Helldivers 2 Review

Helldivers 2 Review

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that while the game is good, it probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point. We suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future. Maybe ever. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: February 8, 2024
  • Platforms: PS5, PC
  • Genre: Third-person Shooter
  • Similar Games: Helldivers, Deep Rock Galactic, Earth Defense Force
  • Price: starts at $39.99

There is no doubting the cultural impact of Paul Verhoeven’s satirical take on the sci-fi genre in Starship Troopers, and while many films have failed to capture that same lightning in the bottle, Arrowhead Game Studios has made it an art form, first with Helldivers back in 2015, and even more perfectly, in the latest Helldivers 2.

Shifting from the top-down perspective to a third-person shooter, this sequel takes everything fans loved about the original and pushes it up a notch or two, blending its tight shooting gameplay with hilarious writing as dispensable soldiers bring the fight to squishy bugs and unrelenting robots. The result is an undeniably fun time that is best enjoyed with friends, with plenty of incentives that hook the player on an extended expedition to bring democracy to the galaxy.

The premise of Helldivers 2 is quite straightforward, with Super Earth in danger of the encroaching forces of the Terminid bugs and the threat of the Automatons. Taking charge of a Super Destroyer ship and an initial set of equipment, players deploy to various operations across the galaxy to engage in procedurally generated objectives and missions. Along the way, points of interest can be explored, resources gathered, and the fighting never really stops.

Delivering Liber-tea

It is this gameplay loop that borders on being addictive, compelling Helldivers to constantly drop in, fight, perish, and do it all over again until the objectives are complete. It also helps that there is a large collection of enemies to go up against, tactical Stratagems that can be called in via the satisfying crash of a Hellpod, and all sorts of currencies and resources to accrue. XP gained will see players progress in levels, further unlocking more powerful Strategems, while Warbonds earned can be invested in new armor, firearms, and cosmetic options.

The initial feeling was that this repetitive nature of Helldivers 2 would eventually see its magic fizzle out, but even after 30-odd hours of liberating planets and serving the needs of humanity, the charm has not worn off just yet. The way the developers have calibrated the entire experience, from coming out of cryosleep on the Super Destroyer to getting boots on the ground, marveling at the sights, and calling in large-scale destruction with the help of Stratagems, it continues to be a hoot from end to end.


The shooting feels really good, and as players get to terms with the arsenal of primary and support weapons, they will come to appreciate the effectiveness of each and every firearm for a specific situation. As long as you are not caught putting all your eggs in one basket, in general, there is no real right or wrong loadout, just the one you are comfortable and excited to play with. Conventional firearms, laser weapons, and explosives, there is a healthy variety of options to choose from.

Even the objectives that can pop up within missions can be vastly different as the threats get switched up, and as you progress along the nine different difficulty levels on each planet, the main objectives get more challenging and, in turn, more satisfying to accomplish. After fighting off Bile Titans the size of buildings, those small swarms of Terminids just won’t cut it anymore. Add to that potential weather and planetary parameters that have gameplay effects, and there is always something new to look forward to in Helldivers 2.

The strategy involved during the longer expeditions in Helldivers 2 is also something that enriches the moment-to-moment gameplay of the third-person shooter. As a solo player, there are different considerations to have when embarking on an operation, with more defensive measures usually the more reliable option. A more careful approach is needed, but that has not stood in the way of progression just yet. However, in a team, players can cover for each other, allowing for four different Helldivers potentially having various loadouts and Stratagems to play with, creating a recipe for equal success and disaster.

Co-op Madness

There have been times when everything clicks in Helldivers 2, and all members of a team are working perfectly in tandem. There’s someone covering the team with a long-ranged weapon, calling in supplies and sentries as added protection, others might focus on storming a base using powerful shotguns and laser weapons, while another sneaks in from the back to clear out any stragglers that might call in reinforcements. There is nothing quite like accomplishing objectives in double quick time without a fuss, and then there is the opposite.


Friendly fire galore, explosive Stratagems that take out entire teams, and doubling up on explosives that deplete your resources when the enemy has already been defeated. There is good fun to be had either way, and the stories that come out of prolonged Helldivers 2 sessions are always going to be good, even when things predictably go bad.

Even the presence of microtransactions, in the form of Super Credits, has not caused a disturbance. Arrowhead Game Studios has outrightly stated that players can pay for armor options and cosmetics, but they are not critical to game progression, and that has certainly proved to be the case in Helldivers 2. Even the battle pass system, termed Warbonds in the game, gives players plenty of opportunities to earn the required resources to unlock new gear and even Super Credits, enough to get you kitted out as well as unlock the premium battle pass for no additional costs.

The visual fidelity that comes from shifting the game to a third-person perspective has also been an unmitigated success for Helldivers 2. Combat feels more intimate, the threats more personal, and there is just something about watching a nuke explode from a safe distance that feels just right as your Helldiver surveys the rest of the battlefield.

Perhaps the only thing missing from this whirlwind of fun is a narrative thread that ties everything together. It is always good to feel part of something bigger, and Helldivers 2 does that with the galactic map and real-time reflection of players’ efforts in liberating planets, but it doesn’t quite replicate the stakes and investment of a campaign. It definitely doesn’t take too much away from the experience, but it is something that players will have to get used to as the battle rages on.

As the latest live-service shooter on the block, Helldivers 2 is a much-needed breath of unadulterated fun and excitement, backed up by its engaging combat and rewarding progression systems. The randomized nature of its objectives continues to pay dividends, and the challenge posed by the difficulty levels and the enemies will continue to push players to their limits. It is a great start for the game, and hopefully, it will continue in this vein with sustained support from Arrowhead Game Studio. In the meantime, there are still planets that need democracy, and Super Earth is ready to provide.

What we liked:

  • Combat and shooting feel intuitive and satisfying.
  • Progression is incentivizing and well-paced.
  • Randomized nature of things keeps the gameplay loop fresh.
  • Co-op brings out the best of Helldivers 2 and everything it has to offer.

What we didn’t like:

  • The lack of a narrative thread to tie everything together would have been the cherry on top.

Verdict: Buy it!

Editors choice

An utterly enjoyable shooter that shines the brightest with its co-op mechanics, Helldivers 2 has crushed all initial apprehensions about its live service and procedurally generated nature and delivered a dose of lovable democracy. The progression systems look to be on track to keep players invested for the foreseeable future, and the fun just doesn’t seem to want to stop anytime soon.

Even with the friendly fire and accidents that arise from having others around you, the very nature of Helldivers 2 makes it more of a positive than a negative, and that is no mean feat. Super Earth requires the effort of every person to liberate the galaxy, and it is a no-brainer to enlist as soon as you can.

*Helldivers 2 was reviewed on PS5 and PC with a review code provided by the publisher.

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