HELLDIVERS™ 2: A Galactic Struggle That Missed the Drop Zone

When the galaxy calls, you answer. But maybe let it go to voicemail this time.

last updated Feb 08, 2024
For a game centered around intergalactic liberation, it's ironically ensnared in its own web of problems.

An Ambitious Dive into the Cosmos

HELLDIVERS™ 2 aspires to retain the spirit of its predecessor with its hectic third-person shooter gameplay, set against the backdrop of a galaxy teetering on the brink of turmoil. At its core, the game successfully concocts a recipe for chaos, combining an expansive arsenal with diverse enemies that should keep your trigger finger happily occupied. The inclusion of new lore and strategic elements promises depth but instead plunges into a shallow pool. While the game aims to soar across the stars, it often feels like it's trudging through mud due to clunky controls and a multiplayer experience that, at times, resembles a desolate black hole more than a bustling intergalactic battlefield.

Sonic Ambiance and Galactic Noises

If there's one area where HELLDIVERS™ 2 shines brighter than a supernova, it's in its audio presentation. The soundtrack is a pulsating beacon of excellence in the void, effectively amping up the adrenaline with its crisp, martial beats during the frenzied combat. The sound effects of weapons discharge and alien shrieks feel satisfyingly impactful, lending a tangible weight to the chaos unfolding on screen. However, one cannot help but feel that this auditory triumph struggles to mask the cacophony of gameplay and technical issues that plague the experience.

Visuals from a Bygone Era

Graphically, HELLDIVERS™ 2 attempts to tread the line between nostalgic throwback and modern visual spectacle, but ends up tripping over its own feet. While it employs a pleasant art style that captures the essence of its galactic setting, the game often resembles a relic from the past rather than a beacon of current-gen capabilities. Performance issues are a recurrent theme, with players reporting everything from stuttering animations to crashes that eject them from the experience faster than an emergency escape pod. Despite these faults, the game does make an effort to accommodate various display configurations, which is a small consolation for those looking to dive into its universe.

A Galactic Misfire

It's evident that HELLDIVERS™ 2 wanted to be more than just a clone of its predecessor, aiming to expand its universe both lore-wise and in terms of gameplay mechanics. Yet, the ambition of being a third-person shooter that balances chaotic fun with tactical depth seems to have overshot its capabilities. Early adopters of the game have faced an onslaught of bugs, server issues, and a controversial anti-cheat system that has done more harm than good. Though some find solace in the solo play, the heart of HELLDIVERS™ — team-based multiplayer combat — pulses weakly due to connectivity issues and a matchmaking system that could use some futuristic tech upgrades. Game Cover Art
STEAM RATING 74 .71% Developer Arrowhead Game Studios Publisher PlayStation PC LLC Release Date February 08, 2024

Verdict and Summary

HELLDIVERS™ 2 aspires to greatness but ends up lost in space, strangled by the weight of its own ambition. While the game's audiovisual presentation occasionally breaks through the atmosphere, a slew of gameplay, performance, and technical issues sends it plummeting back to earth. Fans of the original may find moments of joy in the familiarity of its chaotic combat and expanded lore, but newcomers and veterans alike should proceed with caution. For a game centered around intergalactic liberation, it's ironically ensnared in its own web of problems, making it hard to recommend at its current state. Perhaps with time, patches, and a wave of support, HELLDIVERS™ 2 can resurrect from its crash landing and soar once again. Until then, keep your expectations grounded.