Spec Ops: The Line demo out now
2K Games give players a chance to try out their sand-filled shooter.
Downloading this tonight.
Played through a large portion of this multi-level demo. This definitely has the potential to be a sleeper hit. Its well polished a plays as you expect a 3rd person cover based shooter. The Unreal 3 Engine shines and look good, with light from the desert sun blinding you and feeling suitably harsh.They are trying to avoid using the A button for too many actions, a sprints & gets you in and out of cover but B is used to vault over cover. Shooting mechanics also feel tight and responsive. Trying to go gun-ho will give you a GAME OVER screen quick fast and the use of cover and flanking can make more daunting gun fights manageable. The demo didn't showcase the much discussed dynamic sand mechanic, Once I shot the windows out of a bug causing the sand to crush down on a few enemies & another time the glass I was walking on got shot out and made me drop into the middle of a firefight. I hope they make more/better use of this in the full game and not make it too obvious.
There looks to be a huge focus on narrative, always a good thing in my opinion, and it remains to be seen if Spec Ops: The Line can break free of convention to deliver a compelling plot or if it will cave under the weight of its ambition and end up being another generic shooter plot.
I didn't notice any bugs during the demo or any design issues that jumped out at me except that the reworked control scheme will take a little bit of getting use to, especially if you sunk a few hours into Gears of War. The only other thing that I had a slight issue with, possibly due to lack of explanation, was the ability to mark enemies for your 2 AI partners to take off or have them perform context sensitive actions like throwing stun grenades. Currently the left bumper is performs both action but its not clear if you can mark 2 targets or only 1. Also I marked a target but my AI partners took too long and I pulled of 2 headshots to fell the enemies. So I hope they fixed or rework this a bit before release.
So yeah, I'll be picking this up on release.