Spec Ops: The Line

Playthrough completed with Suicide Mission difficulty level

All Intel not collected

The Scariest Thing

There are many scenes in this game which are truly terryfing, the most infamous of them being the White Phosphorus scene. Someone might call me a pathetic weakling, but despite being a veteran gamer I still have low tolerance for onscreen violence. When my squadmates were shooting corpses of fallen enemies in Vietcong: Purple Haze, just to make sure that they leave no wounded behind, I felt this unpleasant tingle inside me, even if their behaviour was more than excusable from the standpoint of Special Forces operatives fighting ruthless Communist guerilla. And I still remember the shock when a wounded Ukrainian soldier in Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl cried мама during the mercy kill provided by my pistol.

All the above seems innocent in comparison with The Line.  But the most memorable of all the scary moments involved sparing someone’s life, not taking or seeing it taken. During one of the early levels, while infiltrating a building half-buried in sand, Captain Walker and his two companions suddenly meet a civilian woman jumping from behind the corner. Of course, due to the tension, it’s all to easy to shoot her by accident, but fortunately this was spared from me. But it really gave me to think how easy it is for a fighter to kill an innocent just by accident, and how hard it must be to live with the memory.

This happened in the beginning of the game, though, when I was still chasing the developer’s bait. Eventually I came to change my approach, but it deserves another post to explain the change of experience in later stages of the game.


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