When we aren’t working (a rare occasion) we like to put our feet up, relax and dive into some games.This series isn't meant as a review section but merely a place where we can post our thoughts on the games we have been playing. Click here to read all of the posts in this series!
Over the past few months we have really been enjoying Hell Let Loose – an FPS Mil-Sim where two teams of 50 players (100 in total) compete head-to-head, trying to capture strategic points on battlefields from various regions during World War II.
Objectives and Gameplay
There are currently two game modes; Warfare and Offensive.
Warfare places both teams at opposing ends of a map that has five objectives. In Warfare objectives are spread out from one side of the map two the other; each team starts with control over 2 objectives and must rush to the objective in the middle at the start of the game. Warfare ends either when a team captures all the objectives on the map or when the 90-minute game timer counts down to 00:00:00. This tug-of-war game mode is available on four maps: Hürtgen Forest, Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Utah Beach and Foy.
Offensive is the second game mode and is currently only available on the fifth map, Omaha Beach. In this game mode Allies must attack the Axis-occupied coast using AI-controlled landing craft. The Allies must not only secure the beach but also continue to push in-land to capture Axis controlled sectors and break the Axis defence.
Both game modes are extremely fun and the gameplay is satisfying – whilst you must struggle to clear heavily defended fortifications, it can be extremely rewarding when you finally breach the enemies defences. There is a heavy focus on objectives – there are no infantry / vehicle kill notifications.
Objective locations are also randomly selected from various possible options meaning that whilst the overall map might be the same, the locations that you fight over will differ from game to game.
Units and Classes
Upon loading into a game, players can choose to join either the side of Allies or Axis. Teams are broken down into units and players can choose to either join an existing unit or create their own. There are three types of units; infantry, armour and recon.
Each team has one battlefield commander. This player issues commands regarding tactics to the unit leaders for them to carry out. In addition to this, the commander has access to numerous abilities including supply drops, strafing runs and bombing runs. These abilities can be used to help the team attack or defend objectives but do have cooldowns so must be used wisely.
Infantry units each contain a maximum of six players. One of the six players plays as the Officer and the other five players choose from the other remaining classes. Each class in the infantry unit is unique and differ in weapons, gear and playstyle. Whilst there are six players in a unit, there are nine different classes to choose from meaning that units will need to actively switch classes if the situation on the battlefield changes. Officers can communicate with the team’s commander and relay instructions to their unit. Players can voice chat to either their entire squad or to players in their local vicinity. Text chat is also available, but voice chat really brings out the best gaming experience – there is nothing like hearing your fellow players camaraderie when you are stuck in a trench in the thick of battle.
You guessed it, tank units. Each team can have a maximum of three tank units, with each consisting of a maximum of three players. One of the three players is the Tank Commander who leads the other two Crewmen in his unit and, much like the Officer, is the intermediary between the Commander and their unit.
While both factions have access to tanks, their playstyles do differ; Shermans are numerous and spawn faster but the Panther and Tiger tanks are more powerful and have better armour.
Each team can have a maximum of two recon units, which consist of two classes; Sniper and Spotter. A well-placed recon unit covering large open spaces can prevent the opposing team from rapidly advancing. Whilst most fights are medium range, snipers (in combination with their spotter) are useful for supressing and pinning down enemy units.
Why do we love Hell Let Loose?
The game is regarded as Mil-Sim and being a less hardcore version of Squad and Post Scriptum – some may see this as a negative, but we see it as a positive. Whilst games are long, they don’t feel slow at all. Battles are lengthy, gritty and unforgiving and advances may only be small, but the constant cycle keeps players engaged. There are definitely some bugs, and certain actions could be improved / refined but the developers push weekly updates that add much needed polish to a game with outstanding gameplay. You truly feel like a cog in the machine of colossal combined arms warfare – and its true, the game doesn’t reward you, it rewards the team and teamwork. It doesn't matter whether you are good a FPS games or not, most of the times fights are won by teams that throw more bodies into the fray.
The game is also strengthened by it's passionate community. The game recently experienced a free weekend and experienced players were happy to offer tips and advice to the new recruits hitting the battlefields for the first time. Players and units often banter whilst under sustained artillery fire and there is unified happiness when fortifications are captured or defended.
We also appreciate the communication from Black Matter and we can’t wait for the updates that they have got planned (shown below).
Thanks for reading, we can't wait to join you on the battlefield!
Please note that all images / gifs were created by Black Matter / team17 and are available on the Hell Let Loose Steam page. capsunlocked is not affiliated with either of these organisations and they have had no imvolvement in this blog post.