Treyarch: Black Ops 2 Doesn’t Need a New Engine for Better Visuals

May 14, 2012Written by Alex Osborn

The Call of Duty franchise has received a lot of flack over the last couple of years for resisting change. Many point to the fact that every installment since the release of Call of Duty 2 has made use of the same engine as evidence. Developer Treyarch, the team behind Black Ops 2 has spoken out against these claims, assuring gamers that the engine won’t be a limiting factor in their ability to evolve the franchise’s visuals.

Speaking to One of Swords, Treyarch’s Mark Lamia explained that while the core engine may be 2005’s id Tech 3, it has been heavily modified and retooled since then, allowing them to push the Call of Duty franchise to new heights.

People always ask me, ‘Is this a new engine?’ I liken it to people who live in an older house that has been remodeled. Just because you’re remodeling the house and it will look new or it will have a new kitchen, you don’t tear out the foundation, or break out some of the framing. You might even go as hardcore as replacing the plumbing, and we will do that sort of thing, as an analogy.

Lamia continued to build upon the analogy, pointing out how valuable of a foundation the id Tech 3 engine is, saying that “there’s a lot of good still in that foundation that you wouldn’t get rid of, and we don’t. We look to advance in the areas that support our game design.”

While sure, the debut trailer doesn’t showcase visuals anyone would deem “revolutionary,” it is important to remember that Treyarch is in a sort of balancing act where they must introduce something new while retaining the identity of the series. One mainstay for the franchise has been twitch gameplay at 60 frames-per-second, and since id Tech 3 delivers in that department, there’s not much of a case to be made for them using a completely new engine.

What do you think about Black Ops 2 running on the same core engine that has powered the series for the last seven years? Will the modifications that have been made over that time be enough to help it stand out? Sound off in the comments below.