Helldivers 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Action, TPS, Multiplayer
Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios
Publisher: SCE Worldwide Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PC, PS5
Tested on: PC, PS5

Helldivers 2 – Review

Site Score
Good: Concept, Overall enjoyable gameplay loop
Bad: Constant crashes, Best enjoyed in short bursts
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

With the recent Early Access release of Starship Troopers: Extermination, we thought we had seen our share of massive alien bug invasions till the release of the upcoming Earth Defense Force game. We were mistaken, however, as we somewhat forgot about Helldivers 2, Arrowhead Game Studios’ online multiplayer shooter that pits you against hordes of massive bugs and automatons. With Sony publishing the title, there’s not much that could go wrong; right? While we enjoyed the gameplay loop, we were not a fan of the busted matchmaking and constant crashes.


The small introduction to the game felt very reminiscent of the original Starship Troopers movie, and that’s not a bad thing. You’ll get to see an advertisement for spreading ‘Managed Democracy’ across the universe, but you’ll have to become a Helldiver to do so. As a Helldiver you’ll venture out into space, killing everything that opposes Managed Democracy, and be hailed as one of the heroes of Super Earth. Other than this, there isn’t really that much story content after becoming a certified Helldiver who manages their own cruiser. You’ll encounter a few NPCs on your ship, but that’s basically it.


Graphically, Helldivers 2 is a great-looking game. While you’ll immediately notice some reused assets here and there, and the extraction zone often looks identical to the ones in other missions, there is still a lot of attention to detail. The character models look great, and there is quite a bit of variety when it comes to different armor designs. You’ll have quite a few different particle effects when firing weapons as well, and you’ll quite enjoy blasting loads of bugs to smithereens. The game also provides great visual feedback when it comes to where you damage your enemies, which also helps with the immersion a lot. The environments themselves are often fairly static, but there are some destructible environmental components here and there.


As a whole, Helldivers 2’s sound design is great. While there isn’t that much voice acting present in the game, we did enjoy the random oneliners from our character as well as the Helldivers in our squadron. The sound effects are truly the highlight of the game, with gunshots providing satisfying audio feedback when hitting the carapace of enemies or the armor of automatons. The airstrikes you call in have a deep bass to them that truly evoke the feeling of running around a violent battlefield, where one step in the wrong direction may cause you to be blown to smithereens.


Helldivers 2 is an online multiplayer-oriented third-person shooter in which you’ll play through fairly short missions to spread Managed Democracy across the universe. What this entails is basically shooting everything in sight while completing objectives. Each mission in the game can often be completed in a few minutes, but all missions also have side objectives that will reward you with better rewards and more experience. The game can be played with a total of four players per mission, and you also have the option to tackle missions on your own. The latter can be entertaining for a while, but Helldivers 2 truly shines when you have a squad to kill your enemies (and each other).

What makes Helldivers 2 different from other third-person shooters is the inclusion of so-called Stratagems. These Stratagems are part of your loadout during the missions and these can include calling in sentry guns, additional weapons, and even very impressive airstrikes. To use your Stratagems, you’ll have to do a button combination, much akin to those in a Dance Dance Revolution game in order to call down death and destruction, or simply a bit of additional aid. You’ll have to coordinate your attacks, as you might hit your allies when calling in airstrikes. Most Stratagems have either limited uses before they need a resupply or a normal cooldown timer. Planning is key, as you’ll also have to keep track of your ammo and your objectives within the mission’s time limit. The remaining ammo in guns gets discarded when reloading, and when using your minimap, you will not be able to shoot or use other weapons.

As you progress, you’ll be able to unlock new sets of armor and weapons, as well as purchase mods for your ship and additional Stratagems. You’ll eventually have an impressive array of weapons and support tools at your disposal. The game also includes premium content, but we never felt it was pay-to-win, as the premium weapons and armor never felt any better than those a regular player would unlock. We still are not a fan of the inclusion of these items, as the base game is still being offered at $39.99.

Sadly, with all the good comes something that should not happen with a title that’s fully released: constant crashes. At the time of writing this review, we were not able to play more than a handful of matches in a row with friends, as we would encounter random disconnects, crashes, syncing issues, and so on. We were sometimes not able to log into the game, and so far, we have not really been able to enjoy any matches with random players without issues either. This is not just an annoyance, but we have simply ‘wasted’ time playing many of these matches, as we often didn’t get any experience when we experienced a disconnect or a crash. This is something that should have been properly addressed and tested before the game’s full release. Does this make Helldivers 2 a bad game? No, absolutely not. Should you wait until these issues are resolved? Yes, you should. That being said, when the game works, it’s so much fun, especially when playing with friends.


If it weren’t for the ongoing server issues, Helldivers 2 would get a solid 9, but sadly as it stands now, we haven’t been able to enjoy a single gaming session without constant issues. Even so, Helldivers 2 offers an entertaining third-person shooter experience that has a solid presentation and a great gameplay loop. We enjoyed blasting our foes (and friends) to bits with the use of Stratagems and impressive weaponry. If you love the original, you’ll probably also really enjoy this one.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Helldivers 2 - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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