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StarCraft 2 goes commando with Nova Covert Ops: Mission Pack 1 on March 29

StarCraft 2: Nova Covert Ops

It often seems as if the StarCraft team are the most conservative at Blizzard, beholden to game balance that can shift wildly with every tweak. But then something like this happens: a nine mission experiment in stealth-strategy, split across three episodes as Nova Covert Ops.

StarCraft 2 is one of the best strategy games on the PC.

Conceived as apparent compensation for cancelled stealth-action shooter StarCraft: Ghost, which the Blizzard community have never quite managed to forget, Covert Ops puts that game’s protagonist into situations that would prove “impossible with brute force alone”.

In March’s mission pack, you’ll navigate complex facilities under the radar, pilot vehicles and assassinate important targets, while acquiring intel on your opponent’s goals. Which doesn’t sound very StarCraft at all – though Blizz reassure that “those who apply tactical planning toward their objectives will find the greatest success”.

You can customise Nova’s loadout – allowing for, among other things, cloaked shotgun-sneaking – and that of her accompanying units. Siege Tanks handle cliffs better with jump jets, apparently.

“Mission Pack 1 will serve as the launching point for the rest of Nova Covert Ops,” say Blizzard, “sending you on espionage-filled journeys across the sector to discover the secrets being held by the Defenders of Man. Knowing is half the battle, and the intel you gather in Mission Pack 1 will serve you well in the days to come.”

A genuinely exciting twist on the formula, this one. Think you’ll buy in?