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Next-Gen Call Of Duty, Last-Last-Gen Engine

Illustration for article titled Next-Gen emCall Of Duty/em, Last-Last-Gen Engine

The next Call of Duty game, Ghosts, will be the first to appear on an entirely new generation of hardware. Despite this, it's still built on an engine that's over ten years old, though the game's developers would like you to think otherwise.

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Sure, the engine has been heavily modified since then - Modern Warfare 3 vs Quake III isn't even a contest - but as any Call of Duty fan can attest, there are places, especially when it comes to the geometry of levels, where the engine is kinda showing its age.

Infinity Ward’s animation lead Zach Volker tells OPM “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”.

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The reason they're still using the same engine, as opposed to an all-new one, is about what you'd expect given the annual release cycle of the series. "[It's] impossible to develop a new engine from the ground up in a two year cycle”, he says.

“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?” he adds. “Are those being upgraded in a significant way? Alright, then I think that warrants that we’ve got a new engine on our hands”.

Well, no, you don't. A new engine is a new engine. As he explains, the decision to stick with the old one makes complete sense, especially when you consider that most copies of this year's game will still be sold on "old" hardware. Not sure why they need to stretch the label to make up for that.

Hopefully next year's game can make the break. Be nice to see what the series can do with some new horsepower under the hood.

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Call Of Duty Ghosts next-gen engine explained: “We’re talking about upgrading significant systems, not starting from the ground up” [OPM]

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DISCUSSION

Gamers like to jump on what engine is being used, but I don't think many actually know what difference it really makes. And that means that the engine being used often isn't that big of a deal.

As stated here, it has been heavily modified to a point where any comparison to old, new or previous iterations can't really be made. The level that an engine can be modified is huge, and knowing what game engine is being used, isn't the best indicator of what to expect from the game. It's actually a pretty poor indicator.

If you look at how Unreal 3 has been used, or even Unity, you can see how diverse the content is, how different the games look, and how judging a game based on the engine is mostly pointless.

Sure, it would have been cool if there was money spent in developing a new engine from the ground up, because it's always nice to see new ways that development can be affected by tools and features, but it's hardly as huge an impact to the gamer as some would believe.