Helldivers 2's next warbond makes slowdown an unpatriotic thing of the past with 'motivational shocks'

 Three Helldivers run towards the camera in a snowy landscape.
Three Helldivers run towards the camera in a snowy landscape.

Helldivers 2 has announced its next warbond, the game's equivalent of battle passes, will arrive on May 9 and is going to take the temperature of this war all the way down. Polar Patriots leads with the line that "a deep freeze is coming to the galaxy" before introducing a plethora of cold-themed armor, new weapons, and a white phosphorous grenade to balance things out.

There are fancy cloaks and cool new emotes too, but we all know what we're here for: firepower. The new AR-61 Tenderizer assault rifle trades huge power for a small magazine in "a real tentacle-tearer" with which "unpatriotic 'banter' shots are not advisable." Helldivers who've been calling for more SMG options will salute the arrival of the SMG-72 Pummeler, which has a slower rate of fire than existing SMGs but boasts concussive rounds that leave enemies "dazed, confused, and still very ugly." Finally there's the PLAS-101 Purifier that is basically a massive laser that gets more powerful the longer you hold down the trigger.

In terms of secondaries we get the P-113 Verdict, a semi-auto pistol that has very big bullets, which sounds like some kind of deagle equivalent, alongside the G-13 Incendiary Impact.

"Don’t waste time reading the instructions," says Arrowhead, "lob it at the enemy and run." It detonates on impact and spreads white phosphorus in a fairly large range around the target.

Most amusingly, the warbond adds a new utility booster (passive ability) called Motivation Shocks. "Literally shocks Helldivers back into action after being hit and slowed by sneaky, unjust attacks like the revolting bug acid vomit." Now that's how you get peak performance.

The armor available includes the Winter Warrior set (perk: Servo-assisted), which camouflages players in snowy environments, the Kodiak (perk: Fortified) set which has been "thoroughly pressure-tested by patriotic volunteers" whose "sacrifice shall not be forgotten", and the Arctic Ranger suit (perk: Scout) which lets you go all Batman with a utility belt.

There are three new cape designs, and three emotes. Of these the pick has to be Distribute Ballots, which is basically the "make it rain" emote-slash-meme but with ballots instead of dollar bills because democracy.

Arrowhead's currently emoting beneath its own avalanche of dollars, with Helldivers 2 already becoming "the seventh highest grossing Sony-published game in history" with over half of those sales on PC (in the US, at least). It feels like a just reward for one of the most exciting live games we've seen in some time, with the overarching galactic war continuing to throw up twists, turns, and conspiracy theories. Such is its success that Helldivers 2 has even gone mainstream, with Starship Troopers' main man Casper Van Dien calling it "really quite wonderful."