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The Controversial Item Turning Helldivers 2 Players Against Each Other

Arrowhead Games just gave every "Helldivers 2" player a free cape, and a large swath of fans are extremely upset about it. The cape, called "Fallen Hero's Vengeance," arrived on the scene with a message from the President of Super Earth commemorating Helldivers who died in the fighting at Malevelon Creek.

If you've been pretty checked-out during the latest war efforts — or if you're one of those Helldivers who insists on only fighting Terminids — then you might be a bit confused about Super Earth's latest holiday. Malevelon Creek was Automaton territory, and the nearly impossible missions there were so intense that some players developed a hatred for it. Some even dubbed it "Space Vietnam." On April 1, High Command issued a Major Order to retake the Creek, but it was no joke. Players showed up in droves and brought Liberation to the area in just five hours.

So far so good. However, it turns out that some Helldivers resent the "Creekers" who are being memorialized with the cape. This isn't just an elaborate bit that gamers are doing as a play on Space Vietnam, either. Some players blame fellow Helldivers who are obsessed with fighting on the Creek for other Major Orders and war efforts falling behind. In their eyes, honoring Creekers is like saying the rest of the war (and the game) doesn't matter, and they aren't being shy about showing their lack of appreciation.

Division in the Helldivers ranks

The backstory of all this Creeker hate isn't as complicated as some would have you believe. Essentially, some players became obsessed with retaking the Creek long before the Major Order to do so came in. Back then, players were already getting frustrated with Creekers for refusing to engage with other Major Orders. Now that the Creekers have been honored with a cape, people who resent them are taking out their frustrations on anyone sporting the new duds. Some players wearing the Fallen Hero's Vengeance cape are finding themselves unceremoniously kicked from games before they can even get their boots planted on the ground.

Other players are even making open calls to straight-up team kill anyone who wears the cape, and that's going to be all too easy because the game's friendly fire isn't going anywhere. To be fair, only a minority of players are targeting Creekers and Creek sympathizers, but this angry contingent is pretty outspoken. The rest of the community is finding that it needs a way to sort out this Creeker hatred before division in the ranks compromises the ongoing war effort.

The opposition to the opposition

If you've played a live-service game, you already know how this works: Before the division gets healed, it's going to get worse. The anti-Creeker backlash has spawned its own backlash, and the two sides of the argument haven't figured out a way to empathize with each other just yet.

The good news is that people who want to wear the Fallen Hero's Vengeance cape (which of course they do, it looks awesome) aren't going to get kicked out of every game they join. Plenty of people support the Creekers, and some just don't care about the meta narrative of "Helldivers 2" in the first place. At least, not enough to be so aggro about it.

Some anti-anti-Creekers are making the argument that kicking people from missions for their choice in clothing is just as treasonous as ignoring Major Orders to focus on a single location in the galaxy. Maybe that logic will break through the hate, but don't hold your breath just yet. What this evolving story really shows is just how invested certain players are in the game's narrative. "Helldivers 2" has managed to create a truly emergent story that gives players a genuine sense of agency. For better or worse, the course of the war is ours to determine.