Arrowhead CEO says Helldivers 2 was going to have helmets with bespoke HUD elements like enemy outlines—but they were cut due to 'well, having to ship the game'

helldivers 2 malevelon creek
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Johan Pilestedt, the CEO of Arrowhead Games, made a visit to the Helldivers 2's Discord recently. He answered a deluge of questions before needing to "do [his] part as a husband and watch 'The Boys'", though one answer in particular leapt out at me—turns out, helmets were originally meant to actually do something.

As you might be aware, helmets in Helldivers 2 are purely cosmetic. However, they have their own section in the Armoury with stat readouts and a window dedicated to showing off their bonuses—of which there are none. 

It always struck me as particularly strange. That's a lot of UI elements dedicated to conveying the same information—every helmet is "Standard Issue" and provides 100 armour rating, speed, and stamina regen. So why make a note of it at all?

As Pilestedt reveals, Arrowhead actually had designs on making helmets a key part of your loadout: "I know there's a convo on helmets … Originally, each helmet was going to have a unique 'HUD'—so medics would be able to see health, recon would get enemy outlines etc. But we unfortunately had to cut it due to... Well, having to ship the game."

(Image credit: Helldivers 2 Discord)

Personally-speaking, I would've loved this. The game's armour bonuses, while impactful, are already fairly limited—I rarely see a reason to bring anything other than the explosive damage resistance kit to Automaton missions, for example. Getting to accessorise with, say, a recon helmet would've been a great layer of customisation.

Fortunately, Pilestedt is replying to a player asking if the team's considering adding traits to capes—so if a "convo" is happening on helmets, one can reason that Arrowhead's actively considering putting impactful headgear back on the table.

For now, however, the priority seems to be on restoring balance to the game—with Pilestedt's sights on avoiding a feeling of fun removal for the playerbase. I get a sense that the recent review bombings related to its since-abandoned PSN nonsense has prompted a bit of a shake-up in how Arrowhead handles its community comms

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.