Ghost in the machine! Features of CoD:Ghosts

By Naren Hooson
22 May 2013 04:27 GMT

Adding to the big announcements, information for Call of Duty’s next-gen installment in the franchise has started to emerge today. Following leaks of the name and a teaser trailer in the past weeks, Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Ghosts is developed on a new engine which will add features such as exponential polygons and mocapped dogs.

First off, courtesy of Eurogamer, the game’s visuals have been boosted using Sub-D, a graphics technology that has been added to the engine to enhance the fidelity of the visuals by increasing the number of polygons in real time as a player moves in the game. A good example of how this work is when looking through the sight of a weapon. In previous games, such as Modern Warfare 3, on close inspection the circular shape of the sight had jagged edges, but the increase in the number of polygons possible in this next installment means that the sight will look perfectly round.

This feature, made possible by the power of next-gen consoles, will enhance all areas of the game, including level environments, character helmets, weapons and more. To the point that character hands will be smooth and rounded and show fine hairs, bruising, cuts and dirt.

When asked about the new engine, Infinity Ward’s executive producer Mark Rubin had this to say, “We’re getting pulled by what we want to achieve with this game, and we’re getting pulled by the fact we now have these next-gen consoles to consider. Where that was going to put us on a chess board, what pieces were getting moved, became a very complicated thing in our development.”

This more refined look obviously helps players immerse themselves more in the game with a sense of realism. In terms of story, the team have opted to head into the near future, perhaps an obvious path for the franchise at this point.

The setting is apocalyptic, as opposed to post-apocalyptic, with the writing side handled by Stephen Gaghan, who won an Oscar for the script to Steven Soderbergh’s film Traffic.

The catch is seems is that our character has, if anything, a disadvantage in terms of tech available. “The other guys have some new cool tech and new stuff, but you’re fighting against them, not with that. So it’s not going to feel futurey. It’s going to feel very grounded and it’s going to feel very today. But I’m not even sure that rings true since the world you’re going to be in is so different now.”

This release gives the team a chance to start on a completely new story. “It occurred to us early on that we were now in this opportune moment where we’re going to be on next-gen – and that came to us slowly but surely as the first parties started revealing they were going to do next-gen,” Rubin says. “And then it also came around that this might be a good opportunity to do a new story. Not just a new story but a new story in a new universe.

“You put all those pieces together and you go, hold on a second, we’re the studio that created Call of Duty and we’re the studio that brought Call of Duty to the last generation of consoles. We get this opportunity to do that again, and we get the opportunity to do it in a whole new world, a whole new story, a whole new setting, all new characters, and do it on a whole new engine. This was perfectly laid out in front of us. We had to be a part of that.”

In terms of multiplayer, the sole reason for some to play and Call of Duty game, dynamic maps will now be included. This means map changing events such as earthquakes and floods, to player influences changes in the form of explosive traps. These mechanics will need to be faced to win, Rubin adds.

And finally, the mocapped dog. “We had a great experience working with the dog,” is all Rubin let on. “It was really fun. Early on we thought it would be cool to have a dog, but we didn’t really understand it. We brought in a Navy SEAL with his dog and the stuff he told us emotionally and technically about that dog was just absolutely amazing. He said he would take a bullet for his dog. That’s how attached those dogs are to their squads. So, the dog is really amazing.”

Check out some gameplay footage here.

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