Helldivers (PlayStation 4)

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Helldivers is one my favourite cooperative multiplayer games of all time. It is an intense dual-joystick shooter where you and your team must complete a variety of randomly generated missions while gunning down hordes of aliens, 'Starship Troopers'-style.
Everything in the game is designed to be fair but incredibly punishing. You can be killed by friendly fire, supply drops, or even get crushed underneath the spaceship that arrives to evacuate you. However, when you learn the rules of the game, you will start to carefully dance around the constant threat of death. This is what makes this such a different experience than most dual-joystick shooters: the most important skills you need in Helldivers are not moving and shooting, but teamwork, balance, and multitasking. If you have played it, you'll know that having to input a launch code with your D-pad while hundreds of bugs are trying to eat you is incredibly tense, and avoiding failure requires solid team tactics.
Helldivers mimics the experience of being a space marine in the 1997 movie 'Starship Troopers'. The game even replicates the satire of a future fascist US government from Verhoeven's movie. I won't hesitate to say that this is the best 'Starship Troopers' game ever made, even though it doesn't hold the official license for the title.
Before creating Helldivers, Swedish developer Arrowhead Game Studios created innovative spell-casting RPG Magicka in 2011, as well as the 2014 Gauntlet remake, a great coop game in its own right.

Image source: gamespot.com


  • the cyborgs are a break-out group of liberalists that have broken free of the propaganda spell that the rest of humanity has fallen for. They have in turn created sort of a socio-anarchistic feudal society where their conviction to differentiate themselves from humankind (by the use of cybernetic augmentation) and the trust of ones kin results in commanding positions. This is of course frowned upon by Super Earth and the entire Cyborg Nation has been labeled as rebels and terrorists.

    -- Johan Pilestedt, Helldivers director Gamingbolt interview 2014-02-13

Log entries

  • I bought this today, and played a few missions alone, even though the game seems to be geared towards coop. It's fun to shoot bugs, especially when the missions are hard, and you have to play defensively and fully exploit your 'Stratagems'. In my first mission, I was crushed by the lander after almost completing the mission. I wisened up, and now I'm level 4.
  • Leveled up to level 7. I got a jump pack and a mech suit, which were both a lot of fun.
  • I am now a level 10 Helldiver. Seems like the upgrades I got while playing on the work PS4 were not present on my home machine, but my level was. Maybe the upgrades are stored locally.
  • 2015-03-06
  • Mikkel G, Erik, Kjems, Martin F, and myself played 4-player coop (with a bit of controller swapping) at the office. I started out doing poorly, killing my team mates, and generally getting in the way, but as the evening went on, I got the hang of it, and we overcame overwhelming odds in the form of big monstrous insectoids and cyborg tanks.
  • 2015-03-08
  • I joined Mikkel G for some Helldivin' and we were soon joined by Erik. Later on, Martin LK also joined our team. Great fights with a lot of close calls.
  • 2015-03-12
  • I played with Erik, Mikkel, and his friend Henrik. Poor Mikkel had his progress erased by a horrible controller battery bug. Now I don't feel like playing this for a while...
  • 2015-04-11
  • Played a few missions with Nabaz. Although his turrets threatened to murder us at all times, we still managed to have some success in repelling the infidel hordes of space bugs and weirdly swedish sounding cyborg mutants.
  • 2015-04-27
  • Nabaz and I once more dove into Hell to fight insects, cyborgs, and Protoss. We had many great close calls, especially when we played on Challenging difficulty and above...
  • 2016-02-27
  • Nabaz, Bjørn and I played a few hours of Helldivers, and managed to complete a few planets, ending up on Challenging difficulty. We ended up a well-oiled machine, even though there some amount of debate regarding Nabaz' possible overuse of Minigun Turrets.
  • 2016-02-28
  • I completed a Challenging planet solo and unlocked the APC.
  • 2016-07-24
  • Anders visited, and we played through an Easy Bug planet, making use of my awesome APC.
  • 2016-07-27
  • Completed the game (Galactic War 13). It's weird how you win this game without playing it. But I did get the end sequence and credits, so I guess I completed it. :)
  • 1.5 billion bugs killed. That's pretty crazy.
  • 2016-09-16
  • My colleagues and I played an epic session of Helldivers, the goal of which was to unlock a boss battle and defeat the boss. We played a couple of bug missions to gain the required influence to unlock the boss battle planet, and then we got a 3 hour deadline to defeat the boss itself. Some of my colleagues, more optimistically minded than me, didn't expect the battle to take that long. But they were proven wrong, as the battle against the horrible bug boss commenced, forcing us to use all our potential, optimize our equipment, and develop new team tactics. In the end, it wasn't enough. At our best, we managed to get the big critter down to around 30%, but alas, as we got more tired, our concentration failed, and ultimately the deadline hit, and we had to give up. Helldivers still ranks among the very top of cooperative games in book.
  • 2016-09-17
  • Inspired by the battle of yesterday night, I started playing a bit more solo Helldivers. I got a few unlocks on Very Challenging difficulty, but it's very tricky, even when bringing a couple of EXO-44 'Stompers' to the battle. I decided to support Arrowhead by buying a DLC equipment pack with a lot of new vehicles and weapons. It contained a few interesting alternatives to the Stomper that could have made a difference in the boss fight yesterday. Maybe we should give it another shot at some point.
  • I played for a couple of hours with Mikkel G, some very exciting missions on Hard difficulty against Illuminate and Cyborg enemies. We got stuck on a Cyborg Elimination mission, as we weren't really prepared for masses of Cyborg 'Infantry Fighting Vehicles'.
  • 2016-09-21
  • Martin F, Erik, and I played some more Helldivers at the office and retrieved some important stuff for Martin, and some delicious samples for Erik and I. I played around with the TOX-13 Avenger, or as I call it, the 'Slime Cannon'. It eats through armor and slows units, a powerful combination.
  • 2016-10-23
  • Bloodborne was updating to version 1.09, and Thomas J and I never got around to playing it, because we played Helldivers the whole evening. Thomas hadn't tried this great co-op game before, and he was immediately hooked.
  • 2016-11-26
  • I visit Mikkel G and played some Helldivers with him and Erik. We were attempting do defeat the Hive Lord, but our strategy wasn't efficient enough, and we then suspended the game to start the YouTube app, which then resulted in us not being able to continue the fight. Very annoying.
  • 2016-12-02
  • I joined a game already in progress at Playdead with Mikkel G, Erik, and Martin F. I was a bit drunk at the time, so I made a few blunders involving nukes and such.
  • 2016-12-08
  • Got the It didn't SEE that coming! trophy. - The Helldivers strike team of Mikkel G, Erik, Martin F. and me finally defeated an Enemy Master, the Illuminate Great Eye.
  • And here is the video to prove it. :)
  • 2016-12-11
  • I played a few missions on Easy difficulty with Thomas J. I'm focusing on leveling up my Humblebee UAV drone so I can find more samples to level up other stuff.
  • 2016-12-12
  • A few more missions with Thomas J and Sacha, mostly successful, if a bit chaotic at times. I'm very close to getting the SAMPLES upgrade for my Humblebee.
  • 2019-07-18
  • Thomas and I played two missions. We're not unlocking new stuff in the Bug World, at least not at any realistic difficulty levels.
  • 2019-08-12
  • Maybe I should try another single-player run at this. Using stealth, speed, and Distractor Beacons could be viable for playing solo.
  • Steensen had not tried this before, and we started a new game on his save, as it seemed he wasn't getting upgrades on my save. We played missions up to Medium difficulty, and did fairly well. I had fun with the APC, the slime gun, and the LAS-16 Sickle. The best moment was when I died, and Steensen wanted to ressurect me but accidentally picked a mech drop. The mech came down, Steensen went up to it, and confusedly asked 'Why are you a mech?', to which I responded: 'I'm not a mech, you haven't resurrected me yet, goddammit!'
  • 2019-09-18
  • This was the game of the evening for Malu, Bjørk, and me. We played several missions, completing a planet on Medium difficulty. We had some extremely close calls, very tense.
  • 2019-10-20
  • Malu, Bjørk, and myself was joined for a couple of Medium difficulty missions by Anders. We sometimes coordinate poorly, but we always seem to get out of trouble somehow.
  • 2019-10-26
  • I was very surprised to see a Helldivers v. 7.00 update today. Apparently, it's called 'HELLDIVERS™: Dive Harder', and features a new game mode called 'Proving Grounds' and a lot of other changes. I can't wait to try it.
  • 2020-01-18
  • It was time for the main event for Bjørk, Erik, Malu, and I: Helldivers - the best couch coop game ever. We played on Malu's profile to make sure we got some unlocks, and played for over 3 hours, ending up completing 3 missions on Challenging difficulty. We learned that using a M5-32 HAV tank is very useful in 'kill X enemies'-style missions.

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