A quick review for a game that will pull you over and over for quick sessions. Since my current games in progress are taking longer than expected to complete, I’ll have to settle for something shorter. On that note, I’ve spent less time on this game but despite that it’s still worth checking out. We’re talking about Helldivers.
We’re talking about Helldivers for PS4/PS3/PSVita released on March 3rd, 2015. To quickly sum up what this game is, it’s a co-op sci-fi 3rd person overhead shooter. Allowing any mix of same console and online co-op up to 4 players, this game throws in ranges of difficulty for players of all skill levels. What sets it apart are two unique factors: calling in quick support from space on-site through a fun gameplay mechanic, and the concept of full friendly fire which requires some finesse to handle.
So I’m gonna try to keep this short and sweet.
Based solely on playing on the PS4, the controls are set up perfectly. I wouldn’t want to change them but the only downside is just that, you can’t change them. I can see this annoying other people out there. I guess if I had to really find another issue, it’s the lack of option to use a keyboard for communication. That’s only if using a microphone and/or using the 4 shortcut emotes isn’t enough for you. I give controls a 9.5 out of 10.
Once again based on the PS4, the graphics is exactly what I would expect from a game made in this style. I guess it could be a tad more polished, but you could say that about 99 out of 100 games out there. To what extent is a bit to specific, I wouldn’t ask of more from this game, especially at it’s affordable price. Graphics gets a 9 out of 10.
Beautiful and efficient. You might wonder what I mean by the latter, and it’s simple. The use of the speaker on the PS4 controller. It’s used for very minor things that you will probably subconsciously ignore fairly quickly due to little significance, but more importantly it plays a very key role on a consistent need. The sound of your gun as it starts to run dry on it’s current clip. Even though your current clip amount is shown on the screen, when the game starts to get rough and there’s enemies coming from all angles, bullets and explosions to dodge, and allies to avoid killing, you’ll be looking nearly everywhere except your clip graphic count. The PS4 controller’s speaker makes such an attentive sound of a clip starting to go dry, you’ll know to reload before the biggest thing keeping you alive runs empty. In addition, reloading at any point before your gun is 100% empty is twice as fast as the alternative. That applies to 99 of 100 bullets left, or 1 of 100 bullets left. Of course you should aim for the latter. My only issue with sound is that there isn’t a large enough variety of stage themes, although the combat themes vary based on chosen difficulty so that’s nice. Sound gets a fantastic 9.5 out of 10.
The story could be seen as 1 or 2 things. First, the back-story which is put in for context and comedic value. Second, any story you craft yourself with your imagination and experiences to which you could tell other friends later. Take for example the picture on the right here. Some might not count this, so that’s where story aspects ends. This game is about the action, gameplay, co-op and content. Story gets a 4 out of 10.
A fair amount of things make this game unique from other 3rd person co-op overhead shooters. Content is what this game focuses in. Starting with the fairly less unique aspects:
- leveling up your character and getting passives, weapons and costumes as a result.
- finding skill points on the battlefield
- spending skill points into passive abilities on your weapons
- joining games in progress or requesting a stronger frequency of players to assist your mission
- ease of jump in and jump out in regards to offline and/or online play with friends or strangers
- equippable abilities called “stratagems” executed with unique D-Pad commands to customize your play style which summons quick support from space to the battlefield
- upgrading those abilities with skill points
- innovative objectives, some of which required similar D-Pad commands to complete as your allies defend you (or you defend yourself with a stealthy approach or turrets)
- full friendly fire intended for immersion, difficulty and finesse which can lead to humour or frustration with your friends (depending on how they take it)
Stratagems come in categories of supply, defensive, offensive and special. Supply will give you something like ammo/secondary weapons/type of backpacks/vehicles. Defensive tends to be things like turrets, scanners, mines. Offensive involves quick and powerful attacks and immediate fields of inhibition.
After playing for about 15 hours, you’ll likely have experienced all the types of objectives. Another 5-10 hours later, you’ll likely have most of the strategems and weapons you lean towards acquired and upgraded. Past that it’s fairly repetitive, and you may find yourself only playing when you have friends over who take an interest, or online friends/roommates who are behind and still feel freshness in the game. So despite all the positive and unique aspects, due to the repeativeness after 20+ hours of gameplay, I give content a 7 out of 10.
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