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Home / Features / Helldivers 2 is the Starship Troopers-esque video game of my dreams

Helldivers 2 is the Starship Troopers-esque video game of my dreams

Let's shoot some bugs.

Helldivers 2

Starship Troopers would be the greatest movie adaptation of a video game ever, if it was indeed modelled on a video game. The classic 1997 sci-fi satire is perfect video game fodder. There are spaceships, alien lands, futuristic guns, and lots of bug based violence. There’s even a plot that skewers fascist beliefs, military expansion, colonisation under the guise of freedom, and all the excuses politicians use to justify it all. With all that considered, it’s frankly criminal that we haven’t had a Starship Troopers video game. That is, until I played Helldivers 2.

In Helldivers 2, you play as a soldier sent to foreign lands to install democracy and freedom by any means necessary. In this team-based shooter, that usually means taking to alien battlegrounds and hailing gunfire on a bunch of giant insects. So far, so very Starship Troopers. But it’s the tone of Helldivers 2 that really sets it apart from every other sci-fi shooter out there. And it’s what makes Helldivers 2 the perfect Starship Troopers video game I’ve always wanted.

Helldivers 2 is knowingly bonkerness. It doesn’t pretend to have some great moral message, or forces you to sympathise with a terrible protagonist. It wears its absurdness on its sleeve, and fully leans in to the tongue in cheek-iness that comes with a video game that has you shooting giant bugs in the face with lasers.

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First off, chaos in gaming is just funny. If you’ve ever formed a bond with a random player in a game like Hell Let Loose, only to see them blown to smithereens a few minutes later, then you’ll know what I mean. But Helldivers 2 is incredibly self-aware, in the best way possible. Dialogue is snappy and ridiculous, and brilliantly satirises real world propaganda. The gameplay borders on the slapstick. There’s plenty of laughs to be had while learning that friendly fire is a very real thing in Helldivers 2.

So, is Helldivers 2 the Starship Troopers game I’ve always wanted? I think it is.

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About

A writer of seven years and serial FIFA 23 loser, Jack is also Features Editor at Stuff. Jack has written extensively about the world of tech, business, science and online culture. He also covers gaming, but is much better at writing about it than actually playing. Jack keeps the site rolling with extensive features and analysis.

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