There aren’t many shooters that can match Hell Let Loose when it comes to intense combat, historical authenticity, and attention to detail. The developers at Black Matter Games have taken incredible care when creating the game maps, meticulously ensuring that each is as historically accurate as possible to the areas as they were in reality, with months of research and design behind each map in the game.
This attentiveness is immediately apparent to any player in Hell Let Loose. Not only are the maps accurate, they’re also very atmospheric, filled with interesting scenery, buildings and a variety of environments that perfectly complement the game’s focus on tactical, large-scale warfare.
Based on the Siege of Bastogne in December 1944, Foy is particularly unique, standing out as the only true winter map, with everything covered in a thick layer of snow. A light layer of fog permeates through Foy, adding to the chilly atmosphere. Much of the map is made up of open fields, which can be tricky to maneuver around. However, this also encourages a more careful style of gameplay, encouraging infantry to stick to cover and even crawl in the snow to avoid enemy fire.
Different strongpoints help mix up the gameplay, like the Dugout Barn, which tends to result in protracted sieges with heavy engineer fortifications, or the town of Foy itself, featuring brutal combat around burnt-out vehicles and ruined buildings. Band of Brothers fans are sure to enjoy Foy’s winter aesthetic.
7 Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach is based around the D-Day Landings in Normandy, and sees players fighting on the beach itself as well as in the fields and towns. The map is available in the Warfare game mode, but where it truly shines is in Offensive, when the United States is the attacking team.
In the US Offensive mode, American players spawn in incoming landing craft, and are dropped onto the beach to face off against a steep ridge of entrenched German defenders. It’s a desperate, brutal struggle to make it off the beach, but successfully securing the first objective is incredibly satisfying. From there, the fighting shifts further inland. Though the battle is on a more even footing, there’s still plenty of challenging combat as the Americans try to secure the French countryside.
Kursk replicates one of the largest battles of World War II, pitting the Soviets against the Germans amongst large fields and a sprawling network of trenches. Kursk is great for vehicle gameplay, and tank crews will find plenty of opportunities to engage in duels with enemy tanks.
The map can be harder for infantry given the wide open spaces, but things are easier on the night version of the map, which makes things harder to see at distance and gives infantry a better chance of getting into the trenches. Combat in the trenches is unforgiving, but enjoyable. Make sure to utilize plenty of grenades to clear out enemies.
Carentan is focused on urban combat, letting players fight in the crowded streets of a French town. The map features close-range, chaotic combat, so automatic weapons are the best option if available. The urban environment means vehicles are vulnerable to Anti-Tank infantry and fairly rare, so Carentan is great for players looking for more of a focus on infantry combat.
Carentan’s best feature is its hotly contested Town Center, which is sure to test even the most skilled players. The nearby church is also an important strategic location worth fighting over, as it offers high views of the surrounding area from its tower and is especially helpful for snipers. Keep in mind that the top and bottom of the map are more open, so it is possible to flank around the enemy and avoid the worst of the fighting if necessary.
4 Hill 400
Considered by many players to be one of the hardest maps in Hell Let Loose, Hill 400 is a challenge for both infantry and vehicles. Nearly the entire map is made up of forested hills, vehicles must either stick to the roads or attempt to struggle through rough terrain. For infantry, moving too quickly is almost certainly a death sentence. It’s hard to spot stationary enemies, so players must keep a keen eye on their surroundings and move carefully.
Though Hill 400 may sound frustrating, the slower, more measured style of play it encourages can be enjoyable for patient players. The fighting also gets more fast-paced if the middle objective is the heavily fortified Hill 400 itself at the centre of the map.
For players looking for a good mix of both urban and more open combat, Sainte-Marie-du-Mont is the best option. The map’s environments are impressively diverse, with one side centered around a succession of open fields and the other revolving primarily around close combat in the town.
Similar to Carentan, the church on the eastern side of the map is a focal point for action. The map is particularly fun on Offensive, where defending engineers tend to build up major fortifications in the town and around the church, leading to intense urban sieges and frantic defenses of the strongpoint.
Stalingrad is unique within Hell Let Loose for its inclusion of large apartment buildings, which offer intense close-quarters combat unmatched even by maps like Carentan. Some players may be disappointed that Stalingrad is still relatively open outside these buildings, which are fairly spread apart.
Nonetheless, the map can be great fun as it strongly encourages cooperation between infantry and vehicles. The railway that divides the map down the center is tough to capture and cross, but it is exactly through this sort of design that Stalingrad makes combined arms warfare a priority.
Update 12 saw the introduction of a new map, Remagen, defined by a large river connected solely by a single bridge. Admittedly, Remagen can be extremely brutal for infantry, and some players may be frustrated by the unforgiving nature of the map.
However, Remagen is a true test of a team’s coordination and strategy. Though crossing the bridge may often seem impossible, it is entirely possible to achieve victory through with careful cooperation, especially through a mix of well-placed artillery and commander abilities. For example, the best way to get a team over the bridge is often a well-placed airhead that can bypass enemy defenses. Remagen is a challenge, but can be great fun with the right team.