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I can’t decide which new Helldivers 2 update rules harder—the wicked hot fire tornadoes on Hellmire or the full-auto laser rifle that melts everything

If you can’t take the heat, get out of the hellpod. It’s been 48 hours since something exciting and concerning happened in the world of Helldivers 2, so naturally, Arrowhead turned on the fire tornadoes. You’re reading that right: columns of hot death have been spotted on the aptly named Hellmire in Terminid territory.

I wouldn’t dare report on a lethal weather event I won’t run toward myself, so I set course for Hellmire to meet these spicy twisters in person, and try out the new guns in the “Cutting Edge” premium warbond. It’s the first post-launch warbond added to the game, and it’s similar in size to the Steeled Veterans bond—three pages consisting of four weapons, three armor sets, and a handful of other goodies for $10 worth of Super Credits. I banked a modest pile of medals for the occasion to immediately unlock a gun on the first page I’ve been eyeing for a week: the LAS-16 Sickle.

The Sickle is the second laser primary weapon, sitting comfortably next to the Scythe beam rifle. Some might skip the Sickle because of its relation to the utterly underwhelming Scythe, but allow me to set you straight: the Sickle is its bigger, stronger, faster brother, and immediately one of my favorite guns in Helldivers 2.

You know the Liberator, the default assault rifle with steady recoil, lots of ammo, and good damage? The Sickle is that if you didn’t need to reload. The only downside is the rifle needs to spin up for a half-second or so before it shoots. Not a big deal, but when you’re getting crowded out by six Hunters taking turns ripping you to shreds, every second counts. Like all weapons in the laser family, the Sickle runs on heat sinks that cool down on their own but need replacing when you push them to the extreme.

That extreme is pushed constantly on Hellmire, where a persistent “Intense Heat” modifier means stamina replenishes slowly and laser guns overheat quicker. Hellmire is what I imagine Arrakis will look like when Paul Atreides is done “liberating” it with nukes—a charred red atmosphere forever obscured by sandstorms, bugs, corpses, and now fire tornadoes. They were a near-constant threat in a trio of missions I went on, but they’re easy to avoid if you see them coming.

The problem is the sound of dancing fire doesn’t penetrate through Helldivers’ cacophony of gunfire and bug squeals, so they’re sneakier assassins than you might assume. Like, in this clip below, I’m nearly roasted alive when a fire-nado comes out of nowhere:

They seem to spin up in groups of three or four. I might be imagining this, but I swear the twisters will actually steer toward players and away from enemies. Devious, but consistent with the meteor showers, tremors, and volcanic eruptions plaguing other corners of the galaxy. Meteors are still my personal favorite hazard in Helldivers, but fire tornadoes get full marks for style and intimidation.

I’ve yet to spend meaningful time with the other three Cutting Edge weapons: the SG-8P Punisher Plasma, ARC-12 Blitzer, and the LAS-7 Dagger. I did play one mission with the Punisher Plasma and was surprised to learn it’s not a shotgun at all. It’s a pump-action grenade launcher with splash damage that’d feel right at him in Halo. I like it.

In other Super Earth news, the installation of Termicide towers has been completed on Fenrir III. That’s one of four down. When it’s all done, Super Earth says the Terminids are toast forever, but we all know what Joel’s really up to.

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