After weeks of attrition, Helldivers 2 players took Malevelon Creek in just hours following a new Major Order – but the bots already want it back

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Update: It's still not an April Fools' joke, folks. The Helldivers 2 community has finally liberated Malevelon Creek, mere hours after the embattled planet received a targeted Major Order. But the fight is still on. Players cleared the previous order in no time, so today's become a double-order day: the community must now defend Malevelon Creek, Draupnir, and Ubanea from an intensifying Automaton offensive.

At the time of writing, Malevelon Creek and Draupnir are still 100% secure, with Ubanea being the focus of the defensive front. The bots currently have a small lead, but the player base is just getting warmed up, and Ubanea's defense still has over 23 hours to go. 

The new Major Order itself has two days and 14 hours left in it, so it's gonna be a long fight. "Desperate as it is, should this re-invasion succeed, it may jeopardize our ability to destroy the bots in time to prevent their incoming invasion," the in-game dispatch reads, seemingly hinting at the approaching bot force teased in a previous in-game message. "Hold your ground."

Arrowhead essentially throwing stubborn players a bone by serving up the Creek on a silver platter, and then immediately threatening to take it away with a surge in bots, is perfectly on-brand. The forever war continues, now with the narrative threads from this past weekend's failed Major Order woven back into the Creek's ongoing story – a fascinating feat of improv storytelling. What will Joel think of next? 

Original story:

In a confusing twist that's seen developer Arrowhead and Game Master Joel follow the will of the player base, Helldivers 2's new Major Order has put a bullseye on Malevelon Creek to free the controversial planet once and for all.

"The Automatons have illegally occupied and mined Malevelon Creek for too long," the new Major Order reads. "The time has come to take it back."

It's no April Fools' joke, either. This Major Order is just 24 hours long and will dish out 35 medals. There's an accompanying message from High Command, too: 

"Several weeks ago, our citizens watched in horror as Malevelon Creek fell to the Automatons. Millions of valiant heroes perished attempting to defend it. For too long, the bots have maintained their illegal occupation, desecrating the memory of the fallen by rapidly depleting the planet's exceptionally rich rhodium deposits. This travesty will be allowed to continue no longer.

"Take vengeance and honor our heroes. End the theft of valuable minerals. Liberate Malevelon Creek."

At the time of writing, the Creek is already 91% liberated with over 107,000 active players contributing, largely thanks to the still-burning contingent of dedicated Creekers who were already – rather, always have been – liberating the planet before this Major Order even dropped.

Helldivers 2

(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

The kicker here is that this official Creek campaign follows a failed Major Order which was derailed in large part by confusion over the Creek. See, players were previously meant to assault Ubanea and then Tibit, but since Malevelon Creek was in the same sector, an adjacent planet, and bearing the same "Liberation" marker as the target planets, lots of players – including me – read it to be part of the order

This only got worse when Draupnir, an attached planet in a neighboring sector, abruptly came under assault, cutting off the path to Ubanea and leaving Tibit unavailable. So we had Malevelon Creek available in the same sector as the current Major Order, but Ubanea and Tibit grayed out with an easy-to-miss planet in a parallel sector blocking the path – again, all bearing the same liberation marker. Combined with the unmoving battalion of Creekers, whose ranks make the planet appear active and important, this seems to have diverted forces away from Tibit and toward the Creek, which looked like it was part of the Major Order.  

The whole thing was simultaneously a fabulous work of emergent storytelling, now officialized by today's Major Order unsticking the Creek once and for all, and a glorious breakdown of communication. (Frankly, we probably need a new and distinct marker for which planets are included in the Major Order.) Helldivers 2 players were just so democratic that they blindly dogpiled anything in need of liberation, orders be damned. 

The best part is that tens of thousands of players were also fighting bugs on the complete opposite side of the warfront the entire time, sparking debate about actively following the Major Orders versus casually playing for fun. Obviously, both are valid approaches – it's a game, have fun. Helldivers 2 is now meeting players in the middle by getting them off Malevelon Creek – hopefully for good – and back onto the more pressing planets with what ironically looks to be an easy Major Order. 

Helldivers 2's new Quasar Cannon Stratagem is a hit, and you can tell players truly love it because they're already begging Arrowhead not to nerf it. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.