Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s new Specialist is a game changer, countering and hacking opponents for some clutch plays in multiplayer.
Since launch, Black Ops 4’s Specialists have filled the playing field with explosive mesh mines, pesky razor wire, and microwaving barricades. Games can often be won or lost with the assistance of Specialist abilities, equipment, or even scorestreaks. Zero is the first post-launch Specialist to arrive, and she’s delivering countermeasures.
This mysterious hacker was introduced during Black Ops 4’s latest Contraband stream event Operation: Absolute Zero, which launched on PlayStation 4 on December 11. This new Specialist is easy to unlock, as you only have to complete the first tier of the Contraband stream, which should equal about an hour of game time.
Zero comes equipped with a highly effective EMP grenade that can briefly disrupt enemies’ HUDs and preventing them from activating their abilities. Equipping the Tactical Mask perk can avoid the disruption, but if you’re without a counter, the duration of the effects is only about five seconds. Zero’s EMP works wonders against camping players who post up in a tiny room with every piece of equipment accessible. Just toss Zero’s EMP into the room, and watch everyone panic and scatter. Zero can pretty much counter everything except Nomad’s K-9 unit, because even a bad doggo can’t be EMPed.
However, Zero’s Ice Pick is what makes her the biggest game-changer. This ability is basically tapping furiously at a tablet device to hack the enemy team. This allows Zero the ability to sabotage active enemy scorestreaks, equipment, and even the players themselves, scrambling their HUD and distorting their view. Zero doesn’t just pick one action, she ruins everything.
The most fun things to hack is scorestreaks and equipment. Scorestreaks like the Sniper’s Nest and Strike Team can only be destroyed by Zero’s hacking ability, but hacking and turning hostile sentry guns and attack choppers into friendly streaks is quite useful. Equipment such as mesh mines and barricades can also be turned against the enemy team. If used wisely, the Ice Pick can turn a losing game in your favour.
In the clip below, I’m using Zero’s Ice Pick to take control of the enemy attack chopper, sentry gun, and UAV to force a nice comeback for my team in a losing game of Domination.
If the opposition has Zero on their team, this can ruin your match the same way. I’ve had my Drone Squad scorestreak hacked and used against me on more than one occasion. It feels bad to have your high scorestreaks and Specialist toys taken away from you.
Treyarch already issued a balancing nerf for Zero’s Ice Pick with the content’s arrival on Xbox One and PC with the December 18 update. You can still sabotage those high-end streaks, but they’re going to take much longer to hack, leaving you vulnerable with your device for an extended period of time.
Some players might feel Zero is too much of a nuisance, but I think she’s a nice addition to the game. Her Ice Pick can still clutch even with extended hacking times, and EMP grenades are much needed in a Call of Duty that seems to rely so much on equipment and abilities. Zero has become one of my main Specialists for objective game modes, so I’ll be EMPing and hacking all the enemy’s toys.