Published Mar 03, 2015Top-down shooters are enjoying a renaissance as Helldivers joins the download-only ranks of Super Stardust Ultra, the '70s-set LA Cops and the latest Lara Croft. But Arrowhead's console debut sets its own tactical co-op course in a procedurally generated galaxy. As part of an elite Helldiver combat force, you're fighting off three alien races (giant bugs, cyborgs and technologically advanced "illuminates") to protect Super Earth in the name of "managed democracy." The Starship Troopers-inspired propaganda cut-scenes and satirical one-liners make it clear we're not necessarily the good guys.
Though it can be played solo, Helldivers is built for a four-person squad where the inevitable chaos makes friendly fire as much of a danger as the alien hordes. Each planetary battle features different mission objectives requiring considerable strategy, but they're also part of an ongoing war being fought in real-time by other online gamers, which moves toward their distant home worlds in weeks-long campaigns. (Arrowhead Game Studios / Sony)