Years of videogames working like purchasing malls made me assume that Helldivers 2’s day-one monetization could be the identical outdated story: battle passes, boosters, and cosmetics that value as a lot because the game itself. It does give that impression at first—Helldivers 2 has two battle passes out the gate, a rotating cosmetics store, and precise weapons and armor you possibly can solely get by shopping for the premium $10 go.

On paper, that is commonplace and even barely exterior of what most of us would deem acceptable upselling. However 20 hours in, Helldivers 2’s monetization is not bothering me. It is truly fairly cheap, and so far as $40 video games with microtransactions go… dare I say refreshing?

This is why: There is a free battle go (Helldivers 2 calls them “warbonds”) and a paid one. Warbonds are progressed with medals awarded for finishing missions or discovered on planets. Warbonds stand out from a conventional battle go as a result of they don’t seem to be only a solution to fill a closet with cosmetics you by no means use (although there’s a few of that), they’re additionally the way you unlock key gameplay gadgets like new weapons, grenades, and armor sorts. Together with Stratagems (the roster of unlockable airstrikes and airdrops you possibly can name in), warbonds are one observe of the development system. Play extra, unlock stuff. 

With 80 gadgets throughout eight pages, the free warbond incorporates nearly all of stuff presently within the game. The $10 premium warbond provides a further 24 gadgets. The paid warbond solely has one totally new weapon, a revolver—the remainder are variants of current weapons with elemental injury sorts and vital tradeoffs. These are side-grades, not outright upgrades. The explosive ammo model of the Liberator assault rifle, for instance, does 100% extra injury to delicate weak factors (just like the backs of Chargers) however fires approach slower and has a smaller journal.

The premium warbond feels inessential, however significant sufficient if you wish to experiment with the total arsenal.

Some player-friendly selections you do not see typically:

  • You possibly can’t skip tiers or purchase medals to hurry by means of a warbond
  • The free warbond incorporates 700 Tremendous Credit, sufficient to shave round $7 off the paid warbond
  • You may as well discover Tremendous Credit in low portions by enjoying missions
  • Warbonds by no means expire

I dig it. Together with loadout gadgets within the warbond makes it matter greater than any battle go I’ve ever owned, and the truth that it will by no means expire means warbonds are principally little expansions.

“That is essential to us: the Warbonds are NOT a pay-to-win, FOMO-driven system,” Arrowhead stated in a current weblog put up. “As a substitute, the gear within the Warbonds simply retains accumulating. We is not going to retire earlier Warbonds as new ones are launched—you possibly can choose them up and full them at any time.”

Helldivers 2 Boosters - Warbond store

(Picture credit score: Arrowhead Game Studios)

It is good to see a brand new multiplayer shooter push again in opposition to the prevailing seasonal mannequin that holds our free time hostage. Like Halo Infinite earlier than it, Helldivers is proof that the nervousness of $10 wasted on a 3-month battle go you do not have time for would not should be the norm. In a vacuum Helldivers is as centered on monetization as any trendy game, however by comparability, it is uncommonly beneficiant.

Simply take a look at the shop tab—sorry, the Tremendousretailer tab. The costliest outfit within the retailer right now could be ~$4.50, its matching helmet is ~$2.50, and the armor subsequent to it’s ~$3. Tab over to the Tremendous Credit foreign money web page and you will find one other small shock: a $1.99 bundle that lets you “high off” your pockets with 150 credit should you’re simply quick. The smallest buy you may make in most video games is $5 or $10 price of credit, making certain that you simply at all times overspend for the factor you need. 

helldivers 2

(Picture credit score: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Contemplating you naturally accrue Tremendous Credit by enjoying missions and the way typically low costs are, Helldivers 2 is the least I’ve felt pressured to pony up money in a service game in years. So after all I’ve purchased every bit of armor that is appeared within the retailer since launch. Seems I am a simple mark when video games do not hound me like a used automobile salesman.

To be honest, Helldivers’ cosmetics aren’t the standing symbols they’re in different video games, both. Thus far, premium armor units are not any extra detailed or particular than the armor you will get at no cost—maybe a concession by the studio that signifies cosmetics aren’t a significant focus in the meanwhile.

Nonetheless, there are issues to not like about Helldivers 2’s monetization scheme. As cheap as they’re, Tremendous Credit score bundles and retailer costs misalign sufficient that you will have to overspend on $5 price of credit to get a $3 merchandise when beginning at zero. Nothing new there, however perhaps the following dwell service “innovation” must be paying precisely what an merchandise prices. Like different video games, premium gadgets have timers and rotate to encourage you to log in each day  (regardless of that earlier remark from the studio, Helldivers is not completely freed from FOMO). 

Helldivers 2 is the form of game that may solely get higher the extra Arrowhead provides to it, and I am keen to pay for good expansions that do not make me rush to get pleasure from them.