Image via Arrowhead

Helldivers 2’s Automatons take things to the next level with massive AT-AT weapon platforms

The arms race is going strong.

The drama surrounding the ongoing clash between Super Earth and Automaton forces in Helldivers 2 shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If anything, the bots have now amped things up with huge AT-AT-looking walkers popping up across the entire theatre of war, shocking Helldiver forces.

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Here’s the really interesting bit: nobody saw this coming. At the time of writing, Super Earth is actively attempting to suppress the Automatons once and for all via Operation Swift Disassembly. This multi-stage, multi-prong onslaught had been going well until Super Earth operatives discovered that the Automatons had plans to start producing gunship flyers in short order. With that in mind, most players expected to see a gunship or two as Swift Disassembly unraveled, only to come across a superpowered quad-legged, building-sized robot instead. Instead of flying, then, the Automatons are just walking harder for the time being.

Bots now have AT-ATs in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2‘s Factory Strider bots are an apparent callback to Star Wars‘ legendary AT-AT (All-Terrain Armored Transport) vehicles. Whereas the AT-ATs were often pushovers that could be dispatched with a length of good rope and some quick out-of-the-box thinking, this is not the case with the Factory Strider from the looks of it. The Strider’s armor is impregnable by default, and until the community can suss out some reliable weak spots for Helldivers to target, the mecha will easily tank several Stratagems’ worth of munitions before being brought down. They do appear to spawn gunships too, for good measure.

The Factory Striders are scary, is what we’re getting at.

Everything suggests that the Factory Striders began appearing after the developer, Arrowhead, released the hotly anticipated update 01.000.200, which tripled the level cap, added a few new weather patterns to the rotation, and substantially improved certain weapons.

This is all part and parcel of the way Arrowhead operates, mind. A few weeks ago, I presented my argument that Helldivers 2 was all the better for the developers’ penchant to leave out major new content releases from the patch notes, and the sudden appearance of the Factory Striders underlines my point further still. Players are thrilled and terrified in equal measure when they first come across these monstrosities, which tower over the jungles and come packed to the gills with excessive amounts of weaponry. Something similar happened with the Terminid flyer creatures a while back, and we’ve no doubt that many more surprises await in the coming weeks and months.

We’re still waiting to learn more about those creepy blue lasers and strange Helldiver assassinations, it’s worth remembering. And if that’s all a tad too ethereal for your tastes, might I draw your attention to the half-cloaked orbital vessels that have begun appearing over Automaton-controlled planets? Choose your poison, as it were!


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Author
Filip Galekovic
A lifetime gamer and writer, Filip has successfully made a career out of combining the two just in time for the bot-driven AI revolution to come into its own.