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The Jaguar Journal

The Jaguar Journal

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Helldivers doing liberty’s good work

Originally Published in the March 8th Print Publication

The game loads up on a black screen that shifts to a propaganda video recruiting soldiers into the titular Helldivers core. The tone is cut and clear, you are one of millions of soldiers who will die to accomplish the goals of a totalitarian regime. You will fight in countless theaters of war with the war map being dotted with countless different planets. Each planet has unique terrain, weather, and hazards that serve as background for Super Earth’s war of expansion. In the opening propaganda cinematic the player watches a family get attacked by a Terminid, a massive bug, the bug is killed by a group of Helldivers and we zoom out to view millions of identical suburban homes being protected by the forces of Super Earth. Helldivers 2 wears its influences on its sleeve, the bugs and regime invoking the 1959 novel Starship Troopers (and the subsequent film).

As a Helldiver you will jump into a small pod that is functionally a bullet that is fired at extreme speeds towards the surface of a planet. You can bring a maximum of four soldiers along for your suicide mission, and solo play is heavily discouraged. When you and your squadmates first touchdown you’ll find yourself stranded with limited ammunition, health items, and intel. In order to complete your missions you’ll have to utilize stratagems, which are various orbital supports that your spaceship can provide. The stratagems range from small scale airstrikes, support weapons like RPGs and jetpacks, targeted airstrikes, and large scale bombardments. With limited slots, it’s decisive to identify the threats present in the mission and plan accordingly.

One of the highlights of playing Helldivers 2 is how it treats death. As a helldiver you are expected to die. When you respawn and come back into the battle you are playing as someone new, by default you will have a random voice assigned for each respawn. Death comes quickly and comes fast. You will die, respawn, and die again. Mastering the game’s mechanics can only reduce the amount of times you die but death will never be more than a few feet behind you.

The Automaton Menace Threatens Freedom itself


One of the highlights of Helldivers 2 is the enemy variety. There are currently two main armies, the Terminids, who are the most represented in media, and the terrifying automatons. These two armies are affectionately known as bugs and bots. Each one encourages a completely different style of play. 

Fighting bugs is like wading through mud, it’s a slow process and there is always going to be more bugs. The bugs move in hordes with countless small easy to kill units providing a meat shield for the heavily armored and dangerous bugs. The true danger lies in the special units, charges who run head first at you, bile titans who tower over buildings, and many more. The only benefit that fighting bugs presents is that the bugs won’t shoot back, distance can always be to your advantage. 

Fighting bots is a frantic war that can range from close range engagements to long range battles. You’ll be constantly diving for cover and focusing on weak points as you dodge the laser fire and missiles of the automatons. Even the grunt enemies who only carry a sword and pistol can prove deadly if not handled correctly. These armies closely resemble our own with formations that put infantry charges alongside tank movements. The game will trick you by throwing some armored heavy enemies in front of you and make you think that is the hardest it will get. Then once your guard is dropped you’ll be sent to fight enemies who only have one or two weak points and if those specific weak points where you can damage it. 

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About the Contributor
Cuauhtemoc Yanez
Cuauhtemoc "Temo" Yanez A&E Editor Uses reviews to validate interests.
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