Hell Let Loose Review - An FPS For The Dedicated
Only for those who want a realistic, intense, and tactical FPS experience.
Hell Let Loose
Review copy provided by the publisher
Straight off the bat, it needs to be said that Hell Let Loose is not an arcade shooter similar to Call of Duty or Battlefield. It is an intense, slow-paced, tactical shooter that relies on teamwork and communication.
Although it received an Early Access release for PC back in 2019, Hell Let Loose is now coming to next-gen consoles, and will even be free for PS Plus subscribers for the month of October.
The only downside to this? A lot of PlayStation users are going to be sorely disappointed when they download Hell Let Loose and jump in completely blind, expecting it to be the new Battlefield or Call of Duty.
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It’s important to note that I love my FPS titles, but never have I played such a tactical and strategy-based shooter such as Hell Let Loose.
This review will be through the eyes of someone who is a fanatic about FPS games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, Rainbow Six Siege, CS: GO, and more. So, if you’re the same and wondering if you’ll enjoy Hell Let Loose, here’s what I thought.
I played Hell Let Loose on the PlayStation 5, and it makes great use of the console’s super-fast M.2 SSD and DualSense controller. Hell Let Loose loaded up and was ready to go before I even raised my head from glancing at my phone. I was eager to get right into the action and funnily enough, that was pretty much my only option from the start menu. You can select ‘Find Match’, which will quickly throw you straight into a game with no choice of mode or map, or you can fiddle with your options and check out all of the factions available.
There was one other option available, and that was to have a look at the ‘Field Manual’. This broke down almost every single element and feature in the game into extremely simple terms, something a noob like myself really appreciated. If you’re new to this genre of game, I highly recommend making use of the field manual as it details all of the objectives, roles, maps, communication elements, and more. Everything you need to know about Hell Let Loose is in that handy guide.
After reading through the long but useful manual, I jumped into a game and instantly questioned if I had accidentally turned on Death Stranding. By far my biggest gripe with Hell Let Loose is that there is an incessant amount of walking. When you first jump into a game you’ll get to select a spawn point from one of three ‘HQ’ points, or if you’re lucky an ‘Outpost’ will have been placed by a teammate and allow you to spawn closer to the action.
Once you’ve spawned at your HQ, you better hope a truck is available or you’re in for a solid six or so minutes of just walking through open fields. Although incredibly mind-numbing, I can appreciate that this comes down to the game’s brilliantly executed realism. Realism is something Hell Let Loose does exceptionally well, although it’s frustrating having to walk so far if you couldn’t find a truck, it was often rewarding making your way into the heart of the battle with your team and taking over the next sector.
Hell Let Loose isn’t like Call of Duty where it’s down to who’s quickest on the trigger, you need to time your shots and be tactical about it, as it only takes a few bullets to put your enemy down. There are no kill cams, hit markers, or mini-map indicators either, this is a hardcore war simulator where you need to advance cautiously or risk being killed by a single shot.
Variation in weapons was a little lacklustre, maybe I just didn’t level up enough to unlock anything worthwhile, but it felt as though my options were split between a bolt action rifle, an LMG, and a Thompson Assault Rifle. The recoil on the weapons was hard to control, but that’s because you’re not supposed to be spraying and praying like other FPS titles, you must pick your shots carefully and then you only need a few bullets to do the job.
Although the weapon selection wasn’t anything to shout about, Hell Let Loose did have a decent number of maps considering the size of them all. A total of nine maps are available right now, with a tenth arriving sometime in October. Due to the sheer size of the maps, it sometimes felt like there was just a lot of empty space to run through, but when you eventually ended up in a gunfight between houses and farms, the atmosphere and battles were immense.
In terms of graphics, Hell Let Loose isn’t going to blow you away with any fancy ray tracing, but it does have good lighting and is as pretty as a World War II simulator can be. The PlayStation 5 version of Hell Let Loose, which is releasing for free on PS Plus this October, also makes great use of the DualSense controller. The adaptive triggers don’t feel as intrusive as they do in titles such as Black Ops Cold War, and the haptic feedback you feel varies depending on the environment. Driving over grass in a tank feels completely different from driving over a muddy, bumpy, road.
But ultimately, Hell Let Loose comes down to solid teamwork, communication, and playing your part in a much bigger battle. This isn’t about running in and getting as many kills as possible, it’s about strategically planning your attack and communicating with other commanders about how you can push the enemies back and take control of the next sector.
So, as someone who has only ever played fast-paced arcade-style shooters, did I enjoy Hell Let Loose? At first, no. But as I played more matches I slowly became more invested in the fact that I was in a war, not a 15-minute multiplayer game. Hell Let Loose can often feel slow-paced and tedious, but if you’re a strategic thinker looking for rewarding and realistic gameplay, then this could be the game for you.
If you’re looking to rack up as many kills as possible in a short amount of time, stick to Call of Duty.