Helldivers 2 players have successfully emancipated the Emancipator mech from the automaton assembly line, and of course the dual-autocannon exosuit has triggered another debate about balance

 The Emancipator Mech on a Moon-like planet in Helldivers 2.
The Emancipator Mech on a Moon-like planet in Helldivers 2.

Helldivers 2's community has once again liberated a new vehicle stratagem from the tin-can clutches of the automatons, wresting control of the robot Petafactory on the planet Varylia 5 and converting it to produce Emancipator exosuits. This new mech comes in a fetching yellow paint job, and is armed with twin autocannons perfect for pulverizing the enemies of Managed Democracy into mulch.

At least, that's how Arrowhead Game Studios probably hoped players would feel. But the Emancipator has instead proved somewhat divisive. There's been a lot of heated debate about balance in Helldivers 2 recently, as more weapons and stratagems are added to the game. Admittedly, developer Arrowhead hasn't helped the situation, constantly tweaking weapons and equipment players are having fun with for fear of it being overpowered.

The arrival of the Emancipator triggered yet another debate about balance, with some sectors of the community feeling that the new mech is both too easily destroyed and too weedy in its damage output. One user, fittingly named Dushnila_complainer, listed multiple issues, claiming the Exosuit's autocannons are weaker than the sentry autocannons, and bemoaning its limited uses compared to that same sentry. There's also discontent surrounding how much damage the Emancipator does against Bile Titans, the building-sized Terminids that vomit hot green death from on high.

However, there are an equal if not greater number of posts on the Helldivers subreddit retorting that the Emancipator is Fine, Actually, and the real problem with the game at the moment is not its balance, but the constant moaning about it. "This whole sub is crazy with the balancing stuff imo," said user greatnailsageyoda, while Reactiveisland5 stated "wondering if my Emancipators came different from everyone else's with how it's been working for me."

I took the Emancipator for a whirl last night myself, and my reaction to it was that its functionality is pretty well judged. Those twin autocannons can be enormously powerful in the right circumstances. They can rip through low-to-mid level patrols like a Charger through a cheesecake, and are especially effective against the automatons, which tend to attack from mid-range. The Emancipator is less effective overall against Terminids, particularly larger foes like the Bile Titan. But the autocannon has never been an ideal weapon for fighting those enemy types, so it isn't enormously surprising that the Emancipator struggles against them, even if it is equipped with two autocannons.

I do have one complaint about the Emancipator, which is that aiming with it is a little tricky. The trajectory for each autocannon seems to be slightly different, forcing you to adjust your aim if you're firing with them individually. It isn't clear sure whether this is deliberate or not, but it takes some getting used to.

The Emancipator is temporarily available to all players as a bonus in-mission Stratagem, but it won't be long before you have to purchase it to use. So if you fancy giving it a test drive yourself, now is the time to do so.