In another victory for democracy, Helldivers 2 has dropped from orbit right onto the summit of Steam's Global Top Sellers list, becoming the biggest Steam launch in Sony's history despite some initial server issues.
According to Steam DB, Helldivers 2 achieved the highest peak concurrent player-count for any Sony published game on Valve's digital distribution service when it launched yesterday, with 81,840 players banding together to thwart Super Earth's alien nemeses. That's over 8,000 players more than God of War achieved on its PC launch two years ago.
It's currently the best-selling game by revenue on Steam, having knocked the Pokémon-pummeling phenomenon Palword off its perch and beating out longtime occupants of the list like PUBG, and Valve's own money-spinning stalwarts Dota 2 and Counter-Strike 2.
The popularity of Helldivers 2 appears to have taken developers Arrowhead Game Studios by surprise, with the studio entering "crisis mode" as servers buckled under the strain of Helldivers cramming themselves into drop-pods by the thousands to take the fight to the alien menace. Server issues are one of the main reasons the game currently sits with a "Mixed" rating on Steam, as players reported regular crashes and being abruptly booted out of their games. It should be noted this isn't the only issue players have however, with others complaining about the game's approach to dishing out upgrades and the prominence it gives to microtransactions.
Arrowhead has since released a hotfix to Steam which has stabilised the experience considerably, although it doesn't address the other issues players have raised with the game. Nonetheless, as Fraser notes in his impressions, there's a decent game beneath the teething problems. "The immaculate Starship Troopers vibes, the frenetic combat, the need to balance exploration with extracting before your ship strands you—it's all great stuff."
PC Gamer's full review of Helldivers 2 will be up next week.