Call of Duty Ghosts: not a new engine, but is upgraded says dev

Thursday, 23rd May 2013 12:03 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Ghosts was shown at Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal on Tuesday, and with it, speculation of a new game engine followed. It’s not an entirely new engine, Infinity Ward’s animation lead Zach Volker has confirmed, but it has seen significant upgrades.

If you haven’t seen the game running yet, you can check out our trailer coverage here first.

Speaking with OPM, Volker said of the Ghosts engine, “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”.

Volker added that it would be “impossible to develop a new engine from the ground up in a two year cycle,” and added, “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? Are those being upgraded in a significant way? Alright, then I think that warrants that we’ve got a new engine on our hands”.

So it’s not new-new but new-enhanced. Do you see?

What do you make of the above? Did the Ghosts footage on Xbox One look good regardless of a totally new engine? Let us know below.



  1. ballz

    #1 2 years ago
  2. wamp

    quake III 4 Life

    #2 2 years ago
  3. The Auracle

    You know what else isn’t new? Using the concept of the bond between man and dog in the midst of an intense and brutal firefight.

    See Dead To Rights and Dead To Rights: Retribution for more details.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. YoungZer0


    #4 2 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    As I said since they showed the game.
    It’s a QUAKE 3 ID Tech 3 engine upgraded or it’s more like a PC version of Modern Warfare 2 with high end textures…

    But who cares? They did this all the time since the first CoD. Move on.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. CyberMarco


    #6 2 years ago
  7. monkeygourmet


    hahahaha! :D

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Beta

    There’s a shock.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Belmont

    I am sure that Crytek or Epic offer some attractive options for licensing their engines. It is nothing you can’t afford Activision !!!!!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Logion

    The aftermaths of the Xbox One reveal have been so hilarious on some parts.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. mkotechno

    Would be great to know if there is still some lines of original Doom inside this mess of code.

    #11 2 years ago

    Should have been obvious to anyone seeing it, within the first few seconds.

    Kind of reminds me of how they barely changed Halo 3, to keep the same formula.

    I think that like most people, I’m ready for something new and improved now. I wonder who will step up to the plate…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. GwynbleiddiuM

    As if there were any doubts!

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Wezzulus

    CoD without an outdated engine won’t be CoD. That must be Activision’s policy for the game.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Silent Killer01

    So it will use the same crappy network code.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. KineticCalvaria

    Could kinda tell from the trailer…

    #16 2 years ago
  17. ps3fanboy


    #17 2 years ago
  18. stretch215

    Yeah, that trailer looked like a prettier mw3. It’s a shame, too, as I had hoped they would shake things up a bit. I’m with ghz on this one. I used to love you CoD, but people change. And you just…haven’t. ;)

    #18 2 years ago
  19. BrahManDude

    c’mon! really?? take a year off or something to build a new engine, no wonder the gameplay is exactly the same ya’ll got the money to do it so wtf

    #19 2 years ago
  20. KineticCalvaria

    They’ve got a ton of studios working on CoD yet somehow can’t find the time to make a new engine… not too bright are they?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Tavarish

    And it shows that they didn’t bother with full rewrite.

    Two year cycle isn’t enough to make new engine? Ok. Why not then take separate R&D Team and task them to make new engine and set of tools over e.g. 3-4 years? That is what DICE did with Frostbite 2.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. minxamo

    For fuck’s sake you idiots, there are plenty of things that Call of Duty does wrong, BUT THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. Building a new engine from the ground up to replace a perfectly well-optimised, relatively advanced, easy to use engine which the entire development team is used to would be fucking retarded. This is NOT the Quake 3 engine, it has been massively altered over time, you have to be braindead to suggest that it would be possible to make a game in the original quake 3 engine which even comes close to competing with recent Call of Duty games for visuals.
    Virtually all game engines are built upon previous engines, people just pinpoint IW engine to attack because Call of Duty is made on it.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Gekidami

    To be fair this is still a PS3 & 360 game, the next gen versions are just souped-up. You’ll have to wait for the one after to see them taking full advantage of the new systems.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Tavarish

    @22 “Well optimized” is very arguable part of the argument. Every PC release of CoD since MW 1 has been problematic, everything from bad Options to very frustrating matchmaking problems that have taken even long time to get resolved. Black Ops 1 had even rather bad performance issues on PC for many and took long time to get fixed.

    Maybe they would be better off if they just pushed “Delete!” on folder that contains this “Well optimized and evolved” -engine and remade own engine from scratch.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Erthazus

    @22, Core of it’s engine and “based on the engine” are two different things.
    Id Tech 5 or currently in development id tech 6 from Id Software is based on the old engine principals but they don’t upgrade it with belts and whistles. there is a complete different design philosophy and completely new technologies that can’t be supported with the old engine code.

    Infinity Ward engine is based on id Tech 3 core. It’s a basic knowledge. Basic upgrades in Infinity Ward are the most obvious ones. Better shaders, better textures, better lightning and so on but core of it is the same old thing and it looks like that.

    Until Black Ops 2 for example there was no HAVOC physics because id tech 3 never supported physics from the beggining for example.

    “a perfectly well-optimised, relatively advanced, easy to use engine”

    the most retarded sentence on earth. That’s why they could not implement decent physics engine for so long and that’s why network code is glitchy as hell.

    @21, because infinity Ward has no talent and most of the EXPERIENCED guys went to Respawn entertainment. When they left, Raven and Sladgehammer helped infinity ward to complete MW3.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    No reason Ghost couldn’t be on WiiU either. Just saying.

    Also I have been trying to tell you folks to temper your graphical expectations for next gen systems. Small step forward. Nothing revolutionary.

    And in that context, I don’t believe the WiiU is as far behind as some might want to think.

    With all of that, I can’t fully say for sure. We have seen very little in terms of actual gameplay for PS4 or One. However we haven’t seen a fully optimized WiiU game yet either. Pretty much got quick ports. Even SMB is just an upgraded Wii SMB.

    I think the truth is that PS360 games are nice and fit that sweet spot between price and performance. From both a hardware perspective and software one. I don’t think Next gen systems will move too far beyond where we are now. Just smoother, crisper, faster, shinier. No where near high end PC levels(unless the game is sandbaged due to console version – and that happens a bit more then some of us would like).

    Next gen is about “services” and reconfiguring the way we are sold content.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Tavarish

    @26 Next-gen is already failed in performance if they can’t push clear difference between current and next gen graphics, AI and physics wise. There is a lot more calculation power, A LOT, and it should create clear cap between generations.

    For next year or two will consoles lead in game design, PC as follower instead of leader. It’s just pure fact because console, with this much power, gets lead for architectural reasons. Console is pinpointed to do very limited scale of things extremely well so they get more out of hardware.

    This upcoming generation of consoles is really good age for PC gaming also in the end because now consoles actually pack a punch while being basically custom designed PC’s. This makes porting games between platforms a lot easier and faster and even performance issues should be minimal right from the bat. 2-3+ years in PC will again dominate and graphical cap will again grow most likely, but it’s yet to see on PS 4′s case as 8 GB of GDDR5 gives good edge.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Erthazus

    Want to laugh your ass off? I never saw in the game something like this:


    #28 2 years ago
  29. The_Red

    While there won’t be a PS1 to PS2 level of leap, I do think that the graphical jump is gonna be much higher than what we’ve seen in this COD game.

    Here’s the thing: Killzone PS4 wasn’t super stunning but it was ages beyond anything shown in this conference. Based on all current reports after the reveal, Xbone is a weaker system compared to PS4 hardware / raw power wise. Also, unlike PS3, the Sony advantage doesn’t come from super crazy archit/CPU but from basic elements and technologies.

    I kinda believe that we could end up with 4 tiers of next-gen games: Wii U ones. Xbone ones. PS4 ones and finally, PC ones. Sadly, the multiplats are gonna be limited to the lowest common denominators so I fully expect that most of them won’t be able to use 8Gb GDDR5 or even better stuff on PC to create bigger and more interactive worlds.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Cobra951

    @23: One light shines in the darkness. Thank you. Software tech takes a while to ramp up. The games late in any gen look far better than the early ones. I don’t understand why anyone is surprised by the use of existing tech with some enhancements the extra system power makes possible. The tailor-made rendering software for the new hardware will be years in the making, just like it was for the current gen.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. marioporfirio

    @22 This engine outdated and is crap. Surely they will not fix things like head glitch and lag in game camera. Fuck activision!!!! If this problems remains, i will not play cod for the rest of my life.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. exynos

    The water animation kind of gave it away for me. Still has some of the worst water of any modern AAA title.
    I will not buy a new COD until they make a real new engine. So never. This engine is so old, why do they still use it.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. KineticCalvaria

    @28 Wow, I’ll give you that one, seriously stupid.

    Have to say I’m being put off CoD:G again after they claimed to have a new engine and its just a blatant lie, new is new, not reworked.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. nollie4545

    Lol to the max. Fanbois upset at their favourite franchise not getting a new engine, get real; at least half the player base for COD have no idea what the cronk a game engine is nor do they care, just so long as they can get a pink jungle camo AK.

    As for consoles leading PCs in game tech, what are you smoking? The CPU and GPU in both next gen consoles are already past it in the PC world. If they had shoved a 6 core Ivybridge intel processor in it and an Nvidia Titan to go with it, the PC world might have taken notice.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Gekidami

    Like i said, this is still pretty much a current gen game, on the next gen platforms its just a port with added bells & whistles. So taking this as a benchmark for what the nextgen games will look like is just stupid.

    Of course that isnt going to stop Nintendo crusaders trying to say the Wii-U can totally do next gen visuals.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. NightCrawler1970

    Sooo. as always.. cut & Paste Game.. with extra glitter…. i pass Activision…. ya’ll a bunch of greedy lazy ass Game-devs….

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Da Man

    Have to wonder how many people you talk to daily to keep having fun posting the same made up things for years.. Good grief.

    Either way, it’s a decent 2007 Modern Warfare engine, so there’s plenty left to make the game look plausible.

    Companies like Valve or Konami on the other hand.. Yep, CSS with zombies and same recycled PSX games with no proper levels.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. RocknRolla

    They can shove this game deep up their asses, I am fed up with this shitty game.. Battlefield 4 without a doubt, this? screw this!

    #38 2 years ago
  39. OlderGamer

    For the record I fully agree that this game is both an old engine and a revamped current gen game. Just Like almost everything that hit the WiiU. Just give it some thought. From Madden to AssCred to Batman to Funkey Barn(a DS game before WiiU). Nothing we have seen from WiiU, from Xone, or from PS4 has been optimized. None of the games take advantage of the systems in question.

    But that is normal for a new generation.

    But for me the first time I played Halo or SSX on Xbox/PS2 I was simply blown away. Hell Mario 64 was a near relgious experience the first time I fired up the N64. And PS one was filled with amazing games that simply couldn’t have been done on the previous gen. Those type of leap and reactions to the games just won’t happen this gen. That is more or less what I have been saying.

    I don’t believe it can. The hardware would simply cost too much. We are at apoint of diminishing graphical returns. Clearly graphics aren’t as big of a thing as they once were. So how do you move a generation forward?

    You broaden and expand the entertainment scope. You make it more social. You add eye toy/kinicet/wiiu gamepad. The danger is in deemphisizing the game experience.

    I am not telling anyone the WiiU is going to win this gen or is the best this gen has to offer. However, I do believe that the system has a lasser focus on games. It still has hulu, amazon, netflix, internet browsing, MiiVerse, WiiUTV, and video chat. But its driving purpose is gaming. Is it a graphics powerhouse? Nope. But Rayman Legends and SMB look stunning. The use of colors, the crisp looks are not current gen. Like you folks pointed out these systems are new and nothing has been released that even remotly pushes their graphics capibilities.

    Will WiiU hold it owns against PS4 or Xone? I don’t know. WiiU won’t be doing as many background things as either PS4 or Xone, so it needs less of many things(like Ram/CPU). All I can tell you is that the system is good. It is a solid, games focused system. It doesn’t require a cam/mic that will be used for marketing. It doesn’t require a service plan. It isn’t trying to be a TV/DVR replacment. It offers both digital(almost all games can be downloaded) and retail disc games. No used game fees. No paywalls. It offers you expandable memory storage, my brother in law has a 2 TB external HDD hooked up to his WiiU. The HDD costs him 60usd.

    It isn’t a bad system at all.

    I think the clear cut choice at this point for one system owners for next gen(other then PC, just speaking of consoles) is PS4. But I can easily see how folks could also enjoy a WiiU. And I think the difference between WiiU and the other two systems won’t be as much as some folks are thinking it will be. Maybe the same difference between WiiU and PS3. You ever compare a TG16 to a Master system or NES? Cause that is the kind of jump we are talking about here. Everything on the TG16 was bigger, smoother and crisper. One of my fav systems of all time(esp when you add the Super CD). It was better then other 8Bit systems(the TG16 was two 8bits to make 16bit), and it held its own against the SNES and Mega Drive. There is a very good parrelel here.

    TG16 is a WiiU. NES/Master system is ps3/xbox. PS4/Xone is SNES/MD. TG16 was better then the older stuff and held its own against the newer stuff.

    Ofc with the reveal of the (esp PS4) new systems, some folks feel like WiiU is just an old and outdated system. But I think three years from now the differences won’t be as significant as lots of folks think it will be. However, if the games don’t come, if gamers won’t buy it…game over. But that goes for all of the systems. How do you envision Xone selling with a 600usd price tag? Sure the game pubs are lined up now, but what if consumers won’t buy Xone? Could it be a bit like WiiU? WiiU sold well at launch (3.7 million units) then once the dedicated fanbase had one, it stoped moving. Before the Xone reveal I would have said I expect both PS4 and Xone to sell briskly during launches. Now I think Xone will struggle from the start. I really think PS4 has the advantage going into launch. The real winner hardware/software will likly be PS3/XB360 this year, maybe even next year.

    I am prolly crazy tho, ‘eh?

    Anyways I had a little time this am, it is the weekend, and this gives you guys something to read/chat about if you feel so inclinded.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Bomba Luigi

    Nice Read OG, even got some Nostalgic Feeling ^^

    #40 2 years ago

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