Hell Let Loose Early Access Impressions
Hell Let Loose is one of those rare gems that shine brightly amongst the most praised AAA projects such as Battlefield, proving that in some cases small studios can do it better than the big guys. The new realistic World War 2 game is something special, and has the potential to become big in the future if the developer Black Matter can keep the quality up through the Early Access period.
It's a multiplayer WW2 combat simulator that can host up to a hundred players on a few really huge maps. The keyword here is "realistic," since everything here requires a painstaking attention to details, from developing your attack strategy to coordinating the infantry and shooting a stationary artillery cannon.
Hell Let Loose has a lot to offer. If you don't mind games that are still in the Early Access, then keep on reading our first impressions of this fantastic game.
Massive Scale and Historical Accuracy
It became possible to develop an indie project on such a huge scale due to a successful Kickstarter campaign that helped Black Matter collect over $300,000. This was necessary to create highly realistic maps that would give two teams (50v50) and opportunity to fight against each other on the territories covering two square kilometers.
One such location is the exact replica of the Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, a legendary town in the north Normandy which had been the landing spot for the 101st American Airborne Division in July 1944.
The developer also plans to add several more villages, as well as British, Canadian, Soviet, and Japanese troops and their respective battles. The next new map you will see is the Utah Beach, better known as the D-Day beach map.
Regardless, all maps are divided into sectors with certain key positions in the center. Capturing these objectives gives the winning side access to various types of resources. For example, if your team wants to bring tanks into the field, you will first need to capture the objectives responsible for fuel and ammunition, and only then one of you will get the chance to roll out a brand new tank out of the hangar.
Such a serious strategic approach requires a well-coordinated series of commands, which is done in appropriate military order.
Each team has its own commander-in-chief and squad leaders, who are able to coordinate the actions on the battlefield. If you need to call an airstrike, then this is the job for your commander; while officers within the recon groups can set up exact location of the objective for a precise hit.
Naturally, players comprising such large teams play different roles on the battlefield. Riflemen, engineers, medics, snipers, and many others, all have their own sets of weapons and skills. A example lies in the engineer, which carries the huge responsibility of building various fortifications on the map, preventing enemy tanks from moving forward and forcing another team to look for different tactics.
Overall, there are 14 such roles in the game, and it looks like even more will be added in the future.
Combat Mechanics and Mathematical Precision
Hell Let Loose is a team game and nothing else. This is one of those first-person shooters, where simple tactics, such as just running and shooting, don't work. This may sound unattractive to casual players, but again, Hell Let Loose is not a casual game and that's the beauty of it.
The developer offers a brand new approach to capturing objectives that are quite different from what you've experienced before. This means that before choosing your role in the squad, you should really carefully read the description of the chosen role so you know exactly what to do on the battlefield. That is also the reason why having an access to the microphone and communicating with your commander and other troops is essential for victory.
For example, you can't just take a tank and drive wherever you like and shoot whoever you want. There are two people responsible for heavy machinery: the tank commander and the crewman. As the crewman you can drive the tank and operate it's weapons, but only within the orders of your commander.
The heavy artillery also requires two players to operate properly: the gunner and the loader. It is possible to use artillery on your own, although with much difficulty.
One requires the exact coordinates of the objective, which is possible to achieve only through an officer who has the power to spot and mark the exact locations on the map.
Then, you need to calculate the distance and the angle using special metrics provided in the aiming view of the artillery cannon. These aren't terribly precise, but many players have figured out how to do this properly using the Artillery Calculator.
Lastly, you need a loader to pick up a certain type of shell for different types of objects, and load into the cannon. When all this is properly done and the commander gives you an order to shoot, that's when you realize that Hell Let Loose is not your typical shooter, but a true war simulator that requires some serious knowledge of the warfare.
Hell Let Loose is far from being finished, and the developer had to sacrifice certain things for better playability. For example, you will notice that trees and buildings cannot be destroyed, but the bridges and fences can. This was necessary to reduce the network lag, which would destabilize the entire campaign and ultimately make the game worse off.
The rest looks incredible for an Early Access indie project, and even with some bugs and glitches, it runs really well and needs only a slight polish to really be perfect. Since the developer communicates with players constantly and updates the game regularly, there is a big chance that Hell Let Loose will actually turn out great in the end.
Below you can check out a complete roadmap of the game in the Early Access. As you see, a lot of really cool things are coming very soon!