Helldivers 2 Adds Just The Right Amount Of Satire To Set A New Level Of Immersion

The game utilizes Satirical militarism like we have never seen before.

Story Highlights

  • Helldivers 2 features the perfect dose of satire to keep you ingrained in the action-packed gameplay. 
  • It improves the storytelling and makes over-the-top gameplay more enjoyable and stress-free.
  • The satire boosts roleplay and creates a sense of unity among the fans, keeping everyone on a single note.

Helldivers 2 is an excellent action-packed third-person shooter. But for its genre, it features really interesting lore. A dynamic storyline like this is seldom seen in action shooters, but Arrowhead Studios’ magnum opus seems to have perfected the formula. So, what is so special about the game’s storyline in the first place?

The base lore is quite compelling and pulls you towards trying it out. However, it’s the satire that keeps you addicted. 

The game takes place in a dystopian future where players join the elite Helldivers force, the protectors and spreaders of a managed democracy across the planets. You deal with many intergalactic threats with your fellow players by indulging in strategic teamwork. Arrowhead achieves all this by poking fun at the militaristic fervor and propaganda at the same time. 

Helldivers 2 — A New Standard For Storytelling In Action Games?

Helldivers 2 planetary hazards are sometimes more dangerous than the enemies themselves.
Helldivers 2 planetary hazards are sometimes more dangerous than the enemies themselves. || Image Source: Steam.

The devs have figured out just the right dose of humor, which ends up being so absurd that it’s good. I think recognizing some obvious propaganda patterns in the game really sells it for me.

It’s something akin to the Starship Troopers movie—if you’ve seen it, then you know exactly what I mean. Its take on satire elements is nearly the same as Helldivers 2.

I think this was the best approach Arrowhead could have chosen for Helldivers 2. It is quite difficult to tell a compelling story in an action-packed third-person shooter. The main crux of that genre is the gameplay, after all. However, combining satire with the military theme pits the community towards a single goal: to liberate planets and spread managed democracy. The dark comedy adds to the fun of every session.

YouTube video

Satirical Humor Enhances Storytelling In The Game

So how does satire help the storytelling of the game? I have noticed that it gets fans talking. There has been a lot of chatter on the web about how satire affects storytelling and even the real world—it’s Starship Troopers all over again. Helldivers 2 has also capitalized on the satirical elements in other ways. Since the lore is more ingrained in the gameplay, it unites the players under a single flag to face the various enemies.

Shocking number of people don’t realize this game is a satire on imperialism and facism.
by inHelldivers

When the whole premise of the game revolves around liberating planets, the satirical militarism seeps into the core gameplay loop. I’ve often found people treating each other as real military personnel and taking the battlefield as reality, which adds so much immersion. 

Arrowhead Studios has cleverly used satire to cover many over-the-top tropes and cliches that otherwise would have felt familiar. Helldivers 2 utilizes many known elements but exaggerates them to such a degree that it feels absurdly good. I have fallen in love with these elements during my playthroughs because of the satire poking fun at them.

A Cup Of Liber-Tea Eases An Otherwise Serious Experience

My first introduction to Helldivers 2 was quite normal. I saw footage of the gameplay online before any trailers and found it attractive. However, it gave me the impression that the third-person shooter was quite serious and did not have any humor. Oh, how I was proven wrong.

Every giant bug in Helldivers 2 feels like an action-packed bossfight in itself.
Every giant bug in Helldivers 2 feels like an action-packed boss fight in itself. || Image Source: Steam.

All that seriousness is perfectly offset by a ton of satire to balance the experience. You could be in an intense session just for fellow players to chant slogans praising the Super Earth. All that humor makes you feel compelled to do your best instead of mindlessly slaying Terminids and Automatons.

The tone of the game not only boosts the adrenaline during combat but also conveys the absurdity of these tropes. In other words, it’s not meant to be an inspiration but a satirical play of a dystopian future that—hopefully—does not await us.

Helldivers 2 Satire Brings The Community Together To Boost Roleplay

In conclusion, Helldivers 2 makes perfect use of tropes veiled within satire to tell a story that absolutely suits its action-packed gameplay. In my opinion, more games—especially those in the action genre—should adopt a similar approach. Gamers also often remember titles similar to this one because of their excellent storytelling—Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader comes to mind.

YouTube video

Helldivers 2 devs might continue evolving the intergalactic war in future updates, making the lore dynamic and sophisticated instead of staying the same forever. In other words, we can expect even more propaganda to be fed to us for the sake of Super Earth. 

Did you find this article helpful?

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

Related Articles