Imagine the following situation: you and three other friends are called up to fight a war, but these friends (just like you) love to get in each other’s faces, regardless of what happens, even at the moment of death. Did you imagine? That’s more or less how Helldivers 2 works, and that’s what we’re going to talk about in our first impressions!
In March 2015, Arrowhead Studios released Helldivers, a cooperative shooter with an isometric view in which you and four friends (playing locally or in multiplayer online matches) must free Super Earth from the clutches of giant insects, cyborgs and other threats that the game’s dystopian future created so that we could shoot (almost) everything in sight.
Even with frenetic gameplay, being well received by critics (with an average rating of 81 from the mainstream media) and receiving updates six years after its launch, for some reason, in Brazil, the game did not succeed.
Eight years later, the Playstation Showcase was the stage for a surprise announcement: Helldivers 2 was not only in development, but would be released in 2023 (something that would change later, as the game was delayed). In the purest shame, during the trailer you are called upon to join the Helldivers, an elite force that ensures the freedom of the galaxy and swears to keep order and democracy alive. And this is the tone of the game at each stage, level choice and improvement: the purest canastrice.
Playstation gave us the opportunity to test the game at its headquarters (San Mateo, California) with some devs and the CEO of Arrowhead Studios himself commenting on how Helldivers 2 differs from the first. In the two hours I was able to play, I just wanted more.
Save the galaxy, even if you are dismembered
Before we start clearing the galaxy of horrible monsters, we need to select our arsenal on our mother ships (which is where you will build all your inventory, upgrades and skins). In addition to the basic kit, such as a light weapon, a heavy weapon and a type of grenade, you also have the option of selecting the heavy artillery that the ships send you, which can save you in a risky situation or from many enemies, with special attacks being divided into three categories: offensive, support and defensive. Do you need to destroy an area full of insect nests to complete the mission? Call in an air strike. Have you run out of ammo or do you need a heavier weapon to pierce the automatons’ armor? Order a weapon capsule. Do you have a lot of enemies that your team can’t handle? The ship sends you a defense turret.
However, nothing comes for free: for each such request, you need to not only hold L1, but also follow a certain order of commands on the directional pad for your request to happen, almost like a Konami code. This while a horde of insects is trying to tear you to pieces and one of your partners has already gone to hell. Did you find it complicated? Relax, it only gets worse: all these supports arrive from the sky in giant capsules, and can hit not only you but your ENTIRE team. And here’s the kicker: Helldivers not only shows you how desperate it can be to make decisions during an absurd battle against intergalactic beings, it also makes fun of it.
Each level is procedural, that is: you may know the map, but the enemies will never be in the same place or in the same order as the previous one. With that in mind, you need to be strategic with your arsenal and your choice of landing area, as depending on where they land, you can draw too much attention and make noise, ruining a possible surprise attack. During the phases, in addition to the main objectives, you can perform some actions that are worth extra points for the entire team, such as finding samples of materials that are of great value for research and improving equipment.
So, let’s say you completed the level objectives, collected samples and now that the mission is over, you need to get back to your ship, how are you going to do that? Just wait for your ship (which can also kill you if it lands on top of you) and enter it with your team, but not before facing a ton of enemies who won’t leave you alone. And for sure, here at least once you will die, and that will be a lot of fun.
Dying has never been so cool
Every time you die in Helldivers 2, the mother ship sends another soldier to the ground inside a capsule (the Hellpods) which, like the supplies, descend like a meteor smashing everything in front of it. Unlike weapon requests, you can control your Hellpod for a few seconds and choose where you will fall, being able to choose to do damage to the head of a Hulk (which is a type of boss) or, who knows, end up killing a member of the your team. Of the two hours I was able to play Helldivers 2, what I and two other journalists did most was laugh about how ridiculous the death of the companion next to us during the battle was, giving the impression that we had known each other for years while the other character had turned ground meat due to the carelessness of someone who asked for a flamethrower and ended up hitting the unsuspecting person in the head.
I myself took the risk of hitting some enemies during the Hellpod’s fall, but without success, as it only takes a few seconds and controlling the capsule is a bit complicated (in fact, we all tried to do this). When the first team member managed to hit an enemy with the capsule, we celebrated as if it had been a goal for our team in the final minutes of the match. Dying was, yes, fun. Being reborn was even better!
References, lots of references!
As I said above, the game is not only based on fun gameplay (and complicated depending on the situation), but also on acid humor and the cynicism of war: all the time the Helldivers released such absurd phrases about how “the taste of freedom is wonderful ” that you practically feel like you’re talking to an ultra-patriotic version of Captain America.
If you’ve watched the cult classic Starship Troopers, you’ll know what I’m talking about: at every moment war is elevated to the status of something good, when in fact the entire film is a great fun critique of exacerbated militarism. Helldivers 2 not only uses the film as a base, but also enhances the irony of war, while you and monsters are torn apart at all times (with a few hints of Douglas Adams, but I can only say that after playing a few more hours of the game) .
Does it surprise?
If, like me, you, dear reader, will come into contact with an Arrowhead game for the first time through Helldivers, I have good news: you will probably love the game. The game not only embraces the chaos of war amid even more absurd enemy attacks but also laughs at itself – all at once. It’s great to see that the same Magicka studio managed to take a much bigger step than the legs (those same legs that, for now, are still glued to your body).
With versions for PC and PS5, Helldivers 2 is coming on February 8th.
Get the Helldivers 2 Game at a discount!
Take advantage of the pre-sale, when you buy the game HELLDIVERS 2 you get 3 sets of armor, being the brand ambassador, knight and rider of democracy to fight for Freedom in a hostile galaxy in this fierce, frantic and fast-paced third-person shooter .
Purchase the Helldivers 2 Game and guarantee your fun at the special preview price until 02/08!
Get the Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League game and guarantee your fun!