Treyarch on why Black Ops 2 doesn't need a new engine

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Overwatch

The introduction of the Frostbite 2 with Battlefield 3 last year threw down the gauntlet to other shooters. Visually, things have taken a step up, so it's interesting to see how the other big shooter franchises like Call of Duty respond. Black Ops 2 was revealed just a few weeks ago, and while it's been updated, it's still running on the modified version of the id Tech 3 engine that the series has been using for years. Treyarch aren't concerned.

Mark Lamia spoke about the Black Ops 2 engine to One of Swords . "People always ask me, “Is this a new engine?” I liken it to people who live in an older house that has been remodeled," he said. "Just because you're remodeling the house and it will look new or it will have a new kitchen, you don't tear out the foundation, or break out some of the framing. You might even go as hardcore as replacing the plumbing, and we will do that sort of thing, as an analogy. It's a gross simplification, but it's one way to say that. There's a lot of good still in that foundation that you wouldn't get rid of, and we don't. We look to advance in the areas that support our game design."

The lighting system has been a big point of interest for Treyarch in Black Ops 2, and the team have the added constraint of trying to ensure that the game will run on consoles at 60 frames per second.

"Engines, each time they get touched, they change. The creators alter them; they don't modify what they don't need to, and then they alter what they need to. You can't make a competitive product if you're not upgrading that engine along the way," he added.

Black Ops 2 will be set in a future full of X-Ray sniper rifles. Find out more in our Black Ops 2 preview .

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.