SANTA MONICA, Calif. - As if the gun-toting action in "Call of Duty: Black Ops" wasn't expected to feel real enough in high definition, Activision Blizzard Inc. announced last week that the latest entry in its successful first-person-shooter video game franchise would be released in 3-D, yet another addition to the 3-D revolution's growing arsenal.
Mark Lamia, studio head at developer Treyarch, said "Black Ops" would be available in 3-D as an option for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC editions of the game when it is released Nov. 9. He said the game would be the same if played in 2-D or 3-D and that no content was created especially for the 3-D version, although it looks much more immersive.
"When you're looking at the game in 3-D, the space you're looking at feels real," said Lamia. "When I've got a weapon, and I'm painting a red dot on an enemy target, I'm painting a red dot on an enemy target. When I'm aiming down the sights, I'm aiming down the sights. When someone's down the corridor, it feels as though somebody's down that corridor - for real."
"Black Ops," the seventh installment in the "Call of Duty" shoot-'em-up saga, will take aim at the Cold War, thrusting players into a time-hopping adventure that involves military cover-ups and shoot-outs in locales such as Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cuba and Russia. The game also will include extensive online multiplayer and cooperative "zombie" modes.
"We haven't actually changed any art in the game as a result of 3-D," Lamia said. "It's the same high-quality, high-fidelity art in both experiences. It's all engineering that's gone into that. I think people are going to be shocked when they see it because they're going to think that we crafted art or experiences for 3-D because it looks so good in 3-D."
The gaming medium is well suited to be displayed in 3-D because most modern games are already created in three virtual dimensions, unlike many films and TV shows that must either be filmed with special cameras or converted to 3-D. At this early stage, however, many gamers have yet to adopt the in-your-face technology because it requires a 3-D TV and glasses.
Only a handful of games, such as Ubisoft's "Avatar: The Game" and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's "Batman: Arkham Asylum," are available on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in 3-D, while hundreds of games, including Electronic Arts' "Battlefield: Bad Company 2" and Capcom's "Resident Evil 5," can be played on a PC in 3-D with the right equipment.