I was feeling kind of crappy today so I ended up taking the day off work and playing the new game "Spec Ops: the Line" today. And I do mean ALL of it. I'm divided on my thoughts on this game. Well, no, I'll just say, outright, that I love it. It was a fantastic game in my mind. Visually both janky (technically) as well as beautiful (artisitcally), it takes the familiar Modern Warfare formula of pull-left-trigger-to-iron-sight-and-shoot-bad-guy shooters as well as the Gears of war third person cover systems and appropriates them for its own purposes - crafting a story that is jarring - disturbing even - and in the end, utterly metatextual in its content. There is a point towards the end of the game where the game itself will start taunting the player - not the character - for the decisions you have made, within the context of the familiar post-death-loading-screen-pro-tip format. You get angry at it. I seriously yelled at my computer a few times "SHUT UP!" during the process because of the relentless accusations. It's a cycle - because it's the end of the game, you are dying more due to difficulty, so you're seeing the death screens more, and the screens are getting more and more derisive of the actions you've taken to get to the point you're at. It's kind of brilliant. I won't dwell on it too much more other than say that the ending choices the game provides are amazing in how absolutely open and brutally terrible they are. There are a number of ways the game can end, and every one is entirely up to the player - no hidden equations of "you shot X number of civilians so you unlocked Y ending" here. It's absolutely up to you to end it as cleanly or as horribly as you choose. The whole point of the game is that while you are in a video game situation where obviously you are moving forward at the pace demanded by the creators, you are the one opting to do the things that you do, and in a real world situation your actions aren't as glamorous as a more heroic game like Modern Warfare or Gears of War would depict. Bad people do bad things, sure. But sometimes good people do worse things, for the best of reasons. "We were trying to help" is a phrase that will haunt you at the end of the game. At least, it did me. Considering I'm a cold hearted sonofabitch who played the "No Russian" mission in MW2 straight and mowed down my fair share of NPCs, this game made me supremely uncomfortable with the situations that were presented. Even if it's only a rental (the game is definitely quite short, as I said, I played the entirety of the game today), I'd recommend people with an interest in a more cerebral story for their modern shooter to check it out. This game is one that most people will probably never end up playing, either due to a lack of serious promotional material, the general buzz of "it's only 6 hours long!", or "it looks like crap" (it doesn't - there's some jank, for sure, but the art design is crazy strong, and there's more color here in this one game thanks to the setting than the entire Gears series), but I have to say I'd really recommend that people check it out, whether through Gamefly or blockbuster (if you aren't planning on buying it, and I do have to say it's a rough sell at full price for a relatively short single player and a likely fairly empty multiplayer experience).