I feel I owe Nihilistic Software (now nStigate Games) an apology. After I had reviewed Resistance: Burning Skies, I thought it was a terrible game developer with no talent, no ambition, and no resources. Burning Skies' quality was such that I truly believed we were dealing with a bad studio.
Having played Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, I realize now that this is not the case. I'm convinced instead that Nihilistic is a group of performance artists, creating works of intangible brilliance to break the fourth wall and satirize the videogame industry. These are not videogames, these are macabre comedies that, like the late Andy Kaufman, make use of elaborate pranks without necessarily letting the audience in on the goof.
At least, that's what I'm going to have to tell myself, because admitting that a game like Declassified could be made in earnest is just too damn depressing.