Before firing up the game, Lamia paused for a moment to point out that we would be checking it out running on a 360. Sony has had strong support for 3D in conjunction with its TV business so the team wanted to show that their 3D support worked equally well on 360 as it does PS3.
And of the shooters I've seen running in 3D, Black Ops best earns being described as working well. I got to check out two areas at length but perhaps the most important part wasn't what I saw. After over thirty minutes of the game in 3D I wasn't experiencing any ill-effects; no headache, no crossed-eyes, and very little fatigue.
I attribute my positive experience with 3D in Black Ops to a combination of Treyarch having the tech up to speed for release and a deft balancing of the 3D effect in the game. One of the areas I was shown was the snowy assault on a satellite station seen at E3. Unlike other games I've seen, the snowflakes blowing across the screen stayed solid, without a distracting flicker. It's not completely flawless as patterns such as a chain link fence still pop back and forth a little from frame to frame. In general, though, the game handled exactly as it does in 2D and showed no signs of 3D causing any appreciable drop off in frame rate.
Black Ops uses the 3D effect almost entirely to project a sense of depth into the screen. I noted that even in the larger open outdoor environments the scenes remained natural. Lamia explained that they had spent a long time tuning exactly how pronounced to make the 3D effect. They ultimately landed on a pretty restrained setting because it felt best playing for long periods and being more comfortable allowed for better immersion in the game.
Part of their thinking behind erring on the side of prolonged comfort included being able to play Black Ops multiplayer in 3D. Lamia related to me with enthusiasm how completely engrossed he'd gotten in a recent online playtest where he'd dimmed the lights, cranked up the 5.1 positional audio, and turned on 3D. I'm not sure I'd go late into the night playing that way but at the very least if you have the 3D gear, Black Ops looks to make good use of it when it ships November 9.