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Black Ops 2 PC footage gives first look at improvements to aged IW Engine running at high resolution


Till now all we’ve seen of Black Ops 2 has been the filter of olden days consoles, Treyarch have been keeping the PC version of their shooter under wraps. Now though, with its UK release just hours away Youtube user Jaju123456 has put together a film showing off the game running at full settings on 2560×1440. And while the IW Engine – which has been the engine powering the Call of Duty games since Call of Duty 2 – is showing its age, it really does still hold up.

Like I said up top, this comes from Youtube user Jaju123456‘s channel:

Now, the video’s been uploaded with a maximum resolution of 720p so, for all Jaju’s efforts, the video isn’t showing what the game actually looked like coming out of their screen but it’s a good representation of the strengths and weaknesses of the engine.

First up, the engine can handle a fair amount of action going on at any one time: while out on the battlefield there are at least 20, maybe as many as 40, different entities – soldiers and vehicles – fighting it out, with a number of particle effects in play. The space itself seems fairly large, though with a horizon dropoff and canny channelling, this size is largely illusory. Though, for its pruposes of suggesting grandness it’s doing fine.

It’s the micro scale where the engine is showing its weaknesses. Look at the moments when Jaju takes cover behind the rocks, the textures and geometry are absolutely serviceable and by no means low quality, but they don’t stand strongly against games like Crysis 2 and Battlefield 3. Similarly when viewing through ironsights, although it’s largely disguised by a perspective filter, the gun model itself is less complicated than those in Black Ops’ competitors.

The focus really should be on the macro, though, despite being nearly eight years old Treyarch can still depect complex scenes with large amounts of action and while there is probably a good deal of smoke and mirrors at play – we won’t know till we get our hands on it later tonight – the scene in Jaju’s video has a lot of complex entities in sight at all times with no slow down.