Helldivers a much welcome addition for Sony
Helldivers is one of those rare titles that doesn't try and reinvent the wheel, instead it takes some of the most-loved tropes from the top-down shooter formula and damn-near perfects it. While it may go over some of the ground well trodden by the twin-stick shooter genre, it gives all of what we love about it - and more.
Right from the opening cinematic we can see where Helldivers draws a considerate amount of its influence - Starship Troopers. The tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top way in which it sets up the ongoing war between the aliens and our homeworld, Super Earth, is a clear nod to director Paul Verhoeven's film, and it lends the action a delicious sense of both humor and danger.
Helldivers is tug of war on a cosmic scale. You and your fellow helldivers fight together against the three computer-controlled species, who reciprocate by pushing toward Super Earth. It's a persistent online universe, in which battles are won and lost even if you don't partake in them.
The war theater, viewed from a console on the deck of your ship, is split into three large sections that are then broken into smaller sectors, any of which are claimable after you gather enough community points.
These points are earned by completing missions on the many procedurally created planets nestled within. Once all
the smaller sectors are claimed, you can begin the real battle, on the alien homeworld.
The real magic though, happens when you start unlocking more of Helldivers' large arsenal of perks, weapons, upgrades, and equipment calldowns called stratagems. After over 25 hours, I still haven't gotten everything, and from disposable anti-tank weapons, to gun-covered troop-carriers, every piece of gear feels meaningful, since each ends up being particularly useful for certain objectives or against particular foes.
It might not be the best looking game on PS4, but it is certainly one of the more enjoyable titles - and it's not as if some of the video game gems from the late 90's relied on aesthetic appeal anyway.
Helldivers is absolutely exhilerating, and a much-welcome addition to Sony's arsenal.
PS4 / PS3 / PsVita