Treyarch spent the last couple of months hawking the 3D finery of its Call of Duty action extravaganza. We’ve already told you how much we love it in our Call of Duty: Black Ops review so we won’t dwell there. However, we haven’t covered whether it lived up to Treyarch’s third dimensional Promised Land.
The game doesn’t quite qualify for NVIDIA’S 3D VISION READY stamp of approval (of which there are only 13 titles so far) but it does get the second rating down of excellent. Is that going to be enough to keep 3D fraggers happy?
We went into the warzone, donning NVIDIA’S 3D specs with a 3D VISION compatible Acer GD245HQ flat panel (approx £290) running at 120Hz. We also had Creative’s new SoundBlaster Tactic 3D Sigma headphones (£79) and a very powerful quad-core PC with 8GB of memory and 2x768MB GeForce 8800 Ultra’s.
We’ve heard that both console versions are scaling down the resolution to cope with the 3D. That means the PS3 and Xbox 360 version are beset by jaggies, lacking the proper high-def support of higher resolutions.
While some PC fanboys have been complaining about performance lag, we had no problems – as long as you get the latest driver. We’re lucky to have a top end set up but, like all Call of Duty games, the developers have optimised the code so it should run quite well on most systems. That said, isn’t going to be cheap to upgrade your gaming to 3D.
What we did find was a huge performance boost with the latest driver from NVIDIA. Playing in 3D requires a driver update from NVIDIA but we also got a massive performance increase in 2D as well. Running 3D is like running two games simultaneously and it takes its toll on any system. But Treyarch has done a brilliant job of keeping the performance divide between 2D and 3D to a minimum. In fact, we hardly found any difference in frame rates when we switched between the two.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3D: Gameplay
PC gamers get HD glory with full visual and aural 3D sensorama factored in to the equation. The 3D is not a cheap layered trick like a pop up book. It has depth of field that really adds to the immersive gameplay. Every inch of blood sweat and tears rendered in 3D feels incredible. The gun models just float in the middle of the screen and the scenery is given a richer perspective that isn’t equalled in 2D.
But it’s the big action set pieces that left our jaws glued to the 3D floor – particularly the trip up the Hanoi river. We manned an armed boat with machine guns and rockets, fending off attacks from boats and helicopters with rocket launchers. The 3D headphones pinpointed every sound of attack accurately and the 3D effects of rockets blasting towards turned us in to a 3D cliché. And yes, we tried to dodge them by moving our head.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3D: Complaints
It is not entirely without fault. Default settings are very dark so you need to turn the brightness on full. We also had some ghosting issues that were particularly noticeable over reflective areas like water. These take you straight out of the well—crafted rabbit hole but they remain minor flaws none-the-less.
We had problems with the glasses and headphones, because they aren't amazonly comfortably and meant we had to have the headphones too far away to sit right over our ears.
Treyarch doesn’t cover any new ground in terms of gameplay or plot, but when a thing is so beautifully well-hung in 3D space, it’s hard to complain. We can’t wait to see what tune the second fiddler plays next…
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3D release date: Now
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3D price: £35-45