July 29, 2021

Hell Let Loose is a hardcore WW2 shooter with an RTS twist, and it's carnage

There's a lot of chatter these days about how my generation would deal with the Second World War. I can't answer that one for you (and, honestly, I don't really care), but if Hell Let Loose is anything to go by I personally would handle it by climbing into an empty tank, getting lost on the way to the front line and then driving into a tree.

Hell Let Loose is carnage, and it's brilliant. Ostensibly it's an ultra-hardcore WW2 shooter, a lot like renaissance roleplaying gem Holdfast: Nations at War, which I loved in equal measure, but with an extra twist. On top of the slower, more grounded approach to moment-to-moment combat is a simplified real-time strategy layer that can only be fully seen by your team's commander, and it's only the team that manages to balance those two sides effectively that's going to win.

So, how it works: you join a server like you would in Battlefield. Each match is two teams of 50, one commander each. Each squad - again, think Battlefield - automatically gets one Officer, or squad leader. The commander can see a full tactical map, and has the ability to use things like bombing runs and smoke cover to help their team advance, but they can only communicate, via voice, in the officer's channel. The squad leaders meanwhile can communicate in both the officer's channel and their own squad's channel, and then their squad members can just communicate there (or via proximity to anyone nearby, which is where you get a lot of "medic please!" and "thanks!" and "grenade!"). There's also text-based options for team and squad chatter but it's rarely used.

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