In a tweet from the official Call of Duty account, Activision and Treyarch teased a new Specialist character and ability for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: Spectre. Fans of the Black Ops franchise will remember Spectre from Black Ops 3 where Spectre’s specialist abilities were Active Camouflage and Ripper. However, judging by the teaser trailer, Treyarch seemed to have opted for Ripper (a fast sword animation that chains one-hit melee kills) as the specialist ability of choice for the character in Black Ops 4.
The clock is ticking... pic.twitter.com/UL1UwpoZeF
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) April 25, 2019
There are other curious elements of the trailer. Firstly, it would appear that the events of the video take place around the Hydro Dam section of the Blackout map. At the end of the trailer, Spectre appears to be blowing up the Hydro Dam itself. This may indicate a massive change to the Blackout map and the Hydro Dam area coming with the April 30th update. Secondly, the whole theme of stealth and assassination may signal the introduction of different party modes to Blackout or perhaps even a night theme to the map.
What does this mean for Competitive Call of Duty?
While the Spectre specialist ability alone adds much-needed depth to the Black Ops 4 Specialist pool, it is the tactical Smoke Grenade and lethal C4 Explosive that will add significant strategic complexity to Multiplayer and Competitive Call of Duty. Many professional players, most notably reigning Call of Duty World Champion have lamented the lack of Smoke Grenades in the base game of Black Ops 4. After the teaser, Aches and Team Envy’s coach, Embry “Bevils” Bevil, was one of the first members of the professional community to express his support for the addition of Spectre.
Smoke Grenades have long been a stalwart of Call of Duty strategy. Historically, Smoke Grenades have been almost ubiquitous in Search and Destroy, the most tactically complex competitive game mode. However, it has made an appearance in all competitive game modes at one point or another, and this iteration is likely to be no exception.
Moreover, with lethal and tactical abilities unique to specialist characters and individuals in Black Ops 4, teams will have to expand and alter their specialist choices upon the release of Spectre. This will no doubt make the game more complex and dynamic. Interestingly, Spectre will be introduced merely 3 days before CWL London. However, it seems unlikely that teams will opt to use it given the quick turnaround.