Helldivers 2 PS5 PlayStation

Further light has been shed on the mysteries of the Helldivers 2 universe, in which those titular heroic troopers spread Democracy to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, crushing both Bugs and Bots under polished jackboots. What insidious intelligence directs these loathsome foes of Freedom and Liberty, you ask? An Arrowhead Game Studios employee named Joel.

Joel is Game Master, a job and title very much inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, but on a massively multiplayer scale, and he works ceaselessly to help shape some of the incredible, emergent moments which have made the game such a hit. In an interview with PC Gamer, Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt explained:

"We have an actual person with the job title of Game Master, and we have a lot of systems built into the game where the Game Master has a lot of control over the play experience. It's something that we're continuously evolving based on what's happening in the game. And as part of the roadmap, there are things that we want to keep secret because we want to surprise and delight."

Trying to capture some of the collaborative magic of tabletop gaming, Joel can give a player access to a particular stratagem in the middle of the mission, potentially turning the tide of battle entirely. But apparently, the role extends as far as more significant narrative events, like the recent and cowardly surprise attack from the Socialist Automatons, which transformed an unnamed backwater into the community's first baptism of fire: the tragedy that befell the forces of Super Earth at Malevelon Creek, where defeat at the hands of the Automatons has already become the stuff of legend, dubbed "Space Vietnam" by the community.

So, expect more of these "setpieces" to occasionally occur in response to player actions and Joel's whims. Pilestedt said that "[Joel] had to get up in the middle of the night to give the Automatons a bit of reinforcement, " which is truly incredible.

What do you think of Arrowhead's approach to emergent gameplay? Should we redouble our efforts to spread Democracy and make Joel sweat slightly? Remember the fallen heroes of Malevelon Creek in the comments section below.

[source pcgamer.com]