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Oct 03

Oct 03

Q&A: New Details for Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified for PS Vita

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by Director, SIEA Social Media

Back in August, Jeff and I got a few minutes of hands-on time with Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, the upcoming PS Vita entry in the battle-tested military combat series. Though the game was early in production, our experience was promising and pointed to a faithful translation of Call of Duty’s signature multiplayer combat to PS Vita’s 5″ OLED screen and dual analog sticks.

Two months later, Activision and developer Nihilistic are shedding new details on this fall’s PS Vita punisher. We caught up with Robert Huebner, the developer’s studio head, for the latest intel drop.

Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified on PS Vita

PlayStation.Blog: How is the game progressing since we last saw it at Gamescom?

Robert Huebner, Studio Head, Nihilistic: Gamescom seems so long ago. I think the most noticeable thing is a significant visual upgrade; a richer color palette, more detailed models, and better lighting overall. Also we implemented an entirely new animation blending system that allows us to capture a lot of nuanced animation that Call of Duty players are accustomed to.

PSB: What do you consider to be the most crucial elements to nail when adapting Call of Duty to PS Vita?
RH: Two things really come to mind. The feel of the controls and weapons is a top priority, because that’s a lot of what makes Call of Duty work so well on other platforms. We got a lot of great insight and advice from the franchise veterans on this, but also adapted things for the specific controls on the PS Vita.

The second thing probably were animations. You don’t notice it all the time while you’re playing, but when you drill down, Call of Duty has an insane number of animations for each enemy and every little transition and move feels really accurate and intelligent. So we invested a lot of time in trying to capture that same feeling in Declassified.

PSB: Tell us about these new maps you’ve revealed, Nukehouse and Range. Nukehouse clearly seems inspired by the fan-favorite map Nuketown.
RH: Yeah, Nuketown is obviously a fan favorite so we wanted to really do an homage to that map. Nukehouse is a tighter level overall but tries to capture the unique look and feel of the original.

PSB: Here’s a question fans have been wondering about: How deep will the weapon modding system be?
RH: Weapons retain many of the attachments from previous games, with fan favorites such as suppressors, extended mags,underaction grenade launchers, and different optics. New additions also appear like improved grip, which improves hip fire accuracy, and adjustable stock, which gives full movement speed while using Aim Down the Sight.

In multiplayer, you’ll unlock these attachments by leveling up your weapons. You’ll be able to use up to two attachments with each primary weapon, and one attachment with secondary weapons.

Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified on PS Vita

PSB: How many Perks will be in the game, and what will they be? Anything new?
RH: There are a total of 12 Perks in Black Ops Declassified, with a mix of returning and new abilities. Hardline, Marksman, Sleight of Hand, and Lightweight are all back, but new perks like Surplus (extra starting ammo and grenades), Hardwired (immune to Counter Spy Plane) and Toughness (reduced flinching when shot) are also important to remember when creating classes.

PSB: Will there be different grenade types, and will any use PS Vita’s touchscreen in interesting ways?
RH: Definitely. We’re trying to bring back the most popular grenade and tactical weapons that fit the time period of our story, and there’s a lot of variety. The Bouncing Betty is one of the most popular around the office for multiplayer; there’s something very satisfying about getting a kill with one. And flash-bangs are also fun, the reaction of your opponents over Party voice chat is always entertaining. The front touchscreen is used to toss grenades as well as optionally to aim your throw.

PSB: What kinds of missions are planned for single-player?
RH: The single-player campaign consists of intense and replayable objective-based missions that allow you to get better and better over time to improve your performance. The goal is to give the player the experience of striving for the “perfect run” through each mission.

PSB: There are Survival missions in the game as well — what can you share?
RH: These “Hostiles” missions as we call them now are the classic “survive infinite waves” sort of challenge. The player has to survive wave after wave of different enemy types, but also receives “care package” drops during play to keep them supplied.

Add Your Own

Ghostx187 said:

October 3rd, 4:45 pm

What is the problem here??? Psp could support 16 player multiplayer with Socom Fireteam bravo. Why only 8 players on PS Vita with call of duty? Why are so many balls being dropped? Unit 13 would have been perfect with real multiplayer and Resistance Burning skies is just horrible and also lame 4v4. So many missed opportunities. Get it together you lazy developers. It’s almost the holiday and so far theres nothing to look forward to!

gcervantes99 said:

October 3rd, 4:46 pm

it can sell millions but they messed up

DarkOne_PR said:

October 3rd, 4:47 pm

@niko of death

I bought R:BS day one and i kinda like it BUT the game does not fill what Resistance franchise its good at… story. The Gameplay wasnt bad it was fun and good but the graphics while i wasnt expecting ps3 caliber i was expecting a lot more. And the Sounds of the Game were just HORRIBLE. I give it a MEGA generous 7/10 and I will give This COD game a chance so they can redeem themselves. If not then i wont be buying ANY MORE Nihilistic games.


October 3rd, 4:47 pm

xD this game is gonna suck!…You all saw what they did with Burning Skies.

S-A-Z-A-R said:

October 3rd, 4:48 pm

Im still going back and forth with it.

gcervantes99 said:

October 3rd, 4:50 pm

if they had zombies bigger maps and better multiplayer it would be a good seller

Luis_ces said:

October 3rd, 5:09 pm

Killzone, here we come!

onslaughtree said:

October 3rd, 5:26 pm

An here I am thinking if I wanted zombies, I would have bougt RE or Left For Dead ??!! Hahahahaha. The amount of you guys crying for zombies I would have thought this was a Zombie Survival game and not COD…..Im confused.

D-Squad3 said:

October 3rd, 5:34 pm

So how about that tweet on PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale? Are there more than 20 characters?


October 3rd, 5:35 pm

Sorry forgot to say

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified Will Not Have Zombies

Nihilistic have confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified will not have a zombie mode, more details inside………

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified multiplayer has constantly been criticised and questioned however the chance of portable zombies kept fans interested in the game. But an IGN post confirms that Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified on PS Vita will not have a zombies mode:

Zezzler said:

October 3rd, 5:36 pm

I have high expectations for Killzone: Mercenary. Not only because it’s made by a fantastic and talented developer (Guerrilla), but Killzone is overall a much more engaging and well designed first person shooter.

They will be able to bring an amazing campaign, the full KZ multiplayer, and all while optimizing it for handheld usage. I have high hopes for KZ: Mercs

marc2henri said:

October 3rd, 5:43 pm

please kill that studio already. really zipper , bigstudio, and Liverpool studio all gone and this piece of crap studio is getting games like call of duty. seriously pathetic sony….pathetic. might as well discontinue the VITA

f0ur2wen4y said:

October 3rd, 5:49 pm

i will buy this title. seeing as how i own just about every ps vita game. why not waste 50 bux on some more less-than-par software. sony should be ashamed of themselves with all this BS. ill never understand why they hooked us with false statements from the get go. we all know the handheld is capable of way more. OVER PRICED AND HELD BACK.. HELD WAYYYYY BACK. c’mon sony our udders are sore.

Emerald_Swords said:

October 3rd, 6:00 pm


Nihilistic isn’t a first party developer; they’ve made titles on both ps3 and 360 and their track record isn’t very good i don’t care what anyone says, this studio is mediocre at best.

fErNy1o1 said:

October 3rd, 6:00 pm

Here is another question that I have not seen, surprisingly from the fans is, will their be a zombie mode?

Luis_ces said:

October 3rd, 6:08 pm

@Zezzler #62;

Let’s hope guerrilla will work as hard as they work on the big consoles..
Killzone will be a plataform mover, not COD. At least not THIS COD.

Shatgan said:

October 3rd, 6:17 pm

There is no way i’m going to buy this version until they show a gameplay video.

Heavenly_king said:

October 3rd, 6:19 pm

@47: I also liked resistance, but the fact that there is no proper story mode makes this game a NO BUY!! I hate Unite 13, with those objective oriented missions!!

MarinoBrea said:

October 3rd, 6:27 pm


This is looking like a half-ass game that should have never been made if it wasn’t going to be a game worthy of the COD name.

Ghostx187 said:

October 3rd, 6:28 pm

Im going to wait to see gameplay before i make a decision. I think you all should too. If we keep supporting games that are poorly made and overpriced we will keep getting them from mediocre devlopers. Dont buy garbage anymore, and it will force developers to stop being lazy.

Go Guerilla and Killzone: Mercenary!

Niko_of_Death said:

October 3rd, 6:36 pm

I still like Burning skies, but I can see why some don’t like it.
The one thing I don’t like is that Medal of honor Heros could handle 32 player multiplayer. Why not at least 12 in BLOPS: Declassified?

kod13 said:

October 3rd, 6:44 pm

ehh no Zombies no sale ..Zombies was the only thing i liked about call of duty

kod13 said:

October 3rd, 6:48 pm

I know Guerilla wont fail us so i am definently going to get Killzone mercenaries though.

CruzanDemon7 said:

October 3rd, 7:02 pm

Since they made Resistance: Burning Skies I got a few questions.

Does the game look better than R:BS in action?

From your experience at gamescom at least, does it play like COD or does it feel like R:BS with a different skin?

Will there be any interaction between COD: Declassified and COD: Black Ops 2 similar to what Ubisoft is doing with Assassin’s Creed 3 and AC: Liberation?

MythicRastaman said:

October 3rd, 7:02 pm

Will it have ZOMBIES to or just with out it i,m so looking forward to this :)

luvtoseek said:

October 3rd, 7:08 pm

@ all who’s interested- Newegg has a $12 off coupon for any pre-orders over $49.99. Google it. Ends in a few days. Just pre-ordered this; fingers crossed that it’ll be decent!

applepfreak420 said:

October 3rd, 7:16 pm

Yeah so no zombies on the Vita? Please clarify. :/

Yukito__sama said:

October 3rd, 7:23 pm

we need zombies

samiamiamsam said:

October 3rd, 7:32 pm

Nhilistic? This has confused me since this game was announced.

Burning Skies was rubbish . Biggest disappointment of the year for me and countless others.

Countless quality developers are being downsized, and even closed. And what happens after they make one of the worst FPS of all time?

They get rewarded by being greenlighted by Activison to make COD Vita?

How does this makes sense?

jose213jose said:

October 3rd, 7:36 pm

It looks like the same gameplay over and over their only thing different is the storyline, not worth the time unless gameplay is more different.

CullenX said:

October 3rd, 8:00 pm

this game doesn’t look good. at all.

Luis_ces said:

October 3rd, 8:15 pm

You know what’s more depressing? When one buys the game, puts the cartridge on the Vita ( Or download, whatever) and starts playing…
That’s when you press ” New campaing” and you begin to watch the story made like a cartoon (*Cough RBS Cough*).
And you suddenly realise it was Nihilistic job. Oh.God.Why.

iiONyKz-_MaQuIrO said:

October 3rd, 8:34 pm

Wow understood! Looking forward to a video! And (maybe preorder)…!

gman_96792 said:

October 3rd, 9:04 pm

Was there any mention of Wager Matches?

DazeOfWar said:

October 3rd, 9:22 pm

I just can’t believe Sony is still going to release this garbage. The MP is week and now there’s no campaign. You definitely have lost my money on this game.

sweetduck15 said:

October 3rd, 9:23 pm

Will there be headset use, (microphone)

chasez671 said:

October 3rd, 9:33 pm

This is not worth 50 bucks. This is worth more like 25 bucks.

blinkstar-1080 said:

October 3rd, 9:45 pm

This game is going to be horrible if Nihilistic’s project history is any indicator of the future. I don’t think they’ve ever made a game that scored above 75 on Metacritic. I’m sure there are a lot of talented individuals working there but clearly game development isn’t one of their talents. My money is on Ubisoft’s AC:Liberation being the first true AAA title for the PS Vita.

Elvick_ said:

October 3rd, 11:05 pm

@39: It’s not Sony who decided who develops a 3rd party publishers game. Blame Activision. I’m sure Sony would have rather the game been made inhouse so it could be a high quality release without all this negative press surrounding it. I mean, blame Sony for trusting these developers with a Jak, Sly and Ratchet cross over (and it sucking). Blame Sony for them letting them touch Resistance after making a lame game. Don’t blame them for this one though.

Elvick_ said:

October 3rd, 11:09 pm

@89: Uncharted was the first AAA title on PS Vita imo. Rayman Origins was the first third party AAA game. Sure it was a port, but it had new features (to make up for no multiplayer).

@63: Dude, Sony has no say in what happens to this 3rd party developer. And unless they give them another first party property, or fund a new IP with these developers then there is no reason to think they’re not done with them. Activision = Call of Duty, not Sony. Activision is the one that picked these developers to handle their IP.

@86: Activision* not Sony. Stop blaming Sony for this one. It’s Activision’s game. Not Sony’s.

redalertrules said:

October 3rd, 11:16 pm

this is what sony should have done with EA and Activision as they love money over making games. First co fund games for the first year, Just think about fifa 13 on vita the same as ps3, madden 13 the same as ps3 both with cross play and call of duty a decent game instead of this game which will have the most horrible audio like resistance. All three would have sold reasonably well and creating a following on vita so sony would have got the money back through positive word of mouth. Instead i tell everyone the vita is a amazing device but dont get it as developers dont even take it seriously

cjmc18 said:

October 3rd, 11:50 pm

interesting to see that after IGN.COM tells us to be skeptical comes to the blog an article telling us how good of a Call Of Duty game this is going to be. I don’t care about control schemes because i play lots of games and i’m adaptable. So i just really hope they bring a solid shooter or at least something better than resistance. is this game doesn’t live up… then is up to guerrilla games with Killzone Mercenary.

dorkgeniuz21 said:

October 4th, 12:13 am

Any word on Dlc maps in the future?

jds07 said:

October 4th, 12:21 am

Wow, I didn’t realize how many people exactly like the zombie mode. I thought it was cheesy add on if you ask me, so that’s not a deal breaker for me. A deal breaker for me is if this ends up being like Unit 13. If that’s the case, I’ll wait for Killzone Mercenaries to come out.

kriskrosbbk said:

October 4th, 12:37 am

I didnt see within Q&A a sound question ,we all know RBS has awful sounds,any idea about CODBOD curent sounds progress ?


October 4th, 1:43 am

I’ll have to try out a demo and see for myself first.

Battle_4_U said:

October 4th, 2:33 am

Why is it that the PSP supports more online multiplayer and the graphics sucks, yet it was hell of fun!! And most of those online games for the PSP are shutting down their servers (most recently SOCOM: FTB2) and others may follow as well (thanks to hackers, plus piracy…) My point here is, the PS Vita is the most powerful handheld device in the WORLD (maybe I’m exaggerating, but still it’s pretty powerful) and Nihilistic clearly didn’t do their homework on the Vita they underestimate the Vita’s capabilities, doesn’t the Vita supports 3G connectivity? Then doesn’t that mean it surpasses the PSP online multiplayer connectivity, and the Vita’s online capabilities are limitless? (Meaning more online players and fast connections?) When I heard at E3 that this game was going to be a new revolutionary experience FPS for the PS Vita I was like ‘this game is going to be a BLAST!!!’ but after seeing the preview trailer I was like ‘ahwww well at least they still have Zombies’ but now after reading this blog, this game is CRAP!!!!

Battle_4_U said:

October 4th, 2:35 am

This game has NONE of the following:

8-vs-8 or 9-vs-9 or BOTH!!!
UNIQUE CONTROLS!!! (Sounds like they took the same controls from R: BS but switched it around a bit.)

This blog didn’t say much in-depth-info about the game so I’m not going to assume did didn’t also add “customizable character features like the original Black Ops, kill streaks, able to Prestige, online game modes (like Search-&-Destroy, Wager matches , Ground War, etc.) and other things that make Call of Duty, Call of Duty!!”

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