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Welcome to the Helldivers, soldier!




HELLDIVERS is an isometric, cooperative arcade shooter on Steam and PS3/4.  In the game, you play as a Helldiver in the Super Earth military.  Super Earth is the planet from which humanity is ruled in 2084, and is xenophobic in the extreme and possesses 1984 levels of security paranoia, if 1984 was successful, went to space, and everyone was totally happy with it.  Despite this, Super Earth soldiers and citizens ironically believe, and trumpet, that they are free and live in a Managed Democracy, with liberty for one and all.


Helldivers are specialist soldiers who airdrop in individual Hellpods, a drop pod launched from orbit that can land essentially anywhere.  Helldivers have access to a wide array of equipment, from walker mechs, antitank missiles, airstrikes and missile barrages, and defensive turrets and mines, all dropped from orbit on demand.


The game is played with up to 4 players simultaneously; it is possible to play alone or in smaller groups, but the higher the difficulty level, the less and less possible this is.




The War


Helldivers is played across three war fronts: the Cyborgs, the Bugs, and the Illuminate.


The Cyborgs are in essence humans who have left Super Earth and augmented themselves with a diverse array of cybernetic augmentation.  They are hostile, typically well-armed and numerous, but technologically inferior.


The Bugs are semi-sentient, enormous insectoid creatures who live to spread across the galaxy.  Their armor plating is typically thick and they are very numerous, but they lack any sort of ranged firepower.


The Illuminate are an advanced race of psychic beings who are very powerful, but less numerous than their counterparts.  Their troops are typically extremely powerful at range, but are very slow to fire.  They rely on more supportive abilities and possess heavy armor for many units, as well as shield generators.




Helldivers may choose what war front, what planet on that front, and what location on that planet, to attack at any time from the galaxy map.  Planets are procedurally generated, so experiences are rarely identical.  Once a target is locked in the Helldiver or Helldivers may enter the Hellpods, and the game's host will select a dropzone, and then players will select their equipment for the mission.


The number of objectives per mission, and the number and difficulty of enemies, varies by difficulty level, which ranges from 1(Dive in the Park) to 12(Helldive).  Once all objectives are either completed or failed, the Helldivers may proceed to extraction, where a shuttle can be called that requires a minute and a half to come in and pick Helldivers up.  The shuttle is capable of crushing both enemies and Helldivers underneath it.


Completing missions earns Influence over the system the player is in; Influence accumulates slowly to earn Super Earth dominion over the system.  Once the system is conquered, the next one is unlocked.  If the Homeworld is reached, the players have a two-day period to conquer it; if it is conquered, that species is removed from the war, and if it is failed, the species will make a comeback, often with a vengeance.






On the mission map, Helldivers have access to the equipment they select right before dropping in; this ranges from machineguns to shotguns and plasma rifles to sniper rifles, and the Stratagems, or support gear, that they may choose includes, but is not limited to, APCs, mech walkers, antitank missile launchers, ammo drops, airstrikes, turret drops, and mine airdrops.  The wide variety of equipment allows for a wide array of build choices.


Weapons and smaller equipment are dropped in Hellpods, while vehicles are dropped by themselves.  These drops are fully capable of crushing both enemies and Helldivers by accident.  Reinforcements for fallen Helldivers also arrive via new Hellpods; a single reinforcement beacon will reinforce all currently dead squadmates, dropping their Hellpods one after the other as close to the beacon as possible.




Vehicle combat is robust.  Mechs behave essentially like a larger player; you can even throw call-in beacons for Stratagems and reinforcement from them.  Player vehicles such as APCs behave as one would expect and are not overtly difficult to control, and are typically well-armed as befits their size.  Enemy vehicles are typically heavily armored and require dedicated antitank weaponry to pierce the armor.  Furthermore, if the shot is at a glancing angle, it may simply damage the vehicle rather than destroy it.


There are a wide array of mission objectives, ranging from defusing minefields to performing geological surveys to rescuing survivors. These must be completed while avoiding or cutting through enemies; enemies are infinite and will pursue the Helldivers as long as they are spotted.  Patrols through the map, generally performed by weaker enemies, will search for the squad, and if the squad is spotted and is unable to kill the patrol quickly enough, they will alert their respective faction, who will typically unleash a barrage of troops on the Helldiver squad.  Once this barrage is exhausted, if the Helldivers can and have avoided further alerts then they will be left unmolested until spotted again.




Once players call the extraction shuttle, they must either kill incoming patrols or survive until it arrives.  Once it does arrive and fully lands, opening its bay doors, surviving players must run for the shuttle, and once all players are either dead or aboard it takes off.  It will also take off if all players are not aboard in 20 seconds.  Extracting all players in the squad gives a bonus to Influence gained as well as some XP.




Players gain levels as they earn experience through completing objectives in missions and earning bonuses such as full extraction bonus.  Leveling unlocks more weapons, perks, and stratagems and grants an additional research point.


Research points are used to upgrade weapons and stratagems; you may choose which to spend them on at any time but the action is not reversible.  In addition to gaining one at level-up, you gain research points by collecting 10 total research samples, found scattered around game missions.


The Community


As a whole, the Helldivers community is one of the friendlier ones I've seen.  Friendly fire incidents can and do occur frequently in the game, in the confusion of battle or with Hellpod accidents; despite this there is rarely any animosity.  Most players are also punctual about reviving fallen players and are friendly and highly cooperative when working together, even with complete strangers.


The Pros and the Cons




-Amusing backstory and dialogue(HOW ABOUT A NICE CUP OF LIBER-TEA?!)


-Diverse array of loadouts and equipment available


-Generally challenging, without being blatantly hardcore


-Good community, easy to find good teammates


-Solid mechanics allow for realistic yet simple controls and play


-Excellent learning curve, provided the player follows the difficulty levels


-High replayability




-$20-$25 dollars in DLC that ranges from borderline useless to absolutely necessary


-Player cannot move off the shared camera; can cause awkwardness when players are indecisive about direction


-Community will often fail to respond fast enough to homeworld offenses or even sector defenses


-Some objectives are borderline laughable while under attack(You want me to perform a geological survey while I'm under fire from a tank?)



Let's call it 8.5/10.  I personally could see myself playing another hundred to two hundred hours of this.

Tucker933 and swamp like this

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Have this game, played the shit out of it. The harder difficulty is a lot easier with people that know what they are doing. Staying closer together in the center to be able to see patrols on screen and to kill them before they alert more units to come. While you are taking on the other units, takings out the patrols that still spawn to alert more reinforcements while you are taking on already summoned reinforcements. What probably makes the "justice" the best gun in the game (non DLC wise) is that it shoots through units and is automatic. So while you are dealing with reinforcements you can shoot through them to kill the scouts behind them to stop them from calling more reinforcements.


The war does seem kind of pointless to me at least, when attacking a homeworld of one of the alien species you have 48 hours to do so. It seems like if the game just had more players in it it'd be a lot easier to beat the homeworld. Assuming the amount of influence needed is static and not determined by the number of players currently playing. Won't ever really know but it does seem to be static, i haven't seen the influence get to even more than half of what was needed to win before the timer runs out. Some different approach to this would have been nicer than a timer. That's just me though.


As said DLC for this game kind of sucks, i didn't get the DLC but i see people use it a lot. Probably the 2 biggest ones are the "all terrain perk" which allows you to run on snow/swamp and the UAV which shows where samples are on the map, samples which let you get research points to upgrade your gear.

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It's not that there's not enough people.  It's that not enough people actually do homeworld missions, which is one of my largest grievances probably.  Most people go "ahhh they're fine, they're at the homeworld!"  Then we lose the homeworld offensive and the enemy takes back 6/10 territories.

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Still i think most people are doing the homeworld when there is one, just for the x2 bonus experience. Expecting everyone to fight one species for 2 days is a bit unreasonable, especially people trying to get unlocks. I haven't seen what happens when you win a war, but if you do complete a homeworld you lose access to playing against them the remainder of the war. That's another thing, why try to beat the homeworld when if you just lose you'll always have access to the three species to play against. Doesn't seem like there's any award other than the achievement and a cape for winning the war.

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Except that the entire ultimate purpose of the game is to win the war, of course.  If you win the war there'll be more to fight and get unlocks.

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Yah, what i'm saying though is you don't get anything from winning the war. Yes that's the goal of the game but you really don't need to, you get everything you can from the game with or without winning the war, so long as you don't complete a species homeworld. Wish there was just more reason to finish the war.

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