premium User Badge

      Snidesworth says:

      I’ve only played Spec Ops, but I gave Homefront’s plot summary a quick go over. From what I can see it’s a story about Americans fighting a foreign occupying force. It may make the point of war being hellish, but that’s not quite the same as what Spec Ops does with Captain Walker and you, the player controlling him. From what I can tell the protagonist/player comes out at the other end as a heroic, victorious underdog in Homefront.

      Homefront also has you spend the majority of your time as an American fighting Koreans, which continues the theme we see in most shooters set in a modern or near-future setting.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        Homefront has a scene where a white phosphorous rocket misfires, setting all of your allies on fire and creating a situation where you have to slowly walk through a firestorm as burning, screaming people are walking around. Which is the bit of SO:TL that I keep seeing repeatedly talked about.

        It has some other scenes that I found a lot more troubling than anything in SO:TL; a bit with the occupying force executing a little kid’s parents while the kid is standing there screaming, a part where you uncover mass graves at a stadium and have to hide in a ditch full of bodies when helicopters come looking for you. It has parts where you’re gunning down other Americans in situations reminiscent of Romero zombie-apocalypse scenarios: other factions in the game who are resisting the occupation cut deals with you and end up double crossing you.

        The gameplay is…modern shooter garbage, although it’s no worse than Medal Of Honor or CoD 4 imho. And The Line is fun, but I’d rather get my TPS fix with ME2/3 or Binary Domain.

        • Premium User Badge

          Snidesworth says:

          It sounds like Bad Things happen in Homefront. Very Bad Things to be sure, but you’re a spectator to them most of the time. As for when you’re fighting Americans it looks like it’s a case of a fight for survival being forced on you by the actions of the other faction. Did you play Spec Ops through to the end? The conclusion is the lynchpin of the whole story and I’m loathe to spoil it by openly talking about it here.

        • zerosociety says:

          Homefront: Lots of horrible things happen. Bad guys do lots of horrible things to you. Go America! Save our families from the invaders!

          SOTL: You’re increasingly responsible for horrible things happening, and your character slowly slides into instability and madness as you continue to justify the unthinkable. Why the fuck are we even here?

          It’s not the horrors of warfare in and of itself that matters, it’s the context. The one explores it from an angel where where you’re the hero and the other… well… not. One is drawn from Red Dawn, the other from Apocalypse Now.

          • nearly says:

            red dawn vs apocalypse now…that’s actually exactly it. I literally think there is no better way to put it

    • malkav11 says:

      A) Spec Ops has a ruined Dubai as a setting, which is far more interesting and nightmarish than the rather lackluster (and implausible) occupied America of Homefront.
      B) Spec Ops takes the time to establish its central characters, who are played in third person so that even the PC is clearly a defined (and key) character with dialogue and personality. Homefront’s PC has no personality, I -think- no dialogue (certainly none memorable), and indeed no real role in the game other than mysteriously being required to perform most of the key roles despite supposedly being important due to piloting skills, not sniping, explosives, guiding robots, etc.
      C) Spec Ops has themes of psychological trauma and insanity. Homefront can’t be bothered.
      D) Spec Ops actually has competent writing and plotting in general. It’s not perfect, and it maybe moves a little too fast, but it’s solid. Homefront’s story and dialogue are a colossal nonsensical mess.

    • stillunverified says:

      …But it’s not the same thing, at ALL.
      If you dont understand that after actually playing through both then you missed the entire point and I’m not sure any explaining will fix that.

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      Homefront go’s waaaaaaaaaay overboard with painting the enemies as nothing but a punch of faceless dicks who commit war crimes for laughs. Spec ops actually makes them feel somewhat like real people.

    • godwin says:

      This may explain better than any of my attempts:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlBrenhzMZI
      (Link to Errant Signal – Spec Ops: The Line on youtube, a review/analysis with spoilers)

      Basically the subject matter and in fact the medium itself is treated differently, and to different ends.

    • The Random One says:

      Homefront asked the question “What happens if one day, when an economically, technologically superior enemy marches to conquer a small incompatible culture, America is the victim and not the aggressor?”

      Then it immediately answered “AMERICA WILL STILL KICK ASS YEAAAAAAAAAAAAA”

      The Line asked a similar question and actually answered it.

  5. SkittleDiddler says:

    I noticed nothing was stated about patching Spec Ops’ wonky multiplayer. The technical dissonance between the campaign and the MP is staggering, and it makes for a very jarring experience going from one to the other.

    Deficient multiplayer support is the reason I haven’t touched the game in weeks.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    My favourite thing about the film Lebanon was the outtakes reel on the DVD.