A Look at the Major Influences Behind Your Favorite Video Games

Released in 2012, Spec Ops: The Line was a triumph in interactive storytelling, exploring the complex realities of warfare whilst simultaneously providing commentary on player/character relationships.

It was a provocative, captivating and exciting experience, heavily inspired by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness – a novella about the corruption of civilization in the furthest reaches of the wilderness, and easily one of the greatest works of English literature.

In the game, players assume the role of Captain Martin Walker, a reconnaissance operative tasked with recovering a rogue agent missing in hostile territory. As the story progresses, Captain Walker begins to question the nature of warfare, as well as his own involvement as a soldier without clear allegiances, slowly losing his mind in the process.

In this respect, the game and the novella share several overlapping similarities, both providing a commentary on imperialism, as well as the reintegration of soldiers back into civilization.

Specs Ops also took cues from the movie, Apocalypse Now – directed by Francis Ford Coppola – which was equally based on Conrad’s writings, as well the novel, Dispatches.