Call of Duty: Black Ops III introduces characters to multiplayer

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Call of Duty: Black Ops III is changing multiplayer up in a variety of ways, using the futuristic setting to allow for some exciting new movement, but the biggest change comes to what you’ll select from at the character screen. This is sure to simultaneously please and annoy more fans than any other change to the game.

Instead of picking a generic soldier, you’ll now select from a set of characters. Each of the nine characters, four of which have been revealed so far, has a special weapon and a special ability. These are in addition to the loadouts Call of Duty fans are used to.

Here’s a rundown of the four currently known classes:

  • Ruin has Gravity Spikes, a weapon that has a slow attack with a big area of effect that has him slamming down on his opponents. His power, Overdrive, temporarily boosts the speed of all of his movements for a short time.
  • Seraph has the Annihilator, a hand-cannon style revolver that not only kills enemies in one shot but will plow through anyone else unfortunate enough to be behind the first target as well. This sounds like it’ll make for some spectacular kills if you have the patience to master it. Her ability, Combat Focus, gives her a bonus multiplier to score streak points.
  • Outrider has the Sparrow, a bow with explosive arrows that have a small area of effect to them. If she doesn’t want to go with her arrow, she can use Vision Pulse instead, which tags all enemy locations and lets her see her enemies through walls.
  • Reaper is a robot with a minigun in its arm called the Scythe. Its ability, called Glitch, lets the player flash back to where they were a few seconds ago if they run into a sticky situation and need a quick way out.

You’ll pick your character and choose between the weapon and ability at the beginning of each match. Throughout the match, loadouts can be swapped out as necessary, but the character and weapon/ability are set for the duration of the match. The weapons and abilities are both treated like a sort of character-specific killstreak, unlocking over time, with the unlock accelerated by any points the player might pick up with kills or other activities.

This doesn’t remove the player’s ability to build custom loadouts to match their playstyle, but it does emphasize the futuristic aspect of the game that much more as well as giving it something in common with games like Blizzard’s Overwatch in the form of memorable characters. It has the potential to add a cool new dimension to multiplayer if Treyarch handles it well.

More characters are sure to be revealed before the game launches, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is set to release November 6, 2015 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.