Unknown to them before joining, Helldivers 2's titular democracy enthusiasts are frozen and thawed between missions and have a 2-minute life expectancy

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Sony)

If you're fighting for the glory of Super Earth in Helldivers 2, your life expectancy is about two minutes, and you never even know you're going to be frozen and thawed between missions.

Helldivers 2 game director Johan Pilestedt has recently responded to a query on Twitter about what the Helldivers really know when they sign up to fight an intergalactic war. Pilestedt shoots down one common theory - that the Helldivers aren't exactly human, but are instead clones repeatedly reborn for the battlefield. They all have lovingly families back home, of course.

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Then the game director dropped two fascinating nuggets: firstly, Helldivers don't know they're going to be frozen and thawed repeatedly when they sign up, and secondly, the average life expectancy of a Helldiver is merely two minutes. I hope they have life insurance against bugs, robots, and accidental weapon discharges.

When you think about how often you perish at the hands of Terminids or Automatons in Helldivers 2, that life expectancy starts to make a lot of sense very quickly. Of course, back home on Super Earth people think you're a hero for fighting the good fight and spreading democracy, but the reality is anything but. 

This all brilliantly plays into the comedy aspect of Helldivers 2, and how its misery is almost a funny tragedy for the poor troopers. Funnily enough, Pilestedt's tweet above began as a Twitter thread reacting to GamesRadar+'s very own feature on how Helldivers 2 is a masterclass in designing comedy games, in which he agreed wholeheartedly with our take on the co-op shooter.

Check out our guide on the best weapons in Helldivers 2 with which to spread democracy and try and outlive that two-minute life expectancy.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.