Helldivers 2 promotional artwork without logo

[Update]: Helldivers 2's Cutting Edge update has added a variety of new energy weapons, including a lightning shotgun!

As I've detailed throughout my review, Helldivers 2 has a very serious balance problem. A good chunk of the weapons and stratagems are simply too weak to deal with enemies on the higher difficulties, which then directly leads to many players running basically the same generic loadouts as those are the ones that can reliably get the job done. Needless to say, it's not an ideal situation.

So in order to sort this out, as well as fix a couple of bugs, the Helldivers 2 team has now launched their very first balance update. Unfortunately, it's very a messy one!

Let's start with the positives first. The omnipresent Breaker shotgun and Railgun have received some relatively minor nerfs, while underpowered weapons like the Punisher shotgun, Breaker Spray & Pray, Laser Cannon and even Flamethrower have been beefed up quite considerably. Most excitingly of all, the utterly underwhelming 120MM and 380MM Barrage stratagems have gained increased duration and decreased spread, thus making them actually good at destroying enemy bases.

As for the bad stuff, that would be the technical side of the update, as well as the underwhelming player armor fix that still leaves heavy armor as the worst option by far. Basically, not only has the patch introduced a wide variety of bugs, some of which have already been fixed before, but it has also thrown enemy spawns completely out of whack. Even on lower difficulties it's very easy to find yourself in a situation where the game spawns one elite enemy after another, never really giving you time to breathe, let alone clean them all out.

The update has also added a couple of interesting new environmental features like fire tornadoes and meteor showers to provide both an extra challenge, as well as an extra tool to utilize in missions. Unfortunately, these are buggy as well. This is especially apparent with meteor showers as their marker on the ground appears and disappears based on terrain, so it's incredibly easy to find yourself getting killed over and over again without even realizing you're in danger. Fun!

Thankfully, the developers are aware of these problems and are already working on a fix. So unless you're in the mood for some extreme difficulty spikes and general instability, it might be a good idea to take a break for a day or two before diving back in once things have cooled off.

Whatever your plans may be, you can check out the full patch notes for the balance update, as well as keep track of any announcements, over at Steam. Enjoy, and I'll leave you with a trailer showing off the weapons and cosmetics coming with the next Warbond 'Battle Pass':