Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified Review

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified was supposed to be the PS Vita’s savior but has fallen very short of that mark. The game was announced for Vita at Sony’s E3 2012 presentation.

Call of duty fans everywhere were excited to be able to have a high quality Call Of Duty game they could take on the go but what they received isn’t something they will like. Supposedly the game had a development time of 5 months and was started on just after developer Nihilistic shipped its other (not so good) first person shooter for the Vita, Resistance: Burning Skies.

Normally I would start with what is good about Declassified but with there being so little of that I’m going to have to start with whats wrong with it. First up is the campaign mode. It primarily consists of 10 missions with objectives like destroy all the code boxes or save some hostages.

Every one of the campaign missions can be done in under an hour. I don’t know if there has ever been a game other then this where you can beat the story in under an hour. To put that in perspective that means each level will take about 5 and a half minutes.

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You can literally beat a mission during the commercial of your favorite TV show. You can earn between 1 and 3 stars on each mission depending on the difficulty but since there are no save points playing on anything over 1 star is ridiculously hard. For example playing on 2 stars you can be shot about 3 times and have to start from the beginning of the mission. On top of that the story is told through the loading screen and is basically just a mash up of missions they tried to string into a story.

None of the missions seem connected in any way aside from the fact its the same person in each mission. Also the enemy AI is horrendous. They rarely move or take cover and if they do take cover they wont move anymore making it easy to pick them off.

The next problem with Declassified is its online mode. This is where a Call Of Duty game really counts. The online mode is quite frankly terrible. I’ve been in matches where I was winning and the game just closed. I’ve been in matches where the lag was so bad that if I moved, 5 seconds later my player would move.

call of duty black ops declassified screenshot

That sort of thing is completely unacceptable for a game that is meant to be played online. If that wasn’t bad enough the levels are so small you can literally respawn and have someone standing there waiting to kill you ALL GAME!! Nukehouse for instance is a remake of Nuketown from the original Black Ops. If you ever played Nuketown you know how small it is.

Now take that and cut it in half and you have Nukehouse. Not only are the levels small but there badly designed. Players and enemies constantly get stuck on walls and small things around the map making it hard to move around.

The graphics for Declassified are very much improved over what was originally shown for the game but are still bad. After the first trailer came out fans went nuts saying how terrible it looked forcing Nihilistic to go back and add in more dynamic lighting and better textures. This however didn’t help enough. Declassified looks like you could play it on your first generation iPhone.

With games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss looking as amazing as they do there’s no reason a Call of Duty game should look even half as bad as it does.

Almost everything you look at is in some way pixelated or has very rough edges. The colors are all very dull with lots of grays and dark colors. With the Vita having a 5 inch OLED display no game should look dull ever.

One good thing about Declassified is the loadout system. If you have played a call of duty game before, this will be very familiar. You get to chose your main weapon, back up, grenades and tacticals and your perks. As you level up you get access to more equipment and perks.

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The weapon selection is actually very nice and balanced. No one gun is to powerful or to weak. The selection of perks is also good. Unfortunately with the online multiplayer being so bad no amount of guns and perks are going to help you.

The real only good part of this game is the audio. Each gun has its own sound that can be easily distinguished so you know where your enemy is if he’s shooting. Adding a silencer will give you the ‘PEW PEW PEW’ sound everyone who plays Call Of Duty knows. Explosions have a decent bang to them and enemies can be heard yelling in the distance. I do suggest wearing headphones though since the Vita’s speakers don’t do the audio any justice.

Overall Call Of duty Black Ops: Declassified is, to put it bluntly, a terrible game. I honestly feel ashamed to admit I wasted money on this game that looks and plays like it could be on an iPhone for 99 cents. Between the ridiculously short campaign and its even more ridiculously bad multiplayer, this game should be bought if you find $50 on the ground, only have your PS Vita and need to play some type of Call Of Duty.