God of War

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

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Battle_4_U said:

October 4th, 2:35 am

From what I read, this game is clearly worth $14.99 because Nihilistic is making us buy Resistance: BS all over again but disguised as “Call of Duty: BOD.” Had Nihilistic added ALL the features above and had surprised us and added more features; this game would have been worth $70!! And I would have said money well spent!! However they didn’t, they also didn’t learn from “343” making a game how the Fans want it to be plus they also added even more features in their game, I know this isn’t the place to be talking about our rival but still, Nihilistic could have done better but I guess they didn’t learn from their last mistake and make a game how the fans like it to be or even GREATTER!!! Treyarch should have token over from the start even if it means waiting a whole another year for the game to be developed!!

Xabdos said:

October 4th, 4:51 am

No, not convinced on buying it yet, Resistance BS was pretty awful. plus there are many other better games to buy in that time period, games like : AC 3 Liberation, NFSmostwanted, P4G, just to name a few.
And I’m much looking forward to Killzone : Mercenary, It’ll be the first Killzone game I’ll buy and probably the Best FPS on the Vita.

FirsT-BursT said:

October 4th, 5:11 am

It does grab my interest on buying this game, and yes, everybody wants a full single player as well. We’re talking about 4 or more bots in the single player. We all want zombies, that’s what players come back for more. I understand that Sony is saving money by not hiring Treyarch, but cmon! You have millions of money! Hiring them reduces 2 million per say. More Vita players will actually buy the game making you more money. Resistance is working on this, yet their skills don’t come close to Treyarch. So how will this game succeed? 4v4 multiplayer, that isn’t even warfare, or modern. Try hiring Treyarch, Sledgehammer or others that can make the 30 fps better and the game itself better.

Trieloth said:

October 4th, 9:05 am

OMG there are some very rude PS guys here. I almost feel embarrassed to be a fan of sony. smh.
Anywho Iam very excited for the game and I have it reserved. Cant wait!

Ghostx187 said:

October 4th, 9:08 am

I keep reading that Declassified is going to be 50 dollars? What a joke. These half-assed games aren’t worth that much. Boycott these lazy developers, people. If they don’t really care about the fans, then don’t give them you’re money.

We all want:

A full story mode.
At least 8 vs 8 good multiplayer (which the vita is more than capable of)

But all that will drive up cost, take time to test and require nerds to actually do some work. Show some pride in your creation instead of just trying to make money off the blind. People who buy Call of Duty just because of its name like Madden. Very disappointed.

PRIMUS_420 said:

October 4th, 9:15 am

50$ is a bit heafty for a vita title it had better be worth it. But i would rather play zombies than multi player and it would just make sense because you only need 4 players. If the multiplayer for COD is anything like those servers for burning skies then no thanks.

jds07 said:

October 4th, 9:54 am

Dang, am I the only one that thought the zombie mode was lame and boring. The only part I liked about it was the comic relief with JFK. Other than that, throwing in a zombie mode on a simi-simulated military war game was crappy to me, but that just my opinion. As for Burning Skies, I guess I need to play the Resistance games on the PS3, because I thought it was a decent handheld FPS. Better than any mobile shooter I played on a smartphone, but still didn’t match up to a console shooter. I’ll still give this game a go, but if its setup like Unit 13 (no story) Im not wasting my money.

MrLu_131 said:

October 4th, 10:15 am

sounds great!

especially the fact that they improved the graphics! :)

cant wait for it

raidensrevenge said:

October 4th, 10:54 am

Why didn’t ask about about zombies? Only everybody wants to know so just spill the beans already.

Stinvil93 said:

October 4th, 11:43 am

Been a long time COD player on the ps3. But cant understand why a half backed team would work on a game that has a really good rep and tarnish it. When people get hoke from work or school and want to play cod especialy black-ops zombies is a requirment not something keft out. Please understabd that i have cod black ops zombies on my iphone 5. Yes on an iohone 5, So why isnt it on a vita. If an iphone can handle a zombies game. I am at a loss and cant see why it isnt on the vita a heavly spec device with great promise. I would pull this game and get someoe else else to make this game the way it should be. “A CLASSIC CALL OF DUTY” sony you guys are better then this please talk to activision ane get this game off the ground.

v-X_SHADOW_X-v said:

October 4th, 11:59 am

How many prestiges will there be?

mikelaury007 said:

October 4th, 12:08 pm

avery important question that should be asked is ” will you be able to customize the controls?” I just dont see how effective it would be to use the front touch screen to lob a grenade since to do so you would have to let go of one of the sticks. Can u change it to the touchpad in the back if you wish? This could actually be a deal maker or breaker in online matches..


October 4th, 12:58 pm

Hopefully they’ll release later a MW title for the Vita as I didn’t like Black Ops on the PS3

Assassin-T000 said:

October 4th, 12:59 pm

What!? Nihlistic and call of duty?! Exactly why im buying Call of duty Black Ops 2 instead of this.

Ryumoau said:

October 4th, 1:07 pm

@101 i actually think they should just give it out with new copies of Black Ops 2. I can’t imagine people buying this lazy game by itself. If i got the digital version free from buying Black ops 2, i would at least try it.

jbogreg said:

October 4th, 1:12 pm

You forgot to ask a very important question : which big gaming franchise will be the next victim of Nihilistict and by the way a new offense to vita owner ?

I’m from France and even here, most of the Vita owner who loves CoD franchise won’t buy it …

C_Y_P_H_E_R said:

October 4th, 3:00 pm

Funny how you people are complaining about it being $50. I got it for $37.99 at Newegg. Pay attention to deals and you’ll be able to afford games you’re interested in much easier.

k1ll3reye said:

October 4th, 3:43 pm

Will there be zombies or any dlc

play23 said:

October 4th, 3:44 pm

honestly, it seems very whack… not cool at all, COD developers aren’t even making it ?? or even helping a little bit? y not ? Sony push vita more ? and the mutliplayer should at least be 6 vs 6 not 4 on 4 ? AND supposedly its $50 lollllll Are you guys serious??? I’m super disappointed, and vita needs to actually have apps, like cell phones do … ign, g4, watchESPN, HBO go, VOXER, OfficialPlaystation APP (where is this app anyways?), banking apps, etc. for it to compete with tablets ?? STEP IT UP, love PlayStation, but its disappointing, that vita isn’t getting the support it needs.

Shacojin said:

October 4th, 4:33 pm

Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 on the PSP supported 32-person online multiplayer or 8-player ad hoc matches… why with all the advances in the PSVita hardware are they unable to come close to that?

R_a_z_i_e_l said:

October 4th, 4:56 pm

According to the Recent IGN Article from Sony’s fanboy GregMiller the game is BAD. Won’t be purchasing the game at its current level of quality and game modes. Seems more like a bloody IOS game that I could get for a few bucks on my Iphone.


October 4th, 6:47 pm

well, I think the best sony give time and invest in the production of this game, so why catapult another Resistance will serve to harm the image of vita … and Please, $ 50 on a mobile game? I not paid more than 35 in a mobile game, for this I not purchased Uncharted.

XdoubledragonX said:

October 4th, 10:02 pm

now that i’ve thought it over, I think I will buy this game. For one, it’ll be my first fps on the vita and it has an offline survival mode. Its better than nothing, besides I enjoyed survival mode in MW3. Its the only thing that keeps me from selling MW3. Hope to see others on the battlefield :)


October 5th, 5:09 am

WOW, Sony has really droped the ball when it comes to the PS Vita, Black Ops will be a game I buy used because the online will be a JOKE like Burining Skies. In general, Sony has failed when it comes to the PS Vita. There are only a couple of cross play games, they release the update for the cross controller feature, BUT NO GAMES TO USE IT ON. Original developers of the COD series should be embarrassed of the KNOCK OFF Black Ops that Sony contracted out. No “A” grade developers would touch the game because Sony supports the Vita about as much as the PSP and we all know what happend there. Sony, WHAT HAPPEN TO YOUR GAMING SKILLS. When the the PS Vita came close to release date all I heard about was cross controller and cross play feature just like the PSP. So I know what to look forward to. NOTHING.

ThePobZii said:

October 5th, 9:21 am

Sid i have a question. When you play an online game does your enemies online name come up above them when your about to shoot them, also does it comes up with your teammates aswell?

Assassin-T000 said:

October 5th, 3:29 pm

@119 i agree 100% I love playstation too but the vita needs more support

YungShep said:

October 5th, 6:41 pm

i still got hopes for this!!! BUT VERY SKETCHY AFTER BURNING SKIES…

wyattmiller84 said:

October 5th, 7:48 pm

I got a question that i think a lot of people want answered. Ive seen many youtube videos and forums about people saying stuff like “ZOMBIES THERE BETTER BE ZOMBIES!” or “if there isnt zombies im not buying”, but i never EVER heard anyone say “we want survival!” We are the fans, we are the ones buying if you want sales make it how we want it not you, we are the ones spending 50 dollars MAKE US HAPPY!!!

Garigandeljey said:

October 5th, 10:29 pm

I’m sick of hearing about people complain over the lack of zombies. For one zombies is NOT a staple of Black Ops. It was an extra addition by Treyarch. Do any of you not remember CoD World at War? That game had zombies. It was not a Black Ops game (obviously). Secondly, there are THOUSANDS of zombie games out there. Go play one of those. To be honest I’m about ready to puke from the zombie overkill the past few years.

And you know, Burning Skies wasn’t as bad as you all make it seem. It’s no surprise that people who didn’t have ridiculous expectations seem to have less negative things to say about it than those who “saw the trailer” or “looked at a tiny screenshot”. It’s sad to see gamers being so whiny and cruel to developers when they don’t get what they want. They must look at us like a bunch of hogs at a feed trough wanting more and more! Makes me ashamed to be a gamer really.

XdoubledragonX said:

October 5th, 10:34 pm

How much do you love zombies? By my guess, everyone wants it. Want to get it on Black Ops Declassified? WELL GUESS WHAT, nihilistic WANTED to put zombies. BUT, activision and sony needed to give them the okay to do so. heres my proof
NOW, what we as the ps vita gamers need/want to do in order to save call of duty is to tell sony AND activision that WE WANT ZOMBIES. Whoever knows how to contact them, write it down in the comments so we can tell activision to give the okay to do zombies. COME ON GUYS, as a community, we can convince sony and activision to do this!! :)


October 6th, 1:09 am

They wanted to make things right with the vita and then they put overpriced games like this out no zombies, visuals are lacking and they expect it to sell well. The mode which could be very easily be implemented and work the best on the VITA i.e. zombies is not included and neither is co-op (unlike unit 13 which supported co-op).

And why the heck did you close liverpool studio SONY??? all the people who buy wipeout games are people who are extremely loyal to playstation and wipeout was on of the exclusive which differentiated playstation from all other consoles and yet you dropped support for that studio and supporting this studio and game just because cod is a big name and you think that people will buy more VITA cos of it. That’s a wise decision preferring to risk everything on a game that so far it has not impressed and closing down a studio which made games which the loyal playstation members always both and still loved

oniotoko99 said:

October 6th, 8:58 am

When will this be coming out? Even an estimation would be good because this and SHBOM are on the top of my list for purchasing.

ChrisMichaels04 said:

October 6th, 2:21 pm


i agree with everything you said. People need to stop blaming Nihilistic or SONY and blame Activision for once again not taking the PS3 COD community serious. And as a longtime Resistance fan, I actually enjoyed Resistance Burning Skies so kudos to Nihilistic. Its not as good as SONY Bends Resistance Retribution, but it was still a solid FPS portable experience.

Im torn between wanting to pick up Declassified to support the Vita, while not wanting to support Activisions obvious greedy cash grab poor excuse of a AAA game. Just look at Uncharted Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush or the incredible looking Assassins Creed Liberation as fantastic games that developers actually cared about. Even the Slient Hill Book of Memories demo looked and played surprisingly well. Compared to these games, Activisions lack of respect for SONY is just disgusting. Its time these studios start putting Playstaion gamers first.

manveer26 said:

October 6th, 4:53 pm

Looking forward to a new trailer or gameplay, and this game is getting me more and more interested by every detail Nihilistic gives us!

Electricboy33 said:

October 7th, 12:20 pm

“Won’t be purchasing the game at its current level of quality and game modes. Seems more like a bloody IOS game that I could get for a few bucks on my Iphone.”

Well, it’s coming to Vita. So this means that at least the controls are much much better than in any mobile shooter out there. Few bucks or not, the controls suck in shooters that have created to mobile phones (yes, I have several of those). Vita has a proper analog dual stick design etc, so it’s made for the games like CoD.

But no single player story mode? What? If that’s the case, I probably have to pass this game. I mean c’mon.

TylerMcFane said:

October 10th, 5:28 pm

Sucks to have no zombies, I alway’s loved killing zombies in COD.

ry_boy2000 said:

October 11th, 9:08 am

The graphics Look like the ones one PS3 But im just worry about if they don’t put no zombies in the game:((((

SuaveGunner02 said:

October 18th, 11:03 am

Bottom line… Best FPS on a portable system ever. Nihilistic may not have delivered on R:BS but it looks like they have taken the heat and learned from it. Don’t expect a full console game when the system is portable… I’m buying it because I can’t make a game myself. Unless you can make a better game you’re probably buying it too.

miggcool45890 said:

October 20th, 3:46 pm

Would this game have throwing objects such as tomahawk and ballistic knife. I would love to play sticks and stones on the ps vita.

monzernater said:

October 31st, 6:43 am

Do you think this game wll have southpawn controler se up. Cause uint 13 didnt. An i kinda felt like i wasted my money on it cause of it. I cant play with out it.

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