Helldivers 2 Reminds us of What Video Games Should Be

Helldivers 2 Reminds us of What Video Games Should Be

Lately, video games seem to have lost their core essence. They remind us every day that there is some sort of corporation out there to make money on the game. The value is no longer dependent on the content, rather the sales and profit it produces. Microtransactions plague players. Old, beloved studios are losing their old leadership, and the vision seems to be clouded by nothing but the color green. 

However, there has been a recent release of amazing games that remind us what games were made for in the past; pure fun and entertainment without the need to purchase every bit of content. Helldivers 2 from Arrowhead Game Studios has reminded me that there is hope for video games, and that $40 can go a long way, instead of the “AAAA” price-tag of $70…

Helldivers 2 is a third-person co-operative shooter that emphasizes on one thing: fun. Sure, there isn’t much of an overarching story, compelling protagonists or antagonists, or even AAA graphics. There is beauty in its simplicity; it takes an old science fiction theme and utilizes that as its  background. The gameplay is the main focus of this game, with different weapons, cosmetics, and gadgets to unlock and play with up to 3 other friends. There aren’t any complicated mechanics, there is a tutorial level that teaches you basics and that’s about it so it doesn’t feel like the game is hand holding anybody. And progression is very simple; play missions, find samples, get medals, spend them, do it again! 


Arrowhead Studios also promises there will be events that players will engage in that will involve the entire community to rally and play. The game is just pure fun! Let’s get to talking about the game itself!

The game runs on a matchmaking system if you are alone in a “lobby.” A lobby is essentially a star ship that you have the option of naming. You can join other player’s starships to squad up, to a max of 4 players. From the star ship, you can customize your Helldiver, their loadout, weapons, and also manage any upgrades you want to one of the coolest aspects of this game, Stratagems. 


Stratagems vary from orbital strikes, to airstrikes, sentry guns, special weapons, or other gadgets. These tools are made available to the Helldivers, and as you level up, more stratagems become available for unlocking. To call in a stratagem, you will have to hold LB on a controller or CTRL on keyboard/mouse and punch a combination of directional inputs. It’s a pretty cool way of calling in a very wide variety of your arsenal, and it ultimately adds to the experience.

After you customize your weapons, gear, etc., you can initiate missions with the star map at the head of the ship. At this time, there are only 2 fronts, 2 types of enemies: the Terminids and the Automatons, with the latter being a more recent threat. What is cool about this map is that it is divided into  sections of planets that need “liberating.” Players will need to do enough missions to successfully liberate a planet, and this progression is shared amongst the entire player-base. Neat! 


helldivers missions

Some planets have multi-part “Ops” where if you finish it, you will get more medals for your progression to unlock armors, credits, cosmetics, and weapons. Did I mention these are all free? The microtransaction part of the game is extremely minor, and there is virtually no pressure for one to have to purchase the “battle pass.” There is no “pay-to-win.” 


Once the party leader chooses an op, they can select a drop zone, an area where you and your friends or matchmade squad-mates will drop in and start the mission. Although I recommend dropping in a safe location to call in ordinance and special weapons, feel free to try dropping in the thick of the enemy for a little more excitement.

From here, players can choose their favorite Stratagems available for them and Ready up. A cutscene will unfold, showing you and your squad-mates coming down from an orbital drop to the planet below, for freedom, liberty, and super earth.

On the map, there are randomly generated objectives, outposts, and activities to do. You can find samples to upgrade your stratagems, weapons and ammo caches, or even on-map stratagems like the artillery gun. Generally, you can complete side objectives, explore and loot first then head to the first objective. Or, you can always complete the primary objective first then choose to explore the map for resources and secondary objectives. After the primary objective is complete, you can call in a transport to extract, and here you will have to hold off enemies for 2 minutes until a transport ship  arrives to extract you and your teammates, and that’s essentially the game in a nutshell! OH, and I forgot a very important note; FRIENDLY FIRE IS ALWAYS ON, so watch what you shoot!

The game is extremely fun, whether you play solo, matchmake with random players, or play with your friends. The game is simple enough to understand and play, but everything can get chaotic quick. The weapons all feel great, and the graphics honestly not bad considering. I've been personally playing on PC using a Pixio PX259 Prime S, and I just love it.

It is available on Playstation 5 and Steam on PC for $40. The support and development of this game is amazing. The developers are hard at work constantly, and are attentive to the needs of the community.  Helldivers 2 is definitely a breath of fresh air, and it reminds us that games don’t need a AAA budget to be fun and functioning.

What are you waiting for Cadet, pick up a copy and become an esteemed Helldiver today! It’s time to fight for Freedom, Liberty, and Justice for Super-Earth!


Work Hard. Game Harder.

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