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Helldivers 2 Illuminate Leaks Are Getting Even Harder To Deny

When "Helldivers 2" fans aren't busy spreading democracy and exterminating bugs and bots across the galaxy, they're trying their hardest to predict the future of the game. Some players develop dark and elaborate theories that explain where the enemies of Super Earth came from and what they might be planning next, while other actively hack the game to reveal upcoming items, features, and events. For quite some time, fans have been picking up hints that a new enemy is preparing to descend on the galaxy: the Illuminate. Aside from references to the aggressive alien race and some occasional blue lasers in the sky, players have been unable to get any real confirmation of the villains' return from Arrowhead Game Studios — until recently. Now, players have gotten a really good look at the enemy that awaits them, and "Helldivers" fans are getting nervous about what this means for the future of the game.

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Hackers have been doing their best to datamine "Helldivers 2" for all its worth, and they've found a treasure trove of information about the game's most mysterious upcoming faction. A few low-resolution Illuminate character models leaked last month, but more and more keep popping up online. When the first low-resolution Illuminate images leaked, it was easier to believe that maybe the devs had started designing the enemies and then binned the idea of bringing the Illuminate back. However, the latest round of leaks have finally revealed enough information that fans are starting to form solid ideas about what the Illuminate are up to, as well as how their forces might perform on the battlefield.

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Get to know the Illuminate

In the original "Helldivers," the Illuminate were one of the game's main three enemy factions, and they were the only ones that came from a fully functional alien civilization. Their intelligence, technology, and tactical sophistication made them some of the most difficult enemies in the game, but they've disappeared by the events of "Helldivers 2." 

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You might not be able to find the Illuminate on the galactic map, but you can definitely find them in the "Helldivers 2" game files. Reddit user IronS1ghts has been steadily releasing more and more peeks at the Illuminate characters and items that are hidden in "Helldivers 2." Thanks to Ieaks like these, in the last week we've gotten to see an array of weaponry that looks even more strange and advanced than the tools the Illuminate were wielding in the previous game, from gauntlets to blasters to high-tech whips. It seems the faction has gone through some serious changes.

The most substantial recent leak, though, is an image of an Illuminate "Guy" who probably has a much cooler name in his native tongue. The Guy wields a staff that can apparently be used for both melee and ranged attacks, meaning that Illuminate soldiers might be the most versatile fighters in the game. After investigating the Guy and the recent weapon leaks, fans are starting to piece together some better theories about the Illuminate.

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Space gods and Helldivers chess

Illuminate theorists primarily fall into two camps. There are people who are more concerned with the narrative elements of the Illuminate, piecing together why the race disappeared and how they'll factor into the story moving forward. And then are people who are already sizing the Illuminate up and preparing for battle.

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Redditor kobald_art is part of the first camp of theorizers and has a pretty good idea about how the Illuminate have changed. "They found some eldritch monster to worship, they look significantly more dark and evil and squid like than they used to," they wrote in response to the Illuminate Guy leak. The introduction of more powerful and evil species backing the Illuminate could definitely expand the "Helldivers" universe in some exciting ways.

In the other camp, a swarm of Redditors are noting that the mix of ranged and melee combat options for the Illuminate Guy point to the faction being much more strategic — and more like the Helldivers themselves — than any other enemy in the game. "I feel that while fighting bots and bugs is like checkers, fighting the Illuminate should be like chess," writes CYBORGFISH03. Some people believe that the arrival of the Illuminate will be announced with the destruction of a major planet, if some other recent leaks are to be believed.

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The Illuminate are still one of the biggest unanswered mysteries in "Helldivers 2," but whenever they finally arrive, they're almost certainly going to shake Super Earth to its core.

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