In PlayStation Plus We Trust: March 5, 2013

plus

Sony’s PlayStation Plus is a subscription-based service that allows members to get weekly and monthly access to discounted games on the PlayStation Network, as well as the occasional free game. Sony has calculated that the $50/year service has granted thousands of dollars in savings.

Everyone loves free games, but nobody likes a free game that’s a piece of HDD-hogging garbage. “In PlayStation Plus We Trust” is a new weekly feature outlining the new free addition(s) to the Instant Game Collection to help you decide whether that newest freebie in the Store is worth your time.

This week we take a look at 2K’s Spec Ops: The Line.

Spec Ops: The Line

I love this game. I love it. At surface level, Spec Ops: The Line is just another military shooter. Mechanically, it’s rather rudimentary, featuring a shooting system that is serviceable without tearing down any barriers aside from some great-looking shootouts in the ruins of a sand-blasted Dubai. The real reason this game demands to be played, however, is the utterly gripping morality play that refuses to let go of the player. Based in part on the classic novella Heart of DarknessThe Line follows Captain Martin Walker and his team journeying into a ruined Dubai to rescue Colonel John Konrad, who was abandoned after evacuation efforts fell apart and the city was declared no-man’s-land due in part to deadly, devastating sandstorms.

The story, as well as the character development and slow disintegration of morale of both Walker and his team, is enough to drive the game, but developer Yager took things a step further with a stunning undercurrent of morality and desensitization, offering a series of increasingly-more troublesome choices to Walker. There are moments of stunning violence that forced me to examine my actions as a gamer in other more mindless shooters, and it tackles these things head-on. This all builds to a remarkable conclusion that ends in one of four ways depending on the actions taken in the final moments, when Walker finally meets Konrad face-to-face. PLAY THIS GAME.

Verdict: Must Download

Chris has been writing about the industry in some capacity for over 5 years, and loves doing it. When he's not enjoying the latest novelty indie game, he can be found watching movies or telling lame jokes. PSN: SheriffSheridan, Steam: cmichaelsheridan