Better at the Black Ops 3 Beta
It hasnt even opened to the public yet, and the Black Ops 3 (opens in new tab) Beta is already an intimidating place to be. Ive already played against folk who are in excess of level 20, so theyve been going at the game hard and already know the layout of the three maps currently available. Theyve been getting used to the new movement system too, which does take a little acclimatising to. However, theres plenty of room for newcomers too, and even raw recruits have a chance to nail the killstreaks and top the leaderboards. With that in mind, here is some advice if youre joining up for the first time.
Click through for more, check out our feature on how to make the perfect COD map (opens in new tab), and check out our exclusive Beta footage below.
You get one of the best guns right at the start
Ah, the trusty old ARK-7 (which is definitely a 2065 version of the AK-47). Its still here, and its still one of the most rounded weapons in the game. Rate of fire and damage is particularly good, and while it doesnt excel in any particular area, its great for just getting stuck in and feeling your way afterwards. The more you use each gun, the more parts you unlock for it, so its a good idea to have this as your base firearm before working out which others you want to spend precious unlock tokens on.
Choose your unlocks carefully
Ok, each rank you achieve nets you an unlock token, which can be spent on any weapon, perk, or Specialist class in the game. You start with a single token, so spend it on a Specialist class - I went for Battery / War Machine first time out, and that grants you a tasty grenade launcher mid-fight. After that, every rank brings a new token. Dont forget to scroll over to the Shotguns, LMGs, and Snipers (by pressing R1 on the Primary select screen) for more options.
Perks make a big difference
There are three perk slots open at the start, with a further three unlocked as you rank up. Dont neglect your perks, because they give you big advantages in the fight - the Sixth Sense ability, for example, shows you where nearby enemies are on your mini-map. Dont forget that each new perk will cost an unlock token, so make sure you spend on these items as well as primary weapons that you may, or may not, end up using.
Use your abilities while you can
Your specialist abilities will recharge as the fight goes on, so dont be afraid to use them. Even if youre not making kills, theyre still replenishing, and once active it can swing a fight in your favour. Keep in mind, though, if youre killed when using an ability then its over and you have to wait for it to charge again, so dont try and activate it under fire.
Get creative with your designs
You have a bunch of customisation options open to you, letting you create custom paint jobs for any of your weapons. No, its not essential that you start slapping happy faces all over your Man-o-War assault rifle, but its something you should at least play around with while the Beta is running to give you a taste of the depth of customisation Black Ops 3 offers.
Settle on your loadouts before entering combat
Basic stuff, this, but make sure youre happy with your kit before heading into a lobby, because matches cycle through quite quickly, and you dont want the session to launch while youre still fiddling with your primary attachment (so to speak). Each loadout allows you to carry a maximum of ten items, whether theyre guns, attachments, perks or grenades. It keeps things nicely balanced in a fight, and means you cant pack super-weapons all the time. I recommend you stuff as much into your primary weapon and perks as possible.
Some basic controls
Look, you dont like fiddling with the menus to learn the controls - here are the basics. Obviously fundamentals are normal COD. Tapping R1 and L1 together activates your Specialist ability. Once youve build up enough points per life, you can activate your Scorestreak boost (like a UAV or a care package) by tapping Right on the d-pad. And, if youre good enough to have unlocked multiple layers of this, tapping up and down on the d-pad will select which boost you use.
There are three maps now, but more may arrive later
Right now, youve got Evac - a sort of abandoned roof-top level, Hunted - a grand mansion in a jungle with a pool and waterfall to swim through, and Combine - a futuristic military complex with spawn points at either end. So far, I havent found ANY camping spots on these maps, so dont worry about people hunkering down for the duration, because they cant.
Movement is very, very different
On the surface, this is still the fast-paced COD youre used to. You sprint, you crouch, you iron-sight aim or hipfire. The jetpack and enhanced movement options, though, make it feel quite different. Double-tapping jump (and holding the button) allows you to boost up or across distances. When you boost to a wall, you lock to that wall as long as youre running along it. Once you want to get off, tapping X will boost you out and give you a larger jump than normal. It takes some getting used to, and you will kill yourself. Jumping to ledges will also haul you up. When you can string together wall runs, with boosting slides, and shooting people in the face thats when youll be top of the leaderboards.
Everyones currently playing Team Deathmatch
Yeah, you kinda expected that, right? Each session goes up to 75 kills, so they end quite snappily. There are other modes available, and theyll get busier when the Beta starts properly, but for now its a bit one note. Ill update this article with tips on the new modes as I play.