Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (opens in new tab) players have been enjoying a high octane season of multiplayer since Treyarch's shooter hit PC and consoles in October but, as is the way with Call of Duty games, the journey is far from over, with DLC packs, free content updates, and quality of life patches all expected to roll out bit by bit over the next year and beyond.
Already, Call of Duty's famous Nuketown map has landed in multiplayer, while the Pick 10 system has been plumped out by a handful of new guns, gadgets, and skins over the last few weeks. But today's patch, update 1.09, has to be the biggest by far. Named Operation Absolute Zero, and not to be confused with the scheduled DLC for owners of Black Ops 4's season pass, the update is free to anyone who owns a base copy of the game across PC, PS4, or Xbox One.
Operation Absolute Zero introduces a new Specialist character, Zero, to multiplayer. Described as a "versatile and deadly hacker", Zero's specialist ability, Icepick, allows her to hijack a broad selection of the enemy team's gadgets and scorestreaks. She also has a disrupter grenade, which disables player's deployed defences like barricades or turrets, and arrives to PvP alongside two new weapons, the Daemon 3XB SMG and the SWAT RFT rifle.
Outside of multiplayer, Treyarch has updated Blackout's battle royale map with a host of new changes, most notably adding Hijacked - a fan favourite map from Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - as an added point of interest on the North West side of the arena. A cruise ship made up of tight lanes and small rooms, Hijacked is situated off the coast of Blackout's map, so players wanting to check it out will have to reach the zone via wingsuit, chopper, or boat, unless they feel up for an extended swim from the beach.
Operation Absolute Zero also deploys the Arav vehicle into Blackout; a multi-manned, armoured jeep boasting a giant turret at its centre, while former points of interest like Nuketown Island have also seen some minor aesthetic revisions. On top of all this, Treyarch has tweaked Black Ops 4's audio and armour systems for improved competitive balance, while the game's Black Market economy and PvE Zombies mode have both received some stability fixes too.
It's an impressive package for Call of Duty players to dig into, especially with Christmas right around the corner, when dozens of new players will inevitably be enlisting over the holiday period. You can enjoy all of Operation Absolute Zero's new content as soon as you've downloaded the patch onto your system of choice, which takes up about 15GB of extra memory. Check out the trailer above, or read the full patch notes here. (opens in new tab)
Struggling to score victory in battle royale? Read up on our Black Ops 4 Blackout tips (opens in new tab) for some helpful need-to-know pointers.