The day that a full Call of Duty game supports VR is the day you know the tech has ‘made it’, but it’s not coming for quite some time yet.
That is according to Miles Leslie, Multiplayer Producer at Treyarch, the developer behind the Black Ops line in gaming’s biggest franchise. Speaking with the Daily Star, Leslie was very positive about VR’s future, calling it “really exciting”, but also confirmed that the studio was “not at that stage where we can tackle it.”
“It’s not to say we’re not going to do it, and we can’t comment on that yes or no, because the technology is fantastic,” Leslie added, also confirming that the team’s offices are already fitted with “a load of” PlayStation VR dev kits. Sony has partnered closely with Activision on Call of Duty in recent years, so it makes sense that this would be the VR headset the team is looking at.
The biggest problem, according to the developer, is the performance standards required to run a smooth VR experience. “Call of Duty multiplayer is a 60 FPS game, that’s how it is,” Leslie said. “But VR is a tremendous burden and that would mean we couldn’t hit that target.” Indeed the latest Call of Duty games push today’s consoles to their limits as standard 2D experiences, and adding in VR support while maintaining 60 FPS – let alone hitting the recommended 90 FPS for some headsets – would be extremely challenging.
That said not all hope is lost. This year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, made by Infinity Ward, won’t support VR itself, but will have a PlayStation VR experience on display at the upcoming Call of Duty XP event. The piece will let players fly a Jackal, one of the fictional ships they’ll control in the upcoming sci-fi shooter. It’s a far cry from getting the full Call of Duty experience in VR, but it’s still better than nothing. There’s no word on if the piece could also release for every PS VR owner when the device launches in October.
It’s also important to remember that the traditional Call of Duty experience as it’s currently known wouldn’t be a good fit for current VR headsets. The fast-paced, intense action is a recipe for nausea. For it to work, we’ll need to perfect locomotion on both the software and hardware sides. Until then, you can look forward to games like Farpoint showing us the future of the VR FPS.