Spec Ops: The Line is a third-person shooter set in a ravaged version Dubai after it has been hit by a series of cataclysmic sandstorms.
Due to the way it visualizes a destroyed Dubai, the game faces a serious threat of being banned.
Developed by Take-Two Interactive, the game tells the story of Captain Walker, the leader of an elite military outfit known as Delta Force. Walker is sent to the wretched remains of Dubai. The mission is to rescue the well-respected Army Colonel John Konrad, whose squad is declared MIA after staying in Dubai to aid civilians that could not escape the sandstorms. Far from needing to be rescued, Walker discovers Konrad has gone insane from his time in the ruined city, which he now declares his home.
Speaking to the National Newspaper, Mohammed al Mutawa, a video-games censor in the UAE, has said:
We will have to review the game first before issuing any decision on whether to ban it or allow it… If it becomes an international matter, various avenues are taken through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to follow this up.
Skyscrapers towering alongside Sheikh Zayed Road, Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab were all incorporated in the game.
Game producer Greg Kasavin in defense to the statement said:
This is not a contemporary version of the setting… [Spec Ops] takes place after an unimaginable natural disaster has struck the region…It’s such a fantastic location from an architectural standpoint. The contrast between the exterior devastation and the interior opulence and beautiful architecture seemed to be a really beautiful and effective image.
From an objective point of view, if the ban does take place, is not quite a surprise as it is somehow understandable. Although the setting looks extremely appealing to anyone who’s visited Dubai, no city likes to be portrayed as wrecked with destruction.
It will be interesting to see how this develops and, if it does, whether the ban is going to be UAE-specific or Gulf/Arab-wide. Take-Two, please make sure you have a downloadable version ready!
Image and trailer courtesy of PlayScope