Activision aware gamers want 'better-looking' Call of Duty

Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia says Black Ops II answers calls for better graphics with modified version of original Black Ops engine.

Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia is aware of the fan excitement for a "better-looking" Call of Duty and wants players to know that the engine running his studio's upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops II features advancements over the technology that ran the original Black Ops.

Black Ops II is sticking with the same game engine, but this isn't a bad thing, says Lamia.

"Engines, each time they get touched, they change," he said in an interview with Activision's One of Swords blog. "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."

Concerning what is specifically new to the Black Ops II game engine, Lamia said the team focused on visuals and lighting advancements.

"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."

Call of Duty: Black Op II is due out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on November 13. The game will feature a campaign split in two. One half of the adventure will pick up immediately following the events of the original Black Ops, with players following the journey of Frank Woods. The other half of the campaign begins in the year 2025, a time when advanced weapon technologies rule supreme.

For more on Black Ops II, check out GameSpot's latest preview.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

495 comments
Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

COD games have always had great graphics. The real problem of past COD games is the non stop  Micheal Bay-esque cut-scenes that constantly take you out of the action and make you feel liek your watching a really bad ADHD action movie.

leandrro
leandrro

its like uncharted, if you keep sayng the game looks nice people (fanboys) will "see" it, unlike god of war that nobody need to say that really looks very nice 

on launch time they will repeat it so many times people will believe its better

leandrro
leandrro

its the 6th call of duty 2 map pack beeing called a new game

its perfume on stool

want a better engine? buy call of duty 3

 

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

COD Black Ops 2 is essentially Black Ops with a face-job.

 

Same old game, but it's exterior has had a lift.  Like all plastic surgery though it's starting to look a bit weird :S

 

Gamers don't just want a better looking COD, we want a NEW COD.  The last god knows however many have all been IDENTICAL.

 

Take a break and come up with fresh ideas, that's all we're after.

netter99
netter99

look at bf3, they completely overhauled their engine and look what happened, they made one of the best games ever in my opinion. Even though lamia doesnt say it we all know he is thinking that they cant make a new engine because it will take too long because they just have to make a new game every single friggen year

 

netter99
netter99

just make a new game, use your imagination, you dont see bethesda making 8 elderscroll games in a span of 10 years. Just make a new game. Rockstar and Bethesda have imaginations and they make new games, not sequels. And if they make a sequel like max payne and GTA its not within 2 years that the last one was made. Just take a break and maybe just maybe make another call of duty in like 10 years... maybe. 

Skeit
Skeit

at vannacut  "lol".. so a little bit of lightning will make the difference? And you believe them when they say "all they ask for is some lightning ..'' ? Like I said, thats a bunch of crap. Look at MW3.. which was in fact MW2.5. But if you're ok 2 to pay the full price for Black Ops 2.5, its your choice. I just think it's lameness to not make a new engine

Skeit
Skeit

at vannacut  "lol".. so a little bit of lightning will make the difference? And you believe them when they say "all they ask for is some lightning ..'' ? Like I said, thats a bunch of crap. Look at MW3.. which was in fact MW2.5. But if you're ok 2 to pay the full price for Black Ops 1.5, its your choice. I just think it's lameness to not make a new engine

bgunzelite87
bgunzelite87

This game still looks like crap.we need an overhaul and we need it now

Tacojoint
Tacojoint

 @scarred_fox i agree with you man if Cod were to wait and actually work on a game i think they would actually be able to get on their feet again.

Tacojoint
Tacojoint

hmmm...... i wonder if bf wil, start to become the next cod and add zombiez

lildrummer10999
lildrummer10999

Yaaa, umm, garbage. Not bashing, just saying from the videos I've seen for Black Ops 2, it's the same as BO1, I notice no improvements, andmy brother and I are not planning on buying it... If everyone else jumps on board not buying it maybe we can convince them to create a better engine? I dunno. Probably wont happen cuz too many people like zombies, haha. But I'm content playing BF 3 and Gears 3 for now. Maybe when Halo 4 comes out I'll get that, not sure bout that either yet. : /

jayjay444
jayjay444

its ok we will go from 2 pixels to 4 pixels lol what a joke.

gameking5000
gameking5000

I swear the same thing was said before MW3 release with these "enhancements", "modifications" or "improvements". I can't see much of a difference between Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3 graphically wise.

Skeit
Skeit

sure thats what they say. What I mean.. now it's going to be Black Ops 1.5 in stead of Black Ops 2, just like Modern Warfare "3", which was in fact Modern Warfare 2.5... which is not THAT bad, it's just a shame but hey if they think 'some lightning' will make the difference, who am I to question it.. only my experience tells me otherwise.

nima_metal90
nima_metal90

Hey guys, it's not graphic problem, it's just the title named COD!!!!

tixilix72
tixilix72

Treyarch won't get any of my cash, Black Ops was an utter failure for the PS3. They are just trying to milk some more cash using an old engine. As far as I am concerned, I've been impressed by BF3's engine.

picho86
picho86

So the problem with COD is the graphics? Really?

The graphics are great. They look like every other AAA game out there.

How about making something original? How about not releasing a slightly modified version of the same thing every year?

I'm sick of the assembly line of AAA games. The same games over and over again. Not a bit on ingenuity. The gaming industry is now exactly like big Hollywood studios that push out the same crap again and again. Romantic comedies, big action movies and disaster movies.  

Skeit
Skeit

sure thats what they say. What I mean.. now it's going to be Black Ops 1.5 in stead of Black Ops 2, just like Modern Warfare "3", which was in fact Modern Warfare 2.5... which is not THAT bad but its more a patch than a whole new game. It's just lame but hey if they think 'some lightning' will make the difference, who am I to question it.. only my experience tells me otherwise.

Skeit
Skeit

at vannacut: sure thats what they say. What I mean.. now it's going to be Black Ops 1.5 in stead of Black Ops 2, just like Modern Warfare "3", which was in fact Modern Warfare 2.5... which is not THAT bad, it's just a shame but hey if they think 'some lightning' will make the difference, who am I to question it.. only my experience tells me otherwise.

Skeit
Skeit

Ehhh BF3 has a new engine 2, so "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.".. bullshit

scarred_fox
scarred_fox

too late to convince others about it. This means that activision/treyarc will have to stop their annual released CoD games and spend 5 years creating something fresh...they won't do it. look at at how the battlefield franchise has evolved so mcuh. the change between bf 2 and bf3 is down right noticable and its paying well. oh, you think i'm a BF fan boy, what about the engines between crysis 1 and crysis 2, farcry 1 and farcry 2, whitcher 1 and whitcher 2, hitman contracts and hitman blood money (and hitman absolution) i can go on and list more.

 

point is, the longer you wait and work on developing a good engine, the better the reuslts and the consumers will be eager to sample your new products...like aged wine or whiskey if you think about it  =D  go hide like the zerg did and come back bgger and better than before =P

roleplayer2004
roleplayer2004

Activision aren't going to make a new engine unless they have to eg. Next Gen. No company is going to risk losing 2-3 billion dollars just to make a few people happy. As long as people buy this rubbish as an annual event, there's no way in hell they're going change a winning formula.

tightwad34
tightwad34

Wiat, so you mean to tell me Activision actually cares what someone else wants? What is going on here? Maybe they'll now start to give some of their Billions to people that need it. Nah, not gonna happen.

leeko_link
leeko_link

So in the coming years it'll be just Black Ops vs. Modern Warfare again and again each year after another trying to look prettier than the ones before? Rather rename the franchise to Call of Duty: The Black Ops vs. Modern Warfare Beauty Contest.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Those games rank in a lot of money so it's rather lazy of them to not make some major changes between games at least, but then again they know people would buy their games as long as COD is labeled on the cover. 

Henninger
Henninger

Na i just want a system where the hit detection works.

xdude85
xdude85

How about improving level design and campaign length while you're at it.

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

Well no s**t they've been using the same damn engine since mw1. Took them almost 5 years to figure this out. Btw the graphics still look like s**t for a game that's supposed to come out 6 months later

DemBonez88
DemBonez88

My experience of the COD series. Loved MW1 grafics were great story was great. (MP wouldn’t know because I had "downloading game data" and could never get past it). Then I got WAW. Loved that game, the graffics were insane (second level (?) the sniper one. Comon that level was briliant) got me really excited for MW2. I thought MW2 was really great. Story was great, guns massive upgrade to number 1. MP was anoying but very addictive. Then came Black OPS and man that game sucked. It was a step back from MW2. MP was laggy as hell, hit detection was hopless. People runing around with pink guns and nothing extraordanary at all. Yet to play MW3 because ive been playing BF3 every day of my life for the last 8 months….

icetone
icetone

He contradicted himself lol, well can't wait even though I haven't even played BO just hope they have zombies ...

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

So......I was thinking along the lines of something that isn't a broey first person shooter, AND then an engine change.

Demonslayer017
Demonslayer017

I'm glad to see that they are listening to feedback (Hell yeah to better lighting), but I wish that they would listen to the forty billion players asking for new gameplay to freshen things up. 

SkaiNett
SkaiNett

What we want is to not be killed by a gun not even aiming at us while our guns refuse to hit the enemy. We also want lag to go away. It got pretty bad at times during Black Ops. Fix these problems and maybe I'll put up with the rampant campers, quick scopers, and claymore planters. And you better not screw up Zombie Mode.

Yams1980
Yams1980

We need better graphics in black ops 2!! the first one had the worst graphics of any game ever made. (sarcasm)

But seriously, make the gameplay better and story, the whole fps thing is basically the same, game after game the last few years.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

In other-words they recognize that gamers want them to actually try making an original game instead of CoD4 expansions. But they will just continue doing whatever they want to print money people throw at them.

ChemicalReaper
ChemicalReaper

 @warhawk-geeby Treyarch did something fresh with Black Ops' campaign -- and critics complained that the story was "too complicated." I guess that's to be expected, though: Call of Duty gamers don't want a story that requires them to think a little, they just want to shoot pixel-people in the face.

xDeadP00lx
xDeadP00lx

 @netter99 I was just thinking that, and clearly there's a UNIVERSE of difference between ES: Morrowind vs Oblivion vs Skyrim, and Fallout 2 and Fallout 3, etc. I mean COD looks so much the same...

xDeadP00lx
xDeadP00lx

 @picho86 Wait for all the 80's remakes. Oh yes, it has begun, and it will continue.

picho86
picho86

 @Skeit Yeah... people want "things". Very deep lol.

vannacut
vannacut

 @Skeit lolll,''i never said they couldnt ask for this, as these were askable, but now we do think these are not the things they cannot ask, so we decided to ask ourselves if we should give them what they ask for ?,hell no we wont make a new engine, all they ask for is some lightning ..''

xDeadP00lx
xDeadP00lx

 @roleplayer2004 If you think about it, COD fanboys are like the tween girls flocking to Twilight crap each year. :D

xDeadP00lx
xDeadP00lx

 @Demonslayer017 If they're rebuttal to gamers is "better lighting", then that my friend, tells me proverbial creative teats have run dry on this cash cow franchise.

y3ivan
y3ivan

 @ChemicalReaper lol most COD players are 12yr old kids. Of course they dont appreciate X-files or anything thats too complicated

netter99
netter99

 @xDeadP00lx have you seen that game dishonored by bethesda, who the hell could think up something so different like that other than bethesda, and i loved gta 4 but if they had made a new one a year later with the same graphics i would not be excited but when i see the gta 5 trailer now, with better graphics it looks awesome and i am very excited.

Skeit
Skeit

 @vannacut  "lol".. so a little bit of lightning will make the difference? And you believe them when they say "all they ask for is some lightning ..'' ? Like I said, thats a bunch of crap. Look at MW3.. which was in fact MW2.5. But if you're ok 2 to pay the full price for Black Ops 2.5, its your choice. I just think it's lameness to not make a new engine

Skeit
Skeit

 @vannacut sure thats what they say. What I mean.. now it's going to be Black Ops 1.5 in stead of Black Ops 2, just like Modern Warfare "3", which was in fact Modern Warfare 2.5... which is not THAT bad, it's just a shame but hey if they think some lightning will make the difference, who am I to question it.. only my experience tells me otherwise..