Black Ops II is less than two weeks away from release, and for most people they can probably already taste the multiplayer carnage. Multiplayer is the biggest part of any Call of Duty game, but for a lot of gamers that’s pretty daunting considering how tough the online fray can be. When I attended the Black Ops II multiplayer debut in Germany a few months ago, I was reminded about just how terrible I am at CoD multiplayer. It’s still a lot of fun, even though 90% of the time I’m waiting for a respawn.
The good folks at Treyarch realise that there’s a sizable chunk of the game playing masses who want to play multiplayer, but are just too self-conscious to give it a go. As such, Black Ops II is shipping with a multiplayer Boot Camp designed to bring newcomers up to speed, or to allow those with a little bit of experience to hone their skills.
Speaking to website VentureBeat, Black Ops II’s game design director David Vonderhaar has discussed how newcomers and total n00bs can benefit from the Boot Camp.
Likening newcomers to CoD multiplayer as tadpoles jumping into a shark tank, Vonderhaar is adamant that Boot Camp is going to help: “The game has done a lot of work to ease people into multiplayer. It’s really important that people understand what this feature, or actually set of features, is about.”
A new Combat Training mode allows you and two other entry-level players to team up with three AI controlled bots. Your team of six will then face off against another team of three newcomers and three AI controlled bots. The bots, however, are purposefully set to an easy difficulty, so you’ll have a mix of dumb as muck targets and human players to practise against.
“What’s interesting about Boot Camp, which is one of the playlists available in Combat Training, is that you can only play in it from level one to level 10,” Vonderhaar explained. “While you’re playing in it, it’s just like the regular game. You can level up your guns and level up your character. You’re getting the complete experience of what it’s like to play, but you’re doing it in an environment where the bots aren’t set to super-hard mode. They’re set to the normal, average difficulty, and the other guys you’re playing with or against are at most level 10, so they’re not really familiar with multiplayer, either.”
Once you hit level 10, then you’ll be booted out Combat Training and thrown into the shark tank, so to speak. It’s a neat feature that seems to be becoming the norm in games that have a strong leaning towards multiplayer components; a similar feature was seen in StarCraft II.