Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 game – everything we know so far, from the beta mode to combat mechanics

Now that the dust is settling after Summer Game Fest, it’s time to get excited about the big games arriving in the coming months.

Top of the list is the new Call of Duty. It’s been a while, the last Black Ops came out in 2020, so anticipation is high.

This weekend’s Xbox showcase revealed a whole host of exciting new details and features to loo, forward to – and buckle up, because it’s a lot.

Here’s what we know so far.

It’s coming out soon


It’s now officially confirmed: the game will be launching on October 25, on PlayStation, Xbox and PC. It will also be the first game in the series to launch on Xbox’s subscription service Game Pass too (this is the first CoD to come out since Microsoft acquired its developers, Activision Blizzard).

The game is also decidedly beefy, weighing in at 300GB: make space on your console.

Get ready for the beta

All CoD players love a good beta, and Black Ops 6 does not disappoint. There will be a closed beta period for people who pre-order the game, followed by an open beta for all players - and interestingly, this will be across all platforms, ie. no Xbox exclusivity.

While the beta date hasn’t been officially announced yet, there is speculation that the closed beta will start at the end of August, possibly after the Call of Duty showcase on August 28, with the open one following shortly after. Stay tuned.

It’s set in the Gulf War

Though the storyline has still been kept tightly under wraps, we do know about the premise. This Black Ops game is a direct sequel to Black Ops II and Black Ops: Cold War, and takes place in the 1990s, during the Gulf War.

It also features some returning characters. There’s Frank Wood, who’s now wheelchair bound after the events of the last game, and Russell Adler, who seems to kick off the game when he reappears after having gone missing.

He brings ominous news. Apparently, the CIA has been infiltrated, and nobody can be trusted: anybody who stands up to these shadowy power players will be called a traitor and kicked out.

Players will be stepping into the boots of new guys Troy Marshall and CIA handler Jane Harrow, who (along with Adler, and some other have-a-go-heroes) must go off-grid in order to save the world, recruiting a team, gathering their resources and setting off to investigate what’s happening.

The levels


The mission designs in Black Ops 6 look like a whole lot of fun. In one, the team has to sneak into a Bill Clinton fundraising gala in order to infiltrate a CIA blacksite beneath it (and yes, before you ask, familiar faces from the era will be popping up too, including George Bush, Margaret Thatcher and Saddam Hussein).

It looks like the levels will be a mix between linear and open-world, which Modern Warfare III gave us a taste of (even if they didn’t quite manage to pull it off).

With locations including the US, a desert in Iraq (apparently the biggest map the makers have ever built) and even the Russian steppes, there will be a fun mix of terrain with which to test out your weaponry and tactics.

Tactics are set to play a much larger role this time around. Treyarch (the games makers, a subdivision of Activision Blizzard) have hinted that there will be a number of ways to solve missions this time around, including bartering, negotiating and using the good old art of conversation (in addition to shooting the living daylights out of enemies, of course).

There’ll also be something called the Safehouse: basically, an abandoned KGB base turned refuge on the coast, where you can regroup between missions, talk to allies and decide what to do next. And, of course, uncover the building’s secrets.

The weapons

One of the most exciting bits of any Call of Duty game. Of course, since it’s set in the Nineties, the game will feature era-appropriate weaponry – and given that the team is operating undercover, that’s set to include quite a few DIY modifications.

Plus, for the first time, the game will also feature a dedicated melee slot for weapons. In the past, there have only been two (barring Modern Warfare III, which gave players an extra pistol) but now there’s a third.


It’s got some brand new features

The biggest of these is the new ‘Omnimovement’ system, which will come into play during the Multiplayers – and which the developers have promised will change the way the game is played for the better.

What this means is that players will be allowed to sprint, move and slide in any direction they please, including backwards – where before you could only do so in a straight line, now you can dive around to get out of the line of fire. And even when the player is prone, a new option will let them slowly turn around from a lying position.

Plus, there’s extra freedom in the form of Treyarch’s new intelligent-controls system. This includes auto-mantling, which allows players to vault obstacles without even pressing a button, or indeed squeeze through small holes without pressing X (that’s the auto-crouch setting). Lastly, you can take human shields for the first time. Or shoot through doors.

Multiplayer is bigger and better


Not to worry, multiplayer fans; there’s stuff for you here too. The multiplayer is its own beast entirely, and features 16 maps at launch, including 12 6v6 maps, and four Strike maps, which can be customised to suit 2v2 or 6v6 playing modes. However, they will be based on maps from the series campaign.

There will also be three classes from which to choose your warrior: Enforcers (whose speciality lies in hunting and killing people), Recon (who gather intel about enemy movements) and Strategist (who disrupt enemy objectives or distract them).

But stay tuned, because the August 28 CoD Next event will reveal even more.

Yes there will be zombies

The game will see the return of Call of Duty’s beloved Zombie mode. This will take the form of its own mini-campaign, picking up after the events of Cold War, in the storyline dubbed Dark Aether.

There will be two maps for players to work through: Liberty Falls (a small American town) and Terminus, an island that is also a prison, Alcatraz style. There will be four main characters to play as: pick your fighter and get slaying.