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Activision reveals next-gen engine, likely for new Call of Duty

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Today, Activision technical director Jorge Jimenez gave a presentation at GDC, where the mega-publisher unveiled a brand new next-generation graphics engine that they’ve been working on for the past year or so.

Images showcasing the tech were also released, which can be seen below. Described as an attempt at photorealism, the engine is capable of more detailed and articulate facial expressions that will presumably help to make character models more emotional and convincing.

Given that Activision’s product line lives and breathes the Call of Duty franchise at this point, as well as the fact that the female character is wearing a military beret, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to predict that this engine is being primarily built for a next-generation installment of the popular shooter series. The franchise’s annual release cycle could also lead one to believe that this supposed sequel will come out this Fall as a PS4 and Xbox 720 launch title.

Ever since Call of Duty 4 back in 2007, the series has been using the Infinity Ward Engine 3.0, with only minor tweaks being made for each successive release. This was also true of last year’s Black Ops II. An updated engine would certainly do a lot to alleviate common complaints about the series’ visuals being outdated at this point.

What are your opinions of the tech? Is it splendidly realistic, or inching too close to the uncanny valley? Let us know, and be sure to hit up our forums for more discussion opportunities.

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Now an occasional contributer, Michael Urban is the former Editor-in-Chief at OnlySP and has the nickname "Breadcrab" for reasons his therapist still doesn't understand. From the moment he first got hacked in Runescape, he's been uninterested in multiplayer games and has pursued the beauty of the single-player experience, especially in terms of story and creative design. His hobbies include reading, writing, singing in the shower, pretending to be productive, and providing info and feedback regarding the games industry. It is an industry, right? You can ask him a question or send him spam at michaelurban@www.onlysp.com. Also, follow him on Twitter or the terrorists win. (@MichaelUrban1)

Interview

Troy Baker Discusses His Return as Joel in The Last of Us Part II

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The Last of Us Part II Joel Ellie screenshot

Troy Baker has spoken about his return to the role of Joel in Naughty Dog’s upcoming title The Last of Us Part II.

During an exclusive interview with OnlySP at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming, Baker was asked how he felt to return to the role alongside Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie in the sequel to the acclaimed 2013 title.

“The first day we were on set was when we shot [the PSX reveal] trailer,” Baker revealed. “We go through rehearsals and stuff, and we walk through it, and things get real serious all of a sudden, when we heard both of our voices. When you put everything together, that’s when Ashley goes away and Troy goes away, and you’re left with Ellie and Joel.”

Baker noted that the first time creative director Neil Druckmann spoke to him about the potential of a sequel was during the British Academy Video Game Awards in March 2014.

Check out a clip from our exclusive interview with Troy Baker and Nolan North—including the revelation of North’s return as David and the significant musical numbers featured in the game—above, and stay tuned for the full interview.

Druckmann recently revealed that Baker and Johnson had completed their main work on the game, describing it as “the most ambitious cinematic shoot we’ve ever done.” Before that, he stated that the final scene of The Last of Us Part II has been shot, with Laura Bailey recently completing her performance capture for the title. Druckmann also revealed that the rapper Logic and actor Travis Willingham will also be appearing in the game.

Earlier this month, a screen of the game’s weapon upgrade system was leaked in a promotional video, with some noting that weapon variation may be present in the game’s revision of combat.

To stay updated on The Last of Us Part II and the world of single-player gaming, be sure to follow OnlySP on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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