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New Details on Black Ops Declassified for PS Vita

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Nihilistic Software’s Studio Head Robert Huebner sat down with the official PlayStation team to get a QA on what to expect for Black Ops Declassified – the new Call of Duty game exclusively for the PS Vita.

Here’s the QA:

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.
See the rest of the QA after the break!

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.

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.

SOURCE: Official PlayStation Blog

Games

Reports claim Gears of War could be getting remastered collection like Halo

A new rumor is circulating that claims Gears of War could be the next Xbox title to recieve a remastered collection.

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Fenix in Gears of War

New reports suggest that Xbox are planning to release another set of remastered games, with Gears of War implied as the title to receive the Halo: Master Chief Collection treatment.

Remasters are big business in gaming, giving players the opportunity to relive their favorite games with upgraded graphics. Franchises like Call of Duty have taken advantage of nostalgia, releasing titles like CoD 4 Remastered, although it doesn’t always go well, as Rockstar found out with their critically panned GTA Trilogy.

Remaking old games is something Microsoft and Xbox Studios have looked into in the past, with the Master Chief Collection allowing Halo fans to enjoy their favorite entries in the franchise.

Now, it seems like they’re set to use that formula again, this time focusing on another of their exclusive franchises: Gears of War.

Gears of War characters fighting aliens

According to Xboxera Podcast host Nick Shepsal, the rumor going around is that another “Microsoft franchise that will be getting the Master Chief Collection treatment.”

“Timelines, I’m not sure about. Most likely next year. A collection of games all bundled into one,” he stated. When the chat started to guess Fable and Gears of War, Shepsal smiled and said those were the two he “expected chat to say,” before confirming he knows the title but can’t say.

The Verge editor Tom Warren then added fuel to the fire, replying to a tweet of the above clip by saying: “The gears are really turning on this rumor.”

While it’s possible this is just a coincidence, it’s fairly unlikely. Warren’s choice of words was clearly a hint, although whether it’s real or just him messing with Xbox fans is impossible to know.

There hasn’t been a new Gears of War title since 2019, and with five games in the series, a remastered collection would give players plenty of content to enjoy for the foreseeable future.

Whether this rumor will turn out to be true remains to be seen, but we’ll keep you updated with any news.

For more, check out everything we know about God of War: Ragnarok and Modern Warfare 2.

Image Credits: Microsoft

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

When is Ranked Play coming to Vanguard? Release date, Skill Divisions & Ratings, rewards, more

Vanguard’s Ranked Play mode is just weeks from launch, and we’ve got all news, including possible release date, ranks, and rewards.

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Players running in Vanguard

Ranked Play is officially back in Vanguard, with Sledgehammer Games confirming that the competitive playlist is on its way. Here’s everything we know about the mode, including the likely release date, Skill Divisions, and more.

Call of Duty has always had a large competitive community, with fans jumping into League Play to test their skills, and compete in matches just like those seen in the Call of Duty League.

While frustration has been rampant surrounding the esports side of the game, including the decision not to include a ranked playlist in Vanguard at launch, excitement for League Play is at an all-time high following January’s CDL Kickoff Classic tournament.

Thankfully, we already know for sure that League Play is on the way, and we’ve got all the details.

cod vanguard ranked play

CoD: Vanguard Ranked Play release date

While we don’t have a definite release date for Vanguard’s ranked playlist, we do know League Play is definitely releasing in February 2022.

In a post on the official Call of Duty League website, General Manager Daniel Tsay confirmed that it would “roll out alongside new Call of Duty: Vanguard,” and said the team were “excited about the future of Ranked Play.”

In terms of exact dates, there’s a good chance that February 14th is a date to look out for, as that’s when Vanguard Season 2 begins.

Ranked Play statement from the CDL website

CoD: Vanguard Ranked Play Skill Divisions and Ratings

In a tweet in October 2021, Treyarch confirmed that they had been working in partnership with the Call of Duty League to bring a “new level of Ranked Play” to the franchise, starting in 2022 with Vanguard.

Vanguard’s Ranked Play will include “competitive modes, Ranked Skill Divisions, and visible Skill Ratings,” which will allow players to see how they stack up against their friends and other players.

How this mode will be implemented is still yet to be confirmed, but we’ll be sure to update this post with any new information.

Vanguard Ranked Play Rewards

Players will also be able to earn various kinds of rewards for their efforts in Vanguard’s Ranked game mode. In Black Ops Cold War, players were able to earn special weapon charms based on their ladder placements and Skill Divisions.

How these will look in Vanguard remains unclear, but it’s likely that we will see a similar system implemented in the Sledgehammer title.

Black Ops Cold War League Play rewards

With Ranked Play just around the corner, make sure you’ve got the right settings with our best PC and audio settings guide.

Image Credits: Activision

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Activision

Will Call of Duty stay on PlayStation after Microsoft’s Activision buyout?

PlayStation fans may have some questions regarding the new Xbox acquisition, including whether Call of Duty will be on the platform.

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activision blizzard call of duty playstation

After the huge news about Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, PlayStation players are wondering what will happen with future Call of Duty releases.

Since the news broke about Microsoft’s purchase of Activision, the gaming community has gone crazy worldwide. The deal is arguably the biggest acquisition in gaming history and was even worth more than Disney’s purchase of the Star Wars franchise (Lucasfilms).

The deal has a lot of question marks surrounding it at the moment, but for those PlayStation users who are confused as to what it means for Call of Duty on the platform, here’s all the information you need.

Activision blizzard logo

The deal involves games under Activision and Activision Blizzard, which subsequently means Xbox will own Call of Duty.

This took the community by surprise when it was announced and naturally, a lot of people had questions.

For example, Call of Duty have had a close relationship with PlayStation for some years now, giving them exclusive/early access to content, so what will happen after the deal goes through?

Will Call of Duty still be on PlayStation?

Xbox’s Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft gaming, confirmed in a statement over on Twitter that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation following the acquisition. Further, the Xbox CEO also confirmed that they would honor all existing agreements that Sony has with Call of Duty.

Nothing more is confirmed regarding the deal, as the companies will remain independent from each other until 2023.

This means that Call of Duty 2022 will likely retain a lot of the PlayStation exclusivity deals that have been around and PS players won’t have to worry about losing content to Xbox, at least not until these commitments and deals expire.

Once the deal closes and the commitment to existing contracts and agreements like PlayStation’s exclusive Call of Duty content expires, it’s unclear what will happen in terms of exclusive content. However, it is clear that Call of Duty will still be released on PlayStation.

According to Tom Warren, Xbox’s dealings with Bethesda when they purchased the company could be telling of what they will do with Activision. We will likely know much more about exclusivity for other games once the deal has closed, but we could be seeing a lot of Activision games going exclusive.

It wouldn’t have been wise for Microsoft to pull Call of Duty games from PlayStation, as the franchise remains the best-selling game on PlayStation platforms in the U.S. and has been for years, with Vanguard recently topping the charts for 2021.

What can be said, however, is that exclusivity deals may shift from PlayStation to Xbox after the deal is closed. Call of Duty games may even be seen on the Xbox Game Pass on release, but this is all still just speculation.


So, there you have it, Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation platforms but the exclusive content may shift over to Xbox and PC. For more, check out every Warzone weapon ranked.

Image Credits: PlayStation / Xbox / Microsoft / Activision / Retail Tracking Service / The NDP Group

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