Helldivers is a top down multiplayer shooter for the PS3, PS4 and PS Vita. We strapped ourselves in and waded into the war against various types of alien scum in this Helldivers review.
Helldivers is first and foremost a top down shooter, similar to the many mobile or tablet games that sees you control the movement of your mercenary with the left thumbstick and aim with the right thumbstick. The games premise is pretty straight forward, you are part of an elite force called the HELLDIVERS that are mankind’s last hope against a never ending tide of alien enemies.
You blast down to the surface of a planet in a little pod and immediately begin slaying aliens and achieving objectives. You can play the game solo or multiplayer, the gameplay is exactly the same, but your success or failure will still have an effect on the entire game world. The game records all mission outcomes and applies it to a meta war that allows the aliens to make more ground when you lose and lose ground when you win. While a nice idea, it doesn’t really make much difference to you while you are playing.
The mission structures don’t vary that much, you need to reach a location and clear it of enemies, clear an enemy nest or simply switch on a piece of technology. Once complete you need to make your way to an extraction point and wait for your ride to safety.
While the missions are repetitive, the gameplay is extremely fun. The game uses a combination of fast paced weapon fire and special abilities (triggered by button combinations on the d-pad) that make your Helldiver very powerful. Calling down airstrikes, special weapons, ammo, defence turrents and even mechsuits or tanks is extremely satisfying. Choosing the right time to use your special power requires some strategy and in multiplayer, teamwork is key.
Teamwork… one of the big talking points with Helldivers is the inclusion of friendly fire. Spinning around spraying bullets everywhere will result in your teammates being massacred. In doing so your manage to piss off your team mates and leave yourself stranded without support. It can be difficult not to kill your team amtes and requires quite a bit of finesse. At the end of the mission your score round up shows how many of these unforgivable mistakes you have made. I personally love this element, adding a level of consequence to your actions requiring you to keep a cool head in battle. With hundreds of aliens attacking from every direction, only a well oiled team will make it to the extraction point alive.
This is where Helldivers excels – fast fun multiplayer with a focus on team work and simple mechanics. It’s easy to pickup and play and every mission you finish feels immensely rewarding thanks to just the right level of difficulty.
Racking up the kills allows you to unlock more weapons and upgrades and tackle bigger and harder aliens which keeps your moving through the ranks. If you are looking for a fun multiplayer game then Helldivers is definitely worth a try.
Helldivers was developed by Arrowhead Games. We reviewed the PS4 version and the game is also available on PS3 and PS Vita via cross-purchase (only pay once for all platforms).