Preview: COD Black Ops: Declassified provides the definitive...
The bolded are all points that interested me one way or another.
I’m not a huge fan of the Call of Duty franchise, but the PlayStation Vita’s upcoming title, Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, has accomplished the impossible. The title has successfully and faithfully recreated the Call of Duty experience that fans of the series love, on Sony’s dual analogue portable game console.
At a recent Sony preview event in Toronto, I got some hands on time with the game’s multiplayer mode. Call of Duty will love that with this title, you can now play the series on the go. But on the other side of the spectrum, just like the upcoming Call of Duty Black Ops II, if you aren’t a fan of the series, this game certainly isn’t going to change your mind.
Kill streaks, perks, load outs and, my personal favourite feature, camping, are all part of this upcoming portable version of the Call of Duty experience. For the uninitiated, when it comes to first-person shooters, the term “camping” means that the player hides in one specific area of the map, racking up a significant number of kills. Tactics likes this are rampant in Call of Duty’s online multiplayer mode.
Interestingly I found the game’s dual joystick controls to be very solid. However, sometimes it was difficult to aim my weapon because of how sensitive the Vita’s joysticks are. The sensitivity can be altered though and with some quick in-game adjustments, the controls felt smoother.
The Vita’s lack of a proper trigger hindered the satisfaction the player usually receives from shooting a virtual gun in a video game. In Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, the player unfortunately uses the Vita’s shoulder buttons to fire their weapon.
Also, the fact that grenade and melee attacks are controlled by touching the console’s front touch screen, is annoying. This means that in order to drop a grenade or engage in close quarter’s combat with an opponent, you need to take one thumb completely off a control stick and touch the console’s screen. On more than one occasion, this resulted in my untimely death.
The fact that sprinting is turned on automatically by pressing down on the Vita’s D-pad is jarring and detracts from the title’s otherwise smooth controls. The title’s multiplayer maps also felt slightly smaller than the average Call of Duty title.
Graphically, Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is impressive, but the level of polish you’d expect from a console Call of Duty title just doesn’t seem to be there. Some of the game’s textures are uncharacteristically low resolution according to IGN, the title only runs at 30 frames per second. This means that the game’s pacing isn’t as blisteringly fast as its console counterparts.
Going into this play session, I was curious how easily the Call of Duty mechanics have transfered to Sony’s powerful portable console, the PlayStation Vita. Luckily, Nihilistic’s studio’s director, Robert Huebner was on hand to explain how easy the process actually was for his team.
“…Because of the Vita’s dual analogue sticks, it was easy to transfer the Call Of Duty experience to a portable device,” said Huebner.
Huebner also explained that his team has been working closely with Treyarch over the course of the title’s development process in an effort to ensure that his studio is creating a faithfully authentic Call Of Duty experience. Fans who are concerned that this portable title won’t “feel” like Call of Duty, shouldn’t be worried.
Unlike the other Black Ops games, Declassified unfortunately doesn’t have a Zombies mode. Instead the title has a feature called hostiles. This mode pits players against wave after wave of oncoming enemies and also includes campaign-inspired time trials that let the player shoot at wooden targets. As a fan of Call of Duty’s simple yet addictive Zombies mode, I found the fact that the title won’t feature some sort of zombie-based gameplay extremely disappointing.
Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is the most authentic first-person experience I’ve ever played on a portable console. If you’re a Call of Duty fan, really, what more can you ask for?
The title will also include a full-fledged campaign mode that takes place between the events of Call of Duty Black Ops and the upcoming Call Of Duty Black Ops II.