Activision has kept quiet but we've unearthed all the major details about Call Of Duty on Vita.
Published on Nov 8, 2012
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified didn’t get off to the best of starts. Or even the most average of starts. No, Black Ops Declassified got off to the absolute worst of starts – disappointing debut footage at Gamescom, which led to volleys of hatred and abuse from all corners of the internet.
It’s no surprise given Call Of Duty: Declassified, along with Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, are the big IP that seem to be carrying the hopes of Vita. “The video and screenshots released at Gamescom showed early work in progress,” said Nihilistic Software CEO Robert Huebner. “We knew the final look of the game would continue to come together, so the reaction to the early footage wasn’t a big surprise.”
But with the game itself due for release next week, there’s been almost no activity from Activision pushing Declassified at all. So what do we know about this mysterious Vita take on the Call of Duty series?
Single Player Breakdown
The story bridges events from Black Ops to Black Ops 2, helping fill in some of the backstory for Woods and Mason. It’s worth noting there’s no selectable difficulty in campaign. Instead, the Regular, Hardened and Veteran difficulty only applies to Operation Missions.
“What are Operation Missions?” we hear you cry, biting your lower lip in teary confusion. They are a cross between the Campaign levels and the Spec Ops missions seen in Modern Warfare 2 and 3. There are 10 Operations Missions in total. Not massive but a nice extra to have, and something that should fit with the portable, quick-bursts-of-gaming ethos of handheld.
There will also be Hostiles, a single-player mode where you begin with a specific loadout and you have to survive waves of enemies. Care packages between waves replenish ammo and grenades. There are five Hostiles missions in total and like Operation, both modes will be single-player only.
Other points to note. There will be the classic C4 breach-and-clear moments that have been a Call Of Duty staple for the past few entries. There’s no on-rail gunner sections from the backseat of a helicopter. The whole thing is locked at 30 frames-per-second “the vast majority of time”, according to Nihilistic.
The controls are classic Call Of Duty but the two main differences come from the lack of being able to click in the analogue sticks. So to replace, you can now select ‘auto-run’, which is enabled by tapping down on the D-pad. Likewise, melee is activated by touching the front screen. The only other Vita flourish with the controls is that back touch is used to hold your breath when sniping.
So, here’s an Interesting Thing about Declassified – the focus is on multiplayer rather than single player. Which you may think true about the Call Of Duty series anyway but the multiplayer part seems to be emphasised here.
“Declassified is not about the big campaign storyline and huge cinematics, it’s more focused on the multiplayer essence of Call of Duty and bringing that to a portable device as completely as possible,” explained Huebner. “And in bringing short, objective-based missions and score-driven gameplay with lighter story elements to create what we call the Operations missions.”
To that end, there will be no online pass for Declassified and it will have ‘migrate host’ too. There’s also a day one patch planned for Ad Hoc multiplayer. However, multiplayer won’t be possible if you only have a 3G connection available and there are other restrictions on the multiplayer modes themselves. We’ll come to those later.
First, we’ll tell you what is confirmed. There are six multiplayer maps in total – Nuke House, Shattered, Range, Rocket, Container and Intel. The multiplayer modes are Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed Deathmatch, Drop Zone, Free-For-All and Team Tactical (which shuffles the other modes). There’s no official word on DLC yet, so while six maps and five multiplayer modes may seem unusually meagre for a Call Of Duty title, that may be all we’re going to get.
You won’t be able to do much with the custom matches. In fact, the only settings you can change are the playlist and amount of players allowed in. Private matches allow between two to eight players, though team assignments will remain automatic. There will be five preset classes, five custom slots and one ‘near shared’ class slot.
Those used to Call Of Duty multiplayer will notice several omissions. There will be no Hardcore mode, no wager matches, no akimbo, no CoD points, no Pro perks, no gun camo and no Elite integration. Perhaps most significant of all is the complete lack of killcams in multiplayer.
There’s also another concern further down the line. Declassified will be Nihilistic’s last ‘boxed’ product as they will reform as nStigate, “a new company for digital/online”, this December. That doesn’t affect Declassified development now but it does create some uncertainty with patches beyond December. What if someone hacks open the multiplayer? Previous Call Of Duty games has shown this is a legitimate concern and right now, we don’t know who would be around to patch it. Sony? Activision?
Killstreaks And Perks Breakdown
The killstreaks available are Spy Plane, Care Package, Counter-Spy Plane, Mortar Strike, Sentry Gun, Advanced Spy Plane and Attack Helicopter. Some of the killstreaks are activated by tapping on the mini-map (directing Mortar Strikes, for example). There are no death streaks in Declassified.
The perks available are Sleight Of Hand, Lightweight, Hardline, Jammer, Cold Blooded, Fast Hands, Hardwired, Toughness, Dead Silence, Flak Jacket, Surplus and Marksman.
Weapons And Upgrades Breakdown
And now it’s time for a list! Here’s a list of every single weapon confirmed by Nihilistic for Declassified, along with the upgrades at the end.
And that’s it. That’s all the info that’s out there. As for whether the game itself will be any good or not, the signs aren’t great – Nihilistic entered this project fresh from the disappointing Resistance: Burning Skies and will be exited boxed game development as soon as this is completed. Activision hasn’t shown much faith in Declassified either, seeming to hide it in shame rather than show it off with pride.
Will Declassified surprise us all? It’s out next week, so we’ll get our answer sooner rather than later…