When you think of Arrowhead’s exciting bug-slaying co-op FPS Helldivers 2, you wouldn’t immediately think of the Halo franchise. Well, there are a lot more similarities bubbling under the surface that go some way to filling the Halo void for PS5 players. Of course, Helldivers also takes great inspiration from the likes of Starship Troopers and even a smidgen of Warhammer 40K, but its links to Halo should not be overlooked if you’re looking for Halo action on PS5.
Getting the obvious out of the way, Helldivers 2 is a PS5 exclusive in much the same way that Halo is an Xbox exclusive. Much more than that though, Helldivers takes a great deal of inspiration from Halo, particularly when it comes to visuals. While Halo is fighting for the mantle of the best FPS games and Helldivers 2 is gunning for the best co-op games, PS5 players could find themselves getting a taste of the iconic Xbox series.
Looking back at the series’ history, Helldivers 1 shares an unusual connection with Halo: Spartan Assault. Spartan Assault saw the traditionally first-person shooter take a more isometric approach with twin-stick shooting. Boasting Spartan lasers, ample vehicles, and even drop pods, Spartan Assault undeniably feels a lot like the first Helldivers. With the sequel taking a similarly radical shift to third-person, Helldivers 2 captures the essence of Halo once more.
This uncanny genre crossover isn’t the end of the similarities though. Helldivers is all about the titular special forces units that orbitally drop down onto bug-infested planets to spread democracy using guns – lots of guns. Remind you of anything? Well, aside from the armor-clad Spartans, ODSTs are perhaps the most recognisable troopers from Halo. The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers fill much the same role as their Helldiver counterparts – dropping right into the fight to complete a simple goal. In fact, ODSTs are even called Helljumpers by many in the Halo universe for their daring escapades.
Thankfully, both Helldivers and Helljumpers have similar tastes in fashion too, wearing lighter armor with sleek helmets and visors rather than dressing like a human tank. Helldivers, however, are also known for their cool, flowing capes, which don’t quite fit with the ODST style. Decked out with cutting-edge weaponry, from scanners to high-powered artillery, the thematic connections to Halo are palpable as you face off against the enemies of humanity.
As is common with Halo – particularly ODST, in fact – the feeling of having the cards stacked against you is part of the fun of Helldivers. Charging headfirst into a horde of bugs in Helldivers certainly captures the same thrill as demolishing packs of Flood in Halo 3, even though both games feature different camera perspectives and gameplay.
While the focus on Halo nowadays is undoubtedly laser-targeted on tight PvP action, the series has long been cherished for its co-op action that Helldivers 2 seeks to deliver. Halo Combat Evolved and Halo 2 boast two-player co-op, while Halo 3 onwards have up to four players joining forces. Plus, with the long-awaited addition of Firefight to Halo Infinite, we’re getting another opportunity to battle it out alongside our friends. Helldivers 2 puts this co-op comradery front and center, echoing the many late nights Xbox players have enjoyed pushing back the Covenant with friends.
So, if you’re a PlayStation fan looking to capture some of the Halo magic with a fun twist, then Helldivers 2 is one of the best new PS5 games for you. If the trailers are anything to go by, there’s a good chance Helldivers 2 will become one of the best PS5 games for those looking to play alongside others.