PS Vita Mini-Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (2012, Activision)

Call of Duty… the shooter series that has been rehashed almost every year or second year. To date, this is the only Call of Duty title on the Sony PlayStation Vita platform… I wonder why.

I tested this game with my Henkaku 3.60 enabled phat PS Vita with and without OClockVita (Overclock Vita). With OClockVita disabled, the game was playable but choppy. When things started happening, you’d get framerate spikes which was a little off-putting since when you go to shoot, you want the visual feedback almost instantly so you know you’re shooting. When the action went quiet, the framerate picked back up. When the action started getting intense, the framerate started suffering, although not as bad as some other games.

With the maximum settings enabled on OClockVita, the framerate improves quite a fair bit – to the stage that it’s almost the same game performance as a generation or two older from the current generation Android device.

Unlike the Nintendo DS versions of Call of Duty, the graphics in the Vita version aren’t a dogs breakfast. Sure, it’s not going to win any awards if you compare it to it’s big sister titles on the PS3 or PS4 – and that’s not a fair comparison either – but the graphics are still respectable for the Vita hardware.

Audio sounds like what you’d expect from a handheld console, and while I was playing using the Vita’s speakers, I could clearly hear the screams and groans of the enemies as I shot them. Subtitles are available (just enable them in the Options) and I enabled them as sometimes I will be asking myself “what did he just say?” after hearing something but I was busy dispatching a few bad guys. The mission briefing videos are pre-rendered, but not heavily compressed and look good on the phat Vita’s OLED screen.

Some chapters are a little too short and/or feel like you’re beating the game too fast, but this could just be me. Controls seem to be very well adapted to the twin sticks on the Vita and you do get a moderate amount of “snap-to-nearest-enemy” aim assist which is very welcome since I suck at console shooter movement.

Overall, for a PS Vita shooter, I honestly say that if you are a fan of Call of Duty, do check it out. While I’m not a fan of the newer futuristic Call of Duty titles, I still like the historical-based ones. With that said, it’s probably best to play it with a overclocking module enabled thanks to Henkaku at the expense of a hand-warming Vita and slightly reduced battery life.

1 Reply to “PS Vita Mini-Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (2012, Activision)”

  1. It’s a shame the game struggled with performance, even with the in-game assets running at 408p. The mutiplayer even had some faithful recreations of maps, like Shipment from Modern Warfare. I’ll revisit the game. Thanks for the review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.