There is one title which sells by the bucket load year on year and that’s, Call of Duty. With Activision announcing the series will be hitting the PlayStation Vita for its first outing towards the end of the year with Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, it’s safe to say that this is a title which should bring the masses towards Sony’s latest hardware iteration. Read on to find out more.
During a presentation at Gamescom 2012, we were invited to check out just how Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified was coming along with a look at the multiplayer aspect attached within the core game itself in the form of a 4 player onstage live demo showing off a map entitled ‘Shattered’ – a typical Call of Duty setting of a bombed and demolished city that the series multiplayer has been made famous for. Shattered was a small map with tight corners, winding alleys and had a typical Call of Duty look and feel to it. Size-wise, it looked like the map was of a good size, offering a variety of options and paths to choose between to take down your next opponent in a COD style bullet-fest. The story within Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is set between Black Ops and Black Ops II.
Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified looked like a typical CoD title. Full of gritty and grinding gunfire set within a dull, grey and dirty backdrop, yet trying to keep the same look and feel as its big brother console counterparts. While the game looked pretty good on the Vita’s high res screen, it didn’t really hit me like it was pushing the boundaries in the looks department. Nice? Yes. But was it pushing the Vita’s powerhouse of a handheld processor all the way? I’m not convinced.
During the presentation, Activision also talked about how the Vita’s touch screen elements would be implemented into Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified. By using the Vita’s front touch screen, you have the ability to take down the enemy with a throw of a grenade and also start melee attacks as well. In theory, this sounds like a nice addition but I can’t help but think that it feels a bit forced and fake in its implementation and something that was added just to say that they have incorporated the Vita’s touchscreen into the equation. I can see why they would want to add a touchscreen element to a title that is on the Vita as that’s one of the added bonuses that the console brings, but it looked like it would become a painful and chore-like experience trying to use the touchscreen abilities after a long game session for example. The whole element just didn’t look natural or fluid. One nice element that Activision revealed was the fact that it’s possible to use the touchscreen to call in air strikes or by directing mortar bombs which actually proved that the Vita’s touch elements can be use as a benefit rather than a hindrance if they are developed into a title in the right way.
Activision confirmed that the game will feature a raft of online modes when the game is released with Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed and Free-For-All all there, and a spate of other modes that have yet to be announced also making the grade.
Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is a welcome addition to the Vita family and although I’m not yet 100% convinced by it, it does have huge potential to deliver a great FPS experience in the FPS genre, and to bring Call of Duty to the masses on handheld, but I feel that more work is needed to make that step to becoming a must-buy on the PlayStation Vita.