In a interview with OXM, Treyarch’s game design director defended their aged and improved “Call of Duty Engine”. He also goes in depth over the progression and changes over the past years.

Here are some quotes from David Vonderhaar:

“Anybody who comes at the engine needs to remember it’s the 60 frames they love in the first place,” Vondehaar said.

“It runs at 60 and it’s gorgeous. What exactly is there to be upset about with the engine?”

“And we can make it beautiful – that’s through years and years of working with the engine, improving upon it and improving the pipeline and improving our approach, our lighting rendering.”

“People like to talk about the engine, but the truth of the matter is that this isn’t like something that was invented six years ago…At this point that engine doesn’t resemble anything like any engine – we’ve ripped out the UI system, the rendering and the lighting are all new, the core gameplay systems are all new.”

“To me, it’s like I never really understood. It runs at 60 and it’s gorgeous. What exactly is there to be upset about with the engine?”

Our thoughts? The screenshot above (taken from our recent gameplay) should be proof enough on how beautiful and far the graphics have come. Console games are being pushed to their limits now and we can’t wait to see what next-gen tech brings..


  • God

    I think the graphics are great. It is the animations that are pathetic in cod. Just look at the third person reload animations…. disgusting.

    • Argy

      But they hired real horses! /Sarcasm

  • John

    looks like mw3 -.-

    • Adam Nord

      only nothing like it

    • Vordb

      Nope. The HUD is much different and there is so much more depth, warmth, and smoothness to the lighting and the overall art direction, not to much more variance in color, which should make it easier to differentiate between player models and background textures. One thing that really annoyed me about MW2 is that players would often blend in perfectly with the environments even without using Assassin Pro.

  • that gun looks like it’s for retards that don’t know there left and right

    • Grammer police

      this post is by a retard that does not know the difference between there and their.

      • Noahlux772

        You sir need to be punched in the face! who cares really go troll somewhere else


    Yeah but Frostbite 2 is not great by any means Jesus it takes 5 seconds before my textures load in and even then they look muddy

  • Aaron Quin

    I must of burst out with laughter while reading this.

    “it’s the 60 frames they love in the first place,” Vondehaar said.

    “It runs at 60 and it’s gorgeous. What exactly is there to be upset about with the engine?”

    Ok then Treyarch, yes we love smooth game play, only if there wasn’t so much flipping lag in that crappy engine. When you say it runs at 60fps, to me, if fell like a fraction of that, when playing with lag. Sort the lag/hit detection out and then maybe, it would feel like its running at this ever so “gorgeous” 60fps. Yes I feel that’s it running at 60fps for the campaign. And you know why? Cause there’s no problems with lag/hit detection.
    I really don’t care about these upgrades to the graphics if there’s no upgrades to the lag/hit detection. That’s what there is to be upset about.

    I’m sure if given the option to upgrade graphics or lag/hit detection, the community would choose to upgrade upgrade the lag/hit detection.

    … Just a clear example of how the developers are so oblivious to the community.

    • Vordb

      You know damn well that if there were no improvements made to the graphics compared to Black Ops 1 but the game ran smoother online, everyone would be bitching about how the graphics looked exactly the same as Black Ops 1. There’s no pleasing everyone.

    • Vordb

      Also, although you are correct that Black Ops II will ultimately be a failure of a game if it feels like shit to play online, as was often the case with Black Ops, you’re just speculating at this point – you have not played the game online yet. We really don’t know whether they HAVE made any improvements to the lag compensation/hit detection or overall netcode yet.

      • Did you play it?

        • Vordb

          You’re entirely missing the point. I’m saying that we don’t KNOW how good the overall online experience will be because none of us here have actually played it. All of the major showings of the game have taken place on LAN connections, which have practically zero lag of any sort. And although some people have played the closed beta online, they aren’t allowed to say anything about it, so we really can only wait until launch day to see how well it plays online.

          I did play it for about 20 minutes at GameStop Expo, though, but that is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

    • caloge

      what engine is better? Frostbite 2 is a 30FPS “new” engine, and it runs like total garbage on all consoles, with the same/worse lag issues, and texture issues. If you have a good connection, black ops runs fine post patch.

      If your going to complain about something, complain about hit detection, which was the real issues with black ops.

      The community wants a new engine just for the sake of it. Is frostbite or frost bite 2, both of which are newer engines, any better than the black ops engine? Not really, I have played BF3 and MOH2010 and was not terribly impressed. Its funny how the “community” forgets the issues with lag and connectivity that plagued the BF3 launch, or having to sacrifice half your harddrive so that the game doesnt look like Doom 2.

    • Lolwut

      No actually the community is oblivious as to what they are talking about.

      You are a prime example. The lag is nothing to do with running at 60 FPS, or how good the graphics are.

      The lag is derived from poor net code and lag compensation handling, which is compounded by very poor matchmaking outside of the US, creating lobbies with high ping variance which in turn makes the lag compensation work harder, and thus balls’ing up more.

      An new engine is not needed. Engines can be altered and adapted. New tools and techniques can be incorporated into them.

      Halo 4 is using the same engine as Halo 1 for example.

      People seem to think that engines have some kind of max limit and cannot be altered.

      But they’re wrong.

    • Get a new internet, it’s not the engines problem it’s yours, also they said they fixed the netcode a long time ago… -_-

    • Traviswaldorf

      Lag is a property of the inconsistent nature of the internet. The net code they put in there is to help smooth the fact your playing against someone on the otherside of the world and it feels smooth for the majority of the match! This is an amazing feet and the fact anyone whines about this shows their ignorance about what it takes to actually develop a game. Crawl out of the pit of depressing complaining you love to wallow in and enjoy the abundance of spectacular technology these brilliant minds have produced for you. You’re spoiled!

  • GeDDeN

    The main problem is the LAG and guess what the fact that the game runs at 60 FPS hinders the bandwidth. 60 frame of data is harder to compute than 30 frames of data… The engine itself I have no problems with actually because it look very realistic sharp textures and I do love the 60 FPS. BUT I would rather have way less lag and a MORE STABLE online experience. Online should not feel different every match you play. End of Story!

    • Lolwut

      The lag is nothing to do with graphics. The problem is within how lag compensation is working, not how the game looks.

  • Deadlycalling

    Doesn’t anyone remember what black ops was like on ps3 omg it ran at about 12 fps lol it was terrible yet on Xbox no problems

    • hanfhase

      Thats simply not true.

  • Anonymous

    Modern warfare 3 has better graphics than black ops 2.

    Black ops used the engine of cod 4, with little tweaks, and for black ops 2 they are using the same engine from black ops but a little bit upgraded and tweaked…

    • TheShoxter

      That is good. CoD4 is still the superior CoD in all aspects. I hope they use the same engine.

    • Lolwut

      Not true. They’ve upgraded it heavily.

      You’re right in that it is the COD4 engine, as Treyarch have typically taken the latest IW developed engine – which was always a game behind as obviously they begin work before the ‘next’ game is out. So BO1 started before MW2 was complete, thus the latest engine was COD4.

      However they’ve done a lot of work, trust me it is graphically superior to BO1. It is MW3 level with better lighting.

  • Trueblood1able

    it looks like barbie doll made of plastic …fix the real things like lag and the freaking bugs the game can have

  • Blaine

    If you think framerate has anything to do with lag you are technologically retarded. The lag everyone complains about in COD is solely based on network issues. Either your internet sucks and you dont want to admit it, OR the lag is a result of the shitty, archaic host (or peer-2-peer) system COD uses where the host has shitty internet and EVERYONE lags (more likely). The engine creates no lag problem. – the game needs DEDICATED SERVERS to reduce lag.

    Some engines have “frame lag” or “dropped frames” where the engine literally can’t keep up rendering everything that is happening on the screen at the intended frame rate, and everything runs slow or “choppy”. No COD engine since COD4 has EVER had this. Play single-player or host a private MP match by yourself and you will NEVER see any of this. The only time i’ve ever seen engine lag is in zombies during really high rounds.

    Engine lag doesn’t happen in MP. It’s all networks issues, and the netcode IS something that severely needs improvement.

    • Traviswaldorf

      I feel like when people complain about the netcode, they’re complaining as if this is the developers fault because the US internet service providers offer the worst deal and slowest rates in the 1st world countries. Everyone needs to complain to the ISP’s dealling out sub par speeds at rediculous prices. It’s not Treyarchs job to fix your internet connection or the fact you like to play with people a thousand miles away. The blame goes to the wrong place.

    • Vordb

      Actually, if you play some of the newer DLC maps on Xbox 360, there is a TON of frame rate lag in certain sections of those maps. Take Aground, for instance. I swear to you that the frame rate drops to like 15-25 fps when you stare off into the rocky beach area. But yes, frame rate lag and internet lag are different.

      • Howard Anthony Collings

        The think is that MW3’s engine is LOCKED at 60FPS no matter what. Same thing Black Ops II is doing.

  • Formula57

    Everyone is so quick to bash a game that hasn’t even been released publicly.

    I’ve played the alpha or whatever you wanna call it. It’s definitely not Blops and its definitely not MW3. It’s Black Ops 2. There is a different feel with the game. It ran pretty damn smooth (I know it was on a LAN)
    The engine is tweaked like every other engine in each COD that comes out.

    What it comes down to is the net coding in the game. 3arc already said that this is a completely new netcide built from the ground up.

  • 60 frames? Make sure its also gorgeous on the ps3. We all know how unoptimized the ps3 version of black ops 1 was with the framerate drops and freezing. Dammit treyarch. I had to dumb down my resolution to 576p just to experience the GORGEOUSNESS of your 60 frames per second. Because if I go higher, it’ll lag. Optimize the ps3 version of black ops 2.. Its not like im paying lesser than the xbox 360 version, dammit both system’s copies costs like 60 dollars! Hey make sure im paying for the same quality as the 360 version.

  • Josiah Johnson

    Who cares about graphics? People seem to like Minecraft! Gameplay matters, sure I’d like to see more impressive visuals than ten years ago. Just because the game isn’t the best looking one ever doesn’t mean it sucks.

  • Why is everyone so stupid… most of the people bashing the engine no NOTHING about it, they’re just looking for something to hate about the game.

  • Traviswaldorf

    Treyarc shouldn’t be expected to fix the internet, which is the source of everyone’s complaints of lag. End of story.

  • W Ariston Smith

    Why the fuck are people complaining about this topic on this site?! Holy fuck

  • Argy

    I am not judging Black Ops 2 because it is not out yet, but the game engine means squat to me if the gameplay isn’t amazing. That’s why in all honesty I still consider CoD4 the best game in the series.

  • These guys have won million of dollars, billions of dollars from the past games. And while there are so many things that affect how smooth a game plays, there is no denying that there is no innovation when you keep using the same damn engine. The graphics were tweaked? I’m sure they were, but not enough. With the amount of revenue it makes, and the amount of people that enjoy the games, they owe it to the fans to create a brand-new game. It’s not a matter of how old the engine is, but a matter of taking care of their fans.