Helldivers 2 Operation Swift Disassembly was a success, leaving players wondering what’s next

Helldivers 2 Operation Swift Disassembly was a success, leaving players wondering what’s next

Hive Lords? Illuminate? Chaos!

Helldivers 2 header image showing a Helldiver posing with a flag in hand and one knee standing on the head of a fallen bot

Image credit: Arrowhead

Over the weekend, intrepid Helldivers accomplished what perhaps once seemed unimaginable: eradicating all bots in Helldivers 2. Combined with the news that all those Terminind bugs are now “contained”, to use developer Arrowhead’s words, the feeling among players is one of celebration. Right? We beat Helldivers 2?

Indeed, in a post on social media platform X, the Helldivers 2 team proclaimed the “galaxy is free once more”, which surely means we can all breathe a sweet sigh of relief. I am sure Game Master Joel has nothing left up his sleeve. Soon, we shall be met with a cutscene showing Super Earth now thriving thanks to our hard efforts, and Helldivers 2’s servers will be shut down.

Nope, I don’t believe that for a second either! And neither do players – who are now trying to work out what could be next.

Helldivers 2 – Report for Duty Trailer | PS5 & PC Games.Watch on YouTube

First, there seems a very strong chance the Illuminate – a third enemy faction from the original Helldivers game – will show up.

According to the Helldivers Fandom page, the Illuminate are not present in Helldivers 2, as “they no longer have any presence in the galaxy by the year 2184, having apparently been exterminated by humanity”. The page does, however, note that the “veracity of this extermination is unknown”, and “under certain circumstances, you may randomly receive a distorted radio message on your ship”…

This message? It’s this: “Super Earth lied… they didn’t want you to know… the Illuminate… they’re coming.”

Perhaps teasing their arrival, there were reports earlier in the year of mysterious blue, damage-inflicting lasers popping up in the game. “It must have been an Illuminate Sniper just like the first game, and it (the sniper) must’ve teleported out immediately after the shot,” Reddit user Dye335 reported at the time.

The Illuminate is already here
byu/Dye335 inHelldivers

Next, there are those Hive Lord skeletons that can be seen lying around on Terminid planets. Hive Lords were an enemy in the original Helldivers, capable of creating new tunnels for the hives.

“As they are mostly underground, they are exceptionally hard to attack and get rid of. Therefore, any opportunity to assault a Hive Lord should not be squandered, and as they are extremely dangerous, bring the best you have when assaulting them,” the Helldivers’ fan wiki explains.

Could we be fighting these burrowers next? You can see an example of a fight against a Hive Lord in the original Helldivers below.

2 players kill Hive Lord and extract in 47 seconds
byu/cusman78 inHelldivers

But the Helldivers 2 community is also musing over a possible fourth enemy type. I chatted with Eurogamer reader Jamie Walker about the idea this morning.

I jokingly suggested the bots and bugs could merge into one super race named Automominids, and without missing a beat Walker assured me “the Illuminate have the tech for that level of sort of thing”.

“It’s the natural progression in a sequel,” he said, also suggesting we could take on some “undemocratic treasonous bot sympathiser humans” down the line. “Anyone familiar with The Expanse may be aware of another place an unknowable alien threat could come from,” he also teased, but refrained from sharing more in case of spoilers.

There’s space for a fourth enemy (quick mock up of the territory they might occupy)
byu/littleNorthStar inHelldivers

In short, we are far from done with Helldivers 2, and I am just fine with that. One post on the game’s official Discord that made me chuckle this morning was a poster joking that Joel was readying himself to pop up and merely state that Helldivers 2 players have now only just completed the tutorial.

“Suddenly the galaxy expands by 600 percent and seven new factions pop up,” came one reply. Another suggested what many have been thinking: “We’re gonna be invaded again aren’t we?”

Helldivers 2 Discord chat discussing what could come next
Image credit: Discord/Eurogamer

What do you think – or hope – will happen next in Helldivers 2?

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