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Helldivers 2 is Starship Troopers-inspired chaos. We spoke to the devs

Helldivers 2Image: Arrowhead Game Studios

After almost nine years of development, Helldivers 2 is finally here. Before this week’s launch of the game, we got to visit the developers Arrowhead Game Studios office in Stockholm, Sweden to get a first look at Helldivers 2 and talk to the developers.

Now you might be wondering what Helldivers 2 is? As the developers themselves put it, it’s a chaotic action game set in a somewhat dystopian future, inspired by works like Starship Troopers, taking on the role of one of the titular Helldivers. Your task is to spread Super-Earth’s own version of democracy to planets around the galaxy, which you do by killing lots of evil aliens and robots.

Arrowhead Game Studios

If you’re more familiar with the first Helldivers, you’ll immediately notice a big difference in Helldivers 2. The camera perspective has changed; you no longer control your soldier from a top-down perspective, instead it’s a third-person view.

Arrowhead Game Studios

The new perspective helps to increase the chaotic nature of the battles in the game. Arrowhead’s games have been known to “accidentally” shoot your fellow players. In previous titles it was pretty easy to see what happened, but now you’ll have a harder time knowing if it was the enemies that killed you, or if you happened to run in front of your mate’s gun muzzle.

The chaos of the game’s battles is really fun to try and navigate through, and the support you can call in from orbiting battleships adds to that. You can order artillery fire on a bunch of enemies, you just have to be careful not to get too close to the fire yourself. This can result in some pretty hilarious accidents. We were told by the developers how one player tried to call in artillery, but was accidentally shot in the arm and dropped the smoke grenade that marked the firing in the middle of the rest of the players. You should be prepared to experience similar accidents yourself (or be guilty of them).

Arrowhead Game Studios

The battleships in space are also your home base, where you can change the look of your helldiver, upgrade and unlock new weapons, and plan your battles in the galaxy. The game’s map of the galaxy is divided into different sectors, all players around the world will contribute to the war against the aliens and robots, the progress of the battles will be shown on the map.

Arrowhead has its own game manager who can, among other things, set goals and issue orders to the gathered players. In a given week, the goal may be to take over a planet or sector; if the players manage to cooperate and do so, new weapons are unlocked.

Arrowhead Game Studios

The game master should also be able to control other narrative parts of the game. Maybe there is a shortage of ammunition in the fleet; the players will then start the missions with fewer shots in the weapons. Or maybe there is a big sandstorm right where you should land for the next mission. In our short time with the game so far, however, we haven’t seen too much of those features.

Helldivers 2 is really impressive so far, but a more detailed test of the game will come later, after we’ve had plenty of time to play with its online capabilities.

Interview with the developers

In the video above you meet Mikael Eriksson, Game Director and Felix Fritzell, Art Director from Arrowhead Game Studios who both worked on Helldivers 2.

This article was translated from Swedish to English and originally appeared on m3.se.

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