A behind-the-scenes video for Helldivers 2's intro cinematic brings you uncomfortably close to the 'Sweet Liberty' scream, as well as a freestyle rap

Craig Lee Thomas, actor for the Helldivers 2 intro cinematic, is seen screaming sweet liberty to the heavens in the mocap booth.
(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

Helldivers 2's story is mostly background dressing—told through galactic war events, NPC dialogue, and Super Earth broadcasts that are easy to miss. It does have one cinematic, though, and it's such a specific brand of '90s corny that it's impossible to forget. 

Now there's a behind-the-scenes video of it, courtesy of the folks over at Goodbye Kansas Studios—letting you get an up-close-and-personal look at actor Craig Lee Thomas's face as he collapses to his knees and screams for sweet liberty.

It's honestly great to see how much of the cinematic's excellently hammy facial expressions are 1:1 translations of Thomas chewing the scenery. The exact moment the patriotism drains from the Super Earth spokesperson's face, replaced with abject horror in a fishbowl-style perspective is really something.

The rest of the video has some additional behind-the-curtain revelations—for example, the chest-bump shared by two soldiers after planting Super Earth's righteous flag was actually performed in real life, and it's somehow even more glorious in the flesh. 

I, however, have finally been able to get my ears on something that's been living rent-free in my brain for almost a full month. See, when I talked to Thomas back in March, he revealed that "somewhere on an Arrowhead external hard drive there are MANY many hours of improv, pratfalls, dance breaks, and—very memorably—a freestyle rap that Freddy called out that I should do with no warning, in the middle of a take."

Said rap makes an appearance in this BTS video, and it's just as cheesy as I'd hoped—capped off with an emphatic "represent" and a folding of the arms to let you know that the Helldivers are "hip", "with it", and several other adjectives that have been proven to drive up recruitment numbers by at least 2%.

Besides, the game has armour sponsored by frozen yoghurt— I don't think a state-funded rap is out of the question. Arrowhead and Goodbye Kansas Studios, I know we got a taster there, but I need you to make this happen. Please. The warfront needs its democratic hip-hop.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.