Spec Ops: The Line has a genuinely moving single-player campaign – but its multiplayer component is frustratingly formulaic. In fact, not even the game’s lead designer Cory Davis likes it, describing its inclusion as a “waste of money” to Polygon. He explained that the outsourced extra was a financially motivated “checkbox” for publisher 2K Games, and that the low number of players reflects its unnecessary addition.
Davis added that the publisher insisted on the shooter including multiplayer, despite it contrasting the game's original vision. The mode was eventually outsourced to Darkside Studios, who previously worked on Borderland’s fourth expansion, Claptrap's New Robot Revolution.
"It sheds a negative light on all of the meaningful things we did in the single-player experience," Davis continued. "The multiplayer game's tone is entirely different, the game mechanics were raped to make it happen, and it was a waste of money. No one is playing it, and I don't even feel like it's part of the overall package. It's another game rammed onto the disk like a cancerous growth, threatening to destroy the best things about the experience that the team at Yager put their heart and souls into creating."
It’s safe to assume that Davis is not particularly happy, then. Ouch.