Call of Duty: Black Ops Looks "Bloody Awesome" in 3D

With Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops breaking sales records, the PC game reviews are rolling in. Although the game studio decided to add 3D Vision support to Black Ops later in development, journalists are praising the stereoscopic 3D experience. Treyarch took a gamble when they decided to implement 3D support into the Cold War-era shooter, but the technology is certainly paying off according to game critics.

Perhaps Dave Ernst, editor at, best summarizes the 3D Vision experience: “…as someone who is currently playing Black Ops in 3D on his PC, I can say that it really is bloody awesome.”

According to “If you are a fan of 3D then you'll be happy with 3D Vision on Call of Duty: Black Ops as the game looks amazing with 3D enabled and all the image quality settings cranked up.”

Josh Oland, Treyarch’s community manager, explained that stereoscopic 3D is a technology that is being flagshipped by Activision with Call of Duty: Black Ops.

“3D hasn’t been supported in any other Call of Duty game,” said Oland. “It’s a way to render the game in three dimensions. The game is built in three dimensions, but it’s very different to be playing a 3D game and be playing a game in 3D. We had a very small core team that was supported by Activision that developed this technology to support stereoscopic 3D Vision. It came together so quickly and so well -- it wasn’t something we originally planned to do for Black Ops, to be completely honest. But it looked so great and it came along so fast that when we saw the demo it blew us away.”

Andrew Webster, game reviewer for ARS Technica, wrote: “Considering that 3D was implemented relatively late in development, the extent that it's featured in the game is pretty incredible, going so far as to include 3D effects in the actual menus. But where things really get impressive is when you look through a scope on your gun, which gives the scene a stunning sense of depth. The environmental effects looked great in 3D, with wind, rain, and snow blowing around you in a lifelike manner.”

Adam Rosas, lead cinematics animator on Call of Duty: Black Ops, believes 3D Vision allows players to better connect with the characters in the game.

“We used 3D to give you better transitions and to work certain elements into the game,” said Rosas. “If you want an element of surprise, you can use this 3D technology to actually surprise a player, rather than just putting a flash on the screen. You can really implement 3D so that your peripheral vision will catch something and you’ll look over there, where you can fully reveal what you want them to see. So 3D can be used to draw the player where the action is within a story. It’s even a better visual cue than lighting, which games have used to send players in a certain direction.”

According to Ben Kuchera, game reviewer at ARS Technica: “If you want to talk about an easy way to make sure you're focused completely on the game, this is it. 3D gives the game a lot of extra kick, and the subtle details really bring something to the experience. When you bring up the scope of your rifle you can tell the scope has its own depth, as does the area of the screen you're zoomed in on.”

3D Vision technology is also having an immediate impact on the robust multiplayer experience that Treyarch has developed for Black Ops.

“I think it’s amazing to be able to offer a 3D experience,” said David Vonderhaar, multiplayer design director at Treyarch. “When I played multiplayer for the first time in 3D, I was just floored. I was just absolutely floored at what the potential is for that kind of situation. And just being able to have that depth of field on the weapons, when you’re using the scopes and when you’re flying the helicopter, it just feels like you’re there. You feel really immersed in that environment and world, and it’s a lot of fun.”

John Gaudiosi