Call of Duty hasn't had a beta for a long time, but with Black Ops III, developer Treyarch is bucking the trend. Announced earlier in the year for the PlayStation 4, the test is live now exclusively on Sony's new-gen machine – and you'll merely need to pre-order a copy of the forthcoming first-person shooter in order to ensure access to the server stress test.
Set to run until 23rd August, the 12.5GB client will include access to the title's competitive multiplayer suite. Here you'll be able to test out three maps – Hunted, Combine, and Evac – across the following modes: Team Deathmatch, Hardpoint, Demolition, Domination, Kill Confirmed, Capture the Flag, and Search and Destroy.
Of course, we know what you're thinking: Call of Duty games are all the same. Well, while that's not strictly true, there are some big tweaks in this edition. For starters, you'll be playing as Specialists, who are Elite Soldiers augmented with their own unique personalities and abilities. In the beta, you'll be able to try out all seven of these.
There'll be more for you to trial, too, such as the Weapon Paintshop, which will allow you to customise your firearms with up to 64 layers of custom graphics. However, you won't be able to level up beyond Level 28, and your progress will not carry across into the final release – a bummer, but not exactly uncommon.
The big question is: have you pre-ordered Black Ops III and had a little play with the beta yet? What are your first impressions? We'll have our thoughts in the coming days, but do share yours in the comments section below.