If you’ve been counting down the days since around 2010 for this sandstorm shooter’s official release, your wait is almost over. North America will get their hands on it on the 26th of June, whilst the rest of the world will have to wait another 3 days. Another great offer from 2K Games is if you’ve pre-ordered, you get the Premium Edition and FUBAR PACK, which grants you squad-based multiplayer option and the ability to make changes to your appearance, but my favorite: you’ll have the AK-47 at rank 1.
I’ll start by saying that the graphics are incredible, really impressive. No jungle in this game, just abandoned army vehicles, commercial planes and burnt out sports cars (this is Dubai, after all), but these can be used to your advantage, either as shelter or blowing them up.
This version of Special Ops has a great story-driven aspect that sees the player, Captain Walker from the US Army trying to infiltrate hostile territories to retrieve rogue Colonel John Konrad and his unit as they stayed back to protect innocent locals. Some have said its story is loosely based on the film Apocalypse Now (one of my personal top 10), but I had to read this to make the connection. Another great feature in this realistic war venture is the grey moral areas of war are covered, challenges that test players’ morality when dropped into unspeakable situations, where choices affecting innocent human lives must be made – I love this concept as it’s what real soldiers are faced with everyday in Iraq; it’s not all guns blazing, kill, kill, kill!
In multiplayer mode, the setting is still in Dubai, but focuses on the heavy sandstorms there. This is to provide a capricious terrain, due to an unpredictable software engine that chooses when and where sandstorms will arise, as well as how hard they’ll hit – use army vehicles to block and protect the player from the sand, otherwise the player OR opponent can become momentarily blind. Not only facing the enemy at ground level, the derelict skyscrapers are home to snipers above.
There are some cool slo-mos when soldiers are hit and the story-driven stage takes over – a neat way of leading the unit on through snippets of information from the dying soldier.
Special Ops: The line sounds very pleasing, and from all the previews I’ve seen, it certainly looks like a blast. I just hope the 3 years of wait meets up to expectations when the AK-47 is loaded for the first time.