E3 2013: Call of Duty: Ghosts – New Tech, same thing

4 min read


Even though it might not really have quite as new an engine as they say, I was actually impressed when I got to see Call of Duty: Ghosts up close during a behind closed doors session at E3. while it does, yes, look like another  Call of Duty game, some of the next-generation refinements actually managed to tickle my technical fancy.

The most notable ones – other than y’know, realistic fish movement – are real-time tessellation and displacement mapping. What that does, is add depth to what would usually be rather flat looking textures. In the tech demo we were shown, the differences are pretty astounding, with simple things like rocks actually look like different rocks, with different sizes and depths; actual geometric fidelity. Yes, this is the sort of stuff that’s been available on PC’s through DirectX 11 for ages, but it’s really nice to seem them on console now too.

SubD, or Subdivision surfaces, is another neat technical trick that uses recursion, subdividing polygons over and over again to give the approximation of genuinely smooth surfaces. It’s most noticeable in the game when looking through a scope – which now appears to be perfectly round. Polygonal circles have always been a bit of a gaming  pet-peeve of mine, and it’s nice to see that that’ll be going away.

Read  Destiny 2: Where is Xur (and whats he got for sale?) – 08 December

In addition to that, Call of Duty will finally be getting proper lighting in the way of volumetric lighting, Bloom and HDR. And it’s about time, honestly.

After running through some of the new tech, we got to see the game in action – and save for one section, those bits have already been shown to the public. Here they are.

The bit that we press got to see, that you haven’t is actually significantly more exciting than what’s been shown so far – and it left me keen to actually play the game.

Called Federation Day, the level starts off high up in the skyscrapers on the eve of Venezuela’s..err, Federation Day. the player and his team (sans dog!) are atop a skyscraper while fireworks light up the night sky. Yes, it’s time for zip-line launchers, and other cool ways of getting across the tops of buildings.

Once across to the other side – a building populated with bad guys (obviously!) it was up to the player and his team to infiltrate the building by rappelling down the side, cutting holes in the windows and very sneakily killing off inhabitants on that floor, one by one. The object of the mission was to get in to the building as quietly as possible, and take out a number of servers before hauling ass right back out. Unfortunately, it seemed things didn’t quite pan out as planned, and an “in the interest of time” fast forward later, it seems the building’s gone up in flames and exploded a little prematurely – and the building’s essentially falling apart – leaving our hero in a bit of a tricky predicament.

Read  Destiny 2’s next expansion is rumouring a return to Mars

What it reminded me of, surprisingly, was the more stealthy and strategic Rainbow Six – and  that’s a good thing. While Ghosts still looks, and largely plays like a Call of Duty game, there are a number of elements that have me itching to play it.

Last Updated: June 21, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Uberutang

    How does it compare visually to BLOPS2 on PC running maxed out?

    • it’s quite a stark difference to BLOPS 2 – destructible terrain (in places), tessellation, SubD; it all makes quite a difference.

      • Hammersteyn

        I saw a demo of BF4 and an entire sky scraper collapsed. That’s destructible terrain.

        • I played that demo. 😉 (it was broken)

          • Hammersteyn

            The sky scraper? I would imagine so. Hehe. Still so jealous that you guys get to go to E3.

          • Rinceyouropinion

            Hahaha! Nice bounce back there 😉

        • oomjan

          I must agree. COD is for noobs and Battlefield is for real gamers

  • Argentil

    How about 2 indie games articles for every CoD or Fifa one? CoD is totes mainstream, dude. I’m only half serious, btw.

    • I’ll slap you with a wet Coelacanth for using the word Totes… no half joking at all

      Indie games are hard to track down.. got some links?

      • Argentil

        Twitter. Jonathon Blow is a very outspoken individual for example. Just add a couple, and they’ll retweet each other in their little network and you can keep adding them as they pop up, like hipster flies.

      • Mark Treloar

        Coelacanth is an endangered species, rather use a wet COD.

  • Hammersteyn

    I like this video as well.

  • OVG

    Can you shoot the cod?

  • Yolanda Green

    I really can’t wait to see what this game brings, especially on the multiplayer side of things 🙂

    • Hammersteyn

      I used to despise all online shooters, but I found Planet side 2 and last night I auto joined a squad and we flew with three Galaxy planes(filled with 12 soldiers each) to take over a Bio lab. The scale of the game and the fact that is free to play is astounding and it made me neglect my PS3 for almost two weeks.

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Duuuude. I love that game! What’s your gamer tag ingame? We must jol together some time!

        • Hammersteyn

          Also Hammersteyn. Yours? Which side are you on?

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            If I recall it’s Ashara3000 (Couldn’t find a name that wasn’t taken.)
            On cobolt server and new conglomerate

          • Hammersteyn

            Ceres server, Terran republic 🙁

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew


          • Hammersteyn

            I guess you can’t switch servers?

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Not sure. Will have to check tonight. You on Steam?

          • Hammersteyn

            Haha no I’m a console boy that still needs to embrace PC fully so I can be come a man.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            hahaha lol

  • Johan Fourie

    “What it reminded me of, surprisingly, was the more stealthy and strategic Rainbow Six” Well paint my face interested. From meh to DO WANT.

  • Ryanza

    After MW2 Activision should have taken all that money it made and to start off they should have fixed that mess in MW2, and then they should have started working on a brand new engine from the ground up, and release 3rch Cod every 2 years.

    Instead, year after year, taking all that money from gamers, they just kept on shitting and shitting, on that Unreal Engine. Oh this piece of shit sticks. Is that why you have a light source on the top and the sun shining in from the side?

    Call of Duty developers said that they can not built a new engine because, Activision demands a game every 2 years, because they do not have time to do so. What is the point of having 2 developing houses working on one gaming series and not having at least one developing studio working on a new engine, to give back to the gamers. Every year they promise better and every year it’s just more shit falling off it.

    Anti-Cod and now i fuck off.

    • MR Douchebag corrector

      idtech3 engine*

      • Ryanza

        I had 3 in my head and Unreal popped into my head. and i can’t edit. It was a Friday.

        So thanks for the correction.

  • Kenneth RabidDog Clark

    I really hope the game is better than what I just watched. That was ueber boring! Who wants to bet the dog will be a kill streak perk? 🙂

  • Tbone187

    New graphics yeah,it’s the new gen so no surprises there… but what gameplay advances have there been?? (And don’t tell me bout this stupid dog thang)…I want better CQC, advanced manoeuvrability and so on… Destructible bg’s have been in action for yonks in Battlefield…Coming from a COD fan, it seems to be the same thing with polished graphics…I’m more keen on the Frostbite 3 engine and what advances it brings…

  • Skyblue

    Seems if you flog a dead horse hard enough… nope, it still does nothing

    • Hammersteyn


  • Mario

    Did anyone actually expected it will be something different?

Check Also

Destiny 2: Where is Xur (and whats he got for sale?) – 12 January

Maybe you’re stuck at work and can only log in later tonight to spend some of your legenda…