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War is hell. Perhaps nobody knows this better than the heroes of the appropriately named Helldivers, a cooperative tactical twin-stick shooter that finally has a release date for the PlayStation family of consoles. Hint: You’ll be dropping into enemy territory sooner than you might think.
According to a recent announcement from Arrowhead Game Studios’ Malin Hedstrom, it looks like Helldivers will finally make its way onto the PS3, PS4 and Vita come March 3. That means that space marines with a hatred for hostile alien life will be locking, loading and diving into the frontlines in just over two weeks. Hooah!
If you were paying attention in the opening, you’ll notice that I referred to Helldivers as a “cooperative tactical twin-stick shooter.” So what, exactly, sets it apart from games like Stardust, Geometry Wars or Dead Nations?
While those games certainly offer their own brand of strategy, Helldivers bolts on a bunch of extra systems that keep players thinking on their toes, along with an enemy onslaught that’s utterly punishing if you try to rely too heavily on running and gunning.
If you take a look at the design of the divers—with their suits of armor and glorious capes—it’s hard to imagine that the Warhammer 40K universe didn’t supply at least some inspiration for the upcoming game. And like that popular universe, the difficulty in Helldivers rewards teamwork and a cool head over mindless attempts at heroics.
You have to reload your gun manually, for instance, and poorly placed grenades and supply drops could bring about a really bad day for your teammates. You can kneel or drop to the ground, giving you more options when it comes to avoiding enemy fire. Your supplies are limited, and you’ll want to bring a healthy mix of special abilities into each match if you want to survive. If all players pick the supply drop, ability, for instance, you’ll likely be hurting for health or heavier firepower down the line.
Even calling in those supply drops is more difficult than simply pushing a button, with each command requiring a quick D-pad input before being carried out. And then there are those randomly generated maps, meaning you’ll never know what, exactly, your team is going to be up against, what missions they’ll need to tackle, or the number of enemies you’ll come across on the map.
You can play Helldivers solo, but it’s really built to be a multiplayer game. Hook up with a couple of buddies and get ready to bring the fight to the bugs on March 3.