Today’s Trophy Update should have been a Platinum Tracker post but, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish the game before having to leave home for another two weeks. The Platinum will surely come soon, but for now let’s focus on other trophies from a game that continues the recent tradition of colon-based titles – Spec Ops: The Line.
I don’t want to go into the review of the game just yet, as I’d rather leave it for the Platinum post. However, I have to say one thing. I’ve heard a lot about how amazing the game is in terms of the story, the characters and its anti-war sentiments. Maybe it’s because I’m not American, maybe it’s because I don’t really play other shooters such as Battlefield or Call of Duty or maybe it’s because I’m a heartless bastard but the game didn’t move me as much as I thought it would. I’ve been waiting for ‘The Moment’ but when the game ended I had to think a while what ‘The Moment’ was supposed to be. Sure, the atrocities of war are shown very vividly in the game, some of the decisions that Walker has to make are truly horrific, but still there’s a lot of standard shooting and killing mechanics that don’t really fit well to the premise. I understand that the killing is there to emphasize the point the story is trying to make (as indicated by the loading screen messages such as ‘How many Americans have you killed today?’) but somehow it fell short of the expectations I had. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the game or the story. It was something else, for sure. However, I think it’s another case of a title being overhyped and for me lacking the background in playing shooters and nationality to fully appreciate it. Also, maybe playing on a lower difficulty setting, where killing is easy and the player is hard to kill, would make the point they’re trying to make more convincing.
As far as the trophies are concerned, this game is a relatively easy Platinum that requires at least two playthroughs and some cleanup but it can be unlocked in around 12-14 hours without much problems if you’re good at third-person shooter/adventure games. What I absolutely love about the trophies are the icons. Just take a quick look at them… You’re back? OK. The developers at Yager Development sure had some fun there. It’s another attempt to try to approach the war shooter genre from another perspective and to show that this really is an anti-game more than anything. When I first saw the ‘A Man of Action’ trophy pop up on the screen (my favorite), I thought that there must be something wrong and there’s some kind of bug in the game. But no, that’s how they look like. That’s one large grain of salt right there.
I’ll write more about the plot itself and the choices I made in the Platinum Tracker post in a couple of weeks once I finish the game on the highest difficulty. In the meantime, the next two weeks are Vita weeks since I’m away from home. Stay tuned for Sly Cooper, Stealth Inc. and maybe some Zen Pinball.
| They Live
|| Treacherous Ground
|What’s lost is found||Look out below|
| The Lost Battalion
|| Desert Storm
|We have contact||Engineer an exit strategy|
| The Horror
|| Three Kings
|Face the horrors of war||Stand united|
| The Great Escape
|| A Bridge Too Far
|Get out of here!||The end of the line|
Nothing much to write here, to be honest. These trophies are unmissable and are awarded for completing certain sections in the game.
|| We Were Soldiers
|Complete game on “Walk on the Beach” difficulty||Complete game on “Combat Op” difficulty|
| The Devil’s Disciple
|Complete game on “Suicide Mission” difficulty|
Like I already wrote, I haven’t played many shooters so I was a little worried at first, since I read that Spec Ops is not a particularly easy game. Fortunately, it’s a third-person perspective title so all the hours put into Uncharted payed off here. I beat the game on ‘Suicide Mission’ difficulty which is required to unlock the hardest ‘FUBAR’ difficulty and it took me around 6 hours to do so. The controls took me some time getting used to and Walker doesn’t always react properly (melee attacking instead of jumping over obstacles, not eager taking cover), which can be a little frustrating. There were certain sections of the game that I needed several attempts to beat, especially with heavies on the battlefield, but there really weren’t any ‘controller to the wall’ moments.
I’m currently some 30% into the second playthrough and it feels much more difficult now. Jumping from cover to cover and making use of Lugo and Adams, the squadmates, is essential as Walker can be killed with two or three shots. Stay low, be accurate and you’ll be fine.
| Battle Management
|| Marksman – Small Arms
|Kill 50 enemies using only the Attack Command||Kill 100 enemies with any pistol or SMG|
| Marksman – Grenade
|| Applied Force
|Kill 50 enemies with grenades||Hit 10 enemies with your melee attack|
| Marksman – Sniper
|| Marksman – Rifle
|Kill 50 enemies with any sniper rifle||Kill 350 enemies with any rifle|
| Aim High
|| Good Training
|Kill 250 enemies with headshots||Sprint into cover 10 times while under fire|
| Marksman – Shotgun
|| Blind Luck
|Kill 75 enemies with any shotgun||Kill 5 enemies using blind fire|
These trophies really show how many enemies get killed in the game. I got most of them, except for maybe one or two, in a single playthrough so the count should be around 500, which feels a lot for a 15-chapter, 6-hour campaign. I believe it’s almost impossible to miss any of them after two playthroughs. Just keep shooting, what else is there to do in the game?
Special actions trophies
| Army of One
|| Damn Close
|Kill 3 enemies with a single grenade||Kill an Edged Weapon Expert while he is up to 5 meters away|
| Preventive Diplomacy
|| The Human Factor
|Kill an enemy just as they are throwing a grenade||Kill an enemy by tagging him with a sticky grenade|
| In Your Face
|| Close Combat Carnage
|Kick an enemy by vaulting over a cover||Kill 4 enemies with a shotgun in 10 seconds or less|
I particularly like trophies that require the player to perform a certain action and not only do something tens or hundreds of times, so I appreciated these little gems. Again, they aren’t particularly difficult and should unlock naturally while playing the game. I read the descriptions midway through the game and the only one I did intentionally was the 4 shotgun kills trophy. I did in in a chapter where Walker is separated from Lugo and Adams and needs to get back to them by first sniping an enemy who has a gun to one of the soldier’s head. There’s a zipline there with a shotgun placed conveniently nearby and around six enemies waiting at the other end. Zip, go into cover and take them out one after another.
| A Man of Action
|| Damned if You Don’t
|Play it loose||Buck the chain of command|
| Unfriendly Fire
|| A Line, Crossed
|Save a bullet||Choose vengeance|
| A Farewell To Arms
|| Too Late The Hero
|You are relieved||Carry on, soldier|
| The Road Back
|| The Road To Glory
|Live and let live||Live and let die|
Spec Ops: The Line gives the players two choices – a bad one, and a worse one. These decisions influence how crazy Walker becomes. I don’t want to go into details of my decisions here but the trophies are awarded for taking one or the other action so it’s required to do the opposite during the second playthrough. I also appreciate that the trophy names and descriptions don’t give much away story-wise. Sure, there’s some hints of insubordination or choosing between killing or sparing someone, but it isn’t clear until it happens in the game.
|Recover one Intel Item||Recover 12 Intel Items|
Ah, no game would be complete without making the player collect stuff. On his way through Dubai, Walker stumbles upon various items which give more insight into what had happened there. I like the fact that the items to be collected are not generic elements of the environment, boxes, envelopes, etc. but are all different and sometimes unexpected or disturbing. A little girl’s teddy bear, a violated American flag, a radio interview. They all shed more light on the horrible events of the war. Also, they aren’t too difficult to find since they glow with a pulsating yellow light and are really the only items in the game other than guns that the player can interact with.