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This Helldivers 2 Fan Theory Makes Us Question Reality

You don't have to play much of "Helldivers 2" to understand the basic concept of the game. The planet of Super Earth is an over-the-top parody that's right in line with "Starship Troopers," and its High Command is sending the Helldivers all throughout the galaxy to "liberate" planets controlled by the Automatons and the Terminids. The main focus of the gameplay is on the combat itself, so you really don't need to spend much time digging any deeper into the story. If you do start digging, however, what you'll find is likely to disturb you. For instance: the idea that maybe the Helldivers themselves aren't even the true protagonists of the game.

The story in "Helldivers 2" is brilliantly conveyed through the smallest hidden details in the game and even comments from Arrowhead Game Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt. On the surface, "Helldivers 2" is a jokey war simulator, but some dark plots are beginning to develop beneath that facade. Players have begun putting together some elaborate theories about the game's universe, and what they're uncovering makes us a little uneasy. For instance, there are signs that High Command is secretly using the Helldivers to make the galaxy worse. And now, a theory that fans are still developing may reveal that none of us have been playing the game we thought we were.

We aren't playing as Helldivers ... not really

This concerning new theory holds that the Helldivers aren't the real player characters in the game. A Reddit user called Grin-Guy may have been the first person to start exploring this line of reasoning. They noted that there are countless frozen Helldivers traveling through space on various Destroyer class ships, which makes the soldiers themselves seem more like an expendable resource than a valuable character. Fans jumped onto this theory and started developing it further.

Players noticed that the game's main progression mechanics are tied to the Destroyers, rather than the Helldivers. As you level up in "Helldivers 2," you unlock new gear and Stratagems, but all of those are stored on the Destroyer and only given to the Helldivers when they head out for a mission. No matter how far players progress in the game, the soldiers themselves essentially remain as powerful as they were at the beginning. With that in mind, some think that we are actually playing as the Destroyers, and that there's a possibility the ship somehow remotely controls the soldiers.

This all relates back to life on Super Earth in a deeply unnerving way. What if we are playing as sentient ships, using disposable human bodies to create propaganda for the rest of humanity, ensuring their loyalty to High Command? That definitely makes watching the game's rousing launch trailer a wildly different experience.

The Ministry of Truth weighs in

It's deeply disturbing to imagine that we're all playing as supercomputers on spaceships, just manipulating human puppets to create endless war throughout the galaxy. The only release valve for the horror is imagining that all the Helldivers are mindless clones. That would at least give us a clean conscience after killing so many of them, right? Unfortunately, Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt has recently poured cold water on that comforting thought.

He confirms that the Helldivers are real people, but he also says that the citizens of Super Earth don't really understand the situation that Helldivers find themselves in after enlisting. That means the truth of "Helldivers 2" is the worst possible option: Every soldier is a disposable resource. The brutal conditions and near-instant death facing most Helldivers is kept secret from the rest of Super Earth, and High Command really is using their operations as propaganda for the larger population. Is High Command evil, or is the whole war controlled by machines at this point? Are we really the villains of "Helldivers 2?" The thought is disturbing enough to keep you up all night, which is actually a good thing because there are more planets in need of Liberation.

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