The Arm of Orion has taken control of New Madrid, one of the Empire’s most isolated outposts. Of course, the United States Imperial Forces cannot sit idle and have launched an army into the planet’s orbit. This army included the 8th Armored Infantry, or ‘Section 8’. The finest of the best from the UISF. They are also known as Helldivers since they can drop from a spaceship right down onto the planet without a parachute or any other assistance besides their full-body armor to complete mission objectives deep behind enemy lines. The single-player campaign places the player in the shoes of Alex Corde, who is accompanied by his squadmates to aid in the liberation of New Madrid.
Section 8 is a first-person shooter with a multiplayer focus and objective-based gameplay. Killing adversaries, taking control points, and completing dynamic combat tasks all result in victory points, determining the winner of each multiplayer battle with up to 40 players. There are six active combat missions, from accompanying a Commando as he assaults an enemy base to building an outpost in a strategic area or laying a bomb at the opposing bottom. To complete his mission, the player has access to a wide variety of weaponry, including machine guns and sniper rifles, as well as equipment like repair tools and passive modules that improve his shield capacity or weapon damage. The player can change his loadout when he is dead and while on the battlefield at deployable supply depots. They also heal him and refill his ammunition.
Supply depots are either generated automatically by the game if specific objectives are completed, or they can be purchased and built by players who have earned enough money by killing enemies and fulfilling missions. Combat structures, such as three turrets, a tank, a mech-like heavy armor, and an armored vehicle, are also available. Except for the heavy armor, all cars may accommodate more than one player, making the tank a potent weapon thanks to its four weapon systems, each of which is commanded by a single player.
Section 8’s armor can resist a drop from great heights and contains an integrated jetpack for short bursts of flight and a booster to increase speed momentarily. These functions use energy, which is recharged automatically while not in use. To a limited extent, the drop from the sky, known as Orbital Burn-In, which is how the players spawn, can be manipulated. While the spawn spot can be selected from a map, the players can choose when to deploy their suit’s brakes. While a smooth landing lets the player immediately enter combat and navigate, it exposes him during drop-down. A hard landing, on the other hand, is quick, but the player must recover from the impact for a few seconds.
While Conquest is the sole available gameplay mode, several bot modes exist. Aside from playing a game without any bots, the host can select from Balanced (using bots to fill the game to the maximum number of people permitted), Coop / Extreme Coop (all players on one team, bots on the other), and Swarm / Super Swarm (one tiny group against a giant swarm of hostile bots). The One Man Army mode is only available in single-player and confronts the player against a group of malicious bots.