The lights are on
Last week, Activision held an event in New York City showing off the latest version of Call of Duty: Black Ops. The big news? The Modern Warfare 2 successor has now embraced 3D technology. The even bigger news? The way the shooter implements 3D is actually pretty cool.
Although 3D in gaming may be a huge push from Sony right now, Black Ops will feature 3D as an optional setting for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. We played the 360 version of Black Ops, and the 3D was exceptionally clear. Surprisingly, the added depth of field actually improved the game experience, making it easier to read the distance between our position and enemies. Navigating obstacles and jumping between cover spots was all the more intense with the game’s world leaping out of the screen in the two missions showed during the demo.
The first Black Ops mission shown began with the playable character soaring high above the action in an SR-71 jet. From his aerial vantage point, he was able to look down on the troops below and issue orders, telling them when it was safe to advance or when to get behind cover. What made this segment especially noteworthy was how the controls seamlessly switched back and forth between the soldier in the jet and ground forces. When the soldiers on the ground encountered enemies, the game would change to their perspective for intense first-person firefighting of the variety that the franchise is known for. Once the threat was eliminated, the view reverted to the airplane. This back-and-forth lent the level some variety until the soldiers reached their first objective.
After an all-out assault on an enemy barracks, the squad employed stealthy tactics via smart use of the crossbow and a silenced rifle. Unfortunately for them, the peace didn’t last. Once the squad was spotted, an alarm triggered and the squad retreated. One enemy attacked with an RPG, causing an avalanche in the snowy environment. The soldiers were forced to jump off a cliff to escape an icy death, but they deployed parachutes to bring them to safety.
The second mission began with a dark interrogation scene. The subject wasn’t spilling any information, so the squad resorted to some pretty disturbing tactics –placing a broken shard of glass in his mouth and punching him in the face. This scenario was interrupted when enemy forces attacked. The soldiers retreated once again, but this time they had to take the interrogation subject with them, resulting in a much slower pace and, eventually, a mission failure. We’ll have to wait until we have the full game to see how that one plays out.
In addition to the 3D, we noticed a couple more cool additions to the game. There probably aren’t very many ways to improve on Call of Duty’s tight control scheme, but Black Ops has one major change: the crouch button allows you to dive directly into a prone position, making the process of getting behind cover cleaner in many situations. On the multiplayer side, we checked out two of the game’s numerous kill streak awards. Three kills unlocked a remote control car with a C4 attached, while nine rewarded time in the turret of a helicopter. The focus on multiplayer customization was clear, with Activision demonstrating some of the unique reticules you’ll be able to use, from a single red dot to a Predator-style three-dots-in-triangle-formation.
Adding 3D to Call of Duty: Black Ops isn’t a game-changer, even if it does look to be implemented strongly. Rather, it’s just another cool feature in a game that’s packed with them. Black Ops has looked better with every subsequent viewing, and this latest event is no different. We’re as anxious as ever for a chance to play the final version of the game when it releases next month, with or without 3D glasses.
[Additional reporting on this story courtesy of David Vinyon]
Could be good...at least they are allowing 3rd party servers
Although I must say, while the 3d sounds good, I don't think the market is nearly there yet. 3D is still WAAAAAAAAY too expensive
3d is so dumb. i dont understand why people would pay so much money to see stuff in 3d. its just so stupid.
I think that this is a huge move for Sony. It coulb also be a better way to play games
I agree, 3D is pretty cool, but too expensive for most of us.