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Review: Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified (Vita)


Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified wholly lives up to the franchise in the design department, and that's both good and bad. Graphically, the game looks very good: Weapons are nicely modeled, the environments are detailed and cutscenes, though few and far apart, feel exactly like on the home consoles. The feel of the game is one of it's strong points: Despite it's many weaknesses, it still feels like CoD, and that feeling goes beyond the look of the HUD. Everything from the fast pacing to the small details (like papers being tossed about when shooting at a cluttered desk) give the game a Call of Duty feel. Until you become frustrated from the gameplay, you will genuinely enjoy playing Declassified on your morning commute. At times, it even gets your adrenaline going, and a frantic look in your eyes will attract a few glances from fellow commuters.

Not sure what kind of screenshot imparts "feels like CoD", but I guess a burning school bus will do the trick.


Again though, the design is both good and bad. I've already mentioned, for example, how the game has a characteristically weak storyline. Another aspect of poor design is how the maps are structured: Call of Duty often gets criticized for being a "corridor shooter" with one road in and out of an area and no freedom to choose your own path. Declassified is the most blatant example of a corridor shooter I've seen, probably. The missions go from shooting gallery to shooting gallery, with almost no effort put into making the world seem like anything else than a winding tunnel. This isn't helped by the objective markers which point you along to your goal with a 20-50m interval. There is no room given to exploration. At all.

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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