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Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified

Posted by GG Goblin On January - 14 - 2013

Some things should remain classified…

The PlayStation Vita needs more games. Let me say that again – The PlayStation Vita needs more good games. It needs games that make the gaming public sit up and take notice, games that make gamers rush to their local store and buy a Vita just so that they can play them. It needs a “killer app”. Imagine if the mighty Call of Duty series were to release a unique Vita version of everyone’s favorite shooter? Wouldn’t that convince gamers to grab a Vita?


Well, it would if the Call of Duty game in question could offer the same quality of experience as its console-based relatives. However, in the case of the recently released Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, there really doesn’t seem to be a lot here to make the average Call of Duty fan excited. Which is a shame, the Vita really could have done with this…

Declassified is set between the first and second Black Ops game and sees players step into the boots of either Woods or Mason as they work their way through a selection of ten missions. Unfortunately, there is not much by way of storyline, and the missions, which are set in a variety of places such as Vietnam or Germany, are rather linear and amount to nothing much more than a string of arenas that have to be cleared before moving on to the next. Followers of the series will have some background knowledge of the two characters, but sadly players who have not been concentrating on the main Black Ops games will find very little here to flesh out Woods and Mason, leaving them pretty much without any depth or connection.


Things aren’t all bad. The individual missions can be a bit of a let down, and the lack of cinematics certainly lower the overall CoD effect, but the game packs in extra difficulty levels for the player to try their hand at, and there is a limited time trial mode which makes for handy practice sessions. Then there is what essentially amounts to a Horde mode in which players fight off increasingly difficult waves of enemies. Declassified is not exactly packed with content, and the main mode can be completed by any competent CoD player in around an hour. But then, the real appeal of CoD games has always been the multiplayer, hasn’t it?

Before we jump online, let’s take a look at the controls. The Vita really is set up well for playing shooters in a mobile environment, with its dual analogue sticks. In Declassified they work really well, if a little overly sensitive. But with some mucking around in the settings, players will be able to find that sweetspot and enjoy well thought out controls, which almost mirror what you would expect and want with a mobile CoD game. I say almost because the obligatory use of the touch screen, in this case to throw grenades, does throw a spanner in the works. Just because it has a touchscreen, doesn’t mean you have to use it…


The multiplayer games are perhaps the shining beacon in what is otherwise a somewhat lacklustre offering. At least, they are a beacon when they work. At launch, the game was plagued with so many connection issues and other random bugs that actually getting into a multiplayer game was difficult. However, once there, they are a great mobile CoD experience, if miniaturised somewhat.

The multiplayer matches are four on four, and the maps are shrunken to suit such a small number of players, ensuring that the action is fast paced. The size of the maps does limit any strategy in the matches, but that doesn’t prevent the thrill of besting strangers on the battlefield. There is a nice selection of match types available, and the inclusion of perks and kill streaks will keep the game familiar for CoD players.


Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified should have been the game that sold a million Vitas, but sadly that is just not the case. Overall, it is not a bad game. The single player is entertaining, but incredibly short lived, and the multiplayer game is thoroughly enjoyable. It just feels watered down and unimpressive. And when you consider the asking price for this game, you would expect a lot more.




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