HomeEditorialHell Let Loose Update: Is the WW2 Game Truly DEAD & BURIED?

Hell Let Loose Update: Is the WW2 Game Truly DEAD & BURIED?

Hell did not only show itself on the battlefield in the past months...

Are things really that bad for Hell Let Loose? The World War 2 FPS has managed to massively outrage a lot of players this year, literally losing them. Find out in our Hell Let Loose update what the hell happened and how the current state and future of the shooter are looking. Let’s get into the drama:


We remember a relatively small but passionate indie game developer called Black Matter Studios. They’ve created Hell Let Loose and released it as an Early Access title in June 2019 – and gamers cheered!


The WW2 sim wanted to be anything but ordinary

The developers offered players a unique and authentic hardcore realism first-person shooter. A game that, above all, did NOT want to be an ordinary WWII arcade baller game. Instead of fast movement and arcade gun fights, it’s all about tactical squad-based gameplay on large-scale maps, which is why many gamers like to call it the “Anti-Battlefield.”

The player is looking at his map, centrally shown in the frame. We see the large game world with all its essential icons.
Using the map is key in Hell Let Loose (Source: Team17)


Team17 acquires the rights to Hell Let Loose

However, this popular formula is in danger. The game was so popular that last January, Team17 saw more than one reason to acquire the rights to Hell Let Loose as a publisher while also serving as a developer.

Black Matter welcomed this acquisition and spoke of a gain in efficiency and quality in creating future content. Nothing will change in the game’s vision, and the developers will retain complete creative freedom over the game in the future… Is that true?


Hell Let Loose update with an extensive 2023 roadmap

A promising roadmap gave the community hope for the game’s future. However, Team17’s first Hell Let Loose update in April, known as Patch 13.5, was disappointing as it introduced various bugs and glitches, such as a buggy reload animation and grenade glitches. The community was somewhat forgiving since it was the first update.

But with update 14, Steam reviews didn’t take long to go from “very good” to “mixed.” The main reason for this was the change in movement, which made players extremely angry. Why did the developers increase the sprint speed? Hell Let Loose was always known for its decelerated and realistic gameplay. So why now make soldiers run like Forrest Gump with full equipment?

We see the 2023 roadmap for the FPS, which lists the future new content that will be released for HLL in the following months.
The 2023 roadmap for Hell Let Loose (Source: Team17)


The height of outrage due to the Hell Let Loose update trailer

The pinnacle, however, occurred this summer. Three years ago, Black Matter Games had literally blown us away with a stunning epic trailer that referenced war classics like Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan, reaching 2 million views. See the trailer below.


Three years later, we also fell off our chairs, but not from joy: Because Team17 presented us with a true contender for the worst gaming trailer of all time, characterized by inferior graphics and… miserable voice acting. There is no gameplay footage at all, just rendered, bad-looking stuff that doesn’t even look like it was made with Unreal Engine 4. What the…

The battlefield shown here is from a Hell Let Loose update trailer. It shows pooly rendered footage, which upset many gamers.
Screenshot from the Hell Let Loose trailer above (Source: Team17)


A message to the community

Team17 apologized to its community, stating to “remain true to the game’s origins.” But if we look at what the trailer was actually advertising, another direct contradiction becomes apparent: A new game mode was introduced in the Duty of Devotion update, offering more fast-paced matches with smaller teams of 25 players on smaller maps…well, why not a Modern Warfare 1v1 Gulag, that’s the fastest way…

And that’s pretty much what’s causing the problem: People are shocked at the direction the game is threatening to take. The selling point of Hell Let Loose is 50 vs 50 matches in squads operating tactically on massive maps. And this trailer clearly gave the game that Call of Duty Action stuff label.

The player is seen in Hell Let Loose on xbox in a snowy forest map aiming his M1 Garand at an enemy in first-person view.
Hell Let Loose is known for its decelerated gameplay (Source: Team17)


Current state & new Hell Let Loose Update 14.4

Now it’s October, and how has the game evolved? Team17 has responded, and a rethink has taken place. Since then, the developers have regularly gathered valuable feedback via so-called Public Testing Environment sessions (PTEs) and are generally in closer contact with their community.

And we can’t ignore the fact that the devs have also delivered a lot of exciting new content, like the “Burning Snow” update, the brand-new “British Force” as a completely new faction, and a new campaign, “El Alamein” as well as many new maps, which seem to be well received by the community. And the reviews on Steam have also recovered significantly since then.

Currently, the devs are working on new night maps, including variants of existing maps. The heavily criticized dive-to-prone mechanic will be reworked, and the British force will get an overhaul along with new tanks, weapons, and desert uniforms.

Instead of major Hell Let Loose updates, Team17 will continue to improve the game through regular patches and gather feedback.  In the next Patch 14.4, you can play the first two night variants of “Sainte-Mère-Église” and “Carentan”. The update will go live on October 19th.

We see the player in first-person in the night map Sainte-Mère-Église, which will be playable in the Hell Let Loose update 1.4.
Night maps in Hell Let Loose (Source: Team17)


However, the fact remains that Team17 has divided the community. Players still refer to the game as “unplayable.” It’s a scar that needs to heal. But there is hope now that Hell Let Loose returns to its roots and remains successful as a World War 2 simulation.

Make love, not war, and let’s hope the next trailer might raise our hopes again.


More simulation games you might like

Do you love games with depth and authenticity? Then you might also be interested in Star Citizen or Starfield.

And later this month, the great city builder Cities Skylines II is scheduled for release on PC. Check out our ranking to see what other top City Building Games are out there.


What do you think about the current state of Hell Let Loose? We’re looking forward to your comment.

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