Helldivers 2 – An Excellent Sequel that Far Exceeded Everyone’s Expectations.

“Come on you apes, you wanna live forever?!” – Starship Troopers

Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios
Released: 8th February, 2024
Price: €39.99

Platforms: Windows, PS5
Available on: Steam, PS Store
Engine: Stingray Engine


  • Exciting gameplay formula that promotes team coordination, some degree of strategy, and opens up to surprising variety, replayability as you progress.
  • Excellent visuals and sound effects, that further magnify the action’s pathos substantially; each battle feels spectacular, gory and chaotic.
  • The satire-driven, over-the-top setting and worldbuilding are integrated in a clever way that doesn’t feel politicized – and still manages to feel bleak when needed.
  • Enormous player base that is, generally, highly-engaged with the game’s events, which are in turn supported by active devs.


  • Major balance problems with stratagems, weapons, status effects and armor. Some are great and impactful, while even more are redundant or useless.
  • Plenty of bugs and technical issues that, while rarely game-breaking anymore, can make the experience quite annoying.

Bugs & Issues

  • Crashes, disconnections and matchmaking issues may randomly happen.
  • Rarely, the mission extraction can glitch permanently.
  • High amount of visual and physics glitches.

Machine Specs

  • i9 13980HX
  • 64GB RAM DDR5
  • RTX 4090
  • NvME SSD
  • 2560×1600

Content & Replay Value

It took me around 70 hours to unlock the vast majority of gear, weapons and other items, and reach a fairly high level. There isn’t a real end. Given the fact many more updates are yet to come, and its evolving, varied gameplay, its play value on the long-term is high.

Is It Worth Buying?

Yes, and for full price even, but not immediately. Wait for some major updates, to give HD2 much-needed fixes and balance passes. After that, sure.

Verdict – Excellent

Despite the current problems, Helldivers 2 remains a stellar example of how a co-op game should be done. Could’ve used some more time cooking – yet, it’s great all the same.

Helldivers orbital laser
An orbital laser Stratagem pummels an Automaton heavy tank.

Helldivers 2 – In-Depth Analysis

Writing & Worldbuilding

Set in the far future, Helldivers 2 depicts a humanity united under the central militaristic government of Super Earth, because just ‘Earth’ wasn’t enough anymore. This already previews the satirical nature of Helldivers 2’s setting, which is ultimately a parody of fascism meant to mock such ideology. This is done brilliantly, with Helldivers often yelling slogans in the midst of battle, while broadcasts spew out propaganda at every moment on your ship. Visually, the game is excellent, with plenty of beautiful vistas intertwined with the flying pieces or limbs of aliens dismembered by explosions, bombs and orbital cannons. There’s a high degree of destructibility and interaction with the environment, including partial terrain deformation from the bigger blasts. Literal piles of enemy corpses aren’t uncommon to form up during the hottest defenses.

helldivers explosion
Explosions. Big ones. Everywhere. Especially on YOU.

Exploration & Secrets

Helldivers 2’s missions play out in instance-based maps, meaning each of them develops in a self-contained, open-world map with objectives, points of interest, enemy bases and whatever else randomly placed each time. Depending on the planet, the geography may drastically vary and include natural obstacles like rivers (Helldivers can’t swim, apparently), mountains, pitfalls and so on. The procedural generation of maps ensures constant variety in layouts, and is overall well-done, mostly bug-free in this regard.

You and your eventual teammates will traverse the world on foot; the movement system takes difficult terrain maluses, limited stamina and armor weight into consideration, so there’s no blindly rushing ahead. Primary and secondary locations are scattered in each map, many of which are unmarked: you’ll have to rely on your sight and, sometimes, signal markers to find them – doing that is worthwhile, as they contain not only precious supplies, but also Medals, Super Credits and Samples, three currencies used to get new gear and improve existing ones with passives at your ship.

All of this happens while constantly on the lookout for enemy patrols, capable of calling endless reinforcements on you, on top of being on the clock with a time limit for each operation. Being efficient, fast and stealthy when possible is recommended, especially on higher difficulties.

Combat System & Bosses

Nearly all weapons are usable in both third person and ironsight mode – not something you often see, and a welcome addition. Helldivers 2’s combat is fast-paced, and chaotic and often will see you heavily outnumbered; being constantly on the move when possible, ‘kiting’ enemies around while shooting them and, most importantly, learning each foe’s weak spots are all fundamental tactics to not get overwhelmed. The presence of a dodge with nearly zero cooldown is a saving grace to escape dangerous clutches, or avoid enemy ordinance volleys. Common enemies can kill you in a few hits, while elite ones may outright one-shot you.

Other than your personal loadout, the usage of tactical call-ins, ‘Stratagems’, is fundamental to winning against overwhelming numbers. Turrets, airstrikes, orbital cannons, napalm, heavy tertiary weapons – you name it; only four of them can be equipped by each squad member, and all have a cooldown to prevent spamming and, in some cases, limited uses – use them when you really need to, and try to not kill your teammates in the process. In case of death, another Helldiver will replace your previous character, dropping down from orbit in the exact same loadout, using limited, shared lives for the whole squad – run out of them, and you won’t be able to respawn.

Other than regular enemies with their different grades of armor, speed and movesets, “boss” ones can uncommonly spawn at higher difficulties: these tough foes are the elite forces of each faction, and will often take well-placed stratagems and a combined effort from multiple players to be taken down – especially when several of them spawn at the same time. Because no, Helldivers 2 isn’t an easy game at all on higher difficulty tiers, unless you have a well-coordinated team and don’t waste time or supplies. Currently, the higher difficulties are very much meta-heavy, due to the balance issues; that means only a few loadouts are viable because everything else is less effective or outright trash.

Character Progression & Customization

With the various currencies and XP acquired from missions, you’ll be able to upgrade both your ship and your arsenal, progressively unlocking new guns, armors with different passive effects, emoticons, and cosmetics. It’s a constant process that introduces new tools to play with, stratagems and passives that give you more playstyle options, although the progress becomes rather grindy towards the last pages of the catalog. Super Credits, the premium currency, can always be obtained from POIs in regular missions, and from normal progression, so anyone can get premium catalogs and cosmetics for free, as long as they play. Is it grindy? Well, yes, but it’s not that bad.

helldivers fog
Environmental debuffs like smoke, fog, and sandstorms aren’t uncommon.

Events & Objectives

Earth Command will regularly dispatch both daily and global missions for you to complete, or anyway be a part of. For instance, conquering a specific planet as a community effort will award all players great amounts of currencies, and also daily missions for each player boost the rate at which you acquire medals, essential to unlock new equipment. These events encourage a common goal and also trying new loadouts for the daily ones.

If you liked this game, you might also enjoy…
Turbo Overkill | Apocalyptic Vibes | Generation Zero

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