The Quebec touch of the Call of Duty Modern Warfare II game redesign
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was partly designed in Quebec.
Gamers' beloved shooter, Call of Duty Modern Warfare II(CoD: MW2)< em>, has just undergone an impressive overhaul, 13 years after its initial release. And it is partly the Beenox studio in Quebec, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, which signs this updated title.
The Quebec team didn't just rework the textures and brush up the appearance of the game's characters. They started from scratch, visually speaking, while retaining the essentials of the scenario.
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Result: a breathtaking game that is the pride of Marc-Alexandre Boulanger-Milot, UI (2D interface) and UX (user experience) director of the Beenox studio in Quebec City.
The graphics are just completely screwed up, says the director whose team is working on the PC version of the game.
Pictures ofCoD: MW2, in which you can see a character walking through the streets of Amsterdam as if you were there, have even gone viral on Twitter.
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If the quality of the graphics is so fair, it's because a production team traveled to the capital of the Netherlands to capture the streets in photogrammetry, very high resolution photos that allow you to recreate a 3D environment.
People went to write down details like the type of boat and how often they were seen sailing the canals. All this to properly position the different elements in the game and that everything is as immersive as possible, underlines the director.
You can't get more realistic than that, insists Marc- Alexandre Boulanger-Milot.
Beenox hopes that the title will certainly make its mark for its realism, but also for its precision. CoD: Modern Warfare II is, after all, a popular game for esports enthusiasts.
This precision is particularly evident in the technology behind the water, which has been carefully crafted, according to Marc-Alexandre Boulanger-Milot.
If a player sees a small wave on the water, all players will also see it at the same time. The physical reaction of water can have competitive effects, he points out.
The game also promises more precision when shooting with a computer mouse .
Players will also be able to ensure they have the optimal framerate to maximize their gaming performance with a brand new level called Benchmark.
It's an automated level where lots of random things happen, like explosions, to test your gear. […] At the end, a report is presented, and we can tell you if, for example, your GPU is not adequate, he explains.
“We want to educate players on how to properly optimize their settings for their gear.
— Marc-Alexandre Boulanger-Milot
Among other new features, the director notes the third-person camera and the addition of the dive function.
It's handy when you get bullets. You can quickly throw yourself down, he notes.
Characters can also cling to their surroundings, such as buildings. This new feature will be very useful on the battlefield.
Even if it means starting from scratch for the game, Beenox took the opportunity to add a handful of new accessibility settings that were absent from the first version, released in 2009.
Anyone can play our game, both color blind people and people with motor difficulties, underlines Marc-Alexandre Boulanger-Milot, who affirms that the team has redoubled its efforts in this area.
< p class="e-p">The director himself suffers from cyberkinetosis (motion sickness) and has developed options, such as adding a dot in the center of the screen, which help to reduce the effects.
The players can also modify the contrasts, the colors, as well as the tone of the sound so that it is not too disturbing for people noise sensitive.
“We don't want the player to feel bad physically while playing our game.”
—Marc-Alexandre Boulanger- Milot
All these additions have been tested with the various target profiles during development.
The Quebec City studio is no stranger to the Call of Duty series of games, with the company having worked on Black Ops 3 and 4, among others, in recent years. Modern Warfare IIwas the logical next step, believes Marc-Alexandre Boulanger-Milot.
The Beenox video game studio, located on Charest Boulevard in Quebec
The studio is also collaborating on the design of a map that will be integrated into the 2.0 suite of Warzone, which is scheduled for release in mid-November.
It's always impressive to know that the game you're working on is played by so many people. The first Warzone, for example, attracted some 180 million people, is still surprised Marc-Alexandre Boulanger-Milot.
This success smiles on Beenox, which passed in two years of approximately 250 to 500 members. The studio has even extended its activities to a second establishment in Montreal, announced last March. The studio already has a hundred workers on board.
It's amazing to be able to work on these games. I played Modern Warfare a lot as a child. I grew up a bit with that franchise, mentions the director.
Nostalgics may see a few nods to the original series, but it's not you don't need to have played it to immerse yourself in the story.
The game Call of Duty Modern Warfare II officially releases on October 28th.