Helldivers 2's Automatons are back for robotic revenge, and oh Liberty, they're invading Cyberstan and 5 other planets we have to defend in 3 days

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Following what was thought to be their ultimate defeat on Sunday afternoon, Helldivers 2's Automaton faction has returned to the Galactic War with a massive invasion fleet. "The Reclamation" has begun.
  • The fleet has invaded multiple planets in the northwestern sectors of the galaxy map, including Cyberstan — the homeworld of the Cyborgs thought to be the creators of the bots.
  • As Super Earth scrambles defenses, all Helldivers have been called to successfully complete five defense campaigns in the next three days by a new Major Order.
  • Currently, Menkent, Lesath, and Chort Bay are all under assault, with the community seemingly focusing on the campaign on Menkent first.

Super Earth's valiant Helldivers 2 players achieved what was thought to be total victory against the Automaton menace on Sunday afternoon, but our worst fears have been confirmed true: "the previous bot force was just a vanguard," and the democracy-hating buckets of bolts have returned with a massive fleet "comprising tens of thousands of warships." It's invaded every planet in the Valdis Sector, and has begun pressing into the Lacaille and Hydra Sector as well; currently, all Helldivers have been alerted to "LIBCON 1," and are called to slow the fleet's advance by defending at least five planets in the next three days.

Worryingly, one of first worlds that the resurgent Automaton force assaulted was Cyberstan — the homeworld of the half-human, half-machine Cyborgs from the first Helldivers game, which are thought to be the creators of the bots we're at war with. The Democracy Officer on your ship says they've been sealed away in the mines beneath the planet's surface, but with Cyberstan now under Automaton control, they may be freed. If that happens, the bots will likely get some new technologies or unit types to use against us on the galactic battlefields.

Right now, there are three planets being invaded actively: Menkent, Lesath, and Chort Bay. Over 110,000 Helldivers have already deployed to Menkent, so that's where the community is focusing its attention for now; smaller battlegroups are doing what they can to hold the line elsewhere. Since Choohe and Penta have already been taken, I suspect the bots will also attempt to capture Vernen Wells and Aesir Pass in the Hydra Sector soon, so hopefully we complete these existing three defense campaigns quickly so we can focus on these ones when they begin.

As I wrote last week, pretty much everyone knew the Automatons weren't going to be beaten for good when we got the Major Order to finish off the remaining bots in the Severin Sector — those massive cloaked warships above Automaton planets were a big tell, as was the enemy's deployment of Factory Strider "AT-AT" walkers and gunship swarms. However, I didn't expect them to launch their "The Reclamation" counteroffensive so quickly. I figured we'd be fighting the bugs exclusively for a week or so, but nope, the bots are here and they're out for blood.

I won't lie, patriots: no matter how the Ministry of Truth tries to spin it, the situation here is pretty bad. With that said, there is a silver lining, and that's that at the very least, we're well-equipped to fight the invasion fleet. We have all the gear from the Cutting Edge Warbond battle pass along with new stratagems like the Heavy Machine Gun and Quasar Cannon to use, and on Thursday, we're getting the Democratic Detonation Warbond as well.

Cutting Edge has several weapons effective against the bots like the LAS-16 Sickle and the G-23 Stun grenade, and the explosive armor-piercing kit in Democratic Detonation will be great to use on them, too. Both cost 1,000 Super Credits you can either find at Points of Interest during missions or buy with microtransactions, and have three pages of items you can then unlock with the Warbond Medals earned by finishing missions and completing both Personal and Major Orders.

The presence of cloaked warships early last week was a big hint the Automatons were planning a counteroffensive. (Image credit: u/Firestorm_361 on Reddit)

Speaking of Warbond Medals, we'll get 45 if we can manage to successfully defend five planets from the Automatons by Friday morning. That should give players a nice progression boost for Democratic Detonation or any other Warbond battle pass they're working on, though actually completing this Major Order is going to be tough. Make sure you're using this Helldivers 2 Galactic War live map to keep an eye on where the community focuses its efforts in the coming days.

Hopefully, the Helldivers will be able to stall the invasion fleet long enough to begin a counterattack of their own and start retaking ground — I, for one, think Liberty's troops need to focus on getting Cyberstan back under Super Earth control as soon as possible. For now, though, all we can do is shore up our defenses and hold the line. Get to the front, soldier.

Helldivers 2 is available now for $39.99 on both PS5 and PC, and so far, it's one of the best PC games of the year. Notably, the game also supports cross-platform play between PS5 and PC.

Helldivers 2 — $39.99 at GMG (Steam)

Helldivers 2 — $39.99 at GMG (Steam)

Battle aliens, robots, and other beasts in humanity's quest to spread democracy through an unforgiving galaxy. It's 4-player co-op at its absolute best, and its most refined.

Also at: Amazon (PS5, Physical) | Walmart (PS5, Physical)

Super Citizen Edition: Amazon (PC, Digital) | GMG (Steam, PC, Digital)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.