What Treyarch Got Right (and didn’t steal)

(well, I don’t remember seeing it on MW2, but I may be wrong)

I think I’ve said this before on here, but I’ll say it again for the cheap seats – the multiplayer side of Black Ops pisses all over the multiplayer of Modern Warfare 2. It’s honed to perfection; the maps have much more variation than those of MW2, the killstreaks are all entertaining, and the customisation side has been added to in some smart ways. But. But! There’s something Black Ops includes which has been needed for some time, and it’s done very well indeed.

Black Ops has an offline “Combat Training” mode.

Combat Training is a mirror image of the multiplayer mode. You can set the map or maps, game type, number of opponents, AI difficulty, even add tweaks to the individual perks that can be used. You can tailor it to your skill level, or just mess around with the settings and see what happens.

Playing the game is the same as the multiplayer. The maps get filled with bots, and you shoot them. They, in turn, shoot you. Increasing the AI difficulty increases the chances of the opposition hearing you coming, turn speed, likelihood of them headshotting you, etc. Cleverly, the game reads your Steam, Xbox Live or PSN friends list and names the AI bots after them (which results in the occasional bout of mild depression after I’m told I’ve just stabbed Willow in the face, Willow being my semi step nipper, but then the same AI comes up and shoots me in the balls and all is well with the world).

Just like normal multiplayer, you can complete the exact same challenges, get XP and CoD points, and spend them. The XP and points you earn are exclusive to the Combat Training mode and do not contribute to your multiplayer profile. This is the best thing about it. Fancy buying an AK47 for online, but don’t know what it’s like to fire? Buy it in Combat Training and test it all you like. Not sure how the motion detector will work? Buy one in Training, stick it down, and see what happens. The whole Training mode is one big demo for anything and everything you could possibly do online.

To be honest, the only thing Treyarch didn’t do correctly is explain to players where it is and what it does when they first load the multiplayer side of the game. If I’d have known, I’d have been using Training from the off to test everything in advance, instead of just buying everything ever in multiplayer and not having any CoD points left to finish my picture tag masterpiece (themed around Reservoir Dogs, the thing will be beautiful when I’m done).

So to anyone who is new to online first person shooters and is worried about getting battered for the next six months, don’t worry! Get the game, get on Combat Training, practice, when you get to twenty kills a game, realise you’re pretty fucking good at the game now, go online, and then get battered. But only for a bit 😀

(oh, and Zombies is a Treyarch creation too, of course)

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