Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified Review
- Posted November 24th, 2012 at 12:31 EDT by Paul Kelly
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The best first-person shooter on a portable but it's not exactly a high yardstick
- Nice shooting mechanics
- Good menu and UI design
- Fun multiplayer
- Terrible A.I.
- Bland and rubbish level design
- Not enough content
(continued from previous page) ...by a couple of notches makes them much better. The Vita’s touch screen is implemented as well; touch anywhere on the screen apart from areas designated for other purposes to melee your foes with a knife. The designated areas are for grenades, at the top right of the screen and at the left is where you call in things like sentry guns, mortals or your killstreaks in multiplayer. However, that is doneeasier by pressing right on the d-pad since you may accidentally melee instead if you touch the screen.
The gun sounds in the game are rather tame and don’t sound powerful. The guns make more of a rattling sound as opposed to a booming sound like they do in the main console games. The explosions are more satisfying in this regard.
There is a decent selection of guns in Black Ops: Declassified. From assault rifles, SMGs, shotguns, sniper rifles, pistols and even a crossbow. Many of these are taken from the first Black Ops, as are the grenades and other assortment of weapons and items available to you.
These weapons can all be selected in the game’s multiplayer component, which fares a bit better than the single player in being closer to its console counterpart. All the gear (excluding camouflage) is here, including weapons, attachments and the proficiencies introduced in Modern Warfare 3. Perks and killstreaks also make an appearance in the vita iteration. There aren’t as many as in recent call of duty games, but they aren’t as emphasised as much as they seem to be these days. They are more like support options for people who acquire them as they play, which is more akin to the earlier games. More focus is on shooting.
There are six maps in total, which is too few. The maps which are here aren’t too bad and things don’t tend to get as hectic as the series is renowned for except in the two smallest maps: Nukehouse and Container. Nukehouse is basically half of the fan favorite from Black Ops, Nuketown, and Container is a direct remake of the map Shipment from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. On these maps it isn’t uncommon to spawn directly near enemies. Other problems with the multiplayer are that you sometimes get sent back to the game’s main menu for no apparent reason and it can take a little while to find a game. When you do it is a fun experience. With no rubbish AI and good shooting mechanics you can have a really enjoyable time playing. The pace isn’t as fast as in the console games but that may be a plus or a negative depending on your tastes. The games have less players too, only eight maximum but that’s not a big issue as the maps are a bit smaller than in the other games.
There are four modes in the multiplayer: Team Deathmatch, Free-for-All, Kill Confirmed and Drop Zone. Each mode is taken from a console game and are fun to play but a few more modes would've been nice; Domination, Capture the Flag and Search and Destroy perhaps.
The overall presentation of the game is quite nice. The menus are fantastic and are probably the best in the series since they’re quite minimalistic and the black and orange contrast nicely. These are met with the menu music from the first Black Ops game which fits well. The game’s user interface is pretty good too, with easy to read fonts it is easy to identify what is what whilst playing. When you level up in multiplayer you are met with the leveling up music from Call of Duty 4 which is a nice touch.
Ultimately, if you are expecting a console perfect replication of the series hallmarks in a pure unadulterated form then Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified probably isn’t for you. However, if you aren’t as keen on where the series has gone and maybe prefer the older games then you might enjoy this. Be mindful that it is far from perfect and could do with some polishing and some more content to bulk it up. Whether or not that happens depends on whether Activision give a damn, which looks unlikely if the game and the support given is ... (continued on next page)