Left 4 Dead 2 offers an innovative new game mode called mutation. Since this update was released, replay value has rapidly increased with the franchise, along with the assistance of other updates including new campaigns and story additions. Left 4 Dead 2 owners have the opportunity to look forward to every Friday for a surprisingly unexpected new game mode. From fighting your way through hordes armed with nothing but a magnum to a combination between versus and survival, Steam has surprised fans with new specific ideas that make the mode a thrill to experience.
This week for Steam account owners, the mutation is titled "Healing Gnome", an alteration mainly designed for co-op campaign. The concept is simple to understand, yet requires full cooperation and cautious strategizing. Each player's health slowly depletes throughout the campaign, along with damage dealt from infected. Health packs and regenerating items are taken out of this mode, making the only source a gnome figure in which the teammates must share. Only one player at a time may carry the gnome and regenerate their health while others continue fighting hordes of the infected. By the end of each chapter, the gnome must be possessed by one of the players before they can seal the safe house and reach completion.
This mutation turned out to be outstandingly fun. It provides the right amount of difficulty and keeps all four players on their feet. Everybody must be able to heavily multitask and tackle actions such as protecting each other's health, watching out for their own health, keeping track of the gnome, and defending yourself from the horde as well as heavy damage from special infected.
This mutation also provides an open opportunity for such achievements as "Grave Robber" and "Shock Jock". Since health is rapidly depleting (approximately -1 health every 4-5 seconds), death may prove to be very common. If any players die, another may take that chance to pick up their dropped items (which supports the "Grave Robber" achievement). Or if one happens to have a defib unit on hold, they could defibrillate a downed teammate and support the "Shock Jock" achievement. These achievements in particular normally take a lot of time and patience; but with this week’s mutation, progress for these achievements can easily be sped up.
Remember, nearly every mutation opens a window of opportunities for achievements, some of which are much harder to retrieve than others.