The other shoe drops hard in Helldivers 2, as players go from celebrating total Automaton destruction to fending off a vengeful robot tide in the new major order

An image of Automatons doing battle with Helldivers in Helldivers 2.
(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

Less than a week ago, Helldivers 2 players managed to stamp out the Automaton resistance "for good". This earned them a pat on the back and a whole single minute of free time—Super Earth isn't a dystopia, though, honest.

You might have noticed that "for good" is in air quotes, there. That's because the final holdout worlds of Maia, Durgen, and Tibit were merely a setback for the Automaton scourge. There was ample reason to believe that the bots would be permanently turned off until a total galactic victory reset the board, but… well, other shoe—meet your drop.

(Image credit: @helldivers2 on Twitter/X.)

"The Automatons have revealed their true force," announces a dire warning via the in-game dispatches system. "A massive invasion fleet sweeping through our territory. Defences are scrambling. Slow its advance as much as possible."

The new Major Order is a desperate defence of at least five planets as the Automatons swoop in from space. Want to know what makes it worse? Cyberstan is among the planets freshly-undemocratised by the Automaton fleet.

In case you've got no idea what that means, Cyberstan was the former homeworld of the Automatons' "parents", the Cyborgs, who were a faction from the first game. Now it's deep behind enemy territory, and who knows what that means for us.

Right now, Helldivers are scrambling to defend the Hydra and Lacaille sectors. At the time of writing, the Super Earth fleet is focused on defence, with a combined force of over 100,000 players on Menkent and Lesath even during non-peak times. Chort Bay seems the less popular third choice, being the farthest away from Super Earth and also a fiery desert with "violent acid storms". Not exactly the best place for some R&R.

The major order also comes with a new mission type: "Evacuate High-Value Assets". Unlike the civilian extraction missions, divers are tasked with protecting a set of generator systems until rockets have launched. They're provided with bunker doors, HMG emplacements, and chokepoints to help them fend off the enemy.

This feels a touch like a TTRPG-style Quantum Ogre, but I'm not sure I care. For the uninitiated, a Quantum Ogre is when a Dungeon Master in a D&D game has an ogre they want the party to fight. The party has two routes to their destination, and the DM quietly moves the ogre to whatever path they walked down. In other words, I think this invasion was gonna happen no matter what.

However—if we had failed to cut off the robots earlier in the month, we'd still be fighting for those planets while pushing back this new northern offensive. Besides, there's a new mission type and a new Warbond en route later in the week to help. It's hard to be mad at Joel's machine machinations when the fresh scent of liberty is in the air.

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.