Parents' Guide to

Spec Ops: The Line

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Gory military shooter tackles difficult questions about war.

Spec Ops: The Line Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 17+

Incredible Narrative

This game puts violence at the forefront but rather than glorify it as most shooters tend to, it quickly condemns it. The more you play the more it becomes clear that you and your squad mates are not the "good guys." The game has you wishing for the violence to stop but only continues to ramp it up as the protagonist begins to crack and lose his grip on reality. The game is a retelling of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." It doesn't hit all the same beats, but still tells a story where foreigners, go into a distant land under the guise of making things better only to reveal that they, not the natives, are the savages. It is a violent game with horrifying and heavy themes that should only be played by the most mature individuals, but remains a powerful learning tool that can force players to wrestle with the horrors of war and the hubris of imperialism.

This title has:

Great messages
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
age 18+

War is real. War is hell.

A truly horrifying depiction of what war REALLY is. Amazing story inspired by Heart of Darkness. If your kid asks for Call of Duty, buy this for them instead. This game doesn't **** around. The characters are well done, gameplay is mediocre. It is rather difficult. Ammo is scarce, and you die in 2 to 3 hits.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (18 ):

This tactical shooter is, weirdly, the polar opposite of most modern military games. It lacks the sort of Hollywood glitz and graphical polish that has come to be a signature of most games in the genre. Its cover-based shooting mechanics are clunky to the point of being occasionally frustrating. And its online mode seems more of an afterthought rather than the focus of the experience. As a game, it's below average.

However, it excels as an interactive story. The game boldly presents a variety of compellingly horrific and morally grey situations that draw players ever deeper into the twisted world that this Dubai severed from civilization has become. Part Lord of the Flies, part Apocalypse Now, it depicts some of the worst things that people can do to each other and shows in unflinching detail the consequences felt by both victims and perpetrators. Spec Ops: The Line may not be much fun to play, but there's little chance you'll forget the dark and thought-provoking tale it tells.

Game Details

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