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

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

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.

Comments are closed.


2 Author Replies

  • Looking forward to this!

  • Here’s a question. Is the multiplayer any less depressing than Burning Skies’?

  • I have to say, I can see a major upscale in graphics from the reveal trailer to these new pictures. Defiantly gonna buy this now!

  • Just hope it has zombies. This WILL NOT be COD: BLack Ops if it doesn’t have zombies. Nihilistic is certainly screwing this game up. I am sad ;(

  • Please tell me these “Hostiles” are zombies.

  • I was thinking that too, o0JUNIOI20o

  • I have a question about hostiles, are they solo only or can you play them with other players. Is it similar to survival from MW3 or is it really zombies. I will take either, I just want something survival.

  • How the hell is this game a true call of duty experience?

    -No zombies
    -6 maps(1 ‘homage’ to nuketown)
    -4 v 4
    -30 fps
    -Objective based sp

  • Sid, when could we have a video of this game running on Vita?

    i’d like to see how it has been improved, cause im interested in the game , but im not if i should buy it :/

    • Good question – haven’t played it since gamescom, but we’ll try and get it in house for some video action before launch

  • You have the nerve to show your face back here,of course i am joking. but like the people say above zombies what wasn’t this asked in Q&A

  • im not sure if i should buy it …. sorry

  • Please tell Nihilistic Software to be semi-active on Twitter.

  • It was a terrible idea to give Call of Duty’s first Vita outing to the incompetent developers at Nihilistic.

    This is one of the biggest gaming franchises of all time and you had a chance to really help Vita with it. But instead of giving us a true Black Ops II port for Vita with PS3 multiplayer cross-play, you give us a crappy looking side story made by the guys who did the crappy resistance burning skies.

    I guess even Activision doesn’t have enough faith in the Vita to put an ‘A’ grade developer on it.

  • exactly what sheengrtr sayd, especially the 30 fps lock, i mean what the f! cod has always been 60 fps! THAT is cod, but oh well its nihilsitisitic, the worst, cheap software developer sony uses to make games for the psvita, they alredy done a mess with resistance and now they come to cod, i will seriously laugh a lot to the reviews, its alredy expected.

  • Only way is see this game selling is if its bundled free with the console version of Black Ops II, similiar to the new Cross-Buy promotions Sony is doing with PS All Stars and the new Sly game.

  • This company seriously needs to prove themselves after wrecking Resistance…. I can’t even remotely take this game seriously because of that (and all the dull negative feedback coming from play tests).

  • honestly when i played it at E3, it felt like a crappy iOS port, but i wasn’t surprised, the guys behind it are the ones who did Resistance: Burning Skies, which was just a flat out fail

  • @3: They could be bullshots.

    And please no one blame Sony for this game, blame them for resistance bs and playstation move heroes. Blame Activision on this one please. And Nihilistic obviously if this isn’t much better than BS was.

    We shall see upon release.

  • This game looks and sounds EXTREMELY disappointing so far.
    the controls seem very un-intuitive, everything is scaled down, and it lacks one major thing that Black Ops is known for; ZOMBIES! How could they not include THE defining feature that makes Black Ops , Black Ops!? I mean, heck, even iOS has zombies!

    This game should not have been left in the hands of Nihilistic in my opinion.
    I really hope that they prove me wrong on this, i really do.


    I hate “objective based” single player games!!! I hate Unit 13!!! I want a proper Story mode like in Uncharted:GA, not this crap!!

    Hopefully Killzone Mercenaries will offer a story mode.

  • Really this is black ops no zombies I forget the team that u guys have doing your ps vita game but let you know they suck ass and people are starting to hate buying the ps vita. Come on sony fire that stupid team and get a better one that knows how to make true games.

  • Hi, I’m going to be professional about this unlike everyone else hear that’s criticizing your studio for a previous game you made. All I want to tell you is you need to put zombies in it at least a pumped up version of the ios one, but if you don’t have it on the game then you should do it viva download/DLC. The next thing is can you guys make the killstreaks guide-able like what the guy from IGN said on youtube example: guide predator missiles, reapers, mortars, and napalm viva touchscreen. That’s all Nihilistic thank you for the game, work, blood/sweat and your time.

  • I love black ops but I can’t say this is something I want. Zombies is the most important part of black ops. A lot of people just want to take a break from multiplayer. I would buy a stand alone COD zombies game if it were made. Many people feel the same way, yet you give us no zombies and survival in its place. This is dissapointing to say the least. You have heard this multiple times but the vita is not simply a handheld, it is a console in its own right. It is in Sony’s best interest to realize this. A port of Black Ops 2 would have been better most likely. Learn from your mistakes.

  • why Sony Bend didnt develop Resistance Burning Skies? its been like 3 months and the multiplayer still broken, come on sony, Nihilistic isnt up there as developer to be handed big name franchises on the any system, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… im not buying CoD vita for the simple fact that im still waiting to have a pleasant online experience with Burning Skies.

  • im not supporting mediocre studios from now on, i just hope after Burning Skies failed the franchise isnt done.

  • Hope it’s a fun shooter, sad that it wasn’t developed in house like out cod games. Black ops without Zombies don’t seem right, but I’m willing to give the game a chance. Let’s see if they can pull it off before we judge the game as a fail. Hopefully they learned something from Resistance (which wasn’t totally bad) and knock Black-Ops Declassified out the park!

  • Im still not sure about this game, Nihilistic still hasn’t sorted out the many problems in Resistance Burning skies…so this could easily tell us how well they’ll support the online portion.

  • This could have been HUGE, but with a mediocre developer like Nihilistic it’ll be a bomba.

  • @24: They did Resistance so well on the PSP, they could have done so well with Vita. I think they were probably too busy with Uncharted to do it though. I would have waited a year or two, maybe three for another great Resistance by Sony Bend.

    I mean I liked BS, but it is mediocre at best.

  • Please, please do this right. I’m traditionally more of a Battlefield guy, but I fully understand the power of the CoD brand. A QUALITY CoD game will bring in new Vita owners in DROVES! It would be great for the platform. On the other hand, if this game bombs, I fear for the Vita’s near future. (I think it will still be ok in the long term)

  • you want people to buy your game, ADD ZOMBIES !!!

  • Nihilistic doesn’t care about the quality of this game. They know along with Activision that there is a subset of people who will just buy and slop with the Call of Duty name slapped on it. There is no reason to own this game as far as I have seen so far. It looks like another trademark poorly executed shooter from Nihilistic. Why do you think barely any media is coming out about it or any actual hands on demos except for today on limited sites. The real gaming press will tear it to shreds on release day and they are just prolonging that.

  • Too bad its not Battlefield for Vita. I hate that im about to support such generic mediocrity like another call of duty game. Im so desperate for something to play on Vita im making an exception. Cant wait for Killzone Mercenary.

  • I would give them a chance if they give us some vids this week…

  • How many more mediocre FPSs do we have to suffer from Nihilistic? This game, like Burning Skies, is an insult to Vita owners.

  • I want news from killzone mercenary!

  • “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…”

    Back in August the game was early in production…a game like this should take 2 years of production…shouldn’t it? August should have been near the end of production…not the near the beginning. I am guessing this game needs more production time….should come out next November…not this November.

  • I really think they should swap the current system for BLOPS IIs pick 10. It will make it much more appealing. Maybe add zombies as a dlc or update?

    But the graphics look much better.

  • So what this Q&A is telling me that:

    1. There won’t be any zombies ( what is this modern warfare? I thought it was black ops)

    2. Campaign mode is besically mission modes like unit 13? And not a story mode like its console counterparts? I’d rather have a story mode over freakin missions

    3. 4v4 plus smaller maps -_- just lame… Come on iOS games such as nova 3 can be played with more people online then this junk and then maps are bigger

    4. They should actually cancel this game… Or redo it over and this time listen to the fans, because
    A) we deserve a console experience
    B) Add zombie mode ( only reason why I would of bought this game)
    C) Sony don’t you want to sell more vitas?

    So far I’m just really disappointed

  • In fact, they look amazing. Although it was probably upscaled, and edited. Like a big mac on a ad.

  • the crazy part is this i tweeted sony and nihilistic a 1000 times Easy fix and a great idea i would have just made a zombie story or made,,,,,,,,, the missions some from black ops 2 some from blacks ops declassified and its so foolish to release it next to blk ops 2 its not a spin off its a rip off

  • @40… they should delay this game by a year or so and go back to square 1 or can it. I agree.

  • Also I’ve been reading every single comment on this page and so far Everyone wants zombies including people on different forums…. At least mention there will be a zombies mode through dlc that would get me and other people to shut up about it arent I right?

  • Also it’s has call of duty: zombies and black ops zombies

  • Ios*

  • Wow. So much hate. I guess I’m a freak for liking resistance…

  • there wont be any zombies

  • Its the game still for 50 bucks?
    mmmmm Zombies? but reading ur answer then thats a no and that means that its a no buy lol!

    If the game release for 40$ I’ll buy it day one depending of what i see on the general review. But for 50!? nA ah!

  • its 50 bucks and overpriced for that price i want the full call of duty experience

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