"Call of Duty: Black Ops II" has been getting rave reviews and is bound to be another top seller, but not all versions of the game have been created equal.
Take "Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified" for the Playstation Vita. Intended as an example, it was supposed to be one of the best handheld holiday gifts of the season.
But that’s not going to happen if recent reviews of "Declassified" have anything to say about it. As they start to come in they’re incredibly low, getting a 29 rating on Metacritic. According to Yahoo Games it could be one of the worst games of 2012.
Game Informer called the title "appalling," "a complete embarrassment for gaming's biggest franchise" and "an absolute mess."
They explained that the artificial intelligence in the game is literally suicidal (they hide behind cars and shoot into it until it explodes) and have an insanely easy campaign mode that reviewer Dan Ryckert said he completed in 42 minutes.
"If you're looking for a fun single-player shooter experience, you'd be hard pressed to find an experience less complete than 'Declassified,'" he wrote.
"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. I can't recommend 'Declassified' to anyone."
Giant Bomb can’t recommend the game to anyone either. Reviewer Jeff Gerstmann couldn’t find any redeeming qualities, saying, "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."
Pocket Gamer believes the game was made to be subpar on purpose.
"'Call of Duty: Black Ops - Declassified' is a cynical, half-baked, tired little mess of a game, and Activision knows it," wrote reviewer Peter Willington, who also added that the game "gives a middle finger" to fans.
Rumors say development and production of "Declassified" were severely rushed and that game makers might have only had eight months to put everything together.
To contact the editor, e-mail: