Black Ops Declassified: Now This Looks Familiar

Call of Duty's PS Vita debut picks up where Black Ops left off, but can it deliver?

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With the much-touted reveal of Black Ops II multiplayer information here at Gamescom 2012, there's a tendency to think of Black Ops as a thing of the future. But the Black Ops that the world went crazy for two years ago is not as far in the past as it might seem. With Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, you'll be able to catch up with Mason, Woods, and Hudson from the original game and see what happens to them before the year 2025 finds Mason sermonizing in a senior center.

Now would be a good time to start shooting.

The single-player missions in Declassified are designed with short play sessions in mind. Many, if not all, will be framed by certain objective types, like time trials and survival missions. Call of Duty veterans are no strangers to speedily progressing through an area or holding out against waves of enemies, but the fact that the campaign is being presented as having these specific types of levels made us wonder what other mission types are in store.

The demo we saw, however, focused on a multiplayer match. Declassified will support up to eight players in competitive action over Wi-Fi. Developer Nihilistic is taking great pains to replicate the full Call of Duty multiplayer experience on the Vita, and so far, it seems to be succeeding. We only saw team deathmatch in action, but were told that free-for-all, kill confirmed, and "other classic modes" are included as well. The create-a-class system appears to be identical, including primary and secondary weapons, three perks, and lethal and tactical grenades. Killstreak rewards, experience points, and multiple prestige levels are all in place, and even the font used in menus and mid-match XP reward messages appears to be the same one used in Black Ops.

There will be six multiplayer maps to play on, and the trailer showed one that looked unmistakably like fan favorite Nuketown. The match we saw took place on Shatter, a dingy, bombed-out village with interlocking streets and a few multistory buildings. As we watched the match play out on televisions connected to Vitas by HDMI cables, the pace and feel of the action seemed very reminiscent of Nihilistic's previous Vita game, Resistance: Burning Skies. The core multiplayer mechanics in that game were solid, despite suffering from network issues, which bodes well for Declassified.

We could also see Nihilistic's fingerprints when the demoers showed off the touch screen controls. Like in Burning Skies, you use the front touch screen to melee attack or aim a grenade throw. The back touch screen is used for sniping, we were told, but the players in our match stuck to AK-47s, a FAMAS rifle, and a SPAS-12 shotgun. Killstreak rewards are also deployed by a virtual button, so plan to give your fingers a bit of a workout when you sit down with Declassified.

So this is what it looks like before your entire life flashes in front of your eyes.

Thus far it looks like Nihilistic has checked the kinds of boxes you'd hope for on a portable Call of Duty checklist. There's even some Near functionality that lets you share created classes with friends. But competently delivering expected features doesn't guarantee that Declassified will capture the taut combat, exciting pacing, and addictive multiplayer that have made recent console Call of Duty games so electrifying. Burning Skies fell short of replicating the excitement of the Resistance series, so here's hoping Declassified can do its source material proud.

Discussion

9 comments
duuuuuuude1
duuuuuuude1

It can not, and did not deliver.  This game suuuuuuuucked.

swimbearuk
swimbearuk

I've been looking forward to COD on Vita, but I want a proper campaign rather than a set of special ops missions. I'm not only going to want to play short game modes, but also want something I can really get into for a long gaming session. Also, I'm not sure the analog sticks are up to the task, but my experience of using them is with Uncharted, and it has a reputation for poor aiming control, so I hope aiming is better implemented here. The Vita is capable of full games rather than stripped down versions, so deserves better than what would only be considered an extra game mode on the home consoles.

TheElder777
TheElder777

NO TOUCH CAPABILITIES SHOULD BE INCLUDED (throwing grenade is ok but not aiming)

I have a feeling this game is going to suck (I hope not though). I guess I'll just stick to LBP and NFS most wanted (when it comes out).

 

Prove me wrong Nihilistic.

davel33123
davel33123

i bashed this when i heard it was nilhistic software that was doin it ,but the the more i hear about the played demos the better i feel about it. Im sure they will tweak it better than burning skies which nearly pulled it off with the correct mechanics it just had lazy delivery.

Defy_The_Fallen
Defy_The_Fallen

Is this going to have Elite functionality? It would add a lot more to the 'full Call of Duty multiplayer' feel they're trying to go for.

finny09
finny09

if they leave it the way it is now i dont think it is going to go well i think they should delay the game and make the graphics better i have seen a lot of bad comments on youtube about so if they leave it the way it is it will not do well 

Defy_The_Fallen
Defy_The_Fallen

 @finny09 the funny thing is, the graphics won't be bad when you play it on the actual Vita. Watching a 720p video on youtube on a computer monitor, is very different to playing it on a 5.3" Vita screen. Things will look sharper, brighter, and higher quality when you actually play it. 

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

 @finny09 ......no. Graphics don't make a game what it is, you have to include everything else about the game.

finny09
finny09

 @Ultra_Taco its one of the main things and fine they should not put in convert missions like unit 13 and they should change 4v4 to 6v6