Black Ops II Studio Head Knows Fans Want A 'Better-Looking Game'

Activision puts out a new Call of Duty game every year. It's been that way for the last half-decade or so. Trouble is, this annualisation give people a wide-open lane to complain about recycled engines and how the games all look the same.

Mark Lamia — head of Treyarch, the studio behind the Black Ops branch of COD — knows all of this and wants people to know that some the software powering the sequel won't be a complete overhaul of the tech used for 2009's Black Ops. In an interview with Activision blogger Dan Amrich, Lamia says:

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.

So what specifically got touched? Graphics and lighting, it seems:

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.

Mark Lamia discusses the Black Ops II engine [One of Swords]


    Well the shut the F*** up and either create a new graphics engine or pinch someone elses... again.

    I still don't understand why people are so hung up about needing it to look good. We all know people's appreciation for good graphics lasts roughly a week at best. Anyone who says different is just lying to themselves, or are presently employed at EA :P

    Gameplay matters most, and if they bring it on that front, I'm willing to wait for a boost in graphics in the next generation.

      Me too. The 60fps is a huge draw for me and I am not willing to give that up for graphics. The CoD games look pretty good and run great, so I'm happy with how they look for this generation.

        Well of course FPS is going to be important to people who are still using a gaming platform that is 4+ years old. They want to continue using the same gaming engine because that's the only bloody thing that will RUN on your old rundown outdated console technology. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

      Agreed. The CoD series has much larger issues than how it looks. They should really be focusing on gameplay and making it something that is fresh, instead of trying to polish a turd.

      Appreciation for the good graphics for a week, is no burden considering the single player story can be finished in one or two sittings and the multiplayer has been using the same animations for nearly 5 years now.

    how about better gameplay first

    Why not use cry engine 3 or the unreal engine.

    cry engine doesn't run at 60 fps on consoles,

    2012 games with 2005 base Engines i can care less about 60fps i want 120fps

    No, gamers don't want a "better looking game". They want a "better playing game". A rehash of a rehash of a rehash just disappoints us. Why are we paying $80AU for what is essentially an expansion pack of the prequel? Try getting original, engaging storylines instead of the same move forward, shoot, cutscene/narrate, move forward, shoot, e.t.c

    You have to look at these releases as episodic content. They should not be seen as new gamesthe engine. The engine, physics, game type, environments and controls are recycled. But that is not a bad thing if you are selling (massiveFigureHere) copies. If people buy it, they obviously want it and if you were in charge and changed direction despite what the sales figures said - you are either an incompetent fool or have the biggest balls in the world.

    I wish the sequel to Red Faction: Guerilla played much similar to the first game ;(

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