One week from tomorrow, PlayStation 4 owners will get access to the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 beta. It will last five days from August 19th through 23rd. Xbox One and PC owners will get their hands on the beta on August 26-30.

A short time ago, Activision released a new trailer highlighting what we will all be playing starting next week.

Seven multiplayer modes, three maps and eight specialists. New weapons, perks and scorestreaks will be unlocked as you play the game – just like any other Call of Duty. But, these will only last through the duration of the beta. Don’t expect your progress to carry over to the final release.

Treyarch took to their blog to go in-depth on the maps, modes and specialists available during the beta.

Here’s the three maps:

Hunted: This big game hunting lodge is situated beneath a waterfall in the lush mountains of Ethiopia, where rugged terrain opens up to long sightlines and a stealthy underwater pathway.

Combine: Set in the remote Egyptian Sahara, this vertical farming and sustainability research facility plays fast and frenetic with tight interiors, an open middle and a dangerous flank path.

Evac: An abandoned emergency evacuation zone atop an overgrown rooftop in the middle of Singapore’s flooded quarantine zone.

The multiplayer gamemodes are your standard fare:

Team Deathmatch
Domination
Demolition
Kill Confirmed
Hardpoint
Capture the Flag
Search & Destroy

Treyarch also reveals 8 Specialists. Each one brings a unique personality, voice and weapons and abilities into every match. The developer touts how each Specialist can be ranked-up and delivers “yet another layer to our progression system.” Here are the details on a few of them. Head on over to Treyarch’s post to read up on all of them.

Callsign: Ruin

Real Name: Donnie Walsh
Bio: Raised in a military family in a tough neighborhood, he is fearless and headstrong, an infantry soldier through and through. He uses his unique abilities to rush into battle and surprise the enemy with sheer force.
Weapon: Gravity Spikes – Creates a devastating area of effect shockwave in the surrounding area.
Ability: Overdrive – Initiates a burst of speed that accelerates all movement for a short period of time.

Callsign: Outrider

Real Name: Alessandra Castillo
Bio: Developed keen observation skills growing up in the streets of the Favela, traversing the rooftops to watch the action of the city below, and this earned her a place in the ranks of the Brazilian Special Forces. She outsmarts enemies by finding them before they have a chance to know what hit them.
Weapon: Sparrow – Compound bow w/explosive bolts and variable range.
Ability: Vision Pulse – Pulses the surrounding area to reveal the location of all enemies within range.

Callsign: Prophet

Real Name: David Wilkes
Bio: Wilkes got his first set of cybernetic augmentations while serving in the British Engineering Corps. Five years and many upgrades later, he is the embodiment of the cutting edge of human weaponry on the battlefield, using his superior technology to disrupt opponents’ tactics before moving in for the kill.
Weapon: Tempest – Charge-shot weapon that fires an arc of electricity, shocking targets and chaining to all nearby enemies.
Ability: Glitch – Flash back to a previous position with this system mod that hacks the battlefield simulation grid.

It’s an interesting new feature to give Call of Duty a little extra flair. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit apprehensive about it. I see weapons like the Gravity Spikes, and I instantly think of the Titan’s Super attack from Destiny. Balancing the specialists will be one of Treyarch’s most important tasks following this month’s beta.

Gravity Spikes Black Ops 3

Image: Crappy YouTube capture from trailer above.

And finally, you can get your hands dirty with the new Weapon Paintshop feature. Remember emblems from Black Ops 2? This feature takes it to the next level. Up to 64 layers can be applied to three sides of the weapon.

I can’t wait to spend a few days with Black Ops 3. I just hope Treyarch leans more towards Black Ops 2 than Advanced Warfare. I enjoyed Advanced Warfare when it first came out, but it just didn’t grab me like Black Ops 1 and 2 did. Maybe it was Call of Duty fatigue. Whatever it was, I’m ready to jump back on a Call of Duty game again.

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