Day#2 of Spec Ops is how I’m spending my time while trapped in the hurricane. (I was thankful to still have power, and I feel for those who don’t. Stay safe.) The game continues to be interesting subversive. It’s a very pretty game to start, in the sense that the level layouts are regularly new and striking. The narrative remains weird and disturbing amidst the fairly traditional (and sometimes unrealistically cheap) military shooting. I’m still curious about where this game is heading. Spoilers within.
I respawn back in battle, fighting my way down the hotel’s platforms. The music is great for this scene, by the way, and the fact that it’s supposed to actually be playing in the scene makes the moment very immersive. I start at the bottom of a set of stairs, right in front of an onslaught, and I die a couple of times relearning the controls. I realize that there is a turret in the back that’s taking my guys out, and I effectively use a grenade to take out a turret (that felt VERY sweet by the way) and then it’s cake. We move forward like ten feet to face another turret, and I have to flank it to keep moving. Flanking takes me all the way across the hotel as I run thrhttp://www.criticalsmack.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1123&action=editough neat makeshift housing with lots of colored curtains and crude bedding. As I come around a corner, someone is running at me and I’m about to shoot when I realize it’s a civilian woman. I don’t shoot her and instead pop the two soldiers behind her who I think are chasing her. That moment was crazy. It’s fascinating to think how easy it would have been to shoot her, and I feel very empowered that I almost did and stopped myself.
I complete the flank and get to a turret, shooting a bunch of guys to clear the way. I can now see that there are two turrets on a platform across the way from my guys pinning them down. More enemies keep coming to man the turrets and I spend some time killing them. I’m then told to go for a giant window behind the turrets to bring this to a close. I die shooting it when the turret overheats. I learn the second time that the turret always overheats, and the trick is to run back and forth from the turret to the window waiting for the turret to cool down. I finally blow out the window after several rounds of shooting the turret, and the level ends with a near tsunami of sand burying the entire space in front of us. We got to a CS of my soldiers gathering and discussing next steps. On the platform above us, we see the civilians from before gathering and complaining about something. Walker asks what they are saying, and Lugo says that they are grieving for their losses. Walker says they should leave them to do it and we fade out.
We cut to a new CS of the three soldiers walking through the desert. Adams says Walker is quiet. Walker says he realizes that the 33rd is fighting itself, and that the CIA is there to clean it up and is working with the civilians. Walker wants to make contact with CIA as a next step. As they walk, Lugo gets radio signal of someone interviewing Daniels. When Daniels reveals that he was there to help rescue survivors, his interrogators say they realize that he’s telling the truth and start torturing him. I get control and drop under some kind of canopy covered in sand. Oh, I’m on a skyscraper. THAT’S HOW HIGH THE SAND IS. There’s a beautiful shot of the sand covered city and a title of the chapter is revealed as The Edge. Lugo says that the radio signal is coming from way down below, and we have to find a way down there. Adams says it’s a trap, but Walker says he knows but he needs a way to find Walker. The broadcast of guy being tortured continues as we find a zipline and take it across to another building. We go down a flight of stairs and hear two guys talking downstairs. I take them out from a distance with a silenced rifle, and then run down the stairs into a new room full of opponents. I die once from grenade upon entering the room, but then fight my way through the next few rooms. I’m running very low on ammo. In a break between fights, the team realizes the radio guy is calling the shots and that’s why things are crazy. We get to another ledge and rappel down to a new floor. I find a sniper rifle and have to take out snipers on nearby buildings. I take out a bunch but then get popped by a random enemy. The second time, I take them out and we run across a beam to a new roof. There are a lot more guys over there hiding behind air conditioning machines and pipes. The first time, I run out of ammo while running across rooftops and die. The second time I get to the other side cleanly and do more fighting, but I die as my men advance too far. The third time, I win the battle with smart switching between the sniper rifle and assault rifle. We keep moving and we hear Daniels getting tortured more as we move through new hallways. Adams doesn’t think Daniels has much time left. We work our way to a sand covered rooftop. Machine gun fire collapses the roof. I hang from a beam and take out two guys before dropping to floor below. There’s a new kind of opponent: a guy with a knife. I’m killed by the knife guy as I melee him, because knife guys can dodge gunfire apparently. In a game as gritty as this, that character just feels cheap. I get through the fight and as a gift to me, they comment on the crazy guy with the knife. Walker says they have to find Daniels before anyone decides he isn’t worth the trouble.
We zipline to a new building, and Walker reveals the radioman is a reporter from Kabul that Konrad trusted for some reason that Walker doesn’t know. We reach a double door exit. I kick open the door to beautiful hotel like room covered in sand and with polarized sunlight behind an angel statue. Goddamn, this game is pretty, and the whole building as a nice fun house style tilt. We get to an exit door and I kick it open. This starts a CS slide through building backwards and sand spills through the door. I CS slide backwards through the room and then fall out of the building to the ground below. This sequence is a long Uncharted-like fall through corridors. When Walker exits the building, he CS catches a beam as he falls, and clips on to the beam for a safe fall to the ground. I get control on the ground when Walkers realizes he can’t communicate with Adams or Lugo. This chapter is The Pit. I’m in an abandoned garage of cars, and I have to find a rifle as an enemy squad looks for me. I die once trying to find the rifle, and then die a second time as I find shotgun and lose focus when a second wave arrives. I feel like I’ve played enough for a night, so I’ll take the solo garage fight again next time.