Looking for good co-op games, I'd like something that rewards player thinking and involves strategy, but not a puzzle game or anything like that. I've tried and hated SC2, Borderlands 1 & 2, Total War: Rome II, Dead Island, but recent co-op games I love are Sniper Elite V2 (so far, not very far in it yet) and Civ V.
If anyone wants me to narrow it down, I disliked SC2 since the team games are really bad, the map pool sucks, and 2 arranged players can play against full arranged teams just like you can when you are even playing by yourself which is really imbalanced, so we have to instant leave in 3v3 and 4v4 against any full ATs or people who are masters or higher and play hours every day, I just found it a dreadful game compared to WC3 and BW. It rewards mechanics more than player creativity and you can't do much that's very exciting with the units you have, they're all plain and too samey. BL and DI felt kind of hollow to me and like they rely on you just playing with a friend you like, kind of like MMOs, didn't seem to have much substance and were really easy. Then Rome II was too historically inaccurate that it was annoying to even play, never did try the co-op though.
But I really liked the advanced sniping mechanics in V2 and its at times difficulty and how you sometimes need tactics (so far of what I've played), and Civ V is really historically inaccurate for a history based game but overall pretty good with a lot of focus on player creativity and strategy, even if it doesn't let you customise a lot and the MP is really broken compared to SP (no mods, no animated leaders, worse AI, etc). Though if the MP had mods and I could tweak all the stuff I dislike I'd probably never stop playing it.
Anyone got any suggestions of good co-op games from what I've said? Or even just stuff you liked and I'll look into it. Appreciate any replies.
You could try Civ 4. Civ is one of those series were instead of just "upgrading" the previous game the new game always has a different feel than the previous one. I still don't know whether I like Civ 2, 3 or 4 the most. I think the consensus is that the multiplayer is better in Civ 4. The animated leaders in Civ 5 are awesome but I prefer playing Civ 4. This game has it's quirks too and the gameplay still gets pretty weird/bad in the later eras but it might still be worth trying.
L4D2. I purchased this game a few months ago and it's very good. I was reluctant to try it as I find the standard zombie stuff very uninteresting but it's still very enjoyable. The gameplay is very challenging and interesting. Controlled chaos describes it perfectly. Both the PvP mode and the campaign mode are nice. You can play the campaign co-op with 2 bots and it's still very enjoyable but some maps can be more difficult. Both the campaign and PvP are very tactical and voice communication can help a lot.