Hell Let Loose


Author: Sonic

After two intense years spent in the muddy trenches of early access, this promising World War II debut from Australian studio Dark Matter has finally decided to go live. Under their belts, they are now trying to crush the competition and grab the medal for the king of the genre.


Hell Let Loose puts you in the chaos of war, complete with deep player-controlled vehicles, a dynamically evolving front line, and crucial unit-focused gameplay that commands the tide of battle. 

 

 

Featuring more than 10 sweeping maps modeled on real reconnaissance images and satellite data, the entire battlefield is divided up into large capture sectors - allowing for emergent and constantly unique gameplay that pits two forces of fifty players in a fight to the death across fields, bridges, forests and towns on an ever-evolving front line. When a sector is captured, it will generate one of three resources for your team, creating a complex meta-game that will influence your team’s march to victory. Most of the maps are  from the Western Front and some from the newly opened Eastern Front. All of them reach up to two square kilometers full of rubble, trenches, tank barriers, half-collapsed houses, muddy bomb craters, burning trees, or strips of reinforced concrete forts.

 


The game offers only two classic game modes: Offensive, where one attacks and others defend, and Warfare, where the frontline moves dynamically back and forth depending on the state of the battle. Hell Let Loose, however, pleasantly surprises with one initially easily overlooked detail. This is the random placement of footholds, which must always be conquered and held. 


This is where another fundamental element of the game comes into service, and that is logistics as the backbone of all warfare. The battlefields in Hell Let Loose are huge - quite possibly some of the biggest in the genre. One has to wait for respawn after death, and it is important that the squad leader places the recovery strategically. For the enemy, this is a very easy and coveted prey. In addition, raw materials and their supply nodes are needed to build starting stations for the entire team. Their allocation should be coordinated by the Commander-in-Chief, as he draws from them not only material for building respawns, but also points for special support attacks such as air raids, artillery barrages or requisition of armored vehicles. Therefore, during warfare, constant supervision of the construction of the logistics network and the supply of raw materials is necessary. Either by air or with the help of supply vehicles.

 



Tank crews also play a very important role, and their fire support is often the decisive factor in the clash. The driver is by far the most difficult role, also thanks to the manual transmission. This two- to three-man team not only has to cooperate, but the tank commander is also forced to cooperate with the infantry to cover the sides and back.

The tank damage model here is foxy. Although it is not a realistic system, it certainly has its charm. Tank damage is symbolized by the turret, hull and track icons. Each of these components can be discarded separately. Occasionally, a critical hit occurs, when the enemy armored vehicle catches fire with a single well-placed hit. At the same time, the game also takes into account the angle of rotation of the vehicle as an effective defense against incoming shells.

 


Sound-wise, it is also not a revolutionary title and I might dare to say that Hell Let Loose will be more at the tail end of the competition. Everything here sounds kind of dull and artificial. Especially the distant fire from the surroundings, when the explosions of large-caliber bombs sound more like firecrackers from a convenience store. Explosions and whizzing bullets are simply not sonically convincing and unfortunately they can knock down the believability of otherwise sometimes bombastic-looking explosions.


Hell Let Loose proudly fills the imaginary middle ground between festive and hardcore authentic World War II shooters. It's far from flawless, but it has an extremely dedicated team behind it that is constantly improving the game.