Helldivers 2 Robots Strike Back: Gunships, Walking Tanks Everywhere

Helldivers 2 Robots Strike Back: Gunships, Walking Tanks Everywhere

War…war never changes…or at least that’s what some people say. They’d be wrong though, because in the case of the satirical co-op shooter Helldivers 2, war is frequently changing—often at the behest of the players—into a neverending nightmare. The war that players signed up for when Helldivers 2 first launched is no longer the same one they’re fighting these days. It’s only gotten worse.

After what was believed to be a decisive win in Malevelon Creek—otherwise known to the wider community as “Robot Vietnam”— earlier this week, Helldivers 2 players realized what a cruel joke the victory was. Almost immediately after, cloaked ships were spotted in the atmosphere above several Automaton-controlled planets, portending a grim omen of what was to come. Before long, players were reporting sightings of Automaton gunships hanging in low orbit and raining down hell on the battlefield. As if that wasn’t bad enough, large quadruped tanks (not unlike Star Wars’ AT-ATs) known as factory striders were also spotted. So not only do they fly now, but they’re also packing more heat than ever before.

If this kind of sounds familiar, it’s because Helldivers 2 players have been in this unfortunate position before. They were last here about a month ago when Arrowhead Game Studios issued a major order (think of these as large goals for the community to work toward) to capture a cluster of planets and eradicate the bug-like Terminid enemies once and for all. Though that fight was a bit more drawn out than yesterday’s brief skirmish for Malevelon Creek, the community ultimately completed the goal, and the developers reported that the bugs would be no more. Only then, players started posting sightings of flying Terminids, which had not previously been able to take flight. It seems our enemies are studying each other for new tactics to fuck us over.

This latest evolution of Helldivers 2’s unending galactic war is an upsetting, if exciting one. The steady stream of weapon advancement for players, new enemy types, and fresh narrative beats keeps things eventful and constantly in motion. I suspected that yesterday’s win was too quick and efficient to not be some form of bait, and I was happy to be proven right. After all, Joel—the developer at Arrowhead pulling the strings on this narrative—has never been one for ease. Every fight he’s thrown at players so far has been a lengthy and excruciating campaign, especially as far as Malevelon Creek is involved.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the Automatons did launch a successful counteroffensive and took the Creek back. That place will never know peace, and players are already theorizing that the best option is to simply wipe the planet off the galactic map. I guess it’s good to hear we’re all being very chill and understanding about this loss.

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