Helldivers 2 director confirms ‘we are the baddies’ as he says the game’s original pitch was based around a classic Star Wars moment

The director of Helldivers 2 has confirmed that the community’s answer to the question ‘Are we the baddies?’ is probably a resounding ‘yes’, as the original pitch for the game was shaped in no small part by Star Wars stormtroopers.

Speaking at the Nordic Game conference in Sweden, former CEO Johan Pilestedt showed off the original pitch for Helldivers, which describes the game as “a co-op action shooter where players are put in the shoes of ‘evil side’ grunts of pop culture.” From there, the game asks how far you might make it in an 80s-style action movie without plot armor to protect you.

“We wanted to do a realistic take on what it would be to be in one of those squads of stormtroopers” Pilestedt explains. He then points to the unfortunate example of the first Stormtrooper to step into the Death Star’s cell block in Star Wars: A New Hope – “he, of course, gets shot in the chest by Han Solo. And that’s the question: Would you do better climbing into that room trying to capture the bad guys that are trying to take over your lovely Death Star?”

You can watch Pilestedt’s talk in its entirety on YouTube, but for the moment, I’m more concerned with unpicking what his claim might mean for the community. Given the clearly dictatorial nature of Super Earth High Command, some players have long questioned whether the Helldivers are, in fact, the bad guys in the Galactic War. There’s a lot of propaganda going on that seems like it might be hiding the truth behind the war, and while that’s obviously just the kind of thing some seditious traitor might say, Pilestedt has certainly cast this conflict in a different light.

Helldivers 2’s new Major Order offers a shiny new dual-cannon Emancipator mech as a reward – but only if the community can overturn its losing streak.

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