Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified - First Impressions

After braving the midnight launch at my local Game store (@game_hemel). I returned in the early hours with not one but two Call of Duty games. COD: Black Ops 2 for the old 360 and the little known about Black Ops declassified on the Vita. Sony announced the game back in June at E3 to tremendous reaction from the assembled journalists and gaming elite. Then they announced that the game was being developed by Nihilistic and then waited until Gamescom to show a trailer that looked... well.. not very good some would say (and they did...alot!).

Well now the real thing is here and the Vita community appears to be divided. With no official reviews showing yet on metacritic the users reviews are the battleground for this title at the moment.  Reviews like this one:

"The game is not worth the money. It is too horrible. The main frustrations this year. She had not even reached the title game average. Sounds just do terrible weapons. 0 out of 10"

are going up against reviews like this:

"Surprised by the quality after all the doom and gloom! It's excellent hope it helps sell some vitas!! Looks better graphically than the old trailers which nearly killed this game Thanks god it's good!!! 10 out of 10"

Who to believe? Is it good, great or total Sh**te. Well I have had the pleasure of commuting into London today on the trains. Plenty of time to get to grips with CODBLOPSDEC (is that really what we are going to call it?). First of all, If you are thinking of taking your Vita and this game out on public transport, wear some headphones. Otherwise people look at you as if you are a mass murderer in training. Which may or may not be the vibe you want to give out.

I liked Resistance on the Vita, whilst it was not the best FPS I had ever played, Nihilistic did sow the seeds that a true dual stick console FPS could be portable. So they were probably the best people to bring Call of Duty to the Vita. Now it is worth mentioning that the reason why so many fanboys level headed followers of this series are so upset with the Vita version, is because they feel that the solo campaign is too short and only lasts an hour and that there are not enough maps.

The Operations mode is a selection of 10 levels, featuring the star of the previous Black Ops game and details covert missions in various regions of the world from 1975 to 1982. It sort of a follow up to the original Black Ops. Each operation has a set of objectives that must be completed to finish the mission. You are then rated for the mission and awarded up to three Gold stars depending on how well you do. It's like a mash up of Call of Duty, Unit 13 and Angry Birds.

Yes, the Operations levels are short. The opening level can be completed in 5 minutes on regular. If I try on Hardened though, I get killed a lot! Operations mode is very clever in that it is the Call of Duty experience, but with the short, sharp, drop in and out gameplay that the Vita has become good at. Its going to take the average gamer a while to get 3 gold stars in every operation on regular, without going neat the other two difficulties.

As well as Operations, you also have two other single player modes. A five level Time Trial mode that is based around the obstacle course tutorials from the previous games. Its fun and kind of addictive too. Although shooting the cardboard enemies is never as fun. Hostile's mode is basically horde mode. Wave upon wave of enemy spawn to hunt you down. They get more aggressive as the stage plays out and start toting armour and heavy guns. The players goal as always is to kill them all and survive. This is perfectly suited to the commuting gamer. It provides you with the Call of Duty fix whilst not having to invest in story lines or scripted events.

At this time, I havent even began to play multiplayer yet and I love the game. It is not the Call of Duty that everyone wanted to see on the Vita, but one thing that you cannot deny about CODBLOPSDEC is this...

It's Call of Duty on a Handheld with decent controls and gameplay!

So go on Vita owners, your console needs you and you never know you may like it as much as I do.

More to come as I delve deeper into the game over the next few days.

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