Helldivers 2 review

by on February 14, 2024
Release Date

February 8, 2024


Helldivers 2 has sucked me in and refused to let go. The rinse and repeat of combat is never dull and its repetitive nature is just what I’ve been craving. Jump into the fight, cause utter chaos, return to your ship and upgrade, then get back down there and do it all over again. Playing with others is the best way to enjoy Arrowhead’s bug-filled shooter, but even on your own, the thrill of surviving in a dangerous world is going to captivate your imagination and give you a reason to keep on playing.

It’s a fundamental concept that never lingers on the particulars, allowing you to dive in and get down to business almost instantly. Following a brief tutorial, you’re given a ship which you can name via a selection of different titles, then sent on your way to start saving the world from the Terminid and automaton threats that have engulfed the galaxy. You pick your mission from a galaxy map, where thousands of other players are doing the exact same thing as you, and then off you go.

There’s a sense of unity with everyone who’s playing, as statistics show how well everyone is doing to stop the threats you’re facing, and by picking a mission on one of the different planets, you’re encouraged to go out and do what needs to be done. Some missions might see you destroy a bunch of bug eggs or kill one of the larger creatures, but there are a ton of other objectives like loading missiles into a huge turret, preparing a missile launch via a remote terminal, and closing various nests. Each mission has a timer, and while the focus is on the main objective, extra XP and money can be earned if you complete the side missions in time. Medals are also earned, and these are used to unlock new weapons, banners, gear which has specific buffs, and credits to spend in the shop.

Helldivers 2

As soon as you’ve completed the main objectives, it’s time to reach the extraction point and call in the ship that’ll take you back to your base of operations in the sky. A two-minute timer counts down as you’re forced to survive waves of bugs using whatever means necessary. It’s a stressful affair, but holding on for those final 120 seconds offer some of the best moments of each mission. Before reaching extraction, objectives are also intense, but they’ve provided some of the most exciting gaming I’ve had in a long time. Working with others as you face countless enemies hellbent on killing you is relentless, but you’ve got plenty at your disposal that makes it so much fun.

The reason Helldivers 2 is so good is the excitement of earning money and finding materials to upgrade your ship and unlock new Strategems, perhaps the best feature on offer. During a mission, you have access to a range of Strategems you can select before deployment, and they require you to input a sequence with the D-Pad. You can order a resupply of ammo, machine guns, anti-tank guns or rocket launchers, and a high-tech sniper rifle, and they all get delivered via a large capsule dropping from your ship in the sky. Then there’s the orbital strikes, a container that empties out tons of remote mines, or my absolute favourite, the napalm strike.

Some of these are so cinematic. Watching the battlefield light up with explosions and bug guts is incredible to see, and it feels as authentic as it possibly can be to fight in a brutal war against alien cockroaches. Every new run is different, and every player has the ability to offer something new due to varying loadouts. A good mix of Strategems is vital for victory, so playing with friends or those comfortable with chatting allow for a well-executed approach to the task at hand. Of course, it doesn’t always go to plan. I may have caught a few friends with a stray bullet or two, but I’ve had much worse happen to me.

Luckily, you can call in reinforcements to revive fallen teammates, but it can be stressful trying to input a command when waves of enemies are marching towards you. I laughed a lot at times, got annoyed in equal measures, but I loved every minute of it. Helldivers 2 is the live service game I’ve always wanted. It doesn’t bog you down with menus, map icons, and modes, and even the Battle Pass elements to it don’t affect how much you can enjoy it. When it comes to playing Helldivers 2, you’re going to have a blast every second you’re killing bugs and facing off against the tougher killer robots to the west of the galaxy.

Despite some matchmaking issues where lobbies failed to form, I ended up joining up with a lot of different players and enjoyed the multiplayer elements of Helldivers 2. Quickplay ended up being the best option to play if you’re up for a few objectives at a time, but going solo can still be fun, although it’s much tougher. Playing on your own feels like a suicide mission every time, and while you can change difficulties to match your level, every mission is a relentless journey towards your goal. It’s better with others, especially when mixing strategies, co-ordinating attacks, and risking your own life to save a fallen comrade, but I still loved going in alone.

Helldivers 2 is a fantastic co-op driven action shooter, where it has its live service elements wonderfully structured. Landing on a planet and fighting against the clock and the enemy can lead to some unique and exciting moments, with a ton of options at your disposal never leading to a dull mission. The Strategems are an excellent mechanic, especially how you call them in, and while the mission objectives can get repetitive, it’s how you execute your strategies that make it a superb online shooter. The simple rhythm of shooting then spending is satisfying, with plenty of ways to unlock new abilities and equipment, and I can’t wait to see what is coming in the future.


Satisfying combat
Strategems are excellent
Great rewards


Can be a struggle to find others to play with
Difficult alone

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Helldivers 2 is a surprise hit, featuring some of the best moment-to-moment combat and a satisfying rinse and repeat formula.