If you’re intimidated by competitive StarCraft II and bored by the story, allow me to suggest another option: Co-Op, which is far more entertaining than it has any right to be. And when Blizzard puts out the next patch for their real-time strategy game, it’ll likely be even better.
Co-Op (formerly called Allied Commanders) lets you pick a hero (Kerrigan, Raynor, etc.) and team up with another player’s hero to fight against a variety of AI-controlled enemies. On one map you might have to defend a temple from hordes of Zerg; on another, you’ve gotta intercept and destroy trains as they cross from one station to another. It’s a smart, satisfying gameplay mode that keeps you hooked by letting you gain EXP and level up each hero, unlocking new units and abilities along the way.
The biggest flaw: there aren’t enough maps. The ones that do exist tend to be pretty easy, and they can get repetitive after you’ve leveled up your hero a bunch. So Blizzard’s taking a stab at adding variety with a feature they’re calling Mutators—game modifiers that they’re hoping will spice things up and add new challenges to co-op.
Says Blizzard: “Mutators are special conditions that will bring additional challenge and diversity to existing Co-op Missions. Mutators can vary wildly, from having to fight a completely cloaked army, to dodging lava erupting from the ground. You’ll face these and more in our Weekly Mutations.”
We call our first Weekly Mutation “Train of the Dead.” This challenge takes place on the “Oblivion Express” Co-op Mission, which still requires you to stop the supply trains. However, we’ve turned up the difficulty by deploying three deadly Mutators against you.
- Walking Infested – Every enemy you destroy will spawn infested terrors. The bigger the unit, the more infested will rise from it’s corpse.
- Outbreak – Continuous waves of the infested horde march against your base, forcing you to keep your defenses tight at all times.
- Darkness – The fog of war is replaced with pure darkness and the mission’s objectives are hidden from the mini-map. You won’t know where the trains are and you won’t know where attacks are coming from.
There’s no release date for patch 3.3 yet. Hopefully it hits soon.