Image: Activision

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s “Operation Spectre Rising” update arrived on April 30 for PlayStation 4, with Xbox One and PC users joining the event within a week, but the new content drop comes with some highs and lows.

The theme of this new event centers around Black Ops 4’s newest Specialist character Spectre, who makes their return from Black Ops 3 with a sword and smoke. Most of Spectre’s history is shrouded in mystery, but we do know from their Black Ops 3 bio that they’re presumed to be a wetworks specialist. A covert assassin likely wants to keep things low key, so Spectre probably doesn’t have a verified Twitter account.

The good stuff in Spectre Rising:

Spectre joining the growing ranks of Black Ops 4’s Specialists.

The new character is available in multiplayer and Blackout after completing the first tier of the Spectre Rising Contraband stream.The Shadow Blade makes for some brutal melee action, and smoke is always helpful tactical equipment in Call of Duty multiplayer.

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New DLC maps.

Players who purchased the Black Ops Pass will now have more map variety with Artifact, Masquerade, and a remastered version of WMD from Black Ops 1.

Blackout’s “Wetworks” sees the sabotage and partial destruction of the Hydro Dam location, bringing a flood to parts of the maps and wiping out bridges.

I love seeing map events and adapting to environmental changes. Factory is one of the named locations affected by the rising waters, and it was flooded just enough to create splashing and sloshing sounds as you fight for loot. No more subtle stealth plays here, unless you have the high ground.

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New Blackout game mode “Bounty Hunter” lets players drop to marked locations to find and equip Spectre’s Shadow Blade.

With each storm collapse, the top players will be marked as bounties for any player with the Shadow Blade, so players become the hunters or the hunted.

Other notable updates:

New Gauntlet for Zombies modes. The “Super Blood Wolf Moon” Gauntlet adds more replay value to the “Dead of the Night” map.

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World League, Black Ops 4’s competitive hub, now has a penalty in place for players who leave matches early. Rage quitting seems to have been a big problem in the competitive mode, but players will receive a temporary ban for ditching their teammates mid-match. The more the quitter commits the crime, the longer the ban will become.

Image: Activision

The parts of this event that aren’t landing as well:

The remastered WMD map is part of the Black Ops Pass, and not a free throwback map for all players.

The DLC pass needed more value for players, but I’m not sure making WMD exclusive to it was the right call. Remastered maps are great additions, but they have that same recycled feel as the lighting and weather variants in Black Ops 4. Give Pass holders brand new maps, exclusive camos and skins, and such. Let all players have access to throwback maps.

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The arrival of “Wetworks” and the new Bounty Hunter mode for Blackout has removed fan favorites Hot Pursuit and Alcatraz.

No one likes long wait times in lobbies with a widely-split player base, but it would be nice to at least keep Alcatraz around as a second map option. Plus, the fast-paced, close-quarters action of Alcatraz really served Blackout well.

Hydro Dam breaking wasn’t the only flood, in a manner of speaking.

The Black Market is now flooded with weapon charms and camos that are weapon specific cosmetics. You could save up your hard-earned Reserve Cases and get the same charm or camo over and over for different guns.

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There continue to be poor choices made in regards to Black Ops 4’s “Black Market” cosmetic marketplace. Cosmetics always seem to overshadow the real meat of the content updates, which should be about the maps and modes. For the current state of Spectre Rising, I’ll enjoy my time as Spectre and hope they bring back more Blackout modes.