While Hell Let Loose is not a bad game per se, I can’t help to think – what could have been? Going way back to their Kickstarter, and pre-early access release on Steam, this game showed so much promise! It was going to be the ultimate WW2 tactical multiplayer shooter, taking notes from all other similar games before them, and expanding on it. It was going to be huge, with you, and your team required to work together, securing zones for precious resources to be able to call in the heavy stuff – like tanks, and artillery. Some of this remains in the game to this day, of course, but it’s just a shadow of what was proposed. 90% of the players don’t care and don’t know about this function, and to be fair it usually doesn’t really affect the game in public matches since in the end it’s not required to win.
Hell Let Loose has been relegated to a standard arcade shooter – but, how, and why did this happen? I can’t say for certain, but I would guess money was involved in this decline. The one thing, they said they were not going for, as it goes, greed, and publisher interference is the main killer of great indie-game dreams. Yet, here we are, with the developers behind the game selling out to the publisher Team17. And years after the initial 1.0 release, the game is still not finished. Tons of promised features are still not being implemented. Taking a glance at their Steam store page it tells a story of heavy DLC-pushing, close to typical AAA practices – another thing that was looked down upon at the beginning, and would never ever happen to this title.
A thing I found hilarious with the development of this game, is that their vehicles are outsourced to another studio that specializes in making vehicles. While not unusual, I do expect more of an indie studio making their “dream” game. I can almost guarantee you that this is the reason why we can’t unbutton tanks, and why the recently added troop carriers don’t have machine guns. Have you ever seen an Sd.Kfz 251 without a mounted weapon? It’s just laughable silly. Who knows when they will figure out how to edit their own bought models?
Let’s not forget their push for a console release. We all know how that usually ends up. Devs promise it won’t affect the PC-version, but it always does in some way at the end, making it less thanks to console limitations.
Yeah, it’s not hard to feel a sting of bitterness. I have a ton of hours in the game, and while I don’t consider the game a complete failure, it’s hard not to feel disappointed at the missed opportunities. I doubt we are going to see any WW2 shooters again for at least 10 years, so this is what we are stuck with for now…
Thanks for reading.