It’s been nearly a decade since Arrowhead Game Studios and Sony launched the first Helldivers, and though it was a pretty small production as a whole, the game garnered enough of a dedicated fanbase to warrant a sequel. That sequel is, at long last, almost upon us, and based on what we’ve seen of it so far, it’s looking like it’s trying to strike a balance between capturing its predecessor’s essence and reinventing its formula in very interesting ways. With Helldivers 2 releasing not long from now, here, we’re going to talk about how it’s doing that, and a few other details that you should know about it.
Helldivers 2 will once again put players in the shoes of the titular Helldivers, elite soldiers who’re sworn to protecting freedom and peace in a hostile galaxy where deadly alien threats are wreaking havoc. Like its predecessor, it will continue to depict its world as a dystopian one, even from the humans’ perspective, with Super-Earth’s population being subjugated under what’s known as “super democracy”, and the population has become indoctrinated by the government to save the planet’s way of life.
There are several elements that Helldivers 2 is carrying forward from the first game (which we’ll get to in a bit), but at the same time, it’s also changing things up in some pretty radical ways. Probably the most significant among them is the fact that where the original Helldivers was a top down shooter, Helldivers 2 is going to be a fully fledged third person experience. How that will affect the moment to moment gameplay and how the action generally feels remains to be seen, but again, a number of familiar elements and mechanics will be returning. Speaking of which…
CO-OP AND TACTICS
Many have called the first Helldivers one of the most enjoyable co-op games of its time, owing to how heavily it emphasized cooperation and actual strategy. Helldivers 2 is going to be cut from the same cloth, based on what Arrowhead Game Studios has said and shown so far. Though, like the first game, it can be played solo, playing in four player squads is going to be the ideal way forward, with the game encouraging and rewarding proper teamwork and strategizing.
Another key mechanic from the first Helldivers that’s returning in the sequel is stratagems. For those unfamiliar, these are powerful tools that you can use through specific button combos to call in special support in the form of air drops for better weaponry, stronger gear, additional supplies, and even bomb strikes on enemies. Even more so than its predecessor, it’s looking like Helldivers 2 will place quite a bit of emphasis on tailoring your play style to your requirements using different stratagems and properly coordinating them with what your squadmates have equipped.
MORE STRATAGEM DETAILS
Based on what Arrowhead Game Studios has revealed so far, we can expect plenty of variety in the stratagems on offer in Helldivers 2, each benefiting and encouraging different styles of gameplay. If, for instance, you’re a more defensive minded player or want to play the role of a tank in your squad, you can call in better defensive gear, or even something like a shield generator, while a more offensive, assault-focused player could call in deadlier heavy weaponry. Different stratagems will also provide unique benefits based on what enemies you’re fighting- like armour-piercing weapons being particularly effective against mechanical or armoured foes.
LOADOUTS AND CUSTOMIZATION
Layered progression mechanics and deeper customization systems are being touted for Helldivers 2, and that’ll seemingly manifest in several ways. We’ve already spoken about the stratagems and the variety they’re touting in the unique abilities and advantages they will bring, while beyond that, players will have plenty of options in the different weapons, weapon types, and gear they have equipped. From being relatively more stealthy to going in all guns blazing to taking a more ranged approach and calling in airstrikes from a distance, Helldivers 2 will apparently let players choose between a variety of different playstyles, and will let you craft your build to suit your particular tastes.
A key feature of the original Helldivers that’s returning in its sequel is friendly fire always being on. Chaos on the battlefield and a unique risk-reward layer were among Helldivers’ biggest defining traits, and Helldivers 2 looks like it’s going to try and recapture that, with players being asked to find ways to keep the chaos as much as possible and ensure that they don’t end up sabotaging themselves and their squadmates, especially when things get particularly hectic.
Helldivers saw players going up against three hostile enemy factions, and you’ll be locking horns with multiple factions in Helldivers 2 as well. The bug-like aliens are, of course, returning, and we’ve seen plenty of them in gameplay footage and trailers so far, while the cyborgs – now being referred to as Automatons – have been shown as well. Whether the third faction from the first game – the Illuminates – will return, or if we can maybe expect a new faction as well, remains to be seen.
Like the original game, Sony is going to release Helldivers 2 on both PlayStation and PC, and unlike the original, it’s going to launch simultaneously on both. So what kind of a rig will you need if you want to play Helldivers 2 on PC? The requirements aren’t particularly demanding. On minimum settings, you’ll need either an i7-4790K or a Ryzen 5 1500X, along with either a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or a Radeon RX 470, and 8 GB of RAM. Meanwhile, on recommended settings, you’ll need either an i7-9700K or a Ryzen 7 3700X, along with either a GeForce RTX 2060 or a Radeon RX 6600XT, and 16 GB of RAM. On either setting, you’ll also need 100 GB of free storage space, while an SSD is recommended on recommended settings.
Given the fact that Sony is doing a simultaneous launch on PC and PS5 for what is very much a multiplayer focused game, it would be more than a little baffling if cross-play wasn’t supported. Thankfully, that isn’t the case, and Sony has confirmed that Helldivers 2 will allow PC and PS5 players to play with each other without any restrictions.
Helldivers 2 is clearly not one of Sony’s bigger flagship releases, nor is the company presenting it that way- which, of course, is being reflected in its price as well, with the standard edition retailing for $39.99 on both platforms. As you would expect though, players can also purchase a $59.99 deluxe edition – called the Super Citizen Edition – which will include a number of additional in-game bonuses and items.