Helldivers 2 review: Once you `dive` in, there is no coming out!

I was in a heavy firefight with a hoard of alien creatures. My randomly matched online friend and I were the only ones defending ourselves. The odds were not in our favour. Suddenly, a third man joins the team, dropping a turret to aid in our battle and also, giving my comrade and me some time to breathe and reload our guns. Just as I was about to share in the victorious battle with my newfound teammates, a friendly fire bullet from the turret gets me square in the chest and I am taken out. While the conclusion to this match may sound frustrating, it’s one of the most hilarious things that can happen during a session of Heldivers 2; provided you can log in.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Helldivers 2 has had one of the most successful live service game launches in a while and rightfully so. It has one of the most engaging core gameplay loops that is not only fun but keeps you coming back for more, provided you can log in. Ok, fine, I’ll get the worst out of the way – yes there are log in issues and random crashes and disconnects, but this isn’t a Helldivers problem it is a live service games problem. So while you wait to log in to the game, check out our detailed review below!


There isn’t a story to write home about in Helldivers 2 apart from the fact that you are fighting Terminator-style robots with chainsaws for arms and aliens straight out of Starship Troopers to save “Super Earth” and spread democracy.

After going through a brief tutorial and taking control of your ship, you dive straight into the action. You have a map where you can choose your mission and deploy. One great thing about Helldivers 2 (and this is something I appreciated about Outriders as well), is that you can jump in and play a few missions alone and they are fun. Some of them are too challenging as the difficulty doesn’t scale to the number of players, but they are fun nonetheless. The game truly gets into action when you have a bunch of friends or even random strangers online to play with.

There’s usually more than 1 objective

The beauty of the game is that there is usually more than one objective. Sure you can go for the main objective which is to kill all the bugs on screen, destroy their burrows, kill the big bad boss, retrieve some intel, raise a flag, etc. but the core loop is the same – kill the aliens or the robots and, as I said above, that core gameplay loop is key to why the game is so much fun. 

You have a bunch of side objectives as well that you can complete like finding a bunch of random sites on the map or loading missiles into cannons and so on and you get extra points for this which can be used to unlock better gear and equipment.

Friendly Fire and loss of ammo

Yes, there is friendly fire and on more than one occasion I found myself killing a team member or getting killed by one by accident. Your team loses a life, but you get back into the action almost immediately. Another thing I learned the hard way is that if you reload your gun and discard a half-full clip, YOU LOSE THAT AMMO!! So if you have a precious few rounds left in your auto-firing shotgun, I suggest you use them! It’s these small nuances that keep you at the edge of your seat and an eye on your ammo during the heat of the action. Not to mention that if you empty a clip, your character will not reload automatically. You have to reload manually.

The planets you visit also have a fairly diverse set of environments be it a snow-laden surface making it hard to walk to short grassy landscapes and in some cases, tall grass. It’s a decent mix, but nothing too diverse.

Calling for a specific gun, turret or simply more ammo feels like a minigame in itself adding to the tension. You will need to press a combination of d-pad buttons something like – up, up, right, left, down, up, down to get a new gun or ammo or call for an airstrike and in the heat of batter, this didn’t get annoying, more like I had to strategically plan to get away from my foes before calling for support. Needless to say, I died many times while looking at the complex combo on screen. Ok, fine, it got frustrating sometimes!

The weapons in the game are diverse too. From the standard shotgun and assault rifle to an automatic shotgun, rail gun and a sort of armour-piercing sniper rifle that worked wonders on aliens and robots alike. You may find some of these weapons lying around on the map, but remember, you don’t unlock them simply because you’ve used them. You need to earn points to unlock them.

Overall, the core gameplay of Helldivers 2 makes me want to jump in just for another round either to rejoice in a victory or laugh at my untimely death because ammo resupply landed directly on me!

Graphics and sound

Helldivers 2 is no God of War or Horizon Forbidden West but it is a good-looking game nonetheless. The explosions have a nice range of particle effects and the guns have a satisfyingly detailed look especially when you are unlocking them. Your character also limps fairly realistically when shot in the leg. The aliens look like they were lifted straight from Starship Troopers and at times it is tough to tell one from the other, but there is enough variety here for a couple of weeks of engagement. Moving to the robots they look inspired by Terminator and it’s obvious to see the references to the Star Wars All Terrain Scout Transport, but I’m not complaining. When these robots get aggressive you are more concerned with neutralising them!

Moving over to the sound, the orchestral score that plays when you are deployed on a mission is akin to what you hear in Pacific Rim when a Jaeger is deployed to take on a Kaiju! It gives you goosebumps.

The weapons on the other hand sound pretty standard with the band and thugs audible be it an assault rifle or a shotgun. What’s great is some of the voice acting from the Helldivers who have a different voice each time you play. It’s a fun little way of saying each Helldiver you control is someone new. But I only noticed this when someone pointed it out to me. So, if you missed it, you are not alone.


If you love single-player games, then there is little mileage for you in a game like Helldivers 2. For those invested in the game, I’m waiting for the developers to give a post-launch roadmap. But if you are someone who loves multiplayer games (live service to be precise), then Helldivers 2 is a treat. It’s a lot of fun with random people, and friends alike, even if it’s the 2 of you against an army of aliens and robots. Server login issues aside, Helldivers proves that a strong core gameplay loop is more important for a live service game than anything else.

Editor’s rating: 8 / 10


  • Fun gameplay
  • Immersive sound design
  • Some missions can be enjoyed alone as well


  • Matchmaking and server issues

More Info:

Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios

Publisher: PlayStation Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment

Platforms: PS5, PC

Reviewed on: PS5

We played a review copy of Helldivers 2 provided by Sony