spec ops, the line, spec ops the line, xbox 360, the road back, 2k games, yager entertainment, yager development, too late the hero, captain martin walker, lugo, adams, heart of darkness, apocalypse now, too late the hero, konrad, a road to glory, a farewell to arms, FUBAR, MWFIC, The Devil's Disciple

Sure, we did a review for Spec Ops: the Line, but how many sites out there did a reviewed of how difficult the hardest difficulty of Spec Ops: the Line was to beat?  See also: none of them.

So, as someone who always plays games at the hardest difficulty available out of the gate, I decided to change up this game guide a bit and set it up more like a bullet-filled trip report with some tips on how to get through the storm.

Here’s my breakdown, by level of how it went with some basic notes as I wrote them on my note pad (it’s not pretty):

Day 1: 7:30 AM Start
Chap 1: 7:30-7:50
3 Deaths (20 mins)

Chap 2: 7:50- 8:07
7 Deaths (17 mins)
One major shootout, end of level ambush

Chap 3: 8:07-8:40
10 Deaths (33 mins)
One major shootout, mission start at the stage

Chap 4:
21 deaths (total time with breaks 41 mins)
Two major shootouts

Chap 5 8:57-9:22 (25 minutes)
10 deaths 

AK 3 round burst is your friend
if you’re out of cover for more than a second under fire, you’re dead

use that targeting mech; you can use it to scout ahead of you, it will highlight targets
make sure you’ve got an enemy targeted before popping out of cover, you’ll be 90% of the
Every five times you die in the same section, it’ll ask you to drop the difficulty, you tell them hell no.
Do NOT go heal your own guys if you can help it, you’re WAY too exposed and can take damage38
while you’re healing/reloading, assign a new target to your team
grenades are especially useful, even flash bangs..the area of effect is massive, so grenade launchers are win button weapons if used properly.
little to no opportunities for “execuitons” (big ammo ups)

Deaths: 40 (76 minutes)

The Pit: First section is a MONSTER: grab shotgun and grenade from behind the ambulance, then get back behind the car you start at, they will come to you
4 fights, but after that first one…
running from helicopter (freebird) stupid, run RIGHT DOWN THE DAMN MIDDLE, follow Adams

Chapter 7:
2 deaths (30 MINUTES TOTAL)

Chap 8:
4 deaths (16 minutes)
1 fight, its a doozy, up the hill

Chap 9:
5 deaths (19 minutes)
1 fight 

Chap 10
21 death (74 minutes)
6 firefight
pARKING GARAge is kind of a pain in the ass
actually snuck out of the top section of the aquatic area; when they tell you that they don’t know you’re they’re…well, there’s an M4 with a sniper on your way into the section; much easier to do on your own.  Grab it, then hit the guy talking on the radio.  There’s a guy  on the high dive. Then a guy patrolling around the corner.  If you can zap all five guys silently, you can sneak past this part to the next checkpoint

Heavies.  Let your team do the work and stay as far away from them as possible.  Only pop out when they’re reloading,and only blind fire when they’re close.



Chapt 10 part 2
1 death (3 minutes)
taking the truck, grenade launcher

Chap 11
10:04- 10:48 (44 minutes)
4 fight (one long gunfight)
13 deaths
I’m shocked that I didn’t die during the psychadelic Heavy flanking maneuver.  SHOCKED.  I happened to have the automatic shotgun and a full ammo pouch, so I simply blind fired my ass off
The Lugo rescue scene is a ballache; seems like two checkpoints slapped together.
Turret sequence is a beast, keep the explosive barrels for the heavies, make sure to destroy all the explosive barrels on the top floor as that’s where the guys run past

Chap 12
10:48-=11:25, 37 minutes
3 firefight, 1 turret sequence (on the chopper)
5 death
12 zulus
Absolutely use Lugos sniper help with this, he’s fixed, so let him loose while you’re moving to the helo; he one hit kills zulus
“Ordering your squad to attack makes them more effective, but puts them at risk..yeah, no kidding”

Chap 13:
51 death (118 minutes)
5 firefight

First fight after rescuing Adams is quite the pain the ass
22 zulus
2 heavy
Well surprise surprise, both firefights are a pain in the ass, 5th fight with the heavy coming out of the Stryker and THEN a follow up defense, if you’ve got one, launch a grenade at the heavy as it’s leaving the Stryker and you can kill a bunch of the lesser troops as they’re exiting the vehicle.  Quickly get to the Yacht in front of you, then turn around and take care of the “edged weapon expert” charging you.  Have Lugo target the heavy and he’ll toss grenades at him, and if you’ve got any sticky grenades, try to get them in there. There is an ammo can in the bottom floor of the yacht which refills all your ammo, including SCAR-H grenades, which you’ll need for the topside defnse.  Flash grenade at the top of the stairs and charge up to kill the last Zulu hiding out there.

As soon as the storm starts coming in, start firing grenades (if you have them) towards the mass of moving soldiers coming over the hill, then turn around and wait for them to charge up the stairs.  Be sure you’ve got somewhere to vault over to get to cover as they will be launching grenadesa t you

12:15 break night night (50 mins)
7:55 start- 9:03; (68 mins)

1 hour, 58 minutes

SCAR-H, M4A1 and AK47 are your best friends

Chapt 14:
Start 9:04
3 fights
47 deaths (88 minutes)
1 heavy
Oh boy, right out of the gate…

Chap 15:
10:46-10:57 complete (9 minutes)


650 minutes (10 hours, 50 minutes)
Number of deaths:  230 deaths

Some general tips that’ll get you through the game with the least amount of pain:

  • Unlike most games where you’ve got a pair of allies running around in front of you, when you designate targets for Lugo and Adams to go take out, they will run around with little to no regard of their own well being and usually get mowed down, especially at this difficulty. When you’re using the squad commands, either target snipers at a long distance so Lugo can take them out, or only target someone directly in front of you so Adams can throw grenades.  If you pick someone in the middle distance, Adams will suicide run himself past targets in front of him in an attempt to get the target you’ve designated.  If you see Adams take off running, you can always re-designate a closer target to get him back on track.
  • WHEN your teammates go down in the open without cover and you need to get them on their feet again, but there’s a mass of bad guys laying down covering fire or you know the second you pop your head up it’ll get taken off, throw every grenade you have in your inventory at the area in front of you and pray that you have a few seconds where the enemies are running away to get cover and not focusing on you.  This could give you enough time to get your man back on his feet.
  • Long rifles are your friend.  SCAR-H, M4A1, AK-47, M249 (SAW), and the 417 should be the weapons you’re using at all times. There’s some kind of wacky algorithm in play where the further the bad guys are away from you, the less likely you are to be hit, so you want to engage at max distance.  Shotguns should only be used when you’ve got a heavy on the field; no weapon is better to stick out and blindfire at an advancing enemy like that heavy like an automatic shotgun…unless you’re talking that ridiculous AA12 automatic shotgun, and then holy hell, drop everything and use that.  However, only the Zulu squad soldiers in the later chapters use that weapon, but…if you can find it…
  • Grenades in Spec Ops: the Line are amazing. Use them every chance you get; their explosive radius is huge, you can carry a bunch of them, and even if you don’t hit your target, they still will get up and run from wherever you threw it, exposing himself to you for a few quick rounds.
  • If you can avoid it, do NOT use the “stick-to-cover” dynamic.  Unless you’re ninja fast, enemies at this difficulty love to throw grenades at your with silly accuracy.  Nothing’s worse than watching that grenade indicator going off while you’re trying desperately to unstick yourself from the stupid sandbag in front of you.  You’ll see what I’m talking about in the video below.
  • You are living from one checkpoint to the next; take it slow.
  • Executions are great for an ammo boost, but do NOT go out of your way to go get them in the middle of a firefight.  Change weapons, pick up an enemy’s weapon, but you are completely exposed executing a guy like you’re resuscitating a team mate.
  • Turrets: Oh boy, a turret!  You run up, grab it, and immediately get mowed down.  Yeah, turrets are definitely a dangerous proposition at FUBAR, even using their clever little “hide” mechanic.  While it seems like you should have cover, you’ll quickly get torn to pieces if you’re up there too long.  Sometimes sitting back next to the turret and continuing to play it safe behind cover isn’t a bad thing either, although if there’s a mass of guys out there, sometimes you just have to risk it and be quick.

Here’s some video of me playing through three of the biggest pain in the ass fights in the game, Chapter 13 checkpoint 2, Chapter 14 checkpoint 1 and Chapter 14 checkpoint 2.  Please to enjoy!

Overall, for a difficulty rating, it’s obviously possible to do, and didn’t take me an absurd amount of time to do so.  The difficulty spikes were there, and there were definitely fights where MOST people would have thrown in the towel, but there was no outright “cheating” going on, no sections where you just have to get lucky or areas where the game forces you into impossible situations.  Slow and steady wins the race here.

  • Iggy452001

    wow, interesting, I’m contemplating this right now. Is it worth the trouble to Platinum or not. The deal is I’m a PS Plus user, which means I got this one free, and I’m debating on trying the time to Plat this or Vanquish, but Vanquish challenge levels are rated UBER hard, so I think this seems the more likely Plat.