Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified PS Vita review

Talk about an on the money title. COD’s Vita debut surely has the most literally appropriate name this side of Medal Of Honor: Warfighter bare knuckle brawling global conflict in the face. First announced in January, then kept hidden like an inbred cellar-dwelling relative until Gamescom in August, Activision has done its best to scrub Declassified from the map. The megaton publisher has barely promoted the handheld shooter. And it ain’t hard to see why.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified PS Vita review

Firstly, I should point out this isn’t without its merits. Does that mean Declassified is good? Dear lord, no. Still, with typically guttural weapons, combat is meaty like a Rocky abattoir sparring session. It’s also not quite the ugly duckling that first footage hinted at.

Sure, the textures, art design or lightning aren’t going to set your Vita alight with sexy graphical pyro. But the game is at least commendably smooth and reasonably well detailed in places. Of course, any good work is instantly nuked into oblivion when you take into account there’s about an hour’s worth of single-player content on show.

Nope, my chipolata fingers didn’t accidentally miss out a number there. Declassified’s main campaign component can be rattled through in less than 60 minutes. Composed of ten missions (usually lasting less than five minutes), these Operation quests really do put the stingy vol-au-vent in bite-sized.

Partially inspired by Modern Warfare 2’s Spec Ops mode, the piddling shooty stages on display sadly lack the tactical nous and replayability that made Infinity Ward’s co-op treat such an unexpected hoot.

If you were expecting a shrunk down version of the ferocious futuristic campaign escapades seen in Black Ops 2 on PS3, you better check those expectations at the door. Actually, you better get security to strong arm them out of said door then chuck those hopeful little buggers into the nearest gutter.

The only element that connects these two CODs is the obnoxious, overly zealous swearing of Sergeant Frank Woods and Jason Hudson. And boy does the presence of two charmless Cold War soldiers not make up for a lack of thrilling set-pieces, varied pacing or any semblance of story.

Each of the ten incredibly brief encounters on show act out as uncomplicated shooting galleries. Occasionally you’ll have to save the odd hostage or decimate a posse of guards during a slo-mo breach. Most of the time, though, you’ll simply be working your way through nondescript factories (always with the ruddy factories) as you churn through brainless waves of kamikaze AI soldiers.

The only bit I can really remember? Kiboshing a sniper stationed on a Russian hotel’s roof. And that’s only because it was snowing. Hey, after you’ve worked through half a dozen grey warehouses a bit of frosty sky juice is a refreshing change of pace.