As Helldivers 2 players report mystery blue laser beams and Illuminate sightings, its director is gaslighting again: "Blue beams aren't real, they can't hurt you"

 Helldivers 2.
Helldivers 2.

What you need to know

  • Over the last several days, Helldivers 2 players have reported (and posted gameplay footage of) mysterious blue laser beams sailing across or falling from the sky and damaging or killing players.

  • Some argue that these are just munition deflections off of armor that are being seen at off-angles, though if you ask me, there's clearly something more going on here.

  • Players have been unable to find the source of these attacks, leading to speculation that hidden teleporting Illuminate enemies are behind them.

  • The Illuminate is a faction from the original Helldivers that had energy shields, electricity weapons, snipers, and teleporting capabilities. Notably, it's the only enemy type from the first game that isn't in the sequel...officially, anyway.

  • Developer Arrowhead's CEO Johan Pilestedt is denying the existence of blue beams, essentially gaslighting players: "Blue beams aren't real, [they] can't hurt you."

It's only been about a week since players realized that a recent Helldivers 2 patch stealthily added flying Shrieker bugs to the game while developer Arrowhead's CEO Johan Pilestedt playfully denied their existence, but the space marines of Super Earth already have another major conspiracy on their hands.

This time around, there are scattered reports of mysterious (and explosive) blue lasers and beams sailing across landscapes or falling from the skies. Player testimony and gameplay footage from Reddit (see examples below) highlights that these lasers are capable of heavily damaging or even killing Helldivers, but when Liberty's finest attempt to locate the source of the attacks, they find nothing.

That fact — along with a news ticker on your ship's video screen that mentions rumors of sightings — has many convinced that these signs of an imminent return of the Illuminate, which was a faction from the first Helldivers game. And while some of the blue beam examples just seem like munition deflections viewed at weird angles, quite a few of them have convinced me that fans are onto something.

In case you're like me and never played the original Helldivers, let me fill you in on what I've been able to gather about the Illuminate. Compared to Terminid bug swarm tactics and the Automatons' frequent use of heavily armored shock troops, Illuminate forces often employ energy shields, electric weaponry, and teleportation — that third one might explain why nobody can find where the blue lasers are coming from.

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The "highly sophisticated," formerly aquatic Squ'ith aliens of the Illuminate were thought to be defeated at the end of the first Galactic War. Now, however, it's looking like they might be back — though that's not a story the Ministry of Truth would tell you, as revealed by Pilestedt's latest denials on social media.

"Blue beams aren't real, [they] can't hurt you," wrote Arrowhead's CEO, cheekily gaslighting Helldivers 2 players as he did last week when first contact with the Shriekers was made. He's either not-so-subtly hinting that there's merit to the sightings or mischievously stirring the pot, but either way, the post gave me a good chuckle.


Even if there's nothing to all these blue beam reports (and I seriously doubt that's the case, because there's no way those clips of lasers flying across maps are just armor deflections), I do expect the Illuminate to start invading Super Earth-controlled space at some point. It's the sole faction from the first game that's missing from the sequel, after all, and surely the northern and southern sectors of the Galactic War map won't stay clear forever.

Should they emerge once again, the fight against these Protoss-like creatures will no doubt be a tough one. The good news, though, is that we'll at least be well-equipped to face them with ordnance like the recently unlocked Exosuit mechs and all the goodies from the new Cutting Edge Warbond battle pass. Its arc damage-reducing armor sets, for example, may come in handy for more than Arc Thrower teamkill prevention if the Illuminate is still zapping its enemies with electricity.

Helldivers 2 is available now for $39.99 on both PS5 and PC, and so far, it's one of the best PC games of the year. Notably, the game also supports cross-platform play between PS5 and PC.

Helldivers 2 — $39.99 at GMG (Steam)

Battle aliens, robots, and other beasts in humanity's quest to spread democracy through an unforgiving galaxy. It's 4-player co-op at its absolute best, and its most refined.

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