Treyarch have outdone themselves in terms of map design and theming. The competitive multiplayer maps in Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Awakening
are bizarre, diverse, and full of strategic potential, and they're a joy to learn. They're so out there that you'll be tempted to stop and just take in the atmosphere... at least until your skull gets ventilated.
Splash is my favorite of the new maps, and perhaps I should have seen that coming; I love anything related to theme parks, and while water parks aren't really my thing, they're close enough. It's abandoned, but certain parts of it seem to be in decent repair; hollowed-out portions of water slides serve as excellent chokepoints, and the multitude of shops and special areas would be fun enough to explore even without having to gun down everyone else.
Gauntlet is probably the most diverse map in any Call of Duty game to date, and that's explicitly by design. The military has to prepare its personnel for all manner of conditions, and this specialized facility simulates three environments: urban, jungle, and tundra. Making your way between them in moments can be startling, but it's undeniably thrilling.
Rise is set in Zürich, Switzerland. The weather is a mess, but you can seek solace in the labyrinthine construction site that houses the majority of the map. There are plenty of opportunities to get not only tactical but vertical, which often leads to some of the most fast-paced encounters the series has ever offered.
Skyjacked is something of a homecoming for Black Ops II players. But where Hijacked was set on a yacht, Skyjacked is set on a police VTOL hovering quite a distance above the urban landscape of Zürich. The layout bears a ton of similarities to its inspiration, but the empty horizon and vertiginous heights make it stand out.