Helldivers is a top-down shooter set in a future where mankind resides on a fictional futuristic Earth called Super Earth. With a dystopian touch democracy has been replaced with a managed democracy. The titular Helldivers are special forces soldiers who go on missions and need to protect Super Earth against three alien races that pose a threat. The war is shown on a large, procedurally generated galactic map. It is divided into three large sections for each of the alien races (Bug, Cyborg and Illuminati). Each section is split up into multiple regions further divided into multiple planets that offer missions. The main goal is to complete a sufficient amount of missions on individual planets to liberate them and eventually gain enough influence to conquer an entire region so the next one can be accessed. When all regions are conquered the alien's home planet can be reached to defeat them completely. The war is a dynamic affair as it is waged on multiple fronts simultaneously and opponents are also able to regain lost sections for instance when a planet is not conquered before time runs out. It is set in a persistent universe where all players worldwide participate and contribute influence to conquer regions. Just like the main universe missions are procedurally generated. The game is played as a twin stick shooter combining movement and aiming and shooting in any direction. The Helldiver is also able to go prone and sprint. There is also a stealth element to the game as enemy troops can alert others and attract a larger opposition. Next to the main weapons, a less powerful side weapon, bombs, grenades and a melee attack can be used. Ammo is scarce and weapons require a manual reload where remaining bullets in the weapon are lost if performed prematurely. The Helldiver can be knocked down and needs some button presses to get up. Stratagems are an important part of the gameplay. They are special abilities that enable a Helldiver to call in equipment, turrets (with friendly fire), mechs, vehicles, decoys, mines, weapons and ammo. They are called in through a radio after deploying a beacon. Similar to the developer's earlier game Magicka they consist of a series of button presses that need to be input correctly. Many Stratagems are unlocked and upgraded gradually, but only a limited amount can be chosen in the loadout. Missions are graded with a difficulty level and offer objectives such as destroying buildings, capturing areas, retrieving technology, activate oil extractors, activating and defending launchpads and escort missions. All missions end with a last stand or a final push scenario to be extracted with a shuttle. Missions start aboard the SS Vigilance space ship that acts as the main hub. It has an armory console where the appearance can be changed and weapons and Stratagems can be upgraded. New gear and additional weapons and items are unlocked gradually by gaining experience and leveling up. During missions samples can be collected. These are converted into research points to spend on upgrades. Before starting the mission a dropzone for the hellpod transport can be chosen, but landing closer to the objectives draws more attention. A loadout can be defined through a primary weapon, perks and Stratagems. The game supports cooperative multiplayer for up to four players both offline (not for Vita) and online. Players can coordinate the Stratagems loadout strategically to cover all bases. In multiplayer beacons are also used to redeploy squad members and in the land stand / final push section of each mission at least one Helldiver needs to be extracted. They can also help each other to get up faster, share ammo, help reload and heal each other. Also similar to Magicka friendly fire is always on and cannot be disabled, often leading to chaotic situations. Next to weapon fire, extraction shuttles, deployed vehicles and air drops can damage other players. Multiple Galactic Wars are played in succession as a single one last between one and two months. For instance, the humans (players worldwide) lost the first one to the aliens and Super Earth was overrun. The game was launched worldwide as Helldivers (Limited Edition Bundle) with no regular version available. It is said to be a timed exclusive and it contains the Helldivers: Rangers Pack DLC by default.