He's not all bad: Helldivers 2's D&D-style game master Joel joins a player's game, drops an unreleased vehicle, and then vanishes into the night

 Helldivers 2 intro cutscene helldiver thumbs up.
Helldivers 2 intro cutscene helldiver thumbs up.

There are few individuals as mysterious as Helldivers 2's galactic game master Joel – the man pulling all the strings of the war, constantly working to evolve the third-person shooter's narrative, as well as issuing Major Orders to us all.

He's been quietly working behind the scenes since the game's launch, and has become a bit of a legend amongst the community, even if some might view him as more of an antagonist given the challenges he's set for us.

But surely Joel must be amongst us, also part of the fight against the Terminids and Automatons, right? According to a viral clip, it seems he might be getting even more directly involved than we realized, as it's been claimed that he joined a game and gave players an enormous unreleased vehicle to use before vanishing into the night.

If it's to be believed, Joel can be seen chatting with other players in the video: "Hey guys I need to get back to work," the message log reads. "Please take this," he adds, before dropping in as-of-yet unreleased vehicle.

It's worth noting that, at the time of writing, it's not been confirmed by either Joel himself or any of the other Arrowhead Game Studios members that this really was the game master personally delivering this gift to players. The existence of vehicles in Helldivers 2 is something we've known about via leaks – seemingly from datamines – for a few weeks now, with clips of the same APC-like vehicle first emerging online at the start of the month. With that in mind, there's a chance it could have been an impersonator.

As we know however, Arrowhead is never quick to confirm if certain additions to the game are real even if they obviously are. Game director Johan Pilestedt previously vehemently denied the existence of flying bugs, and branded footage of them as "propaganda from bug sympathizers." Only recently did he finally crumble, adding: "I have always believed there to be a possibility of flying bugs."

All things considered, it seems it's probably only a matter of time before more players will be able to get their hands on vehicles like this, but it's not clear when. If Joel really did drop into a game to let players try one out, let's hope he's planning to visit a few more to give more of us a chance to try them.

Be sure to check out our guide to the best Helldivers 2 Stratagems to see which ones are the most useful.