While this plays like a futuristic Gauntlet, it is hilarious and very fun. Up to four players cooperatively perform missions on planets against three very different types of aliens. Which planet and what mission you can decide yourself by flying your spaceship there, which also doubles as the lobby where you can spend research points to upgrade skills and gear.
The missions themselves are very fast and usually straightforward. You can complete runs in 5 - 6 minutes (depending on the difficulty) so those who are time-constrained can still get a jump or two in. For those with more time to spare, hanging around the planet surface for research materials is standard procedure. Dying is a common occurrence too, and usually comes not from the enemy (on lower levels) but from player stupidity or accidents which again is funny. There is no switching the "friendly fire" mode here! :P
For the EMPEROR! Oh wait... that's Warhammer 40k... :P
Missions only fail if all players are dead, otherwise surviving players can easily call for reinforcements to respawn their dead allies. If running solo, this happens automatically a set number of times. While the ground game play is pretty fun, its the universal map that really gives that sense of purpose to this game. As more quadrants are taken (by everyone playing Helldivers globally), the forces of Earth advance and eventually reach enemy home planets where the really crazy missions await. And yes, the enemy also pushes back!
There are ridable vehicles, pilotable mecha, air strikes, ahhhh so many shinies! If you like crazy, fast paced co-op that gives you quick satisfaction then this game is for you. I give it four stratagems out of five!