Helldivers 2 Review – Is It Fun Alone? PS5, PC Review

Helldivers 2 Review – Is It Fun Alone? PS5, PC Review

Helldivers 2 is one of the first special games of the year.

When I think of my time with the game, I think of that meme with the guy wrapped to the ceiling with duct tape, just so that he can keep jamming with his friends. This is that again. It’s saying “okay, one more game!” and then playing for several more hours resulting in an unproductive workday the next morning. If you’re here to see if this can be played alone, I’ve got more on that later.

There hasn’t been a game in recent memory for me that takes co-op and restores it back to the times when you grouped up with your friends and ended up laughing at how unseriously the game takes you, your victories and failures. The game itself just leads to friends getting up to nonsense with (or against) each other, and the writing has some hilarious moments that had me giggling amidst the goops of alien corpses I had just DEMOCRACIED.

The aim of the game is to protect Super Earth. Super Earth Government piles on the propaganda to get you enlisted, runs you through a tutorial you probably won’t remember from laughing at the narrator, pops you a cloak and a ship and then drops you off on the frontlines of the Galactic War, with your newly named ship and Helldiver cloak (and not much else) to enact Democracy upon the Automations and Terminids. All this while listening to one of the best OSTs in a while.

For a game that costs less than the usual, the amount of content and hours you can pour in here are insane. Every planet has multiple missions, and no mission is ever the same. Not because the developers have gone the way of procedural generation, but because care has been given to environments and missions, and there are often optional objectives that take you way off the beaten path and provide a whole other level of unexpected gameplay and bug termination.

Helldivers 2 adds a level of complexity to gameplay by having all your missions be on a timer. You can’t just pop off to a planet and spend 20 min trying to down a boss bug you aren’t ready for. When that timer hits zero, you start to lose essential parts of your arsenal, called Stratagems. These could be resupply drops, heavy artillery and even, your lives. So when out dealing democracy to those pesky enemies, there is always a need to be thinking on your feet. It does add some real challenge on some missions. Normally as someone who completely dislikes anything timegated, this mechanic actually sits well with me.

Other cool mechanics include having to watch your resources, a reload discards all remaining bullets, it doesn’t just fill up the clip. I am completely in the habit of reloading after every encounter as done in most FPS games, so this really screwed me, multiple times. If you get injured in the arm or leg, that affects the way you can handle your gun and walk. A lot of tactical thinking went into this, and I am into it.

You progress after mission completion, and unlock guns, cosmetics, and so on. There is a free battle pass and a paid one. The free one almost gives enough currency to buy the paid one, and microtransactions are not insanely priced. The unlocks from missions and battle pass/es can really affect your gameplay, in ways like unlocking new gear, guns or Stratagems. The more you play, the better equipped you will be, the more Democracy you can deal out. It makes for a good gameplay loop.

Sometimes you just feel like taking on some bugs and/or robots alone, you know? Helldivers 2 totally accepts you as you are. You can attempt any mission solo, but all the mechanics stay the same. However, you do need to be online and have PS+ on PS5 playing alone or with friends.

I think the real experience and fun is in the co-op but solo isn’t worth writing off. Solo is still a great experience, but it’s definitely much better with friends. I even forced a buddy to buy it so we could try and relive some Destiny glory days. The randoms can be hit or miss, especially with the servers, but I’ve found the community to be cool.

Verdict: Overall, Helldivers 2 is a fantastic addition to PC and PlayStation, and with all the hope I have in the strength of the Democracy of Super Earth, I wish to see it on Xbox soon. The more Helldivers the better, right?