HomeNewsHelldivers 2 Review - When Fun Hits You Right In The Face

    Helldivers 2 Review – When Fun Hits You Right In The Face

    Developed By: Arrowhead Game Studios

    Published By: Sony Interactive Entertainment

    Platforms: PlayStation 5 and PC

    Reviewed On: PS5

    Review Code Provided By: Sony Interactive Entertainment Singapore


    It’s been a while since I’ve dived into the first Helldiver, and what a fun ride it was from the top-down view in action. The sheer tenacity and relentless swarms of aliens clawing and shooting onslaught into explosive chaos, what a delightful trip for any Starship Trooper fans.

    Yet, while the top-down view of the first game was fun, the design decision-making to switch it to the third or first person in this second installment is a jaw-dropping godsend that adds a whole new layer of immersion. Facing the full-bodied alien tanks and hordes head-on, watching guts and explosions splatter in glory, and being in frantic reloads and calling for help as the swarm closes in is an experience like no other.

    To those wondering about the level of enjoyment, imagine it being action-packed PVE dynamics of Destiny 2, The Division, Warframe, or Anthem shooting their way into mayhem but packed with double the excitement because of constant non-stop actions and waves of laughter shared thanks to the friendly fire mode being on all the time.

    Now, the big question remains: despite the occasional in-game crashes and bugs, is Helldiver 2 still worth diving into? Hell Yeah!.

    Gameplay | Play To Win

    Imagine this: you are in a squad of four; be it, strangers or friends – gearing up tactically with an array of special weapons and stratagems (turrets, airstrikes, etc.) to call up supplies, sentries, and airstrikes, each person with a limited slots of four. All these weapons and stratagems are fixed before descending onto a randomly generated planet to liberate it from enemies.

    Upon deciding and dropping into the ground, you’ll most likely summon your specialized weapons and supplies with button prompts reminiscent of entering game cheat codes (e.g., <>,<>,<>). This is the main key of the gameplay throughout including accessing doors, puzzles, launching missiles, and more; which is exhilarating in doing so amid combat or being swarmed from any angle.

    Dropping in the right weapons and stratagems for airstrikes, you’ll tackle main objectives while fending off swarms of enemies.

    Amidst the chaos, you’ll find yourself frantically shooting, throwing grenades, and calling in airstrikes, even occasionally accidentally killing your friends in the process. With up to thirty enemies on screen and ambushes from all sides, every encounter is pretty much intense, especially on higher difficulties.

    As the difficulty ramps up, certain higher levels of bugs/automatons pop up larger and tankier than ever requiring more strategies and specific weapons and airstrikes just to pierce their armor.

    Fighting bugs gives a more Starship Troopers vibe while battling automatons feel like reenacting a scene from Terminator and Star Wars aka Scout Walkers. Along with their respective designs of shiny red-eyed robotic exoskeletons and bug carapaces that will relentlessly pursue to scare and mow you down in the fog.

    Bear in mind that the revive of teammates is limited and dropping teammates back into the fray turns into a tactical move, dealing more significant damage to enemies if their pods land accurately right on top of them.

    In other words, overall; it’s a messy battle, frantic intense moments, and hilariously fun with friends.

    Each day comes with one new daily objective to obtain better rewards to purchase better guns/armor/strategems/ship upgrades as well, and completing sidequests during the main campaign gives a better boost in rewards.

    Adding on with some cases of opening up the map with more info or extra bomb stratagems during gameplay to be utilized which in turn gives a more rewarding experience throughout.

    Despite occasional crashes, connection issues, and bugs, the sheer fun and enjoyment overshadow a lot of these issues; making the grind and bugs tolerable. Just be warned that bugs do happen during gameplay for the time being as the dev teams are currently being aware of it and constantly making updates to fix it.

    Besides that, exploration is fully rewarded inside gameplay and out as players will discover that samples used to upgrade ships are scattered throughout the map campaign including the in-game currency and premium currency called super credits.

    Speaking of premium, there are in-game unlock bundles called premium Warbond to purchase more premium weapons and armor that could also be immediately unlocked with real money or grind to be unlocked in-game. It took me about three days to unlock the premium pack.

    The game offers both in-game currency and premium currency for daily replenished armor with different stats along with headgear and capes as cosmetics. Overall, the fun factor makes even the grind worthwhile, resulting in a truly enjoyable play-to-win experience.

    Weapons, Enemy and Level Designs | A Taste Of Freedom

    In comparison to the top-down view back in the first Helldiver, I find that being in first-person/third-person perspective enhances accuracy when targeting enemies’ weak spots; adding an extra layer of enjoyment as you dodge around and aim for massive damage.

    The enemies you engaged are varied not only in species but also diverse in their units and have different attack patterns depending on distance. Watch out for some surprises as some of the adversaries can turn invisible; stealthily ambush you from behind, spit acid at you, blast a rocket, or jump simply right at you.

    However, shotgun seems to dominate the primary weapons slot choices more due to their far wide range spread and massive damage dealt against any foes compared to marksman/sniper rifles that felt a little more underwhelming in comparison.

    This is also especially obvious with the special weapon choices such as railguns and Spear to excel in dispatching higher-level enemies more swiftly, leading to an imbalance favoring only certain types of weapons in harder difficulty.

    On the other hand, adjusting scopes via R3 to ADS (aiming down sights and scope zoom levels) turning to first-person view shooting, more options, and firing weapon modes (semi/burst/auto) by holding the reload button (square) aren’t covered in the basic tutorials.

    Subsequently, this is also the case in dropping any equipment on the ground (holding down the directional button) for a more strategic approach and teamwork sharing gears. Fortunately, this and most other tips are covered by the community in their videos however that should also not always be the case as the tutorials should have covered more grounds.

    Besides that, the worlds of Helldiver 2 are simply beautiful and boast stunning surreal landscapes reminiscent of a Lovecraftian theme enhanced by the fogs, which reflect atmospheric light in between.

    From lush colorful greens to snowy mountains and foggy/dusty terrains, or even a moon-layered terrain; each with its weather affects the game and its set of debuffs to challenge players. Additionally, the environment has its dynamic day-night cycle, immersing you in a visually captivating alien world. The exploration gameplay looks akin to running through terrains and reacting to the environments akin to traversing through Death Stranding’s segments but with added shooting — a feast for the eyes, indeed.

    On a side note, I noticed that the weapons have no infrared scopes for night vision as part of the options.

    Story And Sounds | Sipping A Cup Of Liber-Tea.

    In Helldivers 2, other than the opening cinematics sets a tone of goofy satire propaganda, the absence of storytelling in cinematics and texts is compensated by the sheer fun intensity of its gameplay. Like the instances of Starship Troopers meets Monster Hunter, where we’re tasked to take on a relentless mission to protect Super Earth by taking the fight to alien planets instead of killing monsters for solely research purposes without further information and context.

    There’s no room for negotiations here; it’s all about letting the bullets speak for themselves.

    In terms of writing, the in-game texts while exploring the fields may not be the most captivating but the voice acting adds a delightful touch of humor through different tonal approaches; with characters reacting hilariously to the chaos around them.

    Hence this is where Helldivers truly shines is in their sound design. The explosive sounds and gunfire are a symphony of orchestral chaos, while the patriotic tunes blare out proudly in the background, boosting your adrenaline as you dive in and desperately out of battle. The song in itself truly speaks volumes in terms of telling a story of patriotism, through loud and proud horns along with trombone/ trumpets blowing through a melodic nationalistic propaganda tune.

    The song in itself tells a story of as you plunge into the alien world, with the music slowly faints into a chill tenseful whisper, hanging in the air with a silent tension premonition. But as the battle erupts, the propaganda melodies felt similarly transformed into a pulse-pounding rhythm of a battlefield paired with fear and tension that was still in the air.

    Initially what starts on the ship as a triumphant loud and proud anthem slowly evolves into a symphony of fear and tension on the battlefield; reflecting heroic strains that underscore the gravity of the fight for survival.

    A form of a musical experience that pretty much encapsulates the fear and tension that rise to the essence of warfare; from the initial rush of pride dropping into other species’ homes/worlds to the chilling realization of mortal peril that we are but a few.

    I wish I had better headphones for this as the game in itself is an immersive sound experience that tells the story on its own through the sound and music with added comical satire voice acting.


    What I Liked About Helldivers 2

    Gameplay – Explosive shooting fun in third-person and first-person view.

    Everything is a minigame – Opening doors, solving puzzles, reviving teammates, and calling airstrikes, requires a minigame of button prompts that makes this game rather unique and engaging.

    Play To Win – Grind is an alternative way to gather currency to unlock premium stuff in the game, by actually playing the game.

    Friendly fire – Elevates things to a more tactical positioning fun and funnier if failed.

    Sound and Music – Speaks volumes in both warfare and comical satire

    Level design – A foggy enchanting alien land with a variety of terrains to feast your eyes on with a day and night cycle.

    Enemy design – Enemies designs are varied and engaging to engage.

    Community – The videos of tips and tricks really helps as the tutorials didn’t do justice in covering more ground needed to play this game more efficiently.

    What I Wished Was Better

    Bugs and connection issues – Bugs included getting stuck crawling under object/large enemies, purple graphic sky during ICBM missile launches, and enemies skins stretched out of proportion and flings out in the air upon death.

    Occasional Crashes – It can get pretty frustrating especially during or nearing the end of missions.

    Writing – Needs better in-game texts with comical satire/interesting lines in the fields. Strangely I wish there were a bit more radio conversations in-game or ads to tell more about its world and propaganda in between or after mission results.

    Mission results – After completing missions, the calculations and transitioning back to your ship tend to be pretty long and not skippable.

    Tutorials – Felt basic and barebones as it didn’t cover much on how to purchase new weapons and change weapons firing type and scopes curing combat which is essential.

    Weapons- Need optional infrared scopes for night vision as there are night cycles in the world.

    Verdict | When Fun Overwhelms The Grind

    Helldivers 2 has me hooked and it’s truly fun and addictive in both gameplay and soundtracks. I’m just happily grinding away despite the occasional bugs and crashes; the overall fun factor outweighs the cumbersome issues. This shapes up to be one of the contender games of the year and I’m all in for it.

    Whether it be on PC or PS5 release, the game is worth every shot; just hang tight for updates if you’re wary of bugs. My friends and I are having a blast – to the point that I don’t mind paying for more new content and future DLCs.

    Not all heroes wear capes but Helldivers 2 does as it is a genuine product that focuses on the simple joy of playing it, and I am doing my part for the sake of fun; so should you.

    Final Score – 8.5/10


    He is actually very shy, introvert but no choice, have to go out to buy games. He likes food and food likes him. He somehow manage to find a job with the right time accommodate to gaming. He has a very short attention span, therefore has to finish a game fast or else a simple pun can distract him for the entire day. Yes a Pun, he loves puns as much as he loves games; easily distracted, whichever comes next.

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