Hell Let Loose is a realistic WWII first-person shooter that looks to have the pace and teamwork of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and the tension of DayZ.
Currently AU$60,000 over its goal of US$136k on Kickstarter, Hell Let Loose will allow players to recreate famous WWII campaigns on massive maps with two teams of 50 players fighting to holding their line.
In a unique approach to cooperative play, teams are made up of platoons, each with its own leader. That leader is responsible for commanding their own players, as well as communicating with the leads of other platoons to coordinate a larger strategy.
Maps are huge at four square kilometres, meaning platoons will often be isolated from each other and fighting smaller skirmishes, so good communication will be essential for coordinating the overall shape of the battle.
A large part of this organisation will be around the game's resource meta. Different areas of the map supply resources like fuel and munitions to whoever holds them, and defence of these resources will shape the battle. For example, if you take a fuel depot it will slow down the rate of the enemy’s vehicle reinforcements.
This project is being spearheaded by three developers spread across the world, with project director Maximilian Rea based in Sydney, and two other leads – Roman and Rick – based in Russia and the US respectively.
In a refreshing approach to crowdfunding, the team created a playable client before launching on Kickstarter, and will now use money pledged to expand and feature-polish the game for launch into Early Access in the second quarter of next year.
Watching footage from this client, you can easily see the inspiration the game has taken from other realistic shooters such as Project Reality and Red Orchestra 2. The intense teamwork-focussed gameplay of these titles used to have only niche appeal, but in the wake of games such as PUBG could easily find a larger market.
Hell Let Loose director Max Rea said the normalisation of microphone communication is the aspect of PUBG which will affect their game the most.
“I’m really glad [PUBG] came along when it did," he says, "because a lot of guys I know would never go near a military shooter, or any game where you needed to use a microphone. But that is now totally normal.”
What is clear from the footage is that Hell Let Loose will have the slow, tense pacing of games like PUBG and Day Z, where players will spend as much time preparing to engage enemies as they will actually engaging them. Rea said this kind of pacing is very deliberate, and compared it to the difference between something constantly loud and intense – like a Michael Bay movie – and something slow and tense – like Saving Private Ryan.
“If everything is always exploding, then there is no tension within those explosions,” Rea says.
Matches will take up to two hours, so this kind of action ebb and flow is to be expected as players take points and make coordinated plans for where to attack or defend next.
“We feel that two hours is the time to fight what is a really big battle, where you will be having completely different experiences every time you play the game,” Rea says.
Though each game has a two-hour limit, matches can be won sooner by meeting certain win conditions.
A concern for a match this long and with a player count as large as 100 is players will drop out halfway through a match. However, Rea says player circulation is being built into the game's design, with an expectation that players will drop out and join in throughout the progress of a match.
We reached out to you guys for your burning questions about Hell Let Loose for Max to answer.
Will the game include destructible environments?
Though the team would love to include fully destructible environments, Rea says they had to be very selective with the time and resources they have. Currently, the only objects planned to be destructible are those that will affect gameplay such as a bridge, which would affect the flow of vehicles across the battlefield.
Will the game include ANZAC troops?
As an Australian, and with a Kiwi also part of the team, Rea is very keen to include ANZAC troops. However, the current battles they have planned did not heavily include ANZAC troops, and so they are not currently part of the game. He did say they will be looking to add additional campaigns which included troops of different nationalities in the future.
Will the mic cut out on players in your platoon when they die?
Rea says that the team had considered this, but that for the sake of maintaining proper teamwork, players will be able to talk to each other even if they have died or are not located with the rest of their platoon.