Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 58 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 58
  2. Negative: 51 out of 58
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  1. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Dec 23, 2012
    A competent but overly streamlined CoD experience that, despite having all the ingredients, fails to provide enough of anything to be an essential buy. [Jan 2013, p.102]
  2. Games Master UK
    Dec 18, 2012
    Gorgeous to look at and cracking to play, but criminally short - especially with that price tag. [Jan 2013, p.62]
  3. Dec 14, 2012
    It is a tough one to call with Declassified, there is plenty of potential there, but the execution is lacking. Content feels very watered down and it appears that the wrong capabilities of the Vita have been used.
  4. Nov 16, 2012
    Nihilistic's take on Call of Duty is a disappointment and not something I would recommend.
  5. 55
    The best first-person shooter on a portable but it's not exactly a high yardstick.
  6. Nov 29, 2012
    In the end, Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is a pale imitation of its superior forebears. It's not bad for what it is, but it's not nearly as good as it should be.
  7. Nov 19, 2012
    Declassified is a mediocre FPS. The single player lasts a couple of hours, the multiplayer is mortified by lag and a clumsy matchmaking.
  8. Nov 19, 2012
    It feels unfinished and rushed through development. We really think it could've been polished to make it a better game, but unless an important patch comes out, it's really hard to recommend taking into account all the constant crashes when playing online and the extremely short single player modes.
  9. Official PlayStation Magazine Benelux
    Jan 8, 2013
    Despite a familiar control scheme, movement is very "floaty" and will get you seasick within seconds. The best tactic to counter these controls is to find a nice hiding spot, step sideways out of cover and shoot and shoot and shoot. And shoot. [January 2013, p.97]
  10. Nov 15, 2012
    Declassified is the worst of CoD series. Poor content for single-player and irregular multiplayer netcode.
  11. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Jan 28, 2013
    Declassified feels like a disappointing DLC bundle rather than a full release. In its best moments it proves that Call of Duty could work on the console, and it has some good ideas – earning XP across single-player for multiplayer unlocks is particularly neat – but it's exceptionally hard to justify how this ended up with a $70 price tag. The very best PS Vita games have proven that, in the portable market, size can still matter. This lesson has, ironically, been ignored by gaming's biggest franchise. [January 2013, p76]
  12. Nov 27, 2012
    Declassified is a sorry way to end 14 years of coding history at Nihilistic. The kindest thing you can say about it is that it's a reasonably authentic facsimile of the Call Of Duty blueprint, yet it feels like the work of an artist who is painstakingly tracing a masterpiece but lacks the craft to replicate the magical that made the original so attractive in the first place.
  13. Nov 26, 2012
    Declassified is brief, boring, and bland. It should have stayed locked up in the filing cabinet.
  14. Nov 21, 2012
    With a shockingly brief single-player campaign, and an enjoyable but inconsistent multiplayer mode, your enjoyment of Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified will depend almost entirely on your desire for a portable entry in Activision's blockbuster series. The title delivers a satisfactory first-person experience, but falls seriously short in substance. Sony Cambridge will, in all probability, better this effort in virtually every area with its forthcoming Killzone: Mercenary, which ultimately makes the shooter hard to recommend.
  15. Nov 20, 2012
    Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified is one of the worst chapters of this popular franchise. The short campaign and the clumsy multiplayer are lethal shots to the poor PS Vita existence.
  16. Nov 18, 2012
    Ultimately, it's about as disappointing as a game could be. It's less "Call of Duty" and more "cynical cash grab," attempting to con Vita owners out of their hard-earned. At a budget price, with the bugs fixed and a name that better suits the experience, things might be different; as it is, this game is less Declassified and more Disgusting. Avoid, and tell your friends to do likewise.
  17. Nov 16, 2012
    Black Ops Declassified isn't a Call of Duty game. It's like one of those grey-market cameras that has an almost-recognizable brand name on the front. And Activision, in all of their laziness, may have inadvertently kicked off the Vita's funeral procession.
  18. Nov 16, 2012
    Bad multiplayer, awful story, generic level design and a host of other issues turn what could have been Vita's biggest blockbuster into one of its biggest duds.
  19. Nov 16, 2012
    The multiplayer experience, though it's probably the best part of the game, is extremely poor when compared to the other chapters of the Call of Duty brand. The maps are too small and badly designed, the net code is terrible and, among many other problems, the game tends to crash randomly while joining a session or during the match itself.
  20. Nov 16, 2012
    But Declassified also exposes failings of Call of Duty's form and fashion. The game is a cliché, its thrills limited, its time-stretching ploys clear. It's infused with the character of Call of Duty, but stripped of the spectacle it reveals the underlying game to be wholly plain and an uninteresting use of your time.
  21. A cynical grab for gullible gamer Christmas cash made to coincide with Vita's first festive period, this COD shouldn't just be declassified; it should be erased from existence.
  22. Nov 13, 2012
    A passionless take on a great license. Only but the most battle hardened Call of Duty fans should even consider taking this one down to the range.
  23. Nov 21, 2012
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified was supposed to be THE Vita game. This was a system seller, and one that would forever showcase just how hardcore the PS Vita was in the handheld scene. Unfortunately, what we ended up with is a watered-down, uninteresting version of CoD that feels almost like a cheap knock-off of the series. I cannot recommend this game for Vita owners with so much other quality software dropping in the last month. Shooter fans continue to hold out, Declassified is not the shooter that will define the PS Vita… at least not in the way Sony hopes.
  24. Nov 20, 2012
    Declassified completely fails to deliver what gamers expect from the Call of Duty name.
  25. Dec 5, 2012
    It feels like Activision rubber-stamped this empty shell of a game to make a quick buck. The Vita deserves better. You deserve better.
  26. Jan 14, 2013
    This game should have stayed classified or, at the very least, been redacted.
  27. Nov 19, 2012
    It's a muted, ungainly piece of work, the bare minimum for a ridiculously inflated price tag.
  28. Nov 28, 2012
    Vita users deserve more than the half-baked conversions they get lately. This is a disgrace to the Call of Duty franchise. Both story and multiplayer feel unfinished.
  29. Dec 17, 2012
    The final word on Black Ops: Declassified is somewhat paradoxical. It's not quite the trainwreck that many have made it out to be. In fact, if this were an iOS game available for $1.99, there's every chance that it would garner much more praise. But the Vita isn't an iPhone, or a tablet. It's capable of so much more, and for that reason, Declassifed is incapable of defending itself as anything other than execrable. It's a black mark on the franchise and yet another massive missed-opportunity for the Vita.
  30. Dec 17, 2012
    A frustrating game, uninspired and just smears the name of the series that sells the most in the industry today.
  31. Nov 23, 2012
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified delivers an insultingly short single player campaign, with mediocre gun play and an array of problems in terms of online multiplayer.
  32. Nov 20, 2012
    Unless you're a glutton for punishment, or enjoy nearly broken multiplayer experiences, it's best to pass on this one and pray Declassified will at least prove to be a good learning experience for Activision and Nihilistic, if they ever decide to give a Vita shooter another try.
  33. Nov 20, 2012
    When they announced a Call of Duty for Vita, people probably hoped for some kind of system seller. What they got instead is a catastrophic failure of a game that might well prompt people to stay away from Sony´s portable altogether.
  34. Nov 19, 2012
    A flimsy, forgettable, phoned-in Call of Duty. The only entertainment value comes from watching the relationship between Activision and Sony, who now seem chummy enough to exchange gag gifts.
  35. Nov 19, 2012
    Nothing more than a half-assed rush job, resulting in a monotonous, glitch-riddled, highly repetitive portable experience. The game looks like hell, the AI is terrible, the story is meaningless, and the controls just aren't right. There is some legitimate entertainment to be found in the multiplayer, but that aspect is so terribly plagued with technical mishaps and an overall ho-hum feeling that it's not reason enough to warrant a purchase.
  36. Nov 17, 2012
    If you are looking for a portable experience worthy of the Call of Duty name, you will not find it here. Declassified has very little in the way of redeeming qualities which is unfortunate because this is a massive opportunity lost for Activision, Sony and fans of Call of Duty games.
  37. Nov 16, 2012
    Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified has only its name going for it. Everything else is piss poor, from both design and production standpoints.
  38. Nov 15, 2012
    The single-player feels like a series of demos strapped together, and the terrible AI only piles on more mediocrity, leading to an absolutely incomplete experience. The adequate multiplayer offering does give die-hard Call of Duty fans something to be excited about, but even that portion of the game feels slapdash and rushed.
  39. Nov 14, 2012
    The very worst thing about Declassified is that in reporting its failure we feel like we're writing an obituary for the PS Vita itself...This was make or break for Sony's portable, but such a shamefully underdeveloped shooter disgraces both the PS Vita and the Call Of Duty franchise.
  40. Nov 14, 2012
    A absolute mess...Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified is appalling. In dramatic fashion, it completely fails to live up to the high bar of quality gamers expect from the Call of Duty name. It's also a discouraging sign for gamers like me who shelled out $250 for a Vita in the hopes of console-quality experiences on handheld.
  41. Nov 28, 2012
    A massive disappointment that tarnishes this highly regarded franchise. What's more, this is a blown opportunity for the Vita to garner itself a headline game and franchise that could have really energized the system. Instead, we get a quick, forgettable knockoff cranked out simply to take advantage of the buzz around the Black Ops name.
  42. Jan 10, 2013
    It's impossible to tell where the fault lies with Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified. Did Activision force Nihilistic to rush it out the door? Did Nihilistic simply put out the bare minimum effort? Is this half-hearted experience exactly what Activision wanted? Regardless of the reasons behind it, what we've ended up with is a completely wasted opportunity to bring some heavy firepower to the Vita.
  43. Jan 9, 2013
    The maps are dull and fail to offer any sense of flow. Great Call of Duty multiplayer maps encourage fast, twitch shooting and quick navigation; the only thing Declassified encourages is shutting down your Vita.
  44. Nov 27, 2012
    The single player campaign of Declassified is barely worth mentioning; within one hour you've seen it all. The multiplayer doesn't keep you interested for much longer. It's light on maps and modes, but more importantly it misses action. Black Ops Declassified makes us miss the time of the UMD, when a sub-par game could at least be used as a fancy coaster.
  45. 20
    Nihilistic disappointed with Resistance for the Vita, and with Black Ops Declassified, they're scraping the bottom.
  46. Nov 21, 2012
    Declassified is such a laughable attempt at capturing the Call of Duty formula that it borders on self-parody, with a flaccid campaign that can be beaten in under an hour and agonizing, bug-riddled multiplayer.
  47. Nov 19, 2012
    The real drama of Declassified is not only that it's an awful game, but that it was supposed to be Vita's killer app.
  48. Nov 19, 2012
    Given more time, I think Nihilistic could have made a great Call of Duty-game. Instead, we are now given a worthless experience that fails to entertain even a dedicated Call of Duty fans like myself. Stick with Black Ops II, because Declassified needs to be relieved of duty as soon as possible.
  49. Nov 16, 2012
    Declassified drags the PlayStation Vita down to new-found depths. Absolutely nothing about this game is fun. The multiplayer is awful, the artificial intelligence is moronic and things that you'd expect to be there are blatantly missing. Fortunately the single player campaign takes less than an hour to finish, so you'll get through it really quickly.
  50. Nov 16, 2012
    At least the box art is nice.
  51. Nov 15, 2012
    The unspoken promise of Sony's portable is console quality on the move, but a thoroughly bloodless version of a massive franchise only feels like going back on that word. This wasn't what Jack Tretton had in mind when he talked about having "a triple-A shooter in the palm of your hands". Rather, Declassified is a single A: awful.
  52. Nov 14, 2012
    A disjointed mess of meaningless missions played against a clock backed up with a multiplayer mode that occasionally approximates something that resembled proper Call of Duty combat. More often, though, the game feels too small to be entertaining, with maps so tiny that you'll literally spawn with an enemy in your crosshairs... or vice versa. This would be a questionable purchase at traditional downloadable pricing. But at $50? No way.
  53. Play UK
    Jan 23, 2013
    This'll remind you of the very worst PSone FPS games. [Issue#227, p.77]
  54. Nov 20, 2012
    Low on content, high on rookie mistakes and amateurish design, Black Ops: Declassified is an insult to pretty much everybody and everything in the videogame industry.
  55. Dec 3, 2012
    Even if you can ignore the non-stop technical problems, Call of Duty's first PS Vita adventure is not worth taking. The single-player campaign is pathetically short, the multiplayer is broken and the visual presentation is below par. Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is a game that both disappoints and frustrates on every possible level!
  56. Nov 30, 2012
    Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified doesn't just lack a story-it lacks an attempt at a story. It doesn't just lack good multiplayer stages; it lacks stages. It doesn't just have a few occasional bugs; it has entirely too many gltiches, disconnections, and crashes-though I must admit, seeing a chopper spawn inside a house is good for a few laughs.
  57. Nov 28, 2012
    Its sins are so atrocious that Activision really ought to address whatever it was that happened here publicly. This is a broken game, and perhaps a half-finished game. It isn't worth your money or your time, and it effectively kills the PS Vita's chances of ending its launch year with at least one quality portable FPS in the books.
  58. 10
    Rather than add a few more multiplayer stages, fix the glitches, fix the connection problems, write a story that might matter to Black Ops fans, add at least a few more campaign missions, and tweak the AI a bit, they released the game in this undercooked state. There's no excuse for that.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 520 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 14, 2012
    People need to stop inflating the score for this game.

    I get it, you are trying to justify the purchase of your new handheld and want to
    People need to stop inflating the score for this game.

    I get it, you are trying to justify the purchase of your new handheld and want to see it, and Sony, succeed. You don't do that by lying to the consumer, trying to get them to buy the system and a lackluster game simply to support Sony.

    The truth is, the system is just too expensive at the moment, with a games catalogue too insignificant to justify grabbing one at this time. For the game itself, it is CoD. The gameplay, for the most part is there. However, with this release, almost anything meaty that the series has to offer has been stripped away. The singleplayer content is astonishingly brief, the multiplayer is stripped down with small maps and a reduced player count, and the visuals themselves are simply par for the course, as far as the system goes.

    It is not a game worth owning. Not at full price, anyway. If you are a die-hard CoD fan, it might be worth your while. For everyone else, wait on this, and certainly don't buy the system for it. It's a sub-par game, nothing more.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    Wow this game is actually good. took about 7 hours to complete. fun, addictive like the console version. as of now this is the Vita game toWow this game is actually good. took about 7 hours to complete. fun, addictive like the console version. as of now this is the Vita game to own(beside liberation and uncharted) If you love long hours online than get this game. Single player? Like all COD games you'll put that to rest after one try. grab this game now, now!!! Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2012
    Wow, well my first thought is I'm relieved and pleasantly surprised...the trailer they previously released did not do what the finish productWow, well my first thought is I'm relieved and pleasantly surprised...the trailer they previously released did not do what the finish product has done: Impress. This is a true Call of Duty for a handheld for the first time ever. It feels like the console versions with Perks, Killstreaks, lots of weapons and customizations; only more compact and tighter. So far I've barely touched the campaign, I've played hostiles somewhat, and I've been rocking multiplayer A LOT (which matters the most, right?), and I'm thoroughly impressed. After playing Nihilistic's last effort Resistance: Burning Skies and trying really hard to like it, it just felt half-assed and unfinished. This doesn't feel that way (maybe R:BS was half-assed because they were working on this?), it feels much more polished, the movements, animations feel very much like a console COD. For any FPS fan and Vita owner I consider this a must buy. By the way, I don't play COD on consoles, hate them (I'm a BF3 player), but for the Vita it feels great. Good job, Nihilistic! Full Review »