This year's Call of Duty attempts to grab a slice of the hero-shooter pie with a diverse cast of characters. But which of Black Ops 4's new Specialists is the best? This year sees Call of Duty go full Overwatch, as it adds in a selection of super-soldiers for players to choose from when battling it out online. And while none of Call of Duty Black Ops 4's ten Specialists can hold a candle to Tracer or D.Va, some are undoubtedly pretty awesome in their own right.
Not all Call of Duty Specialists are created equal however, as there are definitely a few that rise above the rest. That's why we figured it'd be cool to rank them, from the monotonous meatheads, to the ones that sport awesome character designs and genuinely useful abilities. Let's get started, maggots!
Crash has frosted tips. He also has the dullest loadout of any of the Black Ops 4 Specialists. He's equipped with an Assault Pack, which allows teammates to pick up ammo packs which award bonus scores for kills. His other ability is the Tak-5 which boosts health and fixes injuries.
Now of course, a certain amount of respect has to be shown for those who choose to play as support characters, but in a game as fast-paced and chaotic as Black Ops 4 currently is, they're kinda redundant. This means that when compared to other Specialists, Crash simply doesn't offer any real advantages.
On paper, Ruin should be the absolute best Specialist that Call of Duty Black Ops 4 has to offer. He's got that gravity mega-slam move that you've no doubt seen in all the trailers, which is oh-so Destiny. He's also got a grappling hook as well, which is always awesome, right? Sadly, Ruin's grappling hook is one of the worst I've encountered in all of gaming, lethargically pulling him from one wall to another like some sort of geriatric Batman. It really offers very little tactical advantage on any of the game's maps, and pretty much just turns you into a very visible and very slow target for the enemy team to take potshots at.
Ruin's character design is also just so forgettable, opting for the 2006 mohawk military bro cliche (Brad Pitt style Afghan Scarf and all) that really should be dead by now. The grav slam is pretty OP however, making it one of the best abilities for clearing those hard to capture objective points. Ruin will no doubt be favored by those looking to rack up fleeting moments of multi-kills when the grav-slam ability becomes available. The Grapple Hook is pretty much a write-off though, meaning that Ruin enters the battle at a real disadvantage.
Ajax is an army dude with big arms and an even bigger gun, sporting a look that really doesn't help distinguish him from the other big army dudes with big guns. His equipment is much more interesting though, as he can toss flash grenades which can detonate multiple times. As you might expect, this is pretty darned useful, able to incapacitate an entire team of enemies in one fell swoop.
Ajax also has a shield, which would be awesome if it wasn't completely overshadowed by the shield of another, much more interesting Specialist. It's useful for rushing objectives, teammates in tow, but really hinders movement. As a whole then, Ajax isn't going to win any points for personality, though in the right hands he could be a real force to be reckoned with, especially in objective-based modes.
Prophet enters the fray with a player-seeking rolling shock mine, and a sniper rifle that shoots lightning. Clearly Prophet has a thing for electricity (no judgment here), and is definitely one of the best Specialists for racking up kills, if you can find a sniping point away from the action that is.
The rolling mine in particular, is a strange one, in that it is not controlled by the player. This leads to some awkward moments of AI gone wrong, in which your mine will simply patrol around for a bit, before breezing past the enemy and shocking someone on the other side of the map. It's difficult to properly use Prophet given how fast the gameplay is in Black Ops 4. Perhaps we'll see his true potential when the rest of the maps are revealed, as he's definitely going to be an absolute beast in larger areas with plenty of verticality.
Looking like Sam Fisher on Steroids, Recon is pretty much what you'd get if you slathered an Action Man in super glue and tossed him into a Radio Shack. He's the token tech-bro of the bunch, bringing predictably passive abilities and an obnoxiously large pair of binoculars to the table. Recon's sole purpose is to point out enemy locations on the map, so he's a snitch as well.
Annoyingly, he sure is useful in battle though, operating as a one-man roaming UAV of sorts. His two abilities do the exact same thing, but knowing exactly where enemies are is such an advantage, that Recon becomes a vital part of the team as a result. Recon is definitely the kind of guy you want on your team, though you'll probably not notice him much while you're busy sliding about and shotgunning fools in the back.
Nomad is pretty unremarkable at first glance. He's got a big moustache, a camo bandanna to hide his bald spot, and very little else. That is until you check out Nomad's abilities and you find that he has his own personal attack dog. In case you haven't been keeping up with the Black Ops 4 beta, let me tell you, the dogs are absolutely the star of the show (https://www.usgamer.net/articles/the-dogs-in-black-ops-4-are-hilariously-broken).
The dogs don't seem to obey the laws of physics, acting more fluid than hound. They'll launch themselves over obstacles, leap incredible heights, and then pounce down on you with impossible speed. As a result, Nomad is an incredibly useful asset to have on your team, that is until Treyarch inevitably neuter the K9 Unit ability for good. Honestly, I hope the dogs in Black Ops 4 never get fixed, and the whole thing devolves into a licensed Cujo video game. 11/10 great boy.
Seraph is great for a number of reasons. First off is her "massive high-caliber revolver" which is so aptly named the "Annihilator". It's a blast to use, one-shotting fools like nobody's business, and through walls at that. Next up, she's got a really cool character design, with subtle blues and purples helping her stand out a little from the other specialists. The Tac Deploy beacon she comes equipped with can really help turn the tide in objective-based modes, allowing teammates to spawn into the immediate area and overwhelm the enemy with sheer numbers.
There's definitely an air of mystery surrounding Seraph. What's under the mask: Another gun? A single-player campaign, perhaps? Regardless, she's definitely one of the best on offer here.
Now Torque is actually pretty fun, with his tartan scarf and glorious sideburns gently swaying in the breeze. He wouldn't look out of place in a Dragon Age game, which is definitely a plus, and the way he smashes out his homemade shield is pure Kratos.
It's the Razor Wire which really solidifies Torque as one of the most vital Specialists though, as it can be used to fortify objectives in a way that's difficult to counter. The Barricade, too, feels very satisfying to put down, creating makeshift cover which is great for blocking off corridors and vantage points. It's all very Rainbow Six Siege-y, adding a much needed layer of strategy to the game. A neat design, along with a genuinely useful set of abilities make Torque much more than the questionable Scottish stereotype he is so clearly supposed to be.
Okay, this one is a GI Joe character right? Firebreak (Freakin' FIREBREAK), comes equipped with a flamethrower and a sort of tupperware container full of radiation. They're clearly the coolest character design of the bunch, giving off the vibe of a developer having a little bit of fun with its toys.
The aforementioned flamethrower is called the Purifier, and is just about as devastating as you might expect. Fire seems to have a mind of its own in Black Ops 4, and spreads with surprising quickness, making it a real pain to deal with if you come face to face with a powered-up Firebreak. The radiation is tricky to use, but get it right and you can inflict huge amounts of damage through walls and from behind cover. Clever equipment, and a dope gas mask definitely but probably not designed by Oakleys, elevate Firebreak as a real standout. It's probably why the lobbies are so completely dominated by them right now.
Call of Duty takes itself way too seriously for a series featuring wall-running space soldiers and weaponized RC cars, that's why it's so refreshing when it just leans into the silliness of it all. Battery is very silly indeed, weilding a giant mini-gun called the War Machine, which is pure '80s action movie heaven. It can really bolster the team, especially in modes like Hardpoint where enemies are more likely to be cramped up in small spaces. The Cluster Grenade is another winner, exploding into a ludicrous number of mini-grenades over a wide radius. Time a Cluster Grenade throw just right and you'll take out entire teams with ease, which honestly never gets old.
If Activision is serious about having Call of Duty dip into the hero-shooter genre, then it'll need to work on giving its Specialists a bit more character. There's promise here though, in that Battery is exactly what a CoD hero should be. She has a pig on a keychain, a "boom" sticker on her grenades, and most important of all, a whole lot of personality.
So there you have it, the definitive ranking of all ten Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Specialists. For more on the Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Beta (there's still a whole weekend run to come), be sure to head over to our Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Beta Guide.
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