Publisher Activision revealed a ton of information about Call of Duty: Ghosts’ multiplayer mode yesterday, and the company had a heavy focus on how it works on next-gen consoles.
Activision and developer Infinity Ward are working hard to position Ghosts, which is due out Nov. 5 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC, as the premiere next-gen first-person shooter (it will debut alongside PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when they launch). The studio rebuilt the graphics engine and improved the audio to take advantage of the extra power, but a lot of people are still gonna play Call of Duty: Ghosts on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Are they getting a second-tier experience? Only in some aspects.
“Most of the tech we put into the new engine will be available on current gen,” Call of Duty: Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin told IGN. “There’s some obvious tech that isn’t, like the [sub-division modeling], the displacement mapping, and the real-time lighting. That’s stuff that is beyond the capabilities of current-gen system.”
Sub-D mapping improves the smoothness of rounded objects by splitting polygon into subpolygons. Displacement mapping creates rippled and bumpy surfaces on what would otherwise look like flat textures. These are just a few of the technologies that will make Ghosts visually pop on Xbox One and PS4.
Rubin says that Infinity Ward still spent a ton of time trying to get as many next-gen features it could into the current-gen version.
“A good example is audio,” said Rubin. “We created a brand new audio engine for next gen. [The game is] modeling your environment as you move through it.”
This enables the developer to create reactive objects so that when you throw a grenade the explosion causes other things in the world to shake and create noise.
“All of that was made for next-gen systems,” said Rubin. “Once we did it for next gen, we went back and got it working for current-gen players as well — I’m very happy we were able to get that into the new current-gen engine as well.”
Outside of the tech, Rubin also confirmed that all of the gameplay features are identical between generations. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Ghosts doesn’t have any modes that the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 release doesn’t have.