Helldivers 2 Review

Helldivers 2
Helldivers 2 review

Helldivers 2 distinguishes itself with a significant evolution from its predecessor, transitioning from a top-down shooter to a modern third-person camera perspective. This change brings a visually stunning experience, especially on high-end PCs, where the game’s graphics truly shine. The night levels, set on automaton worlds, are particularly noteworthy for their 1980s sci-fi atmosphere, featuring thick fog and striking beams of light that cut through the darkness and foliage, reminiscent of a scene from a classic science fiction movie.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing, as PS5 players might find the visual quality preference leading to a choppy framerate, making this mode less viable for console gamers. Switching to performance mode does offer smoother gameplay but at the cost of the game’s visual fidelity, which might disappoint those looking to fully immerse themselves in the game’s graphical prowess.

The game’s narrative and thematic elements are where Helldivers 2 really comes into its own. With a tongue-in-cheek humor that perfectly satirizes military bravado and the absurdity of war, players find themselves as part of the Helldivers – a group seen by the men in charge as expendable cannon fodder in a universe-spanning quest to deliver democracy, in a manner all too reminiscent of the cult classic Starship Troopers. The game cleverly uses propaganda to immerse players in its world, making them laugh while they navigate through the chaos of battle.

The enemies in Helldivers 2, namely the Termanids and the automatons, offer varied challenges that require players to adapt their strategies. The Termanids’ insect-like hordes contrast sharply with the precision and technological might of the automatons, ensuring that players remain engaged through diverse combat scenarios. Each race is distinctly diverse that you will need to learn how to fight both with very little combat experience with one race helping you take on the other.

Multiplayer aspects of the game shine, as up to four players can join forces to tackle objectives ranging from rescue missions to “liberating” regions from enemy control. The emphasis on cooperation and strategic gameplay is further enhanced by the stratagems system, which, despite the game’s limited character customization options, allows for significant tactical depth through the use of various support options like orbital lasers and heavy weapon drops.

However, the game is not without its flaws. The balance between the challenge presented by heavy enemies and the players’ available firepower is a point of contention. The reliance on stratagems with lengthy cooldowns to deal with these threats can lead to frustrating gameplay moments, an issue that the developers may need to address to ensure a more balanced and enjoyable experience. You will frequently find yourself on the higher difficulties faced with a dozen heavy armored enemies and lack the means to take them out for another 5 minutes until your stratagems cool down. In a game world where you are just a number and sent down to dish out firepower, there feels like a serious lack of firepower players can dish out at the moment.

Technical stability and server issues were a concern at launch but have since been commendably addressed by the development team. Their transparency and dedication have not only fixed initial problems but also helped the game surpass expectations, attracting a massive player base well beyond initial projections. This sets an incredibly positive tone for the future of this game when the dev team clearly have a huge level of passion but are not only listening to the community, but also speaking directly to them. A critical positive to avoid going down the road of Destiny 2.

Helldivers 2 is a game that manages to expand upon its predecessor in almost every way, from its visually captivating worlds and deeply humorous narrative to its engaging and strategic gameplay. Despite some issues with performance on consoles and gameplay balance, the game represents a significant step forward for the franchise, offering both a challenging and rewarding experience for new and returning players alike. Helldivers 2 is a game that is going to have a shelf life for many years to come.


Helldivers 2 evolves from its predecessor with a visually stunning shift to a third-person perspective, enriched by an 80s sci-fi ambiance and humor that cleverly satirizes military propaganda and the concept of war. While the game impresses with its diverse enemies and cooperative gameplay, it struggles with performance issues on consoles and a gameplay balance that heavily relies on cooldown-dependent stratagems. Despite these challenges, the game has seen significant post-launch improvements by its dedicated developers, leading to a massive surge in its player base. Helldivers 2 ultimately stands out as a significant advancement in the franchise, offering an engaging blend of strategic gameplay and thematic depth.
  • Visually stunning, especially on high-end PCs, with atmospheric levels that capture a 1980s sci-fi vibe.
  • Engaging humor and satire, cleverly incorporating themes of military bravado and propaganda.
  • Diverse enemy types that offer varied and engaging combat challenges.
  • Cooperative multiplayer gameplay with strategic depth
  • Significant post-launch improvements by the development team
  • Performance issues on PS5, with choppy framerate in visual quality mode and a notable reduction in graphical fidelity in performance mode.
  • Imbalanced gameplay, particularly the reliance on stratagems with long cooldowns to deal with heavy enemies
  • Limited character customization options, lacking in-depth talent trees, builds, and a range of weapons and armor.