Running from September 16–20
Hell Let Loose, one of the best online shooters I’ve played in recent memory is making the drop on consoles next month after going 1.0 on PC a few months ago. Featuring 50 vs. 50 battles, Hell Let Loose puts you in the boots of the many soldiers on the ground, from infantry and machine gunners to engineers and squad leaders in what can only be described as epic battles.
What separates Hell Let Loose from the glut of other World War II shooters is its adherence to realism as well as a focus on squad-based tactics as opposed to a kill-based scoring mechanic. It’s not like deaths don’t matter, but you won’t win by simply being a better shooter. To achieve success on the battlefield you need to work with your squad and the greater team at large and attack and defend together as an organized team or face swift defeat from the enemy. For other old farts like me who can’t cut it as a twitch pixel shooter, there are support and leadership roles that allow you to communicate with command and lead your squad into victory, or stay behind the frontlines and build defenses or vital resource gaining nodes needed for the war effort.
I got into the game earlier this year and was immediately hooked. As an aging military history nerd, the attention to detail of the maps and guns as well as a welcoming community showing new players the ropes felt like coming home to a place I’d never been before. All around me were people like me who spent their spare time reading soldier accounts of battles and poring over tactical maps of World War II. It was and remains a perfect union of squad-based shooters and real-time strategy. It is a genuine joy to play even if it depicts one of the most horrific times in human history.
Did I mention that bullets follow real-world physics and trajectories? So even sniping requires calculations and anticipatory aiming. Also, tanks sustain damage based on where they are hit. I could go on for paragraphs about all the little details that are in this game that make it perfect for people like me but this is neither the time nor place for it. But to sum it up, if you were a fan of Red Orchestra or Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, then you’d probably find a similar pull with Hell Let Loose.
Now console players can get in on the action when Hell Let Loose launches on 5 October for both PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S consoles. PS5 players will be able to take part in an open beta from September 16 to September 20. To fill out what may be a bit of a niche game, the developers have made sure to implement crossplay between Sony and Microsoft players so battlefields can be as full as possible.