At Microsoft's Xbox One event Activision gave fans their first glimpse of Call of Duty: Ghosts in action. While the preview was decidedly light on actual gameplay, it did feature something that gamers have been oft-requesting for quite some time: a new engine.
With each subsequent iteration, dating as far back as the first Black Ops, gamers have been wondering when Activision would introduce a new graphics engine into the fold. Sure, the Modern Warfare engine was impressive at the time, but up against today's engines like Frostbite 2 it was falling behind.
As we head into a new generation of consoles, Activision finally decided it was time to even the score with a new engine. However, that engine might be as "new" as Activision or Infinity Ward led us to believe.
According to Animation Lead Zach Volker, the "newness" of the engine comes from upgrading significant systems within Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare engine, not starting from scratch. Infinity Ward didn't toss anything away, but simply took greater steps to improve upon the base engine.
“When we’re talking about a new engine we’re talking about upgrading significant systems within in that engine. We’re not talking about throwing it all away and saying we’re starting from the ground up…what we do is we say, ‘okay what are the things that are significant and that we would say that are encompassing of the engine or its visual quality? Are those being upgraded in a significant way? Alright, then I think that warrants that we’ve got a new engine on our hands."
So, in essence, the claim of a new engine for Call of Duty: Ghosts is a bit of a misnomer. While the game's visuals are receiving an upgrade, it might not be the type of big leap forward fans were hoping for.
As a matter of fact, what was on display during the Xbox One event still had a very Call of Duty look to it. It didn't take long at all for gamers to recognize the product on display was a Call of Duty sequel.
And strangely, the engine improvements Activision seemed to be focusing on were features that have been in games for years. Mechanics like mantling over cover, peeking around corners, and sliding are no longer key selling points. And while we're at it, fish that scatter when the player approaches have been around since Mario 64!
Let us also not forget the game's dog. Oh, who are we kidding, nobody is going to forget that dog, but in case you did make sure to watch the developer diary below:
Do you consider Call of Duty: Ghosts' engine to be a new engine? What improvements should Activision be focusing on?
Call of Duty: Ghosts releases November 5, 2013 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Activision has not announced a next-gen release date.
Source: OPM UK