Black Ops Cold War features a revamped 3D audio system

Black Ops Cold War will feature an updated audio system with a focus on ensuring players are aware of their surroundings based on audio.

In the Black Ops Cold War launch broadcast, Treyarch Communications Director John Rafacz interviewed Audio engineers Brian Tuey, Collin Ayers, and Kevin Sherwood.

During this interview, the trio dived into the mechanics of the updated audio systems of Black Ops Cold War, and how the improvements will help players become more immersed in the game.

Directional Audio Improvements

According to Audio Director Brian Tuey, Black Ops Cold War’s audio system has been updated for players to better understand the environment and pin-point certain sounds. Through an acoustic simulation, they have mimicked the effects of sound traveling throughout environments.

This means audio will be more realistic, dwindling off with distance, and also properly changing depending on what materials the sound passes through.

Threat-Priority Sound System

Black Ops Cold War also features a threat priority system that puts certain sounds over others based on the immediate danger towards the player.

This system works to ensure the player always knows where enemies are.

For example, if teammates are running next to or behind you, their audio will be lower than the sound of an enemy running next to or behind you. When an enemy is firing at you, the bullet sounds will be much more prominent as it gets closer to your character.

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As stated by Lead Sound Designer Kevin Shirwood “You should be able to create a picture of where things are coming from”.

The Importance Of 3D Audio

At the core of all this technology is the new generation of console’s ability to fully support 3D audio in headphones.

With this development, players will get much better directional understanding based on audio, especially based on height, or up and down audio. This improvement will be most noticeable when players are above or below you, or even in the new Fireteam mode when players are parachuting above you.

Due to the different audio presets available in Black Ops Cold War, combined with the newly supported 3D audio on next-gen systems, awareness for players in the game will be at a whole new level for those with headphones.

For those on old generation hardware, your systems may not support 3D audio (its best to check), but you most certainly will see improvements in audio across the board regardless.

Source – Treyarch on YouTube