Welcome to the second entry of our Countdown to Black Ops Articles. This post will point out just some of the ways that Combat Training will improve your skill in Call of Duty: Black Ops. First things first though – an introduction to Combat Training! Those of you who have had anything to do with Call of Duty: Black Ops since the September 1st Multiplayer Reveal will probably know all about Combat Training. For those of you who have had your head in the sand, Combat Training is a brand new game mode that involves you fighting against enemy A.I! This can be played alone, or with a partner via splitscreen offline, or even co-operatively with friends online. Game modes include Free For All and Team Deathmatch. There will also be separate rank progressions in Combat Training and regular multiplayer. This article covers the basics of Combat Training, and will provide anyone who is still sceptical about the new game mode with a number of reasons why Combat Training will have a very positive impact on your game. * Get into Multiplayer – Are you one of the few people who have never tried Call of Duty’s online component? Maybe you’ve dabbled with the multiplayer, but never really got into it… Or maybe you think you will not be good enough, and don’t want people yelling at you for being a ‘noob’… If you fit into one of these categories, then Combat Training is definitely right up your alley. The main reason Treyarch implemented Combat Training into Black Ops was to help people get involved in the multiplayer aspect; people who have never made the leap like so many millions have. Combat Training will provide everybody, from total beginners to experienced gamers, with a starting point in Black Ops’ multiplayer. Hesitant about Competitive MP? Test the waters with Combat Training! * Learn the Maps – A second way Combat Training will help your game is enabling you to learn the maps, including finding all the best places to set up a base with your team, or even the places to avoid that look like certain deathtraps. This was possible before in a private match, but Combat Training will greatly increase the effectiveness, providing you with enemies and team mates to observe or fight against. * See the Maps’ Interactivity – Most, or all of Black Op’s maps will have some kind of interactivity, enabling players to activate something during gameplay to use to their advantage. For example, on ‘Launch‘, a rocket can be launched via a control panel. As the rocket takes off, it will fry anybody underneath. Conveniently, a bomb site for Search & Destroy is located directly underneath the rocket’s blasters. So, with Combat Training, you can play each map, and figure out how you think each map’s special interactivity can be used to your advantage! The Rocket lifting off on Launch * Improve Your Strategies & Tactics – After learning the maps, and their interactivity, you can continue to use Combat Training to further evolve the way you play Black Ops. You can try new tactics and strategies for Free For All and Team Deathmatch, and if they don’t work right away, then no matter, your online stats will not be affected. * Alter Your Gameplay Style – Is your usual CoD playing style not doing so well in Black Ops? Maybe you feel like the gameplay is different, or the new maps don’t suit your play style as much… Combat Training is the perfect solution for you! You will be able to find a new play style, again without affecting your online stats. For example if you are a sniper, you can learn how to rush against the enemy A.I., or if you prefer to rush and that isn’t working, you can learn to play slower and more tactically. * Practice Using New Weapons - Black Ops features many new weapons, most of which we have never seen in a Call of Duty game before. Therefore, it will take some time to get used to using them. For sure, old favourites like the AK-47 return, but there are many new assault rifles and sub-machine guns, to use. Also, shotguns return to being a Primary Weapon, and new special secondaries, namely the crossbow and the ballistic knife, are brand new, and will require practice to use effectively. Test your skills with the Crossbow * Use the New Equipment – Even more prominent than the new weapons in Black Ops is the new equipment. Tactical equipment such as the Jammer, Motion Sensor, and the Camera Spike will bring several new possibilities to Call of Duty. Combat Training will allow you to purchase them and find the best uses for them before you take them into competitive multiplayer. * Learn the Effectiveness of Killstreaks – Killstreaks in the past have been very much ‘fire and forget’, but Call of Duty is now moving away from that with many user-controlled killstreaks. The Gunship is a prime example of this; an 11-killstreak, it allows you to take full control of a helicopter gunship, meaning that you can fly or hover wherever you like, and both rockets and minigun can be fired. Other examples include the RC-XD, Valkyrie Missile, and the new rare Care Package drops ‘Death Machine’ and ‘Grim Reaper’. Why not use some of these in Combat Training? Set the difficulty to easy so you can gain the killstreaks faster, and learn how to use them to their maximum potential. * Create and Share Tactics with Friends – Combat Training can be played both online with friends and offline with a partner via splitscreen. You could use Combat Training to come up with new tactics working as a pair, and translate this into the competitive multiplayer. Teams are always more effective and more likely to crush the opposition if they work together, and Combat Training is the perfect basis for this. * Improve Your Campaign – Scenario: You have become stuck on a mission in the Single player campaign, when trying to complete the game on Veteran difficulty. You do not want to lower the difficulty level, because you want the achievement/trophy for completing the campaign on Veteran. What do you do? Well now, rather than dying endlessly at the same spot, give Combat Training a try! There you will be able to not only improve your skills, but you will also be able to see how the enemy A.I. works, how they use cover, and look for signals that they might be about to shoot at you. * Utilise the Dive Mechanic – A first for Call of Duty, the new Black Ops contains a new gameplay mechanic. When sprinting, if you hold the Crouch/Prone Button, then you will perform a new diving manoeuvre. This is primarily used for defence, to avoid someone’s gunfire or even to dive through windows to avoid killstreaks like the RC-XD or an airstrike. However, it is possible to use if for offence, even though it will take you a half-second to adjust your gun before you can fire. Combat Training will allow you to quickly get used to this new mechanic, and it will enable you to work out the best times to use it to maximum effectiveness. Dive to prone Learn to dive-to-prone like a champ - note the right side of this image * Improve Accuracy & Reaction Time – If your Call of Duty skills are anything like mine, I can guarantee that fairly often you see an enemy, bring your weapon up the shoulder and prepare to fire, but in that time he has already done the same and shoots you first. Well, Combat Training will provide us all with a perfect play area to improve our reaction time, and shooting accuracy. The difficulty can be set to easy if you are a beginner or if your accuracy and reactions are not up to par, and you can increase the difficulty as you improve to provide more of a challenge. * Test things out! – Finally, the thirteenth way that Combat Training will improve your game is by giving you the ability to test new weapons, attachments, equipment, perks, and killstreaks. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, rank progression is separate in Combat Training and Online Multiplayer. This will mean that a player will be able to use CoD Points earned in Combat Training to buy things they aren’t sure about, without wasting their valuable Multiplayer CoD Points. For example, say you unlock FAMAS assault rifle in Multiplayer, you may think ‘should I be spending my points on this gun?’ If so, why not buy it in Combat Training, where you can test it out to see if you like it, without it having any negative effects on your Multiplayer stats! There you have it, thirteen ways that Combat Training will evolve your Black Ops Multiplayer experience! Combat Training certainly is a fantastic edition into Call of Duty. While it may not be a new thing for a First-Person Shooter, it is certainly brand new to Call of Duty, and will surely be one of the best additions into the series to date. Everybody should use Combat Training at some point, even seasoned experts. Overall though, it provides a perfect basis to learn the extremely popular multiplayer component of the Call of Duty franchise if you have not experienced it before. How much will your game improve? Find out November 9th, and be sure to head back here to report your success stories involving Combat Training! Feel free to share your own Combat Training tactics below, or over at our community forum. Just a note on our mathematics here: we are counting down the days using Pacific Daylight Time, the time zone that Treyarch/Activision are in and we are counting the current day, but not counting November 9th because there are zero days left on that day. So, if you count that out, you should end up with 1 day left on November 8th. Hope that explains our math a bit, we saw some confusion in the comments section. Thanks, as always, for checking in with us!