"We lost it..." Helldivers 2's fan-favorite Malevelon Creek planet has fallen, but a counter-offensive to take back "Robot Vietnam" is already underway

 Helldivers 2.
Helldivers 2.

What you need to know

  • One of the toughest planets to fight on in Helldivers 2 is Malevelon Creek, an Automaton-controlled world with dark and hazy blue skies, dense jungles, and deep bodies of water.

  • It's been lovingly dubbed "Robot Vietnam" by the game's community, with a few dozen thousand dedicated players often battling the bots for control of it at any given moment.

  • On Tuesday night, it fully fell to the Automatons, resulting in widespread shock and sadness from Helldivers 2 players on social media. For a time, a retreat issue was ordered that made the planet inaccessible.

  • Early this morning, though, a new front on Malevelon Creek emerged, giving Helldivers determined to liberate it an opportunity to begin a counter-offensive that's now ongoing.

While most Helldivers 2 players have spent the weeks since the game's February 8 launch freeing worlds from Terminid bug infestations or defending them from robot invasions, a few dozen thousand of Super Earth's finest space marines have been fighting a very different war on a planet in the Severin Sector called Malevelon Creek. Here, brave Helldivers ferociously battle heavily armed and armored legions of Automatons daily in a desperate attempt to liberate the world.

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Malevelon Creek is often colloquially referred to as "Robot Vietnam" by fans, and after playing through some missions there, the reason why quickly becomes clear. Its dreary dark blue lighting, thick jungle vegetation, and abundance of hip-high bodies of water all significantly limit visibility and movement, making it much harder to effectively engage the Automatons than it tends to be on other planets. In many cases, the only way you can even figure out where to shoot or call down airstrikes is by watching the tree lines for the crimson-red of piercing mechanical eyes and incoming laser fire.

It's a pretty hellish place to be, to put it mildly — but the adversity players encounter there has only inspired them to fight harder, tooth and nail, for every inch of the territory. So, when the community discovered Tuesday evening that Malevelon Creek  had fallen completely to the bots and was inaccessible thanks to a retreat order, everyone (including yours truly, a Creek veteran) was understandably devastated. You can see various reactions to and memes about the heartbreaking news on social media below.

A ray of hope still shines, however. Early Wednesday morning, a new front on Malevelon Creek emerged, giving its fiercely dedicated liberators an opportunity to begin a counter-offensive. Rallying behind a cry to "spill oil," Super Earth is once again wrestling with the enemy to free "Robot Vietnam" of the Automatons that gave it its namesake.

At the time of writing, over 30,000 Helldivers are active on the world, and have managed to get its Liberation percentage up to a little over 1.5% so far (and counting). That's not much, but it's a decent foothold, and one I hope players take advantage of by reinforcing the front lines of the Creek en masse. It's definitely where I'll be fighting.

The brutal ongoing struggle for Malevelon Creek is one of many conflicts in Helldivers 2's wider Galactic War metagame, which sees fans attempt to free or defend various planets and sectors from Terminid bugs and Automaton robots. This is achieved by completing groups of individual missions called operations on planets, and while developer Arrowhead Game Studios has the final say on how the war unfolds, player actions influence it significantly.

Helldivers 2
Helldivers 2

The new Malevelon Creek counter-attack reassures me that we really will see it liberated one day, though I'm not as hopeful about other fronts in Automaton-controlled sectors. In fact, it's all but confirmed that we're going to fail the current Major Order, which tasked the community to successfully defend eight planets from robot invasion. We've only held the line on six, and there's only one world to fight for before the campaign ends tomorrow, so we'll soon learn what the consequences of our defeat are.

The good news, though, is that Helldivers 2's devs have celebrated victory over server capacity issues and are now shifting gears "to focus on improvements" like new forms of content. We know for a fact that we'll be able to pilot some big armored mechs at some point, and I'd bet all my Super Credits that we'll be getting new weapons, stratagems, enemy factions, and more in the future.

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)

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