The Top “Ten” Video Games of 2012 – #9

Posted on by Graeme Strachan
The Top “Ten” Video Games of 2012 – #9

Voted into our Top “Ten” at Number 9 is an A-list multi-platform shooting extravaganza with a twist. A subtly clever inversion of the traditional cover-shooter game. Borrowing heavily from Conrad’s epic novella Heart of Darkness & Coppola’s movie adaptation of the story, Apocalypse Now; is this the first truly anti-war game?

Graeme Strachan: In by a significant jump in votes. it’s…. No.9 – Spec Ops: The Line

Dave Whitelaw: I have heard nothing but positive praise from everyone who has played it.

Graeme Strachan: I love that it’s unashamedly Heart of Darkness / Apocalypse Now in game form.

Chris Peebles: The way that the story is conveyed in this game is like no other. It goes to the opposite of what it was marketed as, and personally, I really enjoyed the combat too. Though it’s what some people claim is the downfall of the game itself. It’s made me feel terrible for making some decisions, and it’s something purely unique in terms of a war story in a video game.

Alan Williamson: Spec Ops is one of the most important games of the year. Should be higher on this list

Graeme Strachan: Very few games warrant someone writing a 50,000 word book on their critical opinion of it. which one Australian Game academic has done

Elspeth Ritchie: Ahem… What’s Spec Ops? This another one of them shoot people games.

Graeme Strachan: Sort of but not really Elspeth

Alan Williamson: It’s a deliberate deconstruction of the cover-based shooter. Yes, it’s about shooting things- but it makes you question why you shoot

Elspeth Ritchie: I shoot things so they don’t shoot me.

Alan Williamson: Elspeth- do you really though? You’re not playing shooters because you are being threatened. You actively choose to play games that involve killing people. That is their draw

Chris Peebles: Even the little things, like the dialogue of your squad-mates and yourself reloading progresses through the game, from gruff standard soldier to just a guy trying to survive. Going a bit nuts. Nolan North really does a lot to solidify his place in every game ever.

Alan Williamson: I don’t think Brendan Keogh could have squeezed 50,000 words from Gears of War, by comparison

Graeme Strachan: Not a chance. I finished GOW 3 last night. It isn’t a patch on the genius of Spec Ops, although the actual technical mechanics are better. Spec Ops needed a wee bit of polish here and there, some dodgy clipping and collision etc.

Chris Peebles: GoW3 made me teary eyed. Spec Ops made me feel WRONG. I had to switch it off and think about it before going back to it.

Alan Williamson: Gears of War 3 has the scene where you walk through the village where the COG have turned the residents to ash. If it were Spec Ops, it would make you turn the villagers to ash, then make you walk through saying “Look at what you’ve done!”

Elspeth Ritchie: I don’t think I really choose to play any shooter in order to shoot people.

Graeme Strachan: It amuses me that Haze tried and failed miserably to do this back in 2008

 Joseph Blythe: Free Radical <3

Chris Peebles: Hadn’t this game been in development for a long time though?

Graeme Strachan: not sure

Alan Williamson: If there’s one criticism that can be made of Spec Ops (and it saddens me to have to say it) it’s too much of a slow-burner, too subtle. I feel like the target audience needed the message hammered home. I’ve seen videos on YouTube of players who clearly didn’t get it

Graeme Strachan: I found that it was an interesting and probably necessary turn in the development of shooty games. I haven’t read Brendan’s book yet but I question if it’s as deep as he argues

Elspeth Ritchie: Checking the wiki, looks like 2009 first footage shown?

Graeme Strachan: hmm

Chris Peebles: Maybe not what I’m thinking of then. I always heard it was in development hell a lot.

Graeme Strachan: I filmed myself playing it for 30 mins and I made this face a lot O_O

Elspeth Ritchie: Mention of previous attempts go back to 2005.

Alan Williamson: I don’t want to segue into a discussion of Killing of Harmless, really, but although I think Brendan reaches at times that doesn’t mean the game isn’t deeper than anything else this year

Graeme Strachan: Wiley fucking Peters.

Alan Williamson: It’s just not Ulysses.

Graeme Strachan: true

Graeme Strachan: Any final thoughts on Spec Ops from folk?

Chris Peebles: It was a great step forward for making people take story-lines in shooters specifically more seriously. It’s done something different and made war really seem like hell. It’s fun to pew pew too.

Alan Williamson: The best shooter of the year. If you define ‘best’ as ‘actually different from the shooters you played last year’. So “the genuine new shooter of the year”, then.


Return tomorrow to discover what made Number 8 in the SquareGo Top “Ten” of 2012!

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  • cavalcade

    It’s wonderful, and should be higher. Watching people morph from the “Ahem… What’s Spec Ops? This another one of them shoot people games?” opinion to (assuming they’re intelligent) developing thee urge to grab people in the street and demand that they play it is always great to watch. Landmark game, and like Alpha Protocol destined to become a cult on word of mouth. I’ve never been so disappointed with the general games media at the piss poor reviewing of a title as I was with this though. Utterly exposes a majority of games writers to be idiots.