This year, the Thanksgiving holiday began with rumors that 2K Games' Boston studio was resurrecting the moribund shooter series Spec Ops. That rumor turned out to be only half true.
Tonight, following a teaser trailer at the VGAs, 2K Games launched the official Web site for Spec Ops: The Line. However, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC reboot of the tactical shooter franchise is actually in development at German studio Yager, which employs alumni of both F.E.A.R. and the Splinter Cell series.
As indicated by a trailer leaked earlier this year, Spec Ops: The Line follows a group of commandos battling rocket-toting terrorists in the ruins of Dubai in the aftermath of a disastrous sandstorm. The teaser reveals the game as a third-person shooter with a heavy emphasis on cover, a la Gears of War. Judging by the trailer, though, players will find their cover circumvented by threats above and below as they explore the wreckage of Dubai's towering skyscrapers.
According to a description on the game's Web site, which also has the teaser trailer, Spec Ops: The Line will occupy a moral gray area. According to the official description, its story "challenges players' morality by putting them in the middle of unspeakable situations where unimaginable choices affecting human lives must be made."
The teaser trailer also had a voice-over track that depicted a US officer being talked to by what appears to be a former commander who has apparently gone rogue. "In war, our choices have consequences," says the voice. "But make no mistake, captain--this isn't war." In the trailer leaked earlier this year, a sinister bald figure appeared in shadow in a similar manner to Apocalypse Now's villain Colonel Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando.
No release date was given for Spec Ops: The Line. However, its existence means that 2K Boston's new shooter is once again a mystery.
[UPDATE] 2K has since released a new trailer for Spec Ops: The Line, which is the same as the trailer that was leaked earlier this year.
[UPDATE 2] 2K has since released a full press release describing the game's story. The company's description of it is below:
"Spec Ops: The Line unfolds within the destroyed opulence of Dubai. Once the playground for the world’s wealthiest elite, Dubai has fallen victim to a series of cataclysmic sandstorms. The city’s ultramodern architecture lies half-buried under millions of tons of sand. The very sand that blankets the city plays a marquee role in altering combat situations and serves as a powerful but unpredictable force that will both help and hinder players throughout the course of the game.
While most people have fled the now-barren wasteland before the sandstorms swept through, U.S. Army Colonel John Konrad and his loyal squad remained behind to protect those incapable of escape. Unable to reach anyone in Dubai after the storm hit, the U.S. Army feared Konrad and his team dead until they picked up a weak distress signal and launched a rescue operation. As U.S. Army Captain Martin Walker, you and your elite Delta Force team are sent to infiltrate the treacherous region to bring Konrad home."