Call of Duty: Black Ops 6's new 'Omnimovement' could be CoD's best (or worst) idea of all time

Of all the details on Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 coming out of the Xbox Games Showcase, the head turner of the day was "Omnimovement," a redesigned movement system that'll let players sprint or dive in any direction for the first time. 

It's a strange idea—sprinting around corners while facing the opposite direction sounds like it'll look goofy—but Treyarch is confident it'll do wonders for BO6's movement. Treyarch says Omnimovement shatters "long-established FPS constructs," letting players move "much more realistically" than past Calls of Duty.

"We truly believe that once you experience Omnimovement, there's no going back," Treyarch said.

Looking in the direction that you want to sprint is as natural as breathing for longtime CoD players. I've never wished I could aggressively sidestep, though maybe playing really is believing in this case. I already consider Call of Duty one of the best-feeling shooters out there, so I'm not sure how much camera-agnostic sprinting will move the needle.

There's also a part of me worried that Omnimovement will move CoD further in a direction I don't love. Modern Warfare 3's movement also positioned itself as a step up from its predecessor by encouraging slide cancelling and bunnyhopping, but those changes turned out to be my least favorite part of the game. Now those same frantic corner hoppers can already have their scope trained on my head before they get to the corner—it's enough to make your skin crawl.

But Black Ops 6's movement suite isn't all about sprinting. You can also dive in any direction, which I expect to love as much as I do in Helldivers 2. Then there's "intelligent movement," which will automate some movement techniques like sprinting, mantling, and sliding through crouch-height holes. Treyarch says the idea is to minimize friction in getting where you want to go in CoD.

Another way to see Omnimovement and automatic sliding/mantling is that Treyarch wants to help further level the playing field between controllers and mice. Aggressive aim assist already does a decent job of this, but core techniques like turning corners, quick turns, and strafing are undeniably easier on PC.

The Black Ops 6 Direct stream was light on other multiplayer details, but a few important notes:

  • 16 maps at launch: 12 traditional 6v6 maps and four that support both 2v2 and 6v6. No remakes this time.
  • Round-based Zombies returns: Last year's open-world Zombie mode is staying in the past. Treyarch's latest will have traditional round-based zombies with two maps at launch.
  • Classic Prestige: Black Ops 6 is going back to the Prestige system from every pre-Modern Warfare reboot CoD. There are 10 initial Prestige tiers, each resetting your unlocks back to zero, and then another 1,000 Prestige levels after.

We also know when multiplayer will get its own spotlight: Call of Duty Next is happening August 26. Content creators will be playing the game live like in past years, and the first Black Ops 6 beta will follow soon after.

Black Ops 6 releases two months later on October 25.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.