Helldivers 2 ‘Should Feel Like When You Are Going Into a Dark Basement’, Dev Says
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Helldivers 2 ‘Should Feel Like When You Are Going Into a Dark Basement’, Dev Says


Helldivers 2’s surprisingly huge launch has already seen millions of players across PlayStation 5 and PC dip into its co-op focused third-person action. It’s a smash hit and easily publisher Sony’s biggest ever PC game launch. But while Helldivers 2 is certainly a game everybody should play, it can often be a brutal, unforgiving experience, with floods of hard-to-kill alien robots and bugs descending upon players in increasingly tough waves.

In short, Helldivers 2 sends players down onto dangerous worlds in which death is never far away. It’s called Helldivers for a reason! And on the PlayStation Blog, the boss of developer Arrowhead has explained why that’s exactly how things should be, and why the game’s difficulty encourages co-op play, even though solo play is possible.

“I believe that a good co-op game forces players to play together, but a great one makes players want to play together,” Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt said. “Helldivers 2 should feel like when you are going into a dark basement – you want a friend by your side. And we could only achieve this by creating the sensation that no single person can do this alone — even though some crazy people out there have done so!”

Related to the game’s difficulty and co-op play is Helldivers 2’s friendly fire mechanic, which is always turned on. Based on what Pilestedt says in the interview, it seems unlikely Arrowhead will add a friendly fire toggle any time soon, as it’s a core component of Helldivers 2’s chaotic and often hilarious emergent gameplay.

“The most important thing when we make games is believability,” Pilestedt said. “Things should be consistent in the game world and therefore, we must have friendly fire. If your bullets can kill enemies, and the enemies can kill you, then logic dictates that your bullets must also be able to kill your friends. This kind of design is inherently systematic, where we create a rule set that applies to everything in the game world, with minor exceptions.

“What this does, and maybe most clearly noted by friendly fire, is create a complexity to the gameplay where players have to actively think during combat sequences — not in a ‘solve the puzzle’ way but instead in a very primal creative problem solving way. Also, the chuckles that happen when you accidentally carpet bomb your friends allows for a playfulness that in reality would be a tragedy — but within the self bounds of games we can explore the dark humor of these situations. And finally,, the friendly fire element makes the players a true interactable part of the game world that plays a great part in positioning and helps with team play.”

It’s busy times in the world of Helldivers 2. Arrowhead recently confirmed some enemies can actually smell players, which makes stealthy play even tougher. Arrowhead has today released a new Helldivers 2 patch that deals with the spawn rate of heavily armored Terminid enemies the Bile Titan and the Charger, as well as the possible play against them.

Elsewhere, Helldivers 2’s upcoming premium Warbond, dubbed Cutting Edge, launches this week, hot on the heels of the release of mechs. The Warbond includes new weapons, new armor sets, new capes, and new emotes. Meanwhile, Arrowhead has asked for the Helldivers 2 community’s help in coming up with ideas for the “hard to solve” problem of players kicking teammates who don’t have meta loadouts.

Helldivers 2 has become one of the surprise hits of 2024 since launching in February, topping the charts on Steam and reportedly selling around three million copies. According to at least one analyst, it’s still growing. Check out IGN’s Helldivers 2 review to find out why it’s going down so well.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].



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