The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


Helldivers 2 Review


On Feb. 8, 2024, “Helldivers II” launched on PC and PS5. Developed by Arrowhead Game Studios and published by Sony, Helldivers 2 is a sequel to Helldivers, a top-down shooter released in 2015. Arrowhead only predicted a moderately-sized player base for the game but was quickly shocked by massive player counts.

Helldivers 2 skyrocketed in popularity almost immediately. The servers quickly became full and queue times were in the hours for some players trying to enter the game. The game quickly jumped to the number 1 spot on PlayStation, even beating the popular battle royale Fortnite for a time. Active player counts on Steam, the hosting platform for the game on PC, averaged around 300-400 thousand players at a time at some points, far above what Arrowhead had expected, and far above what their servers could handle.

Even though the wait was long to play the game, the game itself is worth it with satirical humor, an in-depth storyline, and an extensive galaxy map that is constantly being updated, Helldiver 2 is a great game at an amazing price.

Rather than follow in the top-down footsteps of its predecessor, the game is a third-person tactical shooter. Players play as a Helldiver, an elite soldier fighting for Super-Earth, spreading democracy throughout the galaxy. They travel around using their super destroyer ship, which they begin missions and acquire gear from. There are two enemy factions available to fight: Automaton, tanky and aggressive robots, and Terminids, bugs who use their high numbers to quickly swarm their enemies. There are a variety of weapons available to use, such as machine guns, shotguns, and explosive rifles. Players are also likely to be Stratagems a lot. Stratagems are activated through arrow key combinations and can range from calling in orbital bombardments from the destroyer, acquiring advanced weaponry and deploying defensive turrets. 

One of Helldiver 2’s highlights is its story, especially the satire. The game takes inspiration from many sci-fi properties, especially Verhoeven’s “Starship Troopers” film and the “Halo” game series. The game has players fighting for a warmongering government intent on spreading “Managed Democracy” across the galaxy. The ship even has a “Democracy Officer” aboard. The fact that the game takes itself somewhat seriously makes it even better. 

By collecting samples and requisitioning currency during missions, players can upgrade their ship and unlock new stratagems and weaponry. (Image from

Another strength of Helldivers 2 is its humor. The humor is present throughout the game not just through its satirical story, but in gameplay as well. Many players have posted clips online of them accidentally killing friendly players with Stratagems or even getting killed by a friendly turret’s shots ricocheting off a surface. Players can also name their ship, with many funny names available, such as the “Elected Representative of Family Values,” or the “Judge of Judgement.” The dialogue is great too, with some hilarious quips for certain actions.

One of the coolest features in the game is the constantly updating galaxy map. Sometimes events will happen, where an enemy faction will launch attacks on certain systems or planets. The map is also constantly updating as other players complete missions. If an offensive is successful the planet enters a defensive phase, where players must complete defense missions to repel the invasion, if the defense phase fails it goes back to offense. 

Helldivers 2 is also a very refreshing title, especially in this era of gaming where so many games are released half-finished for $70 with expensive microtransactions after the fact. The game is only $40, with a deluxe edition available that contains some extra cosmetics. Helldivers 2 doesn’t fall into the trap that many games nowadays do. While the game contains a battle pass and the currency is available for real money, it can also be earned easily through gameplay. The paid battle pass is mostly cosmetic, offering almost zero benefit in gameplay. Helldivers 2 never feels like it’s trying to nickel and dime you at every turn.

Overall, Helldivers 2 is an incredibly refreshing game that doesn’t fall into many of the predatory traps of modern games. The gameplay is fun, if a bit standard for a tactical third-person shooter. The humor and satire are great and the writing takes itself just seriously enough while still being funny. With a 15-minute activity kick added in recent patches, and the server cap getting upped to 800,000 players, the server problems have pretty much entirely been fixed. The constantly updating galaxy map is a great feature, and the variety of options in gameplay leaves lots of room to improve the game but leaves little that needs immediate improvement. Helldivers 2 is a 9.5/10, and I recommend it to nearly everyone.

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About the Contributor
Jacob Goldman
I'm Jacob. I'm a freshman student and new to the newspaper. When not at school, I enjoy playing video games, working with technology, playing with my dog, and spending time with family. I joined the newspaper to write about the school and what's happening, as well as being able to share my creativity and opinions.

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