Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified Review

Over the years, Call of Duty has been able to draw people in with just its name alone. And with a new handheld console on the market sporting two analog sticks, you'd think there would be no better opportunity to bring the successful first person shooter franchise to a new audience. With hindsight, perhaps they should have waited a little bit longer.

Since Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is one of the first first-person shooter games to take advantage of the Vita's dual analog sticks, as a gamer you'd expect the controls to be given some leeway. Due to this, the first area of the game is presented as a tutorial focused around a shooting range (time trial). Surprisingly the controls aren't all that bad. The snap target seemed to attach to targets with ease, and the aiming calibration, while a little bit sensitive, allowed manual target acquisition to actually feel kind of like playing on a current generation console.

This is where this comes to abrupt halt though, as the rest of the game is pretty poor. To start off, the front touch screen and rear panel seem to have almost been after thoughts. While knifing an enemy is replicated with the front panel at a single touch, throwing grenades is done in a similar fashion to other games on the system like Uncharted and Resistance. You can tap the grenade to throw centrally or drag and throw. The only problem here is that you will need to fully expose yourself in order to throw a grenade.

When you're behind cover, looking to the left to do an the over arm throw will proceed to give the player back their own grenade. This is rather problematic for obvious reasons. It's also possible to throw back the enemy grenades in a similar fashion by touching the screen, but the indicators aren't very accurate and more often than not it's not worth the risk.

The rear touch screen also has another redundant feature as it allows you to stabilise your shot. However, should you actually find yourself in possession of a sniper rifle, you'll find that it doesn't require much stablising anyway as still for any length of time usually results in death.

Perhaps the biggest faus pax of this game is just how easy it is to die. Call of Duty has always been associated with its veteran difficulty mode and there's nothing wrong with that - it's nice to have a challenge. This has been adapted over many different Call of Duty iterations to make the games less frustrating. However, in Declassified there are several new ways elements that are seemingly there to just frustrate players.

It's hard to know where to begin with the flaws in the game design, so it's probably easier to describe how the trouble starts. The campaign is essentially the special operations mode from Modern Warfare 2 and 3. In other words, it's a scenario based around rather unimportant story arcs and objectives that require a player to survive a mission with no mistakes, no checkpoints and rather harsh conditions. It's not anywhere near as rewarding to complete a mission in Declassified and the poor story does little to mask it.


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