The engine boosts the polygon counts, lighting effects and audio without compromising the signature sixty frames per second. The engine has real time tessellation, adding more polygons to shapes as the camera approaches, smoothing out edges and shaders. Lighting seemed to be the heaviest emphasis, as moving from dark-to-light or light-to-dark areas distorts the image until the character’s “eyes” have time to adjust, similar to what happens to the human eye in the same situation. Given how light and dark areas played in previous Call of Duty multiplayer matches, if the same feature is implemented into multiplayer, utilizing these transitions could prove strategically beneficial and allow players to hide in plain sight.
A new audio simulation engine allows for sound waves to be simulated and bounce off or absorb into certain materials, again adding to the realism of how a battlefield actually sounds. A gunshot has a sharp snap indoors, while it has a long trail and echoes outdoors. There were no words on how this would affect the audio cues that are so vital in multiplayer gameplay, but it would be expected to make quite a difference while trying to locate footsteps in hallways and alleys, as they could reverberate several times before reaching another player.
The dog, Riley, can be controlled during single player through the use of a vibrating collar and remote camera. All of the technology used in game is actually deployed in the field and was modeled after a service dog for the U.S. Navy SEALs. Riley can stalk enemy soldiers to keep risk to a minimum, or he can dive through windows to clear a room that needs to be breached. Infinity Ward has said that dogs will be a part in multiplayer, but the extent of their role as either a support or a killstreak reward, or whether players can assume direct control over them remains to be seen. Whatever the case may be, dogs have added some excitement to Ghosts.
The gameplay shown focused more on stealth, which is not a new thing for Call of Duty. Since “All Guillied Up” stunned us during the presentation for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, both Treyarch and Infinity Ward have been implementing slower stealth sections as low points in their shooter roller coaster. These moments always seem to be shown off for the public, either as a change of pace from what people expect to see from Call of Duty or, like in the underwater sections of Modern Warfare 3 and now Ghosts, a very easy way to show the lighting tech along with tons of color and foliage. Either above or below the water’s surface, these stealth moments are few and far between in past titles. With the amount shown at E3, there must be much more included in Ghosts.
Activision is not finished showing this year’s golden goose. There will be plenty more in the coming months, including much more details on the all-important multiplayer modes. Call of Duty: Ghosts is set for release on Nov. 5 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.