This week at E3, Treyarch and Activision are pulling back the curtain on Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. In addition to the first extended gameplay demo of campaign co-op, we're giving attendees hands-on with the new multiplayer experience all week long. They’ll get a chance to try out the new movement system, wreck havoc with the new Specialist characters, and more. Between the new campaign and everything in multiplayer, there’s so much to dig into, so we’ve rounded up the 10 biggest ways Black Ops 3 is going to fundamentally change the way you play Call of Duty. Check it out:
Campaign: Four-Player Co-Op
In Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, you can take on the campaign solo or band together with up to three other players in four-player online co-op. Or, if you prefer, you can play two-player local splitscreen with two additional players online. But it isn’t just a matter of dropping more players into a traditional campaign— Black Ops 3 has been designed to be a shared experience. With open-area environments, unique character abilities, and advanced enemy AI that adapts to your team’s tactics with lethal precision, campaign co-op allows you to approach each engagement creatively with expanded replayability. And, of course, there’s no shortage of the gritty, cinematic action you’ve come to expect from Call of Duty and the team at Treyarch.
Campaign: Your Soldier, Your Way
For the first time ever, you’ll be able to define your character’s identity in the campaign. Whether you’re playing online co-op or going it alone, your character is completely customizable. You can choose to play as a male or female soldier, deck them out with weapons and gear, and earn abilities and attributes through modification systems called Cyber Cores and Tactical Rigs. How you shape your character will not only influence how you look to other players in co-op, but also how you’re represented in the campaign during cutscenes and other story moments.
Campaign: The Safe House
In between campaign missions, you’ll have a chance to show off your accomplishments and accumulated arsenal in a new social space known as the Safe House. There, co-op squads can customize their bunks, display their achievements, share weapons and gear, or get intel via an in-game wiki.
Multiplayer: New Ways To Move
As a cybernetically enhanced soldier of the future, you’ll be able to take advantage of a completely new chain-based movement system. It’s all about speed and maintaining control of your weapon and character at all times as you execute short, controlled thrust jumps, leap into wall runs, mantle over objects effortlessly, and trigger power slides—all with a full 360-degree range of motion throughout. Developed in tandem with the new movement system, Black Ops 3’s multiplayer maps have been engineered for seamless environment traversal and combining maneuvers for epic combat moments.
Multiplayer: Always Ready for a Fight
With all of the new ways to move through multiplayer engagements, the team at Treyarch has taken a new approach to combat design, which they’ve affectionately dubbed a guns up philosophy. No matter whether you’re in the middle of a wall run, power sliding around a corner, or leaping through a window, your weapon is always at the ready. Now, you’re no longer left vulnerable when making your way through the world, keeping the pace of the action high at all times.
Multiplayer: Into the Deep
The guns up philosophy also extends to a new multiplayer combat environment: underwater. In certain maps, you’ll be able to swim across bodies of water, while having submerged gunfights with other players along the way. Use water pathways to sneak past your enemies or even fight for control of underwater capture points in objective modes like Hardpoint. Pair your swim with a quick thrust jump to leap out of the water and surprise your enemies.
Multiplayer: Specialist Abilities and Weapons
With scorestreaks, exceptional in-game performance can earn short-term bonuses, like UAVs, gunships, and more. However, with the introduction of the Specialist system in Black Ops 3, you can equip a powerful weapon or ability regardless of your skill level. In total, there are nine elite Black Ops soldiers to unlock as you rank up, each with their own distinctive look, personality, and backstory within the Black Ops 3 fiction. Before each match, you’ll be able to pick a Specialist and choose to use either his or her unique weapon or ability. Weapons range from devastating Gravity Spikes that can clear an area with a powerful shockwave to the Scythe—a high-powered mini-gun. Abilities include things like Overcharge—a brief boost in speed—or Glitch, which lets you warp back to a previous location. Best of all, Specialist abilities and weapons become available as time goes on, so all you have to do is play to earn your moment of glory.
This year, Treyarch is taking weapon modification to a whole new level. With the new Gunsmith system, any weapon can be tailored to your preference with multiple models for each attachment. In addition, players on PS4, Xbox One, and PC can further customize their weapons in the Weapon Paint Shop. Applying the same tools as found in the emblem editor, the Weapon Paint Shop lets you create custom graphics that are displayed on the sides of your guns. With up to 64 layers and three sides to design, you’ll be able to create your own signature weapon variants with a practically infinite number of possible combinations.
Multiplayer: You Don’t Have to Wait Until Launch to Try It
No matter how exciting any one feature is, what makes Black Ops 3 special is how each comes together for one seamless experience, which is why we’re not going to wait until launch let you get your hands on the game. This year, anyone who pre-orders the game on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC will gain access to an exclusive multiplayer beta. We’ll be sharing more information about timing and availability for the beta in the coming months, so stay tuned.
Zombies: A Standalone Experience
While the reveal of Black Ops 3’s Zombies offering won’t arrive until later this year, Treyarch has big plans for the fan-favorite mode. Building upon the studio’s signature brand of zombie survival, Black Ops 3’s Zombies will feature its own unique storyline and a full XP-based progression system. There’s tons more to talk about, so keep an eye out for more intel later this year.
Looking for more on Call of Duty: Black Ops 3? Stay tuned to the Activision Games Blog for ongoing coverage. You can also stay up-to-date by following @CallofDuty, @Treyarch, and @Activision on Twitter.