Black Ops 2 studio head knows that you want a “better looking game”

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Child armies must be stopped. They're ruining my Call of Duty experience.

Call of Duty is as much of an end of year annual tradition as Christmas is lately, and the gaming industry just wouldn’t feel the same without some announcement of the popular franchise, every year.

Love it or hate it, the game is here to stay, thanks largely to its success in creating some thrilling online and offline action. One key factor in bringing out a regular COD game every year, is that the various studios have a decent graphical engine to work with, an engine that is tweaked for each new release.

It’s getting a little long in the tooth now though, and is in sore need of a major upgrade, something that current Black Ops 2 developer and Treyarch head Mark Lamia agrees with.

Speaking to Activision blogger Dan Amrich, Lamia explained how the current engine, pulled from the original Black Ops, won’t be drastically overhauled, but that specific graphics will be touched, in order to create a game that looks much better;

Engines, each time they get touched, they change. The creators alter them; they don’t modify what they don’t need to, and then they alter what they need to. You can’t make a competitive product if you’re not upgrading that engine along the way.

I think what people are asking for is for us to push. They want us to make a better-looking game; they want things. I don’t think those are things people can’t ask for. We asked ourselves that very same question – we wanted to advance the graphics. I think the questions are valid.

The answer may not need to be an entirely new engine, but you might need to do an entire overhaul of your entire lighting system. The trick is, we’re not willing to do that if we can’t keep it running at 60 frames per second – but we did that this time. So this is the Black Ops II engine.

I’m personally a bigger fan of smooth gameplay and consistent action, as I’ve always felt that visuals need to take a backseat to that basic function.

Still, while the COD engine may not be pushing Crysis levels of high definition right now, it’s still a pretty damn good looking experience, a familiar one that helps sell the game every year.

 

Last Updated: May 16, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

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