NEWS - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Black Ops Will Support 3D At Launch

You can take that list of "first-person shooters for high-definition consoles that support 3D," which includes titles like Crysis 2 and Killzone 3, and add "Call of Duty: Black Ops" to said list. Activision recently confirmed, and demonstrated, 3D support for Black Ops across all platforms. And it won’t be through a post-launch patch or anything; 3D support will be ready and built-in in time for the game’s November 9 launch.

A representative from development studio Treyarch noted that the team has been working on implementing and adding 3D for the past few months. Similar to Crysis 2, the emphasis has less been on making objects "pop out" of the screen, but more in using various depth-of-field and focus effects to give the sensation of looking inward. The developers’ primary goal with 3D support is to make the game feel like you’re looking through a window.

For the demonstration, we got to see the single-player campaign level "WMD" (where operatives search through a hidden Russian base), but while wearing active-shutter glasses. The Treyarch representative noted that the 3D mode is a simple toggle in the menu, and will work with pretty much any 3D TV on the market (and on PC, it will also support nVidia’s 3D Vision). Right in the level’s beginning, where the player controls a pilot climbing into his SR-71 Blackbird, the 3D effect is noticeable -- it’s hard to describe without visual aids, but the simple moment of a fellow pilot chatting with a crew chief while both are in front of the jet actually has visual depth to it. This persists to moments like looking down on an instrument panel to seeing guys

Other visual touches via 3D support include how objects in your periphery (like a crossbow you’re holding) appear out-of-focus compared to whatever you’re actively looking at, to how rustled papers float oh-so-freely in 3D space (likely one of the reasons why this level is used as a 3D demo), to how the first-person rappelling induces even more vertigo now. A subsequent level where the player repeatedly punches an informant in the face is appropriately in-your-face. 3D support isn’t a single-player only thing, as we got to see Combat Training (the recently announced multiplayer bot mode) to see how 3D will still work even in an online environment.

At the moment, the only obstacles seem to remains general eyestrain from prolonged 3D exposure, and how confusing for your eyes it can be when very pronounced and in-focus HUD effects (such as A.I. character or player names or experience points during multiplayer) pop up in the middle of the screen. Though, these seem to be either issues inherent with 3D gaming, or things that can be tweaked (we heard references to sliders for items like depth-of-field, but we didn’t actually see any ourselves). Still, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when a Call of Duty title boasts 3D support right out of the box, and how other games adapt or follow suit.



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