The Black Ops 2 sniper rifle was shown off to the press recently during one of the campaign missions. The new rifle is said to be using “optical technology and electro-magnetic propulsion” which is in development today by weapon manufacturer known as “Metal Storm”. In real life, a prototype weapon known as “Metal Storm” exsist however itself won’t appear in Black Ops 2, but the electronic charge will.
Treyarch’s studio head Mark Lamia went into detail when talking to AusGamers about the new setting for Black Ops 2 which is supposedly set in the “near-future” when half the world’s armed forces are composed of drones and robots. He also explains the reasoning for the sci-fi premise with Call of Duty’s and take on future authentic weaponry.
Quotes from Treyarch’s Mark Lamia: (after the break)
“In the demonstration of LA, we showed you a sniper weapon, but it was not a sniper weapon like anything you’ve ever played with in Call of Duty. And in fact, if you just stopped right there and looked at it, there’s this weapon that you can see through walls and shoot people through. Right? Is that realistic or is that not realistic? Well I’ll tell you how we think about it, and how we have to justify it to ourselves before it makes it into the game, is we go: ‘ok, in the future, what would a sniper rifle be, and what would be a really amazing optic for that sniper rifle?.Well you flew here from Australia and you probably had to go through those TSA scanners right? Where they put your hands up here and they can see through everything, well there’s that millimetre wave technology, it exists in large form-factor right now.”
“And you know that every 18-24 months, there’s this thing called Moore’s Law, where processing power is going to double. Right? It’s going to double. That is very hard to conceptualise. In fact, you almost have to look to the past to even get an idea of what that actually means. Because it’s hard to look out that way and go so what does that actually look like?. Well look thirteen years back. The PS3 or the 360 that you can go buy, is the same processing power as the most advanced piece of processing kit the military would have running. The military.”
“So servers, whole huge computer systems – multi-million dollars – thirteen years ago, are the same processing power as a PS3 or a 360. Which by the way, we also know is technology that has been around for a while, right? So you project that out. Go back to the millimeter wave technology; processing power continues. We also know that as time advances, form factors get smaller. We know that from our own personal consumer electronics devices – they’re all smaller, things get more efficient. Now you have an optic, that would be a pretty impressive optic to have as opposed to being on a vehicle – mounted on a vehicle moving through a city – it’s actually on a weapon. Now what do you do? You can see through it, now you want to be able to – from a gameplay point of view – you want to be able to do something about that. How do you justify that?”
“I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but it’s an electronic charge as opposed to a gunpowder charge. It fires a million rounds every 60 seconds. That’s today! Now it’s in big form-factor, again we’re talking thirteen years out.”
“So now, from a gameplay point of view – because you have to balance that, because that’s a pretty powerful weapon suddenly – if you’re putting this technology on a sniper weapon, how do you balance that? Well, it’s a charge-shot mechanic you have to hold down. The longer you charge up, the more you can penetrate. If you don’t charge up enough, you’re not going to be able to penetrate the surface material.”
“That’s a combination of fiction with game-balance with everything else. That weapon has gone through a lot of iteration, and it’s not just gameplay, it’s artistically. How does that sit in the world? The drones are the same thing… You saw the quadaped, the CLAW – the Cognitive Land Assault Weapon – that’s the four-legged, tank-like thing with the huge mounted calibre thing. That went through a lot of revisions as well for the team to get that right — to make that feel like ‘yeah, this feels plausible’.”
“Does that exist right now? No. Does the other weapon exist right now? No. But every single one of those things has a backstory. We know that there are quadrupeds that are basically mules – robotic mules, that can carry large amounts of gear and things like that. Well, how long before that sort of thing could potentially have a camera or a weapon mounted to it or something like that? So we go through that whole process for everything.”