The first reviews of Spec Ops: The Line have gone live, and critics are clearly impressed with the new approach 2K Games has adopted toward the shooting genre.
"If you're into shooters then Spec Ops: The Line should be at the top of your list," The Sixth Axis says in its 9/10 reviews. "It blends a brilliant story with strong characters and gameplay mechanics that rival much more established franchises. Yes the difficulty spikes can be a grind, but push on through and you'll find one of 2012's best games."
Eurogamer scored it 8/10, adding: "It tries to do something special, and it tries to create something memorable and something strange. In Dubai itself, it genuinely succeeds, perhaps because the reality of the place is already so gaudy, so cloyingly, oppressively weird, that it provides a good hard shove in the right direction before the first bullet's been fired. There are such a lot of shooters these days, and so many tend to blur into each other if you're not careful. This one won't, however - and that's quite an achievement."
CVG also went for 8/10, stating: "While Spec Ops is tonally confused across the board, it's not brainless - snatches of well-paced story and snippets of existential battle-chatter show hearts and minds at work. The higher aspirations don't always pay off, but underneath is an always-entertaining shooter."
Videogamer.com opted for 7/10, concluding: "Yager should be admired for its bravery and effort in building something different - this could so easily have been an entirely generic shooter - but it just doesn't have the fundamentals to back up its grand ideas or the confidence to go completely off the wall and truly stand out from the crowd."
There was another 7/10 from Edge, which said: The first shot has been fired in the battle for a smarter, morally cognisant shooter. The numbers aren't in its favour and its foes are both relentless and well-armed but, if the genre has taught us anything, that's never a reason to surrender.