Sunday, December 23, 2012

Slightly Redder Red: COD:BLOPS Declassified

I feel like I don't need to play this game for more than a half hour to review it.

I received a PS Vita as a Christmas gift from my uncle, and with it came the Call of Duty: Black Ops spin-off, Declassified. It's essentially a bunch of spec-ops missions strung together to form a campaign told entirely through the cut-scenes at the beginning of the level (cut-scenes in COD games are just cleverly disguised loading screens). Don't expect any story through the game, I never got any AI companions in the time I played it to give me any sort of narrative during gameplay, it's all just running and gunning down hordes of Spetsnaz and Vietcong.

The running and gunning isn't even that good. I garuntee that at mid-long range combat, it will be impossible for anyone to hit any of the enemies without aim assist. I have to thank the developers for giving the player very easy-mode aim assist to compensate for the lack of control with the dual analog on the Vita (think Borderlands level of aim assist), but they could have at least given the AI some semblance of intelligence. I haven't fought enemies this dumb since I played Skyrim, there were instances in-game where enemies would not fire their guns even if I was standing right in front of them. They would even fire their guns while they were still behind cover, shooting at the concrete in front of their faces, resulting in some very annoying segments where I would waste a grenade killing an enemy on a balcony who wouldn't stand up from behind the concrete barrier yet kept firing his rifle.

A very annoying trend in games that has cropped up rather recently is door breaches. The new Medal of Honor had different animations for door breaches you could unlock to spice up the gameplay. Developers: door breaches are fucking stupid. They break up the pacing of the game, slow-mo segments of shooting fish in a barrel are not as tacticool as you think, and they're a really lazy way to make a game easier when putting your player up against entering a room full of enemies. There have been so many games where shooting up a room was fun, yet hard, and devoid of slow motion. Throughout the five or so levels of the spec-ops missions I played, I must have done nine or so door breaches, one level at three in a row. STOP WITH THE DOOR BREACHING, I JUST WANT TO SHOOT THINGS.

I played the horde mode, but it's just as bad as the campaign. AI is dumber than all hell and you usually end up dying due to the controls. Also, the enemies all usually have the same gun, so it's really monotonous. 

The saving grace of this game, which isn't at all shocking, is the multiplayer, and the only reason it's the saving grace is because I didn't expect a full fledged COD multiplayer system on the Vita. Aim assist is gone, so there's some skill required, and the progression is familiar. The huge problem is the fact that not only is it almost impossible to connect to a server, but they're emptier than MAG, I played on 4 different servers (as in I joined a party and quit it soon afterwards) and saw the same 10 people over and over.

After everything's said and done... 3/10. 2 points for the multiplayer being sort of fun and one point for the visuals and animations being okay.

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