Activision kicked off the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer beta on the PlayStation 4 today, giving fans their first real hands-on experience with the game’s popular multiplayer mode.

Throughout the weekend, developer Infinity Ward will log valuable feedback and gameplay information ahead of the game’s global launch on October 25 on the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows.

Following the recent Modern Warfare 2-on-2 Gunfight open alpha, the new PS4 beta delivers a deeper look at Modern Warfare’s multiplayer, including tight close-quarter 2-on-2 Gunfight gameplay, traditional 6-on-6 multiplayer, and larger experiences on massive maps with vehicles. There is, however, no sign of the battle royale Blackout mode from last year’s game.

Those who have preordered any version of the game at participating retailers will be able to access the beta early as follows.

PlayStation 4 Exclusive Beta – Weekend 1

  • September 12-September 13 (Early Access, PlayStation 4)
  • September 14-September 16 (Open Beta, PlayStation 4)

Beta featuring crossplay testing – Weekend 2

  • September 19-September 20 (Early Access, PC and Xbox One; Open Beta, PlayStation 4)
  • September 21-September 23 (Open Beta, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One)

Hands-on in the realistic sim

I am the Kingslayer.

Above: I am the Kingslayer.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

I’ve played with it for about an hour and you can see the results in the video. I did not include my worst game, where I got one kill and 19 deaths. But for the most part, this video shows me at my finest when it comes to Call of Duty skill.

As you can see, there is no mini-map that shows you where the enemies are. But when you respawn, you can get a good idea of where your own soldiers are in a 3D aerial view of the action, which quickly goes into a spawning animation.

The developers say there is a “unified narrative” of the experience across all modes of play. In contrast to last year’s Call of Duty: WWII, there is no Zombies mode that doesn’t fit with the story of the single-player campaign.

And the multiplayer mode is highly realistic, meaning that you can jump to the top of a building nor can you survive a bunch of shots. I suffered plenty of deaths from a single shot, or so it seemed.

Some things are not entirely realistic. You have some indicators on the lower right that indicate your loadout and ammo, and the left-hand side shows how your team is doing in the battle. You can see the blue outlines of every friendly character on the map, and you can see the indicators for the objectives in Domination mode, where you have to take and hold three flags on the map.

The movement seemed fast enough, though at times it was slightly slow. I played a few rounds with an assault rifle that had a burst mode and semi-auto mode. That didn’t give me nearly enough shots on targets. So I switched to a light machine gun. That gave me better results, but it also meant I was very slow at the draw, and it also meant that I had to aim low because the recoil made my shots go high.

I had a mix of good rounds and bad rounds, which was usual for me. I came in last place in one 6-vs.-6 match even though I had nine kills and six deaths (not enough flags). The graphics look good, but the PS4 is kind of showing its age when it comes to showing off the best of what the developers can produce.

The rundown on the beta

Above: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta

Image Credit: GamesBeat

The beta will expand in weekend two to include all platforms, and for the first time in Call of Duty history, feature crossplay, with fans across console and PC able to play the Modern Warfare beta together prior to next month’s launch.

The beta will include the large-scale Ground War mode supporting up to 64 players, night gameplay maps, and the fully immersive realism mode.