You don't play a co-op game
As a reaction to the 'co-op' episode, here is a question I would like to ask all Spiel'ers:
Do you really play a co-op game or does the game plays you?
Let's take one of the 'older' games: Lord of the Rings. It really feels like you have a ton of options: three different tracks to pursuit, cards that can be bought, special abilities,... The game has it all but if you don't rush down the main track and get lucky with the tile draw, you won't make it.
Second example: Pandemic. Again tons of option but uh oh, three black cards in a row and a peacefull and healthy region turns into a plague-infested hell and you lose.
There are some more tactics if there can be a traitor but when looking at another current hit, Battlestar Galactica, it can either be too easy (if the cylons are not bringing in ships) or too heavy (if the cylons are bringing in ships three times in a row).
The game acts as a player but does not follow any strategy. It just spews random bad events at you. You can of course get ready and get yourself in some good defensive positions but since the game is totally random, good game play is not rewarded and sometimes even not possible. It feels like when the game is set and the cards are shuffled, the outcome is already known.
Let's also take a view at Ghost stories. So far this is the only co-op game I really like. And when thinking about it, this is the only co-op game I know where the game actually follows some kind of strategy. The players can choose where to place ghosts (be it within the limits of the rules) or discard them right away if buddha's are in play. This choice, although limited, is of great importance in the game mechanic and in winning the game. If played in the wrong places, the game is brutally harsh but is doable when placed correctly.
What's your idea on this?