Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 III PS4 PlayStation 4 1

It only feels like yesterday that we were tapping away on pre-release stories for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but Call of Duty: Black Ops III has now deftly double-jumped into the headlines. We already knew a fair amount about the first-person shooter courtesy of leaks, of course, but now we can drop some official intel on the forthcoming PlayStation 4 sequel. Is it shaping up to be a meaningful successor to Sledgehammer Games' divisive futuristic foray? Here's everything that you need to know right now.

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You can play the campaign with pals

Those of you that have been keeping close tabs on the Black Ops story will perhaps be pleased to know that Call of Duty: Black Ops III will continue that plotline. The game's set in 2060, approximately 35 years after the events of its predecessor. Essentially, the tale goes that world leaders have developed a new defence against air strikes, which means that all combative focus has been placed on ground troops. Fortunately, new technology has been developed to give these troops the upper-hand, including cybernetic implants.

The takeaway, then, is that you'll be controlling more capable personnel than ever before – and you'll be doing so with friends. The entirety of Treyarch's latest campaign will be playable in four-player co-op, and levels have been designed to accommodate this sizeable change. You'll be able to pick which gadgets you go out into the field with, and will even be able to tackle missions in whichever order you like. There will be routes through the stages designed for those playing solo, and these will also augment plenty of variety, as you'll be able to tackle the same missions in several different ways.

The game's only confirmed for PS4 thus far

While a PlayStation 3 version is still possible, Treyarch's admitted that it's only working on the PS4 and other new-gen formats right now. Last year, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was farmed out to High Moon Studios, and the Transformers: Fall of Cybertron developer worked on the last-gen editions. Activision's reluctance to comment on a potential PS3 iteration suggests that that's most likely to be the case this time, too.

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Become a multiplayer specialist

One of the biggest changes to Call of Duty: Black Ops III's competitive multiplayer component: you'll now play as specific characters, known as Specialists. There'll be nine of these in the final game, with four announced thus far, and each will come equipped with a unique weapon or power. You'll only be able to pick one of these to take into battle, however, so you'll need to make plenty of difficult decisions before you even get out on the field.

The characters confirmed so far are: Ruin, Seraph, Outrider, and Reaper. Ruin comes equipped with a couple of Gravity Spikes, which he can smash into the ground Destiny-style in order to do damage. That's his weapon, but his power enables him to move more quickly. Seraph, meanwhile, can pick between a high-calibre revolver weapon and a Combat Focus power, which increases her score streak points. Elsewhere, there's Outrider, who has a bow weapon and Vision Pulse power, allowing her to see through walls, and Reaper, a killer robot, who comes with a minigun embedded into his arm and a teleportation power. Phew – did you get all of that?

Zombies will rise from the dead

It's become a Treyarch title staple, but, yes, zombies will return in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. According to the developer, it's building a separate campaign for this part of the game, which will have its own XP-based progression system. Details are scarce at the moment, but we do know that this portion of the package will take place in a "totally different setting", and will adopt the following slogan: only the cursed survive. Interesting.

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You'll be able to move more freely than ever before

Exo-suits aren't making a comeback, but rocket jumps are – sort of. Call of Duty: Black Ops III will enable you to feather the boost button to glide wherever you want to go – but that's not all. There'll be no limitations on sprinting now, so you'll be able to get about maps lightning fast – and you'll be able to run across walls, power-slide, and even vault over cover while you're doing it. The idea is to create a much faster experience.

The twist is that, no matter what you're doing, you'll always be able to fire off a few rounds from your weapon of choice; whether it's mantling objects or soaring off ledges, your finger will forever be nestled on the trigger. Treyarch says that it's building all of the game's maps around this new style of play, but it remains to be seen whether it will be able to marry these complex manoeuvres with the series' historically accessible action.

Pre-order for access to the multiplayer beta

You'll get your first taste of multiplayer sooner than usual, as Call of Duty: Black Ops III will be the first entry in the series in quite a while to land an online multiplayer beta. There's no word on when this will take place just yet, but Treyarch claims that it wants to get the game into players' hands earlier than ever before, and so, it will be playable at E3 in a couple of months' time.

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You'll be able to customise the look of your weapons

Part of the fun of Call of Duty multiplayer is showing off, and the series has gotten much better at allowing you to do that in recent years. But while features such as custom sights and emblems are all well and good, the Gunsmith promises to evolve the very idea of firearm personalisation. At its heart, this will allow you to tailor your weapon with different attachments – from barrels to suppressors and much, much more – but it promises to go even deeper than that.

Essentially, you'll be able to deck your gun out with different paint jobs, using simple shapes and tools to create custom-built imagery. With up to 64 layers available per side, the potential for creativity seems high here; want a Mountain Dew sticker on the stock of your AK47? Well, now you'll be able to make one. It's unclear whether you'll be able to share these custom designs with friends a la ModNation Racers, but that does seem likely. After all, not everyone has the time to spend an entire afternoon painting virtual weapons.

Are you impressed by what you've read about Call of Duty: Black Ops III thus far – or do you feel that its reveal has been a little underwhelming? Ready up in the comments section below.

How would you rate Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s reveal? (41 votes)

  1. Amazing, I’ve already pre-ordered my copy10%
  2. Meh, I want to learn a bit more56%
  3. Rubbish, I think I’ll be skipping this release34%

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