Hell Let Loose, developed by Team17, is a WWII shooter currently part of Steam Early Access. Offering 50 vs. 50 tactical battles, HLL puts you in the chaos of war, complete with player-controlled vehicles, a dynamically evolving front line, and unit-focused gameplay that commands the tide of battle. This Hell Let Loose review was written with well over 40 hours of addicting playtime.
Hell Let Loose Overview
Hell Let Loose released on Steam Early Access June 6th, 2019 (date ring a bell?), and receives regular updates loaded with features and improvements from the developers. Currently consisting of US Forces and the German army, instances allow a total of 100 players (50v50) to compete for control of strategic locations to win battle. Players to take on specific roles such as squad leader, assault, machine gunner, anti-tank, medic or engineer within a squad where working together is essential for success. Additionally, recon units and armor crews add a vital addition to each side to aid when infantry needs to call in the heavies to push the enemy out of strategic points.
Given that Hell Let Loose is an online game which requires active communication between team members and the ability to work well together, finding the right server can make or break your experience. Jumping into combat is relatively straight forward; click on “Enlist”, sort the server list by either latency or population, join and pick a side. Once you’ve chosen your army (German or US), you’ll need to find a squad and role before “spawning-in” to the battlefield. If you end up on a squad with nobody talking and teammates running aimlessly on the battlefield, its doubtful you’ll have a good experience.
Overall gameplay is excellent, given the fact this is Early Access and not a triple-A game, my expectations were definitely exceeded. Finding a server with low latency is essential as the game can suffer from drastic drops in FPS and a good connection can reduce those affects. Player animations are well done although I do have occasional issues trying to climb over trenches or walls, not sure if this is my fault or an issue with the game.
Running through machine gun fire, planes strafing the field in front of you as a panzer crests a hedgerow to your side forcing you to dive for cover, only to be taken out by an enemy artillery round. War is hell.
Graphics And Sound
My gaming rig is getting a bit dated but I was still able to play the game on high settings, although probably not ideal. The landscape, player animations and detail given to the different maps in the game are beautiful. The effects when artillery rounds land, tank shells or anti-armor units impact their target are awesome. The latest patch has added additional levels of control in character design as well as a new tank.
Bringing the experience together is the attention to weapon and environment sounds, not to mention the victory songs (ERIKA). Nothing gets you more into the feel of the combat than the sound of machine gun rounds flying over your head, the heavy bass felt from artillery rounds landing near by or that concussive blast as your Sherman lets a shell fly.
Performance And Value
Hell Let Loose has performed very well on my dated system although, as mentioned previously, selecting a sub-100ms server is ideal. Having said that, I find there are really only a handful of populated, low-ping servers to play on in my region (US). The game is most active in the evenings naturally and there are definitely some favorite servers with vocal, ex-military types that make the game a pleasurable one.
I have experienced minor glitches, difficulties with terrain or clashes with the terrain when going prone. Drops in FPS occur occasionally, which I’ve heard other players mention as well but I am not sure the cause. Overall I have had very little issues in performance while playing on my rig built in 2015.
At its current price point of $30 on Steam at the time of this review (frequently on sale through sites like GMG), Hell Let Loose is a value. Additionally, adding the fact the developers have a well defined roadmap they are actively working through, instills confidence this game won’t be abandoned.
Hell Let Loose is a difficult game to review objectively because I enjoy it so much, which likely has me overlooking flaws. Nonetheless, if tactical shooters are your thing or you’ve played Squad, Verdun or similar games, then I would wager Hell Let Loose will not disappoint you. Again, the caveat being a good server with vocal players make this game fun and are essential to your experience. If you need me, I’ll be in the trenches… Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein und das heißt: Erika!