Treyarch defends ancient COD engine

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Call of Duty, 78 and a half iterations on, is still using the very same – though heavily modified – decade old engine that powered up Quake 3 Arena, id Tech 3. Coming next month, Black Ops 2, doesn’t change that. It’s got some fans backs up, insistent that the series needs a new engine. Treyarch doesn’t think so – and has come in defence of the ancient.

“Anybody who comes at the engine needs to remember it’s the 60 frames they love in the first place,” Treyarch’s David Vondehaar said to OXM.

“And we can make it beautiful – that’s through years and years of working with the engine, improving upon it and improving the pipeline and improving our approach, our lighting rendering.”

“People like to talk about the engine, but the truth of the matter is that this isn’t like something that was invented six years ago,” he continued. “At this point that engine doesn’t resemble anything like any engine – we’ve ripped out the UI system, the rendering and the lighting are all new, the core gameplay systems are all new.”

“To me, it’s like I never really understood,” said Vondehaar. “It runs at 60 and it’s gorgeous. What exactly is there to be upset about with the engine?”

I actually think the COD games are still pretty in their own dull brown and grey way, and agree that the “60 fps” thing is more important than the visuals anyway. That said, the engine is getting a little long in the tooth – and is still running at sub-720p on consoles. I’d really like to see what the broken shell of Infinity  Ward and Treyarch could do with some new tools.

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Black Ops 2 is out for Pc, PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 13. A Wii U version, which runs at 1080p, will be available at the console’s launch.

Last Updated: October 11, 2012

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.

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