You may recall that, earlier this week, I wrote a story entitled “Call of Duty: Black Ops” Supports 3D, But You Should Ignore This Fact. It basically consisted of me explaining that a recent 3D presentation of Activision’s shooter made the game look way worse than it did when I saw it running in regular old 2D. It seems that Activision and Treyarch read the piece and were convinced that something must have been technically wrong with the set-up. So convinced, in fact, that they asked me to meet with them a second time to see if they could remedy the problem.
To be completely honest, I was fully prepared for the same horrible ghosting and doubling that my first demo was plagued with. Turns out Activision and Treyarch were right, as my second time through the same demo looked a heck of a lot better.
Like most modern 3D movies and games, “Call of Duty: Black Ops” doesn’t have crap flying at you. Instead, the addition of 3D adds a sense of depth to the game, as if your TV is a literal window looking out on a Russian military base.
Apart from the added depth, the addition of 3D adds a certain tangibility to the game world that’s a little hard to describe. For some reason, everything in “Black Ops” gets a little bit crisper, meatier, more “real” than it is when you’re playing in 2D. You get more of a sense that there’s actually a gun there, floating in front of you, rather than just something representing a gun.
Character animations are helped by this, as well. The bloodied, bruised skin of an interrogation victim seemed real enough to touch (not that you’d really want to). The best example I can compare it to is “Avatar” the movie. In the 2D trailers, the Navi looked like ridiculous “FernGully” knock-offs, but seeing it in 3D brought out so much more texture and believability. Same goes for “Call of Duty: Black Ops.”
Worth noting that, although this demo really did sell me on the viability of playing “Black Ops” in 3D, the tech is not perfect. Ghosting and doubling up still exists, though it’s usually only for a second or two in between several minutes of great-looking visuals. If you’ve just bought or are planning to buy a 3D TV, it looks like “Black Ops” will be one of the better games for showing it off this holiday. Just be aware that it won’t always look 100%, so if you’re crazy about visual quality, you may want to hold off until someone figures out 3D tech that doesn’t ghost at all.