Posted on February 10, 2012, Ross Lincoln You Can Kill Civillians In Spec Ops: The Line
Thanks to the timely release of the game‘s ERSB rating, it is now known that 2K’s upcoming Spec Ops: The Line is so named because of the one it crosses. In a detailed description of the shooter’s rating, the ERSB rating confirms that “players have the ability to shoot unarmed civilians or open fire on angry mobs”. Better, or worse, depending on your feelings about realistically violent gams, this feature, sure to draw gasps of horror from people unfamiliar with the conventions of military-based shooters, is only the top of a very, very violent iceberg.
“Injured characters emit blood splashes when hit,” apparently, and you can keep damaging the body even after you’ve killed them. Players also have the ability to perform executions “at close range”, indicating a disturbing attention to detail that also includes weapons which “cause damage such as dismembered limbs or scattered body parts.” The game will even feature sequences with “severely burned or mutilated corpses.” Also mentioned is the fact that the F, S and A-words are used copiously, but if that surprises you in 2012, you still play Wii and need an intervention. Alas, the warning leaves out the words “and it will be AWESOME”, but it should be assumed they are implied.
Electronic Arts famously opted not to allow civillian deaths in Battlefield 3, owing to fears that players would simply live out their war criminal fantasies. Maybe they’re right, though it seems a silly argument considering that the Grand Theft Auto franchise’s popularity is based around that possibility. More to the point, if Spec Ops: The Line’s civillian deaths spark controversy, it would be because people don’t pay attention: Modern Warfare 3 certainly didn’t pull any punches in this regard, and it didn’t suffer for it.
Here’s the complete rating description:
This is a third-person shooter in which players assume the role of a special operations soldier who battles enemies in a storm-ravaged Dubai. Players use machine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers, and grenades to kill enemy soldiers in frenetic combat. Battles are highlighted by realistic gunfire, screams of pain, slow-motion effects (during headshots);injured characters emit blood splashes when hit, and continue to incur damage when killed. Players can also “execute” or incapacitate enemies at close range (e.g., punching soldiers in the face or snapping their necks). Some weapons cause damage such as dismembered limbs or scattered body parts; a handful of sequences depict severely burned or mutilated corpses. During the course of the game, players have the ability to shoot unarmed civilians or open fire on angry mobs. Cutscenes also include intense instances of violence: bloodied characters getting interrogated and/or executed; soldiers getting shot in the head at point-blank range. The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” can be heard in the dialogue.
One thing is certain – we are suddenly much more interested in playing.