Call Of Duty Black Ops: Declassified For PS Vita – Gamescom Hands-on

Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified

Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is real, and we’ve played it. I think the highest compliment I can pay it is to say that, well, it looks and plays like Call of Duty. The running and gunning, the aiming down the sights, the familiar Bank Gothic notices popping up when you land a long-range shot or end an opponent’s killstreak, the weapon loadouts and multiplayer modes — they’re all here, rendered on PS Vita‘s luscious OLED screen and playable with dual analog sticks in a mobile setting for the first time.

Activision Product Manager Ryan Scott’s gamescom presentation cut straight to the heart of the matter, starting with the game’s multiplayer offering — a key consideration for any self-respecting CoD title. Multiplayer in Black Ops Declassified supports up to eight players via WiFi across six maps, encompassing essential play modes such as Free for all, Team Deathmatch, and Kill Confirmed, with other “classic Call of Duty modes” promised. Other trademark Call of Duty mechanics such as Create-a-Class, Killstreaks, XP, Perks, and Prestige were all present and accounted for.

So how is developer Nihilistic adapting Call of Duty to PS Vita? After playing a round on the new “Shatter” map, it’s clear their goals were to change as little as possible. In fact, after inverting the Y-axis, I didn’t bother asking the devs on hand about the controls – everything was where I expected it to be.

Access to the knife, flashbang, and frag grenade that are assigned to L2/R2 or L3/R3 on PS3 are easily accessible on the front touchscreen. To hurl a grenade, you simply drag the grenade icon to the area of the screen where you want to throw it, or hold it to cook the fuse before you lob it. The ability to independently aim your grenade throw while shooting in another direction is a new tactical wrinkle for the series, and one that will surely be leveraged by experienced players. The knife is even quicker to use because you can tap any part of the screen not already assigned to something else to swipe your blade. That’s a highly practical implementation of the touchscreen, as players won’t have to fumble to tap a small icon during a heated CQC encounter, and we found it was quick and responsive.

Call of Duty Black Ops: DeclassifiedCall of Duty Black Ops: Declassified

Those all-important Killstreaks work the way you’d expect. Once you’ve unlocked a killstreak, the icon pops up on the left side of the screen and you can tap to trigger it. The mortar strike killstreak was blessedly simple: tap the icon to open the map, touch the target, and launch a volley of fiery death to annihilate the opposition.

That leaves sprinting, which is executed by pressing down on the directional pad. The left stick and D-pad are placed closely enough on PS Vita that you can place the tip of your thumb on the D-pad while keeping your left thumb on the left stick for quick recovery. The only use of the rear touchscreen we saw was to hold your breath while peering down the sniper’s scope – not something you’re likely to accidentally trigger.

Create-a-Class is fully supported with custom loadouts and Perks Black Ops: Declassified will also leverage PS Vita’s geo-social “near” functionality with Share-a-Class, enabling players to transmit a character class via WiFi using “near,” and will allow your friends access to load-outs they haven’t yet unlocked through regular progression. Prestige levels are also confirmed.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified

Visually, the multiplayer map “Shattered” looked sharp, with swirling dust motes, flapping bits of cloth, crumbled architecture, and a steady framerate.

Single-player content wasn’t shown, though Activision confirmed that it will consist of objective-based missions, along with survival and time trial missions, to keep the experience tuned for mobile play. They’ll be wrapped within an original story taking place between Call of Duty: Black Ops and the forthcoming Black Ops 2. Want to know what happened to Hudson, Mason, and Woods before this fall’s Black Ops 2? You know what to do.

Based on what we saw and played, Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified looks and feels much as you’d expect it to – only now it can take the experience with you on PS Vita. For CoD fans, that’s right on target.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified arrives this November. Are there any specifics you’d like to know? We’ll be speaking with developer Nihilistic soon, and will do our best to get your questions answered. Leave ’em in the comments below!

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i wil suport cod on vita , i wil not buy ps3 version

reason = i hate ms deal on ps3 : ps3 comunity deserves beter

supersmith2500 16 August, 2012 @ 6:11 pm   2

I hope COD: Black Ops II and Black Ops: Declassified are the last COD games being released. The franchise really needs to die but no offence. It’s ruins other multiplayer games too and not to mention, Multiplayer on COD does not have trophies.

Btw here’s a question for Nihilistic since they going to develop the PSVita version, will Nazi Zombies and Combat Training return?


Is their zombies in this game?
if so its a day 1 buy for me!

Stonesthrow 16 August, 2012 @ 6:13 pm   4

Resistance on Vita was pretty disappointing and I expected better from this as well, clearly shows it’s a Nihilistic game. Killzone on Vita however, looks amazing. I’ll still give this a try though.


-o.0 questions = why them are not giving ps3 comunity same experience like on other consoles , i can understend 1 j. excluzieve deal !

-But now elite = joke one ps3 as long them keeping up deal whith ms. use paying same € to buy game .

-howh long are them gone keep up not respecting the ps3 comunity ?


Control scheme is pretty similar to Resistance: Burning Skies then. I actually liked Resistance: Burning Skies but it was pretty run of the mill though which was the only problem. It definitely wasn’t a bad game but it didn’t light the world on fire but it’s nice that Nihilistic managed to prove just how easy it is to have a fully functioning FPS on Vita with very few compromises.

I don’t generally play Call of Duty games though I have enjoyed the ones I’ve played but I’ll probably pick this up. Hopefully it’s a little less run of the mill than Resistance: Burning Skies and more blockbuster like the Call of Duty games are.

How nice, from the same people who brought us Resistance burning skies within 6 months of their last masterpiece.

ryannumber3gamer 16 August, 2012 @ 6:40 pm   8

This is a great idea because i’m wondering how Woods survived in Black Ops 1…But please if this is a Black Ops game it needs Zombies.

INS1GHTFUL 16 August, 2012 @ 6:53 pm   9


ryannumber3gamer 16 August, 2012 @ 7:06 pm   10


Yes we want zombies!

Panos_GRE 16 August, 2012 @ 7:28 pm   11

So, let me recap.

We’ll have a game with a very short “story mode” consisting of bite sized special ops missions ” tailored for portable gaming”. What a great excuse for lack of content these days. But it doesn’t matter because we will be replaying those same missions over and over again in survival or score mode.

Then there will be multiplayer were people can clash together in 4 vs 4 matches in a total of a whooping 6 maps.
Maps that will probably be small and boring because there will be only 8 players playing at once.
But wait there will be a ton more maps through DLC because any call of duty game that respects itself must cost 80 to 100€ in the end for someone who wants all the extra content.

There’s your value for money.

Then we have the visuals. Graphics no better than the apple store’s top shooters.
Audio that sounds fake. No production values at all.

Nihilistic destroyed the Resistance franchise on the Vita and now it will destroy this.

The Medal of Honor Heroes games could support 32 player online on the PSP five years ago.

This game in particular damages the Vita’s image in my opinion and I will not support such half-baked money grabbing work.

watstha248 16 August, 2012 @ 7:55 pm   12

come on!! zombies, we need zombies, it is a huge selling point.
nihilistic would need to be really stupid to let nazi zombies out of the game.

Allen_46 16 August, 2012 @ 8:18 pm   13

Is it on the engine that they used for resistance or the engine that modern warfare etc use?

supersmith2500 16 August, 2012 @ 8:18 pm   14

This user knows what he’s talking about. Look at the MetaCritic scores for all of Nihilistic’s games. Seriously, Resistance should of stayed with Insomniac Games or have Bend to port this to the Vita. Seriously, you can’t even skip the cutscenes, have to watch lame tutorial videos after acquiring a new weapon and enemies’ corpses disappear after killed.

And yes they did completely ruined the Resistance franchise and now COD could suffer the same fate. Time to consider a trade in.

J_A_S_O_N_123 16 August, 2012 @ 8:19 pm   15

My question is, “What have you learnt from Resistance burning skies?”


looks very good. i really enjoyed resistance burning skies but i hope they can improve the graphics a little bit

Lymmusic 16 August, 2012 @ 8:44 pm   17

Have to agree with the majority of peoplle on this one, although i have little desi to pay this, the vita deserves a better game than this looks like its going to be… I have seen better graphics on ps2 or psp games, resistance looked a shambles. And to think zipper are no more. They wouldve done a much better job. Sony are really struggling to convince me the vita was a great investment.

UltimaDTG 16 August, 2012 @ 9:07 pm   18

why not delay the release and let a less inept developer make the game something of at least equal quality to an iPhone game? TBH at this point it would be a huge step up sadly. Both CoD and Vita deserve better

don_vennuchi 16 August, 2012 @ 9:33 pm   19

its not lookin like the vita selling game needed at present. I hope they step it up a gear all round, for me Killzone was the star of the show

UltimaDTG 16 August, 2012 @ 9:37 pm   20

OK my legitimate questions: 1. How can an independent studio make a new game in such a limited timeframe and expect to maintain any respectable level of quality? 2. Why not use features from black ops 2 that seem to be preferable to the old systems? 3. Why do the “new” maps look oddly familiar? Why do you Insist on 4v4 when no one wants it and even the PSP could do better?… If the game is good by some miracle will the person who made the trailer be fired/has that already happened? How do u keep convincing Sony to let u work on games so important to their new hardwares success?

igamer357 16 August, 2012 @ 10:54 pm   21

Serious question: how can this be played on the go? I thought multiplayer was limited to wi fi? Why not include an AI bot mode?

igamer357 16 August, 2012 @ 10:55 pm   22



us gamers do need some answers.. It sounds like the company did well to keep the CoD feel but failed to deliver a CoD game.

1) WE NEED ZOMBIES, black ops, black ops 2 have zombies HELL there’s even CoD zombie games on the iphone

2) The sounds need improving, that whole trailer is fulled with sound effects going off at the wrong time.

3) Like someone else said, even the PSP had 32 players online! Even iphones and the likes have better graphic games and more player counts online. The Vita is more powerful and has a great online service called PSN.

4) We don’t want bite sized gaming, we want console like gaming. Give us a proper story mode!

5) With all the unpolishedness in this game, along with a lot of missing content and still being sold as one of the highest priced Vita games. Us gamers are really getting ripped off.

If I was working for Sony/Nihilistic/Treyarch/Activision I would be ashamed that a lot is missing from this title. I put Treyarch in because its there game in sense and its just getting ruined on the Vita.

This game would of worked AWESOME for a launch title, but its not, it had a lot longer time to be what it should.

You do realise this sites sole purpose is to sell\market all things sony right? Theyr job is NOT to inform you but to sell these products.

The people posting these previews are paid to have a biased opinion. If you want unclouded opinions you should seek out a independent game news site.

redalertrules 17 August, 2012 @ 5:29 am   25

OK i never comment on things for the most part but you have to delay this game its looking really bad and from the US blog it says only 30fps as well as 4vs4 and 6 maps, really? i have to say after seeing that I felt like a real idiot for being an early adopter until i saw some actual footage of assassins creed 3 liberation which looks amazing you should be putting more footage of that up.

Jeff Reubenstein doesn’t answer ANY questions on the EU blog, but he is answering questions from this exact same post in the US blog:

ButtMudd 17 August, 2012 @ 8:13 am   27

looks good


Declassified looks abysmally bad, there has been no ambition to make this game good. Mostly copy paste of old stuff.

andrewsqual 17 August, 2012 @ 9:19 am   29

@supvic Yeah lol, its a word for word copy and paste job, a metaphor for the game too. This is going to be abysmal. @Allen_46 Well Burning Skies didn’t use the Resistance engine so, no I don’t think this will be either. Burning Skites looked alot worse then Resistance 1 and that is a 6 year old game now. There is no way that was Insomniac’s engine. Sigh first Spyro, then Resistance gets tainted, I feel sorry for Insomniac Games.

KillaT2501 17 August, 2012 @ 9:26 am   30

The thing at the top of the disappointment pile for me is the lack of Cross Play. Seems like a missed black op. If there was some way to continue your PS3 COD experience this would push loads of COD fans to get a Vita, but instead nothing.

I’m not a FPS fan, something special is going have to be pulled out the bag for this game not to get forgotten about.


This comment thread just goes to show how rubbish gamers are, boohoo. Haters gonna hate.


I liked burning sky’s but it did feel a little empty when your fired …….this said the online is great but it also stops at level forty. Fingers crossed they held back when making BS so COD on vita is the game the system needs.


OK guys lets talk about COD graphics in consoles 🙂 Come on say somenthing about the graphics is not chance from 2006! RIGHT! PEOPLE !
COD is a same game from 2006 the only cnance is a some drones in multiplayer, oh yeah and the lights to weapons xD

Lets talk about resistance burnig skies. The graphics and the gameplay is good for the firts portable fps is enjoyablie and fun play it first in Vita screen and then blame it!
People watch the reviews and saying the resistance is ungly without play
And then going to COD console reviews with all sites 9 and 10 and says wow what a game! awesome,… yeah sure…

The only think to afraid about Nihilist is they don’t has the Resources to support online multiplayer with patches like Resistance so many moths after Resistance comes out and they has patch the game only one time, multiplayers games need more patches to improve the gameplay

And last, why says the killzone mercenary is a good game? when take low review scores because most sites hate KZ scenario what we say then? KZ3 still has the most beautiful graphics in console and no one talk about that only talk about Crysis 2 has better graphics yeh sure….

UltimaDTG 17 August, 2012 @ 12:08 pm   34

@abtr First KZ3 has something like 75/85 positive reviews on metacritic so id hardly say its hated. Secondly, yes CoD isnt known for having the best graphics and is blatantly a franchise being milked to death by activision. However those games run at 60 fps and feature upto 18 player matches where there is a lot going on at any given moment. I’m no CoD apologist but its hard to ignore that it looks acceptable and on the whole plays remarkably well. The issue of course is that all of that is irrelevant, Declassified is a big deal in terms of bringing players to vita and has been given a lot of hype which it appears that nihilistic have majorly failed to live up to (note that i said appears) as they have done in the past twice now and lets be honest it, at the very least, should match the quality of an iphone game. I think what people need to see is extended gameplay as a kind of proof of life deal lol. The price is also ridiculous.


Some of those textures look horrendous! It looks like a HD version of a PS2 game.

Really hope this gets delayed so they can do some more work on this!

andrewsqual 17 August, 2012 @ 2:50 pm   36

@dr-yosh You would think so but it could have went either way and it is the same thing. People who say “can’t wait for the new cod game” are going to be despised by some people and the people who are saying it will be crap are told “oh yeah same old same old, typical to give out about cod, isn’t this getting a bit old now?”
I think your boring stale, over used last sentence says it all.

supersmith2500 17 August, 2012 @ 3:20 pm   37

Trust me guys, this game could well suck and get bad reviews no matter what with Nihilistic developing this along side Activision and yes guys, Activision used to great but now starting to suck with thanks to Kotick, they destroyed every franchise they own including Spyro and Crash and only care for Call of Dooty.

This game could be disappointing for all I can see. Unless the game gets delayed and improve the gameplay/graphics, or just leave it as a broken mess and rush it before Xmas like what Resistance did. Modnation Racers Roadtrip had no online, LEGO Batman 2 is ported from 3DS, Ridge Racer was rushed and this could suffer the same fate. No wonder the Vita is handled poorly than the 3DS. 🙁

StopBitz 17 August, 2012 @ 3:49 pm   38

Sorry supersmith2500 but I don’t trust you at all.

supersmith2500 17 August, 2012 @ 4:25 pm   39

Don’t think COD: Declassified suck? We’ll see.

Stonesthrow 17 August, 2012 @ 4:33 pm   40

@37 Activision and Kotick don’t care about COD at all. Zempalla, West and co (the originators) cared about their series and wanted to handle it with more patience and change, and they got fired for it. This is just a milkcow to Activision, they don’t care about the quality of the series, just the cash it brings in. Just like the blind fanboys that will swallow everything they serve them. This used to be a great series, and the more the quality declines, the more fanboys keep buying it. This is even worse than Fifa because Fifa atleast kept the quality on a same level. COD just turned into a rehash since the originators left and had to leave their series behind. They even mess up the hit detection in every iteration since Black ops, and this is a shooter [DELETED].. How can ‘fans’ not realise this? I used to be a fan too, up untill mw2, it all changed with Black ops and the best part of the original team leaving. /rant :p

hugh1111 18 August, 2012 @ 5:24 pm   41

All the usual comments apply; why nihilistic software? Too small and their games are average at best,their history confirms this. Why 4v4 that’s just poor, should at a minimum be 8v8 if not more. Only 6 maps, are you serious! Guarantee these maps will be small, nuketown size plus one of the 6 maps happens to be nuketown. Visually not great with washed out colours, just looks like resistance bs. Same engine has been used here. Where’s the uncharted ga level of presentation?? I could rant all day about this game. I’ve only one more word to say “mediocre”

is er ook zombies?

CrazySasquatch- 21 August, 2012 @ 7:11 pm   43

I really hope they can get the graphics sorted. After seeing killzone:M and then this. It looked so last gen. Hopefully they will get it sorted and make a great cod game. If there is such a thing…