family in helldivers 2
Image via PlayStation

Helldivers 2’s recent Major Order has players questioning why they really fight

They really are thinking of the children.

After choosing to save the children in a recent Major Order, Helldivers 2 players have been showing a softer side of themselves. Through fan art that usually shows memes or epic landscapes, players are instead highlighting those they fight for in the Helldivers universe.

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Usually, Major Orders are little more than flavor text that justifies playing more Helldivers 2. Yes, they add to the story, but the gameplay is what we’re all here for, and if we can make it into just one more mission by shouting, “Won’t someone please think of the children?!” then we’re absolutely going to do it. Right now, though, Helldivers 2 players are experiencing a more somber mood, sharing artwork that commemorates the children and civilians they save on a daily basis, not just in the recent Major Order.

Helldivers 2 players show a different side of themselves after choosing to save children

Over on the Helldivers 2 subreddit, players are sharing some of the most heartful fan art I’ve seen for the game to date. some of it’s genuinely making me tear up and want to dive in so I can save more fictional people from their fictional deaths at the hands of the Automatons.

User VanuVampire shared the first and probably most popular image of a child’s cartoon of them and a Helldiver after being saved from certain death. They ask, “Devs, can we have this on the wall of our ship please?!?” which I don’t think is unreasonable.

User TurnMajestic8035 shared some fan art of a Helldiver clutching a child in the final hours on Vernen Wells when as many children as possible were saved in the name of freedom, democracy, and a brand new Stratagem. This one gets me, but not as much as the one below.

User misterwot shared a pixel art scene that just breaks me each time I see it. The image shows Helldivers coordinating rescue operations for civilians while Super Destroyers fly in overhead to deliver more democracy to the Automaton menace.

Something about these powerful warriors being so gentle and helping people with horrific injuries into beds and around a medical camp is just too much for me to bear. The Helldiver at the back holding a child’s hand through all this hits on a scary level because of the world’s conflicts right now.

Even the memes have some heart behind them. This one from user domkesslr is a conversation between an Automaton and a Helldiver, but the Helldiver is speaking so much truth on multiple levels. In both the satirical universe of Helldivers 2 and the real world, the children are the future.

I don’t want to leave you on a downer, so I’ve included this meme, posted by user KurnaKovite, which shows how some members of the community hopped on saving the children as the Major Order because they thought it would be funny but ended up having a hugely positive impact on everyone they play with as well as the developer that donated money for every child saved to Save the Children.

Helldivers 2‘s story, in-game messaging, and dialogue paint a satirical version of humanity’s future. Super Earth citizens are encouraged to sign up to spread freedom and manage democracy by killing robots and giant bugs without ever questioning authority. As the icing on the cake, families are even charged for the return of whatever pieces of their loved ones are left, provided they didn’t help create a new black hole or something else fairly substantial.

This is a moment for the community, though. While they may not all realize it, the choice to prioritize saving children has opened up everyone’s heart and made them see the innocent lives that are so often lost in the Second Galactic War. Super Earth will undoubtedly rally the troops to get more oil gushing from the Terminids soon enough, but it can’t take away from the fact that its democracy-spreading machines of war just shed a tear and showed some compassion for once.

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Image of Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie is a Staff Writer on Destructoid who has been playing video games for the better part of the last three decades. He adores indie titles with unique and interesting mechanics and stories, but is also a sucker for big name franchises, especially if they happen to lean into the horror genre.