News: How Spec Ops Will Make You Feel (So Bad)

“We wanted you to hesitate to pull the trigger.”

Written by Richard Clark / Published on June 26, 2012

Today, Spec Ops: The Line is released into the wild, a game that has purported to do something truly special with the shooter genre: make us care about killing dudes. In speaking with Kill Screen’s Yannick Lejacq about their goals for the game, the developers had this to say:

We wanted you to hesitate to pull the trigger. We wanted you to think about who these people are, how much like you they are, how they’re just trying to survive the same way you are.

I think gamers today are going through a lot of the same evolutions that occurred in film. You remember the old John Wayne war movies? There’s always going to be a place for those. But when people are shocked and horrified and angry about what we do, that’s also an interesting response. We want you to think about the bloodlust that you might have naturally, as you approach this game after playing so many other games. We wanted to put it right in your face.

Meanwhile, Kirk Hamilton over at Kotaku is suspicious about whether developers are just trying to make killing dudes seem a bit more “artful” while still basically making it all about killing dudes for fun. “There’s a dubious distinction” he writes, “between ‘killing for killing’s sake’ and ‘killing because it’s art,’ and video games have, by and large stayed firmly on the former side.”

[pullquote align=”right”]”I hear that in Spec Ops: The Line instead of teabagging you weep over their lifeless body.”[/pullquote]So what does Spec Ops: The Line do to set itself apart from other shooters? We don’t know – but that doesn’t mean we can’t report what our very best anonymous sources have to say about the idea. Below, we offer some of what our anonymous sources believe are the most likely completely true and not made up at all ways that Spec Ops: The Line will make killing no fun at all:

“I hear that in Spec Ops: The Line instead of teabagging you weep over their lifeless body.”

“I hear when you kill people in Spec Ops, the souls of the people you kill haunt your dreams in real life.”

“I hear in Spec Ops instead of taunting you can say ‘sorry bro!'”

“I hear when you loot the bodies of the people you kill in Spec Ops, you only find letters and pictures from loved ones.”

“I hear when you die in Spec Ops you respawn into the world as a scout whose job it is to retrieve the dog tags of your previous character.”

“I hear in Spec Ops instead of a life meter that regenerates you have a soul meter that deteriorates based on how many dudes you kill.”

“I hear in Spec Ops: The Line, none of the enemies have life insurance.”

“I hear in Spec Ops: The Line, all the enemy soldiers are three weeks away from paying off their student loans.”

“I hear in Spec Ops: The Line, some of the enemies are really self conscious about a new haircut the just got.”

“I hear in Spec Ops: The Line, that dude you just killed was really into that obscure band you like.”

“I hear in Spec Ops: The Line, when you kill certain enemies it cuts to a shot of their pet back at home whimpering next to an empty food bowl.”

“I heard in Spec Ops that you have to actually think about pulling the trigger … sometimes you even have to think about WHICH trigger you will pull, like will you pull the left trigger or the right trigger?”

“I heard in Spec Ops: The Line that if the Kinect detects that you aren’t hanging your head in shame it scolds you and calls you a bad person.”

“Also thanks to Kinect there is an achievement unlockable only by turning off the game in self-disgust.”

“I hear during the credits of Spec Ops you have to watch the childhood home videos of the men you killed.”

“I hear the spec ops bundle comes with controllers that squirt human blood on your hands when you kill someone.”

“I heard that after playing Spec Ops you will want to submit a card to PostSecret bemoaning the fact that murder is your only life skill.”

“I heard that the sequel to Spec Ops will have you playing through the life of an enemy combatant’s fatherless child.”

“I heard in Spec Ops you shoot people and feel bad about it…am I doing this right?”

(Special thanks to our anonymous sources who also happen to be regular Gamechurch contributers: Richard Clark, Drew Dixon, Steven Sukkau, Jonah Stowe, and Jared Chadwick.)

About the Author:

Richard Clark is director of editorial development for CT Pastors and Preaching Today, a co-founder of Christ and Pop Culture, and has written for Unwinnable and Kill Screen. He can be followed on twitter @TheRichardClark.