Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified
claims to be a midquel that reveals the details of a handful of classified operations that took place between Black Ops
and its recently-released sequel. Since the storytelling in Black Ops
was uncharacteristically not awful for the series, my interest was mildly piqued. Were we going to see more of the downward spiral of the criminally-insane Alex Mason, or what became of the cynical Frank Woods? No. I'll sum up the campaign in three words: dudes get shot. That's it.
So what if the story sucks, though? Call of Duty's storytelling has been on the side of Bay-esque lunacy since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but the gameplay was still strong. Well, the transition isn't so successful with Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified. It all starts with the content, or glaring lack thereof.
The campaign is an uninteresting series of incredibly short and linear operations. There are no checkpoints: if you die, you start the mission over. You can finish the whole thing in under an hour. And you won't want to do it again.
Time Trials give you a small handful of shooting galleries -- you know, the kinds that always show up at the beginning of every Call of Duty since Modern Warfare.
Hostiles is the standard survival mode that has you holding your own against waves of enemies that increase in number as you progress. No surprises here whatsoever.
The multiplayer has a bit of staying power, but only because it keeps the classic Call of Duty formula, which is inherently addictive and fun. Build your classes, earn some experience, get new gear, and bring the war to the online space. It's cool, but it certainly doesn't live up to the experience offered by the much more complete console and PC experiences.