Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified Review

Mike Wehner | 20 Nov 2012 12:00
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The multiplayer mode - which is what keeps Call of Duty fans playing for weeks, months, and years after each games' release - suffers from its own laundry list of issues. With modes like Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, and Drop Zone, fans of the original Black Ops title will find plenty to keep them busy. Likewise, a lot of attention was given to various weapon unlocks as well as perks and equipment. There are a ton of deadly tools to try out, but your frustration will likely reach the breaking point before you even scratch the surface.

The various maps - each of which is based on a battlefield from Black Ops - are tiny. Call of Duty isn't exactly known for having large, expansive maps, but the options here are considerably smaller than anything the series has seen before. Take, for example, Nukehouse, a map based on the fan favorite map Nuketown from the console release. The original Nuketown is small in its own right, but Nukehouse is less than half the size of its older brother.

Because of this, you will frequently see enemies spawn directly in front of you, within feet in some instances, and you'll be treated to the same each time you start a new life. This is especially unacceptable considering that teams are comprised of just four players, cut down by a third from the console titles. The outcome of each match is determined more by your ability to reload your weapon before the next player spawns into your crosshairs than by any type of skill or use of tactics.

There are also some pretty amusing glitches that will ruin even your most enjoyable moments. In one game of Team Deathmatch, a Care Package icon was moving around the map in a seemingly random pattern. It was an open air battleground, and nowhere did a Care Package actually appear. The icon would frequently cross right over the top of me, but the actual box never made an appearance. I also had the game outright freeze on me twice, producing a PSN error message and demanding that I restart the game in order to play again.

Bottom Line: There is little in the way of a redeeming quality to Declassified. Short story missions are good for a mobile console, but pointless firing in one direction isn't. A wealth of multiplayer content is great for shooter fans, but not if matches are nearly unplayable.

Recommendation:Black Ops Declassified is a bad game. But beyond that, it's bad for the Vita and Vita owners as a whole. This is a game that could have very well been the killer app for Sony's mobile console. Instead, it does its best to disappoint at almost every turn. Unless you're a glutton for punishment, or enjoy nearly broken multiplayer experiences, it's best to pass on this one and pray Declassified will at least prove to be a good learning experience for Activision and Nihilistic, if they ever decide to give a Vita shooter another try.

Game: Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified
Genre: Shooter
Developer: nStigate Games
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS Vita
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon(UK),


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