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Call of Duty: Black Ops III lets you hack robots with your friends

After E3 presentations focused primarily on the competitive multiplayer modes featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Activision and Treyarch have released a new gameplay walkthrough offering an extended look at cooperative play, as well as the “cyber Core” technology that powers the soldiers of the future.

“Your mind will slowly begin to understand what your body can do,” the narrator states. “You’ve been given a cybernetics core, or a ‘Cyber Core,’ which will fulfill specific battlefield roles.

These look to go far beyond extra gimmicks slapped on top of the series’ traditional first-person shooter gameplay. The radial wheel containing abilities for the Cyber Core shown in the video appears to contain more than a dozen different functions, including “system paralysis” to disable enemy equipment, “protocol override” to switch an enemy robot’s friend-or-foe recognition, and the “firefly swarm,” which releases drones to blind enemies and even set them on fire.

Treyarch promises a greater level of choice in this year’s campaign — shifting from the sometimes comical level of linearity from past Call of Duty campaigns — and the walkthrough appears to highlight this. Spotting an enemy drone floating in the sky, the player hacks its controls and begins a barrage of fire on the enemies and vehicles below. Should this level of freedom persist throughout all of Black Ops III’s missions, it has a chance to significantly shake up the series’ formula.

But the other big change to the Call of Duty campaign formula is the return of cooperative play, last seen in Treyarch’s own World at War in 2008. Combining the new cybernetic abilities with three other players looks to create something even more hectic and fast-paced than previous games in the series. This section of the walkthrough — which is a greatly extended version of the video shown at Sony’s E3 conference — also highlights the increased verticality introduced in last year’s Advanced Warfare. Unfortunately, if you want to play the campaign with your friends, you better own a current-gen console or a PC: The feature is skipping the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.