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 Call of Duty: Black Ops 
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)

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By Neil Schneider

Introduction

Hundreds of millions of dollars later, I suppose it’s a bit silly to do a review of Call of Duty: Black Ops now!  It’s just that there is so much to say about this game, it would be criminal to let this pass.  More than that, it’s a major brand name that is promoting itself as being stereoscopic 3D compatible on PC and console.

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Unless you have been living under a rock, the Call of Duty (COD) franchise is a tried and true mix of first person shooter action, thrilling vehicle rides, and tense theatrics.  Starting out as a World War II shooter, Call of Duty branched out into battlefronts in all ages and all regions.  Call of Duty: Black Ops continues the tradition with a story of Cold War espionage.


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Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:29 am
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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I really don't like this trend with 3D Vision "certified" games locking the controls to simple depth (which does nothing for me). I understand the developers want to make the process easy, but they should just set a recommended configuration and then let the user adjust how they please. On the console I can understand, but on the PC its unacceptable. PC gamers are the kind of people that spend $1000's tweaking their system, manually configuring the graphics settings for each game (even to the point of editing .ini files by hand or hacking the registry). Its insulting to think that we would be confused or inconvenienced by having to press a hotkey a couple of times. Unacceptable.


Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:39 pm
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Certif-Eyable!
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cybereality wrote:
I really don't like this trend with 3D Vision "certified" games locking the controls to simple depth (which does nothing for me). I understand the developers want to make the process easy, but they should just set a recommended configuration and then let the user adjust how they please. On the console I can understand, but on the PC its unacceptable. PC gamers are the kind of people that spend $1000's tweaking their system, manually configuring the graphics settings for each game (even to the point of editing .ini files by hand or hacking the registry). Its insulting to think that we would be confused or inconvenienced by having to press a hotkey a couple of times. Unacceptable.

100% agree.
I have this game for XBOX360 and 58" plasma. The main complaint I have is that I'm not able to increase the depth.
When it was released, there were also a fair few anomalies with the graphics (sometimes the reticle would be doubled for both eyes, sometimes it would not appear in the center of the screen, etc), but it seems that they have fixed that. There is still an issue with water droplets that are supposed to splash on the camera being doubled with the right eye though. It is, however a HUGE step in the right direction for 3D gaming and I am willing to overlook the minor issues for the overall great, easy and trouble free user experience. I'm sure that in time, more companies will get it right. The controls in avatar were good, just a shame that the game was crap.


Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:49 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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android78 wrote:
The controls in avatar were good, just a shame that the game was crap.

Yeah, I thought the adjustments in Avatar were adequate, although still not up to par with the default Nvidia ones. They made it easy for newbies with just the "screen size" and "distance" variables, but you could completely disregard the names and adjust the values wildly to get some better results (I think I set my screen size to 7 inches and distance to 8 feet).

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Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:54 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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BlackQ is planning to make an appearance on MTBS because there is a dispute on our review results. It's important that iZ3D is properly represented in our reviews, so I've given him the go ahead to share some screen shots with the members in this thread.

Regards,
Neil


Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:37 pm
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!
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Nice review Neil, you have like the one of the best jobs in the world. I never actually bought this game and like to get the good games when the prices drop after 6 months or so.. but yeah I can only hunch that the reason company's are locking the convergence is to hide the anomalies, like window violations, double gun placements and easy hud fixes. It almost don't seem like some of this stereocopic 3d is worthwhile and theres nothing the gamer or consumer can do to get some imersion. It really bothers me setting up my 2 hours for a day to game in stereo3d to find that a 3d ready game is not worth playing in 3d because it lacks the right effect. Its even the same for some blu-ray 3d movies that I got and the 3d is so tame, its not even funny. I can only assume Nvidia is the one to blame since its mostly their configuration method. Nvidia could override the setting each game has but nothing spectacular seems to happen. I emailed them a month ago about this 2d looking stereoscopic trend but they never responded back.


Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:25 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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nothing special - we just were surprised that Neil has problem to run CoD: BO on Zalman. I've attached screenshots from Cod: BO made exactly on the same spec which was reviewed - we don't need to update anything - since the moment of release CoD: BO was fine with 1.12 - check thread about it on our forum


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Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:58 pm
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Hi BlackQ,

Thank you for your screenshots. I took some of my own and they are attached to the post. Problems include clipped smoke and blur effects, lighting that slides off the source, and more. This was the Zalman based machine (tested on interlaced and Zalman outputs). The second machine is completely different, and just crashes to desktop when the game is opened. Some debugging needs to be done.

When it comes to crashing, we give driver developers a heads up - which we did. I noted that we didn't follow up on the crashing part in the review itself. We don't pre-announce visual anomalies or problems while writing the game reviews because that would give an unfair advantage of one solution over another. We do give at least seven days notice to all driver developers so optimizations can be done when necessary.

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Can your team share some screenshots from the above scenes? Preferably with smoke or haze effects actively in the scene? As I said, if we can get things working the way they should, I'm happy to update the review.

I noticed that your version of Call of Duty: Black Ops is in Russian. Could this have something to do with the problem? Is our software identical? Send me a PM if you would prefer, and we can start the process.

EDIT

Quote:
nothing special - we just were surprised that Neil has problem to run CoD: BO on Zalman. I've attached screenshots from Cod: BO made exactly on the same spec which was reviewed - we don't need to update anything - since the moment of release CoD: BO was fine with 1.12 - check thread about it on our forum


I'm seeing our results are comparable to those found in the iZ3D forums: http://forum.iz3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=3587

I also see that the iZ3D team is hard at work finding a solution. As I said, we will get the game retested when things are updated.

Regards,
Neil


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Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:40 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Neil, I can see in your screenshots that there are some anomalies. It is certainly not perfect. But I do not really know of many (if any) PC games that were perfect in regards to stereo 3d (barring maybe Avatar). Pretty much every PC game I have ever played has weird anomalies like that, whether with the real-time shadows, smoke/fire and other billboarded particle effects, full-screen shaders, etc. I don't think that deserved the failing grade IZ3D got. It was like you panned the entire game, even though it clearly looks playable. It might have been better to just post some of the screenshots (best case and worst case) and let the consumer make an informed decision. I certainly got the impression that things were worse than they now appear.

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Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:42 pm
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Hi Cybereality,

Thank you for your feedback. The two options were either a crash to desktop or a very flawed visual performance. These screen shots don't do justice to how distracting these anomalies are (imagine anomalies that move around while you're playing). I didn't think it would have been responsible to review the game in this state, and it was bad enough to put off until a proper profile is put together. Check out the related iZ3D forum thread linked above - others described it as "unplayable". I'm not trying to be hard on iZ3D - it's just not game review ready yet.

Regards,
Neil


Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:27 pm
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