Developer: Black Matter Studios
Genre: FPS / Action / Early Access
Ever since the age of about 12 or 13 I’ve always had a really keen interest in World War 2 and as a consequence video games set in that era have always interested me greatly. But it’s not just video games, Band of Brothers is probably one of my favourite TV series of all time, the epic WW2 drama painted a gruesome, dark and gritty reality for what the war was like, but I’ve never really felt that the dark and gritty side of wars translated in to the video game medium. Sure there have been a number of excellent games set in WW2, but more so because they were really good fun and played very well.
Then along came Hell Let Loose, it was originally run as a Kickstarter project and that was where I heard about it and decided to back it. The game promised large scale warfare, realistic battles, intense gameplay and from what I could tell it looked to offer that darker side to WW2 where it’s not all about one hero saving the day all the time, it’s about crawling along trenches, working as a team, hiding from MG fire and panicking when you see a tank crest a hill in front of you.
Over the last year or so I’ve taken part in a few of the closed alphas as part of being a backer and whilst I didn’t spend loads of time playing I could see the potential that the potential in the game was there. Hell Let Loose has now released on Steam early access and the improvements that have been made have been amazing and I’ve been having a lot of fun playing the game.
The focus of Hell Let Loose is more on working as a team and pushing the enemy back across huge maps with multiple objectives. You will form squads of up to six and each squad will have a number of roles for people to play like anti-tank, medic, infantry etc… There are also snipers squads of two and vehicles squads where you can have three players manning a tank. The battles are slower paced compared to games like COD or Battlefield, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still a lot of fun. In fact I’d go as far as to say that if you get a good squad together i.e. one that communicates a lot, then you can have some of the best experiences in an FPS in a long time – at least that’s my view anyway. Just the other day I was playing with one random playing in a tank, he was driving and acting as commander – calling out targets, and I was on the turret, we were dominating and it was so much fun. Methodically moving through the battlefield spotting targets and wiping them out was a really satisfying gaming experience. It’s also damn gory, tank shells that hit can easily blow your enemies in to pieces.
Hell Let Loose is definitely more on the side of being a mil-sim game with immersion and realistic gameplay being more prevalent, you will die in a one of two shots, you will die if you try to run and gun constantly, you will die if you don’t work as a team. That is one of the problems I have found though – not working as a team, if you have a squad of silent players who just go off and do their own thing, it can become a pretty frustrating game to play, thankfully for the most part during my play time I’ve had some good team mates who want to work together.
Hell Let Loose will probably cater to a somewhat niece audience but I think that it’s a really solid WW2 shooter with some great visuals, great sound design and great immersive gameplay.