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Helldivers 2 Review

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Helldivers 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the original game, has finally arrived on Playstation and PC this week. Developed by Arrowhead Game Studios, this new installment takes players back to Super Earth, where they are once again tasked with fighting for Democracy in intense third-person over-the-shoulder action. From the moment you pick up the controller, it is clear that Helldivers 2 has raised the bar and surpassed its predecessor in both gameplay and story.

The controls are smooth and responsive, allowing for precise movements and satisfying combat. The graphics are stunning, with highly detailed environments and character models that truly immerse you in the war-torn world. The story is captivating, with unexpected twists and turns that keep you engaged from start to finish.

Helldivers 2's Engaging Narrative

Helldivers 2's story is a thrilling and exhilarating adventure that perfectly complements the kind of game it aims to be. The developers have crafted a narrative that is both fun and over-the-top, allowing players to fully immerse themselves in the action-packed world of the game. Drawing inspiration from the cult classic film Starship Troopers, Helldivers 2 places players in the shoes of everyday frontline fighters, rather than the typical overpowered super soldiers with enhanced abilities.

This unique perspective adds a layer of realism and relatability to the game, making players feel like an integral part of the war effort. As players embark on various missions across the galaxy, their objective is clear – defend Super Earth at all costs. This exciting premise sets the stage for an epic and challenging gameplay experience that will keep players engaged and entertained for hours on end.

The game begins with a side-splitting promo video that serves as an amusing call to arms, urging players to join the war effort and protect Earth. It emphasizes that peace and freedom come at a price, and it's the players' responsibility to annihilate all those who stand against human liberty. In this installment, players will face two formidable adversaries. First, the Terminids, reminiscent of the Bugs from the previous game, return with their relentless onslaught.

However, a new enemy known as the Automaton proves to be an even fiercer opponent than the Illuminate. With their advanced technology and ruthless tactics, the Automaton pose a significant threat to the preservation of humanity's freedom. As players dive into the game, they must strategize and use their skills to conquer these enemies and ensure the continued survival of Earth and its inhabitants.

Being handed the command of my own ship after a comically short training session was both thrilling and hilarious. It was incredible how Super Earth had such confidence in me to take control of an entire vessel with minimal preparation. The sheer absurdity of the situation added to the comedic value and made me appreciate the trust they placed in me even more. However, as the story took a backseat, the true brilliance of Helldivers 2 emerged in its gameplay experience. The game delivered an unparalleled level of excitement and immersion, with its intense battles and cooperative multiplayer aspect. Helldivers 2 truly shines in providing an exhilarating and unforgettable gaming experience.

The story of Helldivers 2 flawlessly aligns with the vision of its developers. It effortlessly combines elements of fun, simplicity, and emotional attachment to create an immersive gaming experience. The narrative engages players from the very beginning, drawing them into a world filled with thrilling challenges and captivating characters. The game's storyline is intricately woven, ensuring that players are constantly invested in the outcome. With its well-crafted plot and compelling gameplay, Helldivers 2 truly delivers on its promise of an enjoyable and captivating gaming experience.

Thrilling Action: Helldivers 2 Gameplay

Hellldivers 2's decision to transition from a top-down to a third-person perspective in terms of gameplay was a bold move that ultimately paid off. This shift not only made the game more marketable but also enhanced the overall experience for players. While top-down shooters can be enjoyable, the adoption of a third-person perspective brings players closer to the action, allowing them to truly feel the intensity and weight of combat. The new perspective immerses players in the game, creating a more engaging and thrilling gameplay experience.

Helldivers 2 truly immerses players in the heart-pounding action with its stunning visual effects. The thrill of narrowly avoiding laser beams and witnessing the ground shake from an orbital strike is an adrenaline rush like no other. The game's third-person perspective evokes nostalgic vibes reminiscent of the original Star Wars Battlefront II from Pandemic, further enhancing the sense of being in the midst of a massive battle.

But Helldivers 2 also allows players to switch to a first-person perspective, enabling them to take precise shots at enemies from a distance. Whether you prefer up-close combat or sniping from afar, this game caters to all playstyles, ensuring an intense and exhilarating experience.

When I first started playing the game, I was excited to explore the vast universe that awaited me. As I opened the Galaxy Map, I was greeted with a plethora of missions and worlds to choose from. It was a sight to behold, knowing that there were endless possibilities for me to embark on. What caught my attention was the progress meter displayed alongside each world. This meter showcased the collective efforts of all Helldivers 2 players, highlighting the ongoing struggle to liberate planets from the clutches of evil.

It was a remarkable concept to witness, as completing missions contributed to the overall progress of the world. Logging in this morning, I eagerly checked the progress made by fellow players, and I was pleasantly surprised by the substantial advancements achieved. This sense of progress in an online game was truly exhilarating, as it fueled my desire to continue fighting for the liberation of planets and the discovery of new worlds.

The launch of Helldivers 2 proved to be a huge success, surpassing the sales of popular games like Palworld and Counter-Strike 2 for a certain period of time. One of the contributing factors to its triumph was its strategic release timing, avoiding the crowded market of major game releases typically seen from September to December, while also not launching in the competitive summer season.

These factors, along with others, have paved the way for a potentially thriving player community on both platforms. Additionally, the inclusion of Crossplay functionality in Helldivers 2 ensures that players can easily connect with fellow soldiers, making the experience even more enjoyable and engaging.

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Once you have made the crucial decision of which planet to engage in battle, the next step is to select a mission that suits your skill level. The missions are categorized by difficulty, allowing you to choose the level of challenge you desire. As you descend onto the planet's surface in true Halo ODST fashion, you find yourself on a compact map teeming with objectives waiting to be conquered. Some levels may only require the completion of two tasks, while others may demand the fulfillment of just one objective.

However, the true beauty of this experience lies in the opportunity to explore the terrain and uncover hidden treasures. Super Credits, valuable samples, and a plethora of other assets are scattered across the map, waiting to be discovered and retrieved. It is essential to exercise caution though, as a fatal mistake in combat will result in the unfortunate loss of your hard-earned loot.

After successfully completing the main objectives, players are presented with an exciting new challenge – extraction. This thrilling game mode allows you to not only keep all the valuable loot you've acquired throughout the mission but also earn additional experience points. Reminiscent of MW3's Zombies mode, extraction requires you to endure waves of relentless enemies until the evac ship finally arrives to whisk you away from the hostile planet.

As I laid down a line of powerful sentry turrets alongside my teammates, we found ourselves in a perfect balance of anticipation and relaxation, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the ship. This additional objective not only prevents boredom upon completing the mission but also grants players the freedom to decide when they are ready to bring the adventure to a close.

Helldivers offers an interesting mechanic of granting each player 5 lives that are shared among the squad. This means that if you are playing with a squad of four, you will have a total of 20 lives to rely on throughout the level. However, this also means that one squad mate has the power to exhaust all the lives if they choose to do so. The constant threat of dying in Helldivers is what adds to the thrilling and challenging experience of the game. To tackle tougher missions, it is highly recommended to play with at least two other players, as the game throws a multitude of challenges at you that require effective teamwork and coordination.

In the world of Helldivers 2, you quickly realize that you are far from being a super soldier. With limited health, scarce ammo, and no special abilities, you are stripped of the advantages you may have enjoyed in other games. Even jumping is a luxury, only possible when standing next to a platform that can be clambered over. The contrast in power levels further highlights your vulnerability.

This weakness serves to emphasize the importance of teamwork in this game. Thick snow or tall bushes can impede your progress, making it essential to rely on your teammates for support and assistance. In Helldivers 2, unity and collaboration are the keys to success amidst the formidable challenges that await.

In addition to its intense battles, the game also offers players the opportunity to utilize various stratagems that can greatly assist them in combat. These stratagems range from resupply pods that provide much-needed ammunition and stims to orbital strikes that can decimate waves of enemies. Moreover, the game allows players to spawn special weapons such as machine guns and anti-tank launchers through these stratagems.

As players level up and collect more resources, they unlock even more powerful stratagems and weapons. This not only adds to the excitement of the galactic effort they are fighting in, but also provides a sense of personal gain and progression in the game.

I was pleasantly surprised by the gameplay experience in Helldivers 2 as each weapon, with the exception of the standard pistol, felt satisfying to use. It was refreshing to find a game that didn't feel pay-to-win, at least for now. While there is a possibility that future Warbonds could change this aspect, it is worth noting that since Helldivers 2 is primarily a co-op shooter, the negative impact of pay-to-win mechanics is somewhat mitigated. However, as someone who has never been a fan of microtransactions, even if they are limited to cosmetic items, I have to acknowledge that this did affect my overall review score.

Engaging in combat with both enemy factions in the game was an incredibly satisfying experience, making it nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite. The sheer joy of strategically shooting off various parts of an automaton or annihilating a Terminid's squishy body was undeniably fun.

I found myself constantly switching between the different factions and exploring their respective worlds, simply because I couldn't resist the exhilarating thrill of battling them. The excitement escalated even further when I teamed up with other players to take down formidable foes like the colossal Bile Titan, an enormous Terminid.

I have encountered this creature only once, but it was truly a nightmare. Without proper preparation, my team and I lost all our lives in an instant. What made it even more challenging was the fact that this creature was always accompanied by a horde of backup, ready to make our day even worse. However, despite the difficulty, these boss encounters added an element of fun and hilarity to our co-op experiences. And when friendly fire couldn't be turned off, it was a blast to see how many mistakes we would inevitably make.

Helldivers 2 stands out as one of the top choices for online co-op gaming. Despite a few initial connection hiccups on launch day, the online functionality was flawless. Lag was virtually non-existent, and I never experienced any disconnections. The online experience seamlessly matched the smoothness of playing in single-player mode; it felt as if there were no differences at all. Although it is possible that I may encounter some issues in the future, my current online experience with Helldivers 2 was simply unreal.

In terms of customization, Helldivers 2 provides players with a multitude of options, allowing them to tailor their soldiers to their own preferences. Through earning resources during gameplay, players are able to unlock new stratagems, armor types, and weapons. While there may be a few weapons that emerge as the most effective, each Helldiver is unique in their design and combat abilities.

This variety ensures that no two Helldivers are exactly alike, giving players the freedom to create their own distinct soldier. Whether it's cosmetic changes or strategic enhancements, Helldivers 2 offers an extensive range of customization possibilities that allow players to truly make their mark on the battlefield.

The multiplayer aspect of Helldivers 2 was incredibly enjoyable, but there were a couple of downsides that I couldn't help but notice. One of these was the lack of enemy factions. Although the Terminids and Automatons provided a thrilling challenge, I couldn't help but wish for the inclusion of at least one more enemy type.

It would have been amazing if a third faction attacked both us and the existing factions, adding an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability to the gameplay. As much as I loved the game's maps, I have to admit that after a while, encountering the same two enemies did become a bit repetitive. Therefore, I would really like to encourage the developers to consider introducing additional enemy factions in future updates or expansions, as I believe it would greatly enhance the overall experience.

If the introduction of a new enemy faction seems overwhelming, an alternative suggestion would be to incorporate a beast or monster into the game's map. This creature could be hostile towards all players, creating an opportunity for players to strategically use it to their advantage. For instance, players could entice a group of robots towards the monster, initiating a genuine battle between the two. While these ideas may not be the ultimate solution, it is hoped that game developers will explore innovative ways to maintain the gameplay's freshness and excitement.

Another aspect that I find lacking in this game is the absence of a basic jumping ability. It may sound trivial, but unless you experience it yourself, you won't truly understand. While there is a dive button and the option to clamber over walls, it doesn't quite capture the essence of jumping. It's frustrating to feel limited in our movements when we have been given our own vessels. It would have been preferable if they had taught us how to jump before granting us these vessels. However, despite this flaw, it is not the most significant issue with the game.

Helldivers 2's gameplay brings a refreshing sense of nostalgia without feeling outdated. The developers have managed to surpass the original game in nearly every aspect, which is no small feat considering the high quality of its predecessor. However, my initial experience was slightly hampered by connectivity issues on the first day. Thankfully, it seems that the developers promptly addressed these issues, allowing players to fully immerse themselves in the improved gameplay experience.

Visual Splendor

Helldivers 2 is a game that truly captivates with its stunning visuals. As I explore the game world, I can't help but be in awe of the intricate details and realistic graphics that make it a joy to behold. The game strikes a perfect balance between comedy and realism, with visuals that are both visually pleasing and delicate. Whether I'm navigating through a dense forest or traversing an expansive open field, the beauty of the environment never fails to amaze me. It adds an extra layer of immersion to the gameplay and makes every moment spent exploring with my squad a truly enjoyable experience.

Despite not being the most visually stunning game available, Helldivers 2 leaves a lasting impression on me. What sets it apart is its efficient loading system, particularly for an online game. Unlike other games where objects may take ages to load or textures might appear gradually, Helldivers 2 manages to minimize these issues. I believe this is due to the game's design of placing players in smaller maps packed with a wealth of content, rather than sprawling, expansive spaces. This thoughtful approach ensures a seamless and immersive gameplay experience.

The attention to detail in the enemy designs is truly impressive, especially when considering how well they blend into each environment. It was absolutely thrilling to witness the Terminids emerge from the snowy landscapes, their icy exteriors contrasting beautifully with the explosions that followed their demise. Equally captivating was the sight of the Automaton skulls, their eerie red glow illuminating the night sky as they launched their devastating blasts. Surprisingly, amidst all the chaos and destruction, I found myself strangely calmed by these little visual effects that added an extra layer of depth to the game.

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While the visuals in the game are undeniably stunning, there is one caveat to their appeal – they can quickly become repetitive. The player is consistently exposed to the same snow, desert, and forest environments, and this repetition can eventually lead to a sense of monotony. Don't get me wrong, the maps are undeniably impressive, but the lack of variety diminishes the overall experience. Introducing just a couple of additional maps could greatly enhance and rejuvenate the gameplay, injecting a much-needed freshness into the visuals.

Helldivers 2 is truly a sight to behold. Its gameplay mechanics are incredibly engaging, offering players a thrilling and action-packed experience. The intense battles and strategic elements keep gamers on their toes, constantly pushing them to think on their feet and adapt to ever-changing situations. Furthermore, the visuals in Helldivers 2 are stunning. The game boasts breathtaking landscapes, intricate character designs, and stunning special effects. The attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the game, making it a truly immersive and visually appealing experience. Whether you're navigating treacherous terrains or engaging in intense firefights, Helldivers 2 delivers an unparalleled level of beauty that is hard to rival.

Immersive Soundscapes

Helldivers 2's soundtrack may not reach the grandeur of Hanz Zimmer's orchestrated tracks, but it undeniably captures the essence of the game's setting. The music seamlessly integrates with the narrative, enhancing the overall experience. Although it may not leave listeners awestruck, it provides a pleasant accompaniment during the intense moments that unfold on the planetside. The soundtrack successfully adds depth and atmosphere to the game, making it an enjoyable and immersive experience for players.

The audio design of Helldivers 2 is undeniably impressive. The game excels in creating immersive sound effects for various actions such as firing guns, throwing grenades, and calling in orbital drops. The satisfaction derived from hearing a Terminid explode into pieces or the bullets striking the metal of an Automaton is truly remarkable. The attention to detail and the crispness of the sound effects add an extra layer of enjoyment to the gameplay. However, while the audio design is noteworthy, it is not as central to the overall experience as other aspects of the game. Nonetheless, it is still a significant contributor to the overall enjoyment of Helldivers 2.

Verdict

Helldivers 2 successfully encapsulates the essence of the beloved film Starship Troopers and transforms it into an immersive video game experience. Personally, if I were given the choice between watching the movie or playing the game, I would undoubtedly opt for the latter. Helldivers 2 allows players to actively engage in the exhilarating action, enabling them to participate in a colossal war effort.

Arrowhead Game Studios has truly outdone themselves with the development of Helldivers 2, as it surpasses its predecessor in every aspect. The game manages to captivate players with its immersive gameplay and addictive mechanics. However, the presence of microtransactions and the occasional repetition can be seen as minor setbacks. Nevertheless, these flaws do not diminish the overall enjoyment and nostalgia that Helldivers 2 brings. In fact, it transports me back to simpler times, reminding me of the excitement I felt as a child, eagerly waiting for my friends to come online and embark on thrilling adventures together.

If you're a fan of online co-op shooters, then we highly recommend Helldivers 2. This game delivers an exhilarating experience that is best enjoyed with friends. However, if you don't have a PlayStation Plus subscription or prefer to play solo, then you might not find it as enjoyable. Nevertheless, the gameplay itself is top-notch, providing intense action and strategic gameplay that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Additionally, the cheesy story adds a lighthearted element to the game, making it even more entertaining. Overall, Helldivers 2 offers a fantastic experience for those who love online co-op shooters.

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Helldivers 2 Review
Conclusion
Helldivers 2 successfully encapsulates the essence of the beloved film Starship Troopers and transforms it into an immersive video game experience. Personally, if I were given the choice between watching the movie or playing the game, I would undoubtedly opt for the latter. Helldivers 2 allows players to actively engage in the exhilarating action, enabling them to participate in a colossal war effort.
Positive
Captivating story, unexpected twists
Stunning graphics, immersive environments
Smooth controls, responsive combat
Negative
Lack of jumping ability
Repetitive enemy factions
Presence of microtransactions
4.5
GAMEHAUNT SCORE
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