Having played Call of Duty: Black Ops III at Gamescom, I can guarantee that it’s a really beautiful game. It ran really smoothly, and it looked great. Design Director David Vonderhaar explained why during a chat on the show floor.
Vonderhaar mentioned that there has been work made on the engine and “tremendous” work on the lighting. The new deferred renderer is where a lot of the visual goodness comes from.
There has also been an improvement on the AI engine, the UI engine has been completely overhauled using a completely new tool.
Vonderhaar then explained that when you go to a new console generation you have to make sure that you’re working hard to take advantage of the new graphics capabilities of the hardware. That’s why the team had the graphics engine “torn apart” for a while to make sure that they could “get all that beautifulness out of it, get all the high poly stuff, get all the shadows and get all the lighting and still run at 60” frames per second.
Add to this that during my time with the game’s multiplayer I did not suck nearly as badly as I normally do with FPS games, and I’m actually looking forward to get my hands on the full game quite a lot.