PS4 or PC?
When I first came across this game I was browsing through Steam’s massive library of available goodies. And honestly, when I first saw it, I wasn’t that impressed. It seemed like any other top-view shooter. I had plenty of those already (Alien Shooter, Zombie Shooter, Yet Another Zombie Defense, etc.) and all of those offered the standard dual-stick or in my case keyboard and mouse experience. They were fun, but they all kind of jumbled together and nothing stood out. But, when I first started the trailer I noticed the PlayStation logo appear before the trailer began. That caught my interest, primarily for two reasons:
- I wanted more PS4 games that stuck out among the rest. Sure I had Destiny, Fallout 4 and the Uncharted series, but I wanted something different. Something I could local play and play online at the same time.
- I wanted an easy to customize (appearance, weapon, etc.) shooter that was top-view. A lot of games out there use generic sprites and it feels eh at best.
Well after a little more research I decided I wanted to buy the game; except there was a problem. Do I buy it for the PS4 (little to no modding options available + only a couple friends have that console) or the PC (possible modding in the future + most of my friends have Steam accounts, but they would all have to buy their own copy)? Well in the end I chose the PS4. And I am grateful I did, here’s why.
When I was looking at the purchasing options on Steam for Helldivers, I noticed that they had extra packs you could buy. Such as the Commando Pack, Ranger Pack, etc. All of these packs added new customization options for your character; including weapons, equipment and a vehicle/mount. However, they were also $2.49 on top of the $20.00 base fee. Well when I realized I wanted the PS4 version I quickly purchased it. Unknowingly to me, the Base version for the PS4 was called Helldivers: Super Earth Edition which was the standard price of $20.00. The cool thing was, it included the following:
- Base Version of Helldivers
- PS3 Version
- PS Vita Version
- Ranger Pack
Needless to say I was PUMPED UP! I wanted that Ranger Class and someday I wanted to get a Vita so that was even better. Overall I was plenty surprised. So, if you have a choice between the PS4 or PC version, I’d check out the PS4 version to gain more swag.
Onto The Review
Deals aside, Helldivers is an excellent game. The graphics are well done and you can tell that they spent a large amount of time on the details. The planets are beautiful and each one is unique (terrain, environment, etc.). Visuals aside though, the game is also a BLAST to play. Essentially there are three enemy factions:
- Bugs: Think a cross between Zerg and Starship Trooper Bugs.
- The Illuminate: Protoss comes to mind with this group.
- Cyborgs: The cyborgs from Fallout 4.
You play as the humans, more importantly a special ops team called Helldivers. There is a galaxy map that has multiple planets and essentially it’s a group effort between you and the millions of other players worldwide. The game keeps track of players invading planets and when progress is made the galaxy map updates. The nice thing is, the galaxy is constantly evolving, some planets will be overrun while you’re away, others will be captured by your fellow Helldivers; all of which while you’re online/offline. In fact, you’ll even get a status update message when you logon next time, to see all of the changes that occurred while you were away. Essentially it makes the game feel more realistic, you feel the struggle of holding back all three factions as they take on other factions and the human race.
How’s The Co-Op?
Well I’m glad I asked, it’s wonderful. It’s challenging and the controls are well done. My girlfriend and I did local co-op and it had a feel of classic Baldur’s Gate, which was fun. (aka screen sharing, looting, etc.). Players must work together to solve the various objectives to capture the planets, and communication is key. We would of done co-op online, but she doesn’t have a PS Plus account anymore, so that limited us. But, it still allowed me to level up my main character, just the planet conquering was set to offline mode. So, if you are planning on being a heavy co-opter, then I suggest two PS Accounts.
What Stuck Out?
Two things that REALLY stuck out at me, and honestly it made the game what it is:
- Death is Real: This isn’t a quick respawn then try again; if you are playing single player you get 2 chances per planet, then you’re done. If you are playing with others then they can respawn you. But if you both die, then you’re done. Also, be careful with what you do in the game. In the game you can summon specials such as turrets, air raids, extra ammo, etc. (details will follow in #2). Rather than just spawning the specials, you need to throw a smoke beacon and they’ll drop from your mothership. The best thing is, if you are under it when it’s happening, you’re dead. Friendly fire is real, care packages will crush you when they land, the turret is automatic and tracks baddies (if you are between them, and it, you’re dead (I suggest prone’ing immediately)); and the most fun part is, when you are prepping for evac, stay clear below. I was playing my first round with others and we all stood underneath it, SMOOSH, Game Over. What great/realistic fun it is.
- It Uses Combos: By this I mean rather than using your D-Pad to select what special you want, you have to put in a code in such as left, left, left which will get you ammo and some/most are progressively harder; such as disarming bombs or reviving teammates. In the end, it makes it more real. It’s not going to be a walk in the park to revive someone. So putting in a 15 digit code while being shot is a panic induced blast, plus all at the same time you’re running around.
I had originally thought this game was going to be just like the others. But, as it turned out, it’s better. It’s a game that I’ll play alone or with friends. I’ll show off me getting smooshed by care packets and the fun button combinations that remind me of Contra. Overall, I’m blown away by it, and that price… what a great price. Also as you can see from the picture, my PlayStation Gamertag is lildobber13, feel free to join up and slay these bugs from our galaxy. Starship Trooper Hooah!
Rent or Buy? Buy it, I’d do PC if you aren’t planning on doing local, or if you don’t care about extras. But if you have some neighbor friends and a spare controller then pick up the console version.
Alternatives: I would say Alien Shooter, Zombie Shooter, etc. But I don’t find them that similar anymore. I think it’s pretty much in a league of it’s own.