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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

‘Operation Absolute Zero’ adds good and bad to ‘Black Ops’
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Note: This review reflects solely on the new content added to the original “Black Ops 4” game.

Treyarc has taken a page out of Ubisoft’s book by making the first batch of DLC for “Black Ops 4” feel like a new season in the game’s life cycle. “Operation Absolute Zero” adds a new controversial character as well as some of the best maps the game has to offer.

The centerpiece of this new season is the character Zero. She’s a hacker that disrupts enemy electronics and generally makes matches tougher for the opposing team. She’s caused a lot of anger because of her ability to steal enemy scorestreaks. I’ll agree that being robbed of the rewards you get for playing well is annoying, especially when it can be done multiple times in one match and essentially for free. Zero has recently been nerfed so she’s not as overpowered as before.

The biggest issue with Zero is that her introduction felt very similar to what happens with new characters in “Rainbow Six Siege” or various fighting games. A new character is added, they’re found to be overpowered and then they get updated so that they’re not as good. I doubt Treyarc made Zero overpowered on purpose in order to promote the new operation, but if they didn’t, it also shows they have a pretty bad idea of what a balanced character plays like.

On the bright side, the two new maps are great additions that make objective-based matches a lot more fun to play. Madagascar and Elevation are both large maps with a good mix of short and long-range combat areas. Game modes like domination and hardpoint finally feel fun to play thanks to these maps.

All of the cosmetic items that were added into the game feel like a double-edged sword. It’s great that players have access to so many great looking designs for characters and weapons, but it does feel like the game is pushing you to spend real money to unlock them. If a player wants to grind hours out of several days, they can get them for free. It’s pretty convenient for Treyarc that the two new weapons are locked behind several, even dozens, of hours of online grinding. Either that or you can spend a few bucks to get them like a chump.

The best idea shown in Absolute Zero is that Treyarc wants to give players new characters for free and after playing a couple of matches. Balance is a delicate thing and achieving it in a game like this is difficult. The game takes a couple steps forward in some regards and a few steps back in others. Still, the game is a blast to play for the most part and the price for this first batch of content is justified. After the nerfs to Zero, I’m willing to give this new operation four stars.

Final Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.

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