Posts Tagged ‘Spec Ops: The Line’

Spec Ops, FC3 Writers On What’s Next, Futurism, BioShock

Who shoots the shooters? Well, I don’t think Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3 writers Walt Williams and Jeffrey Yohalem have ever shot anybody, but they are attempting to skewer gaming’s shooter genre – or at least give it a good paddling. In the previous two installments of this gigantic chat, we discussed everything from the art of critique, to violence, to the effect of treating gamers like they’re stupid, to Dante’s Inferno and the Sistine Chapel. Seriously. It’s been a very long and interesting road, but now we’re finally at its end. In this thrill-a-millisecond conclusion, we discuss real, long-form criticism of games (including that one guy who wrote a book about Spec Ops), what’s next for these sorts of dissection of videogame culture, games as tools for exploring the future, and where games like BioShock Infinite fit into that.

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Spec Ops, FC3 Writers On Art, Treating Players Intelligently

When last we joined Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams and Far Cry 3 writer Jeffrey Yohalem, they discussed everything from the problematic nature of modern escapism to Western culture’s disturbing disconnection from real violence. Today: art! Or rather, the process of creating it using someone else’s money when that’s not really what they wanted in the first place. Also, we delve into the notion that gamers (often rightly) assume games think they’re dumb, and how that factored into the receptions of both games’ messages. In the process, the likes of Mass Effect, Shadow of the Colossus, the Sistine Chapel, and Dante’s Inferno (the literary work; not the bizarre EA game) get ruthlessly dissected. NO ONE IS SAFE. Flee beyond the break while you still can.

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Fire Away: Spec Ops, Far Cry 3 Writers On Criticizing FPS

The shooters! They’ve become self-aware! Now they’re in the vents, skittering around menacingly and writing lengthy commentaries on why the very mechanics that make them tick might just be hyper problematic for, you know, society. Two games, especially, have claimed the forefront of this movement and have succeeded to – erm, depending on whom you talk to – varying degrees. If nothing else, however, Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3 should be applauded for aiming right down the sights at a very important topic. Thing is, they furrowed their proverbial brows at shooters in extremely different fashions – Spec Ops by charting a slow descent into bodycount-borne madness, and Far Cry by “straight-faced” (and/or frustratingly obtuse) satire. So, during GDC, I brought their respective writers, Walt Williams and Jeffrey Yohalem, together for a wide-ranging chat about, well, everything. In part one, we talk the industry’s emotional disconnect from the realities of shooting, how to critique violence without accidentally glorifying it in the process, getting these critiques past publishers, and tons more. Oh, and of course, beware of SPOILERS.

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Trendspotting: How Gaming’s Changing In 2012 (Sez I)

No doubt there are big things yet to come from the last quarter of 2012, but even by October it feels like it’s been an uncommonly important, even vital, year for games. The hit rate of great things, expected and unexpected, has been pretty steady, but on top of that there have been major emerging trends as gaming starts to move out of the awkward transitional phase between olde worlde boxed sales and anything-goes online existence.

I’m really just ruminating on a truly fascinating 10-ish months to myself here, but see if you agree with – or better still can add to – any of these arguably defining aspects of the year nearly gone.
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Spec Ops Lead Hits Out At “Tacked On” Multiplayer

Polygon’s interview with Yager about their 2K-published shooter Spec Ops is worth a read, and not just because the lead, Corey Davis, attacks the practice of tacking on mandatory multiplayer to an ostensible single player project. He reportedly describes it as “bullshit”, and delivers this descriptive ankle-bite:

“The multiplayer game’s tone is entirely different, the game mechanics were raped to make it happen, and it was a waste of money. No one is playing it, and I don’t even feel like it’s part of the overall package — it’s another game rammed onto the disk like a cancerous growth, threatening to destroy the best things about the experience that the team at Yager put their heart and souls into creating.”

Blimey, er… Discuss?

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

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!

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Wot I Think – Spec Ops: The Line

I think I'm getting the hang of this

Yager/2K’s deceptively dull-named third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line goes on sale in the UK today, having been out in the US since Tuesday. Alec crept into the heart of its ravaged Dubai, never to be heard from again – save for these blood-soaked notes.
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