Helldivers 2 wallpaper
March 13, 2024

Do you have what it takes to turn back the tide on the Terminid Scourge? Or face your robot fears against the Automatons? Then dive into our Helldivers 2 review!

If you had told me 9 years ago, a sequel to a small co-op indie game was going to blow up this big then obviously you hadn’t heard of the rumoured Metal Gear online game… Arrowhead Studios has attempted to make a sequel using the very definition of the term. A game better than its predecessor in every single way.

Helldivers 2 review opening cutscene

I would love to see more cut scenes like the introduction one.

With development on Helldivers 2 their sole focus for nearly a decade, it’s no surprise that this endeavour seems to have paid off. So does Helldivers 2 really provide a hot cup of liber-tea? Or is the sequel too big for its bug straps? Find out in our Helldivers 2 review!

Helldivers 2 Review – Story/Missions

The war rages on and in this follow-up to a reasonably successful game, the Terminids and Automatons have returned to try and take control of Super Earth. Set in the far future, the governments have reinstated their hell divers program to recruit people to help them spread “Managed Democracy” across the galaxy.

Helldivers 2 review managed democracy

Definitely not fascist propaganda here…

After a short tutorial to introduce your newly recruited character to the world of helldiving, you get to name your ship and are sent off to assist your fellow soldiers on the front lines. There are two different fronts for the war for each race to choose from. As this is an online game, every contribution from other players adds to the community war effort. This is played over several days/weeks and what worlds are saved in each sector determines the fate of the galaxy.

Helldivers 2 review galactic war map

There is also a weekly major order and a daily personal order to complete for additional currency.

Each planet that is under attack has several missions to choose from at many difficulty levels. The increase in difficulty means better rewards so you can get more upgrades for your character and ship. The first one or two difficulties can be done solo if you prefer but with each increase in level (up to 9 called Helldiver) you will need a team of at least semi-capable cannon fodder.

Helldivers 2 review mission map

Every successful mission from every player across the world contributes to the campaign of each planet.

Within each mission is a certain objective you must accomplish to be deemed successful and earn your extraction. These could range from destroying enemy bases, turning on radars or even launching an ICBM. Once completed you must head to the Extraction zone and call in a shuttle whilst you fend off hordes of enemies. All in a day’s work for a Helldiver!

Helldivers 2 review meridia map

Each location on a planet has several missions, and completing them all rewards you with more medals for unlocking war bond equipment!

Helldivers 2 Review – Gameplay

This sequel’s biggest change is, by far, the perspective. Gone is the top-down style of combat and is replaced with a more realistic and engrossing third-person view. Whilst looking more modern, this also introduces new hazards such as enemies sneaking up behind you!

Helldivers 2 review gameplay shuttle

Freedom doesn’t come free.

Running and gunning is your main gameplay element, but there are so many guns to choose from. Not to mention tons of explosives to pack that extra punch in your bug-squashing, bot-crunching escapades. You get a base primary gun, secondary gun and a grenade to start with plus you can bring up to four stratagems per mission.

Helldivers 2 review armoury

So many suits to unlock but no customization of colours.

Aside from unlocking new weapons and armour, stratagems are one of the key aspects you need to succeed in your missions, especially on higher difficulty tiers. You begin with a few necessary ones unlocked like a resupply drop for your ammo but as you level up and gain requisition slips (in-game currency) you can unlock more. These include 500kg bombs, drones with frickin lasers on their heads, supply packs and additional heavy weapons like rocket launchers or flamethrowers.

Helldivers 2 review ship management

I love the smell of napalm in the morning!

The latest update as of this writing, Mech suits has been released as another stratagem to deploy. There is a new battle pass with new suits and weapons coming soon for some more variety. Vehicles have also been announced to be on the way and who knows what else Arrowhead Studios has up its suit of armour. The original game had three enemy races so we might get the highly advanced Illuminate in a future update too.

Helldivers 2 review inside ship

Unfortunately, your ship name is from set parameters, I really wanted to call it Bug Killer 9000.

Helldivers 2 Review – Graphics

A galaxy-wide war would be nothing without a bunch of realistic-looking maps. You will travel to dozens of planets whilst enforcing democracy and almost no two will be the same. There are many different weather systems including snowy mountains, rainy forests, sandy deserts and other alien worlds full of purple fog.

Helldivers 2 review visuals

Shoot first and explode bugs later.

These all look fantastic along with water effects (although helldivers can’t swim) especially when a weather hazard appears. Bugs and robots aren’t all you have to be wary of as occasionally the map will spawn meteor showers, volcanoes with molten rocks pelting down upon you and even fire tornados. It would be too easy if they were all island paradises right?

Helldivers 2 review environment visuals

Stunning sights like this appear on every map!

Whilst there are no cutscenes aside from the first intro one, which was still brilliantly done, the character models and armour all look fantastic. The enemy variety and design are also quite well depicted with deadlier foes found on the harder missions. The bugs (the virtual kind) are still quite rampant but are continuously being worked on by the developer team who seem as dedicated to this game as everyone else is to spreading liberty!

Helldivers 2 review bug cutscene

The only good bug is a dead bug.

Helldivers 2 Review – Audio

The hell-diving audio that plays when you begin a mission will NEVER get old, it’s addictive and pumps you up ready for a good time blowing apart your adversaries. The background music is pretty good too but aside from that there isn’t much here to report on from the front lines. Most of the tunes are reminiscent of a military march or similar all composed by Wilbert Roget II who also worked on the recent Mortal Kombat 1.

One issue that could be fixed in a future update is some specific sounds for enemies. As it’s quite difficult to tell apart the enemy sounds from one another especially when they sneak up from behind you. This often ends with a severe case of death and can be annoying when it happens continuously. Also not mentioning the voice of Helldiver No.2 would be a crime as it is voiced by none other than Spider-man himself! Yes, Yuri Lowenthal is in Helldivers 2 and although he only has a handful of lines it’s still a cool little fact.

Helldivers 2 review explosion

Together for managed democracy!

Helldivers 2 Review – What Else?

What has been covered so far is basically everything in the game apart from side objectives. These are on every map and vary in quantity and type depending on difficulty. Some may be to clear a certain bug nest or destroy an outpost where as some will have you save trapped people in a colony. These don’t really add much overall but doing these every mission nets you a lot of extra XP.

Helldivers 2 review objective completed

Death from above!

The only other thing here to mention is the War Bonds, aka the “battle pass”. Normally in most other games, this costs real money but the good thing about Helldivers 2 is that you don’t have to buy one! Although there is another premium war bond you can get, however, it doesn’t give that much of an advantage to be worthwhile unless you want your Helldiver to have a different-looking suit.

Helldivers 2 review helldivers mobilise

Each page requires a certain amount of medals to be spent before being unlocked.

Helldivers 2 Review – Conclusion…For Now

In creating the universe of Helldivers, Arrowhead Studios has drawn inspiration from the sci-fi cult classics Starship Troopers and Alien which really shows. The gameplay elements and world-building are fantastic, with a solid and fair progression system alongside a few minor inclusions for those who want to invest a touch more money into this game. A lack of story mode and online-only component may deter some players but with the servers struggling at launch this doesn’t seem to be an issue.

become a helldiver


Whilst war never changes, it looks like Arrowheads’ commitment to further improving and adding to Helldivers 2 won’t end any time soon. With future content already planned, more and more players are joining the fight for liberty and democracy. Let’s hope this is the only war that never ends!

So, why should you play Helldivers 2?

  • Fan of shooters with upgrade paths
  • Playing with friends online
  • Want to be a starship trooper

But why shouldn’t you play Helldivers 2?

  • Want more story-based content
  • Don’t like repetitive missions
  • Not as fun without friends

A review code was kindly provided by Arrowhead Studios for the purpose of our Helldivers 2 review.  You can check out our latest reviews here and if you haven’t already, be sure to join the Qualbert Discord to find out about the latest game and review updates!

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