• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
Helldivers 2 review

Helldivers 2 is the sequel to the top-down strategy game Helldivers by Arrowhead studios. Taking place a century after its predecessor, earth has unified to become “super earth” with enemies reappearing to strike again after the period of peace secured in the first game. You take the role of the defenders of super earth called Helldivers. A Helldiver is an elite soldier of super earth that is sent to perform a plethora of missions to assist the war effort. 

The common element of these missions as befitting a third person shooter is shooting at enemies. These enemies range wildly with two factions currently and several variations within them. These two factions are the Termanids and the Automatons who vary both in behavior and tactics required to take them down. The Termanids are Insectoid aliens that rely on close range swarm tactics. The automatons on the other hand are robotic soldiers hailing from the planet Cyberstan who utilize ranged weapons and well regimented squads. The difference in ranges and weapons and armor are all things you want to keep in mind when building your loadout before dropping. 

Arrowhead Game Studios

The important part of a game is the gameplay. You’ll be happy to hear that Helldivers knocks it out of the park in this regard as well. The basis of the gameplay is the stratagem system and the choices you must make. Stratagems are support you call down from your ship in orbit over you while a mission is happening. This support ranges from strafing runs to support weapons like machine guns and even a 500-kilogram bomb. You can have 4 available on a mission and they each deal with a specific threat. The strafing runs can deal with lots of small enemies, the bombs deal with large enemies and support weapons give you more options in your personal boots on the ground gunplay. When you combine this with enemies having light medium and heavy armor with corresponding penetration stats in weapons both regular and support you really need to think through what you bring into a mission. 

If you’ve played competitive online games, then you know the pain of being matched up against some professional that seems to live to take all fun out the game, but Helldivers is quite the opposite. Apart from “accidental” friendly fire every player is working together to achieve a goal. This means that seeing a player with hundreds of hours is a good thing for you.  

Perhaps slightly obviously for a game based around teamwork the community is very friendly but what might be surprising is how active the dev team is. The development team is not working on the game in the same detached manner that others do. The Helldivers team doesn’t simply put out press releases and remains completely opaque about their practices. Rather they are actively reacting to what the players do and communicating with the fandom and accepting feedback.  

I personally despise it when a game feels like a job with timed events like a battle pass. The Helldivers dev team probably feels the same because their battle pass equivalent called war bonds will never time out and you can progress which ever one you want whenever you want. There is a catch of course in the fact that all war bonds after the first one require premium currency to unlock. But even that is not a huge issue because you can find more than enough by simply playing more, unlike some games where you are given impossibly difficult challenges for equally meager rewards. This is all to say that the Helldivers dev team values both your time and effort as a player. 

I personally prefer role playing games to multiplayer shooters, but Helldivers was able to get me to break out of my comfort zone. The aspect that got me to change my habits was the tactical aspect of the game. I feel like the choices you have make not only every player’s style but every mission unique. With a great base and a solid flow of new content I think Helldivers will be around for a long time and I’m excited to see where it goes next. 

(Featured image from Instant Gamers)

Written by Andrew Barnes, Multimedia Specialist