Recently released is the co-op challenge pack, a free download available for your system of choice. In it are four maps where you’ll work with one other partner either over the internet or via LAN. Luckily there are matchmaking options here making it easier to get a game going, though it’s incredibly bizarre that they don’t let you pick which map you want to play using this option. There’s also four difficulty levels to choose from adding some replayability, and anything above the 2nd tier is going to severely challenge your patience.
I got a handful of rounds in on all the maps at a few of the difficulty levels. For the most part the objectives are straightforward - kill a target, escape an area alive, or disable some device. Players definitely need to work together to provide covering fire and if one player goes down the other can revive them. Both players go down, it’s game over. There's even certain missions that bring on the sandstorm weather effects, adding another element to the challenge in both visibility and movement degradation.
The missions take around 10 to 15 minutes to complete and for the most part are pretty tense and fun. Sadly there’s very little incentive to keep playing them - no achievements or bonuses to speak of.
The co-op mode is a nice addition, even if it’s 2 months post release as free dlc, but it’s not the reason to play the game. It would have been really interesting to see the developers push the envelope and bring the story into co-op, forcing players to make difficult decisions that would directly affect their co-op partners. It definitely seems like something that could have elevated the game even further.
Spec Ops: The Line is a game you should play not for its co-op mode, but because it does something different. It forces a player to make tough decisions that aren’t always black and white or good and evil, and the outcome isn’t always what you expect. You are placed in situations where you’ll be wholly unsure of who the enemy is and what to do to proceed, and its in this uncomfortableness that the game rises above the rest of the military shooters out there.
The Co-Optimus review of Spec Ops: The Line is based on the 360 version of the game which was provided by the publisher.
The Co-Op Experience: A series of objective-based cooperative multiplayer scenarios set in Dubai after a series of cataclysmic sandstorms have wrecked the city. It includes four fast-paced missions, each with its own unique objectives, environments and playable characters.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.