Last year I stumbled across a game just as it released on Steam through one of the streamers I occasionally watch on Twitch.
That game was Foxhole and it is awesome.
Foxhole is a war simulation from a kind of isometric top down perspective. It is an extremely team focused game that ranges from 20 vs 20 to 70 vs 70 games (possibly more in the future). Every weapon, tool, defensive structure, vehicle and round of ammo in the game is created by players (except the pistol and hammer you spawn with). The game is set in a separate world from ours but uses technology from the World War 2 ish era with a conflict of the Wardens vs the Colonials.
You play a single soldier on one side of a conflict in a war that can last anywhere from several days to several weeks. You get to choose your role and what you do for your team whether that is logistics creating and transporting resources, combat engineer building defenses on the front and advancing your lines, scout locating and probing enemy defenses, partisan causing havoc behind enemy lines, front line grunt smashing against enemy defenses to push them back, or any other job you can come up with.
The game goes on until one side captures all of the towns on a map. The campaign is won when one team wins all of the maps.
The Production Cycle
There are 4 basic resources in the game: scrap, components, fuel, and sulfur. There is an additional resource that you get randomly and is used to tech up called tech parts.
Scrap can be gathered with the basic hammer that you spawn with. It turns into Basic Materials, or bmats in game shorthand, and is what the war runs on. You can build quite a lot from the basic materials from rifle and grenades to trucks and pillboxes.
Fuel is what all the vehicles run on. No fuel in your truck, your stuck. This can also be gathered with the basic hammer.
Components require a sledge hammer which requires a little teching up. They turn into Refined Materials, or rmats, and are used to make more advanced vehicles and structures, think tanks and pillboxes that are harder to destroy.
Sulfur is used to create Explosive Material, or emats. This lets you create more advanced ammunition such as artillery, mortar, and tank shells. Because the weapons it makes are more powerful, it is slower to gather so use wisely.
Each of these resources gets mined from a resource node then has to be transported to a refinery (except fuel) to become its useful version. Good luck getting it there without a truck. If your character has too much in his backpack he becomes encumbered and moves super slow. If you get fully encumbered, your character will collapse to the ground after a short sprint and need to recover.
You do not have a health bar. Individual soldiers are pretty fragile. A couple of rifle shots and you are on the ground either dead or dying. There is some visual indication of damage, if you are close to dying your character will be bloodied up. Also you can be in a bleeding state where little spurts of red come from your character. This means you should find a medic soon or apply a bandage if you have one.
There are 2 main things you fight in Foxhole, other players and static defenses.
The primary static defense is a foxhole (where the game gets its name). Defenses will shoot at you if you come into their visual range. However there are 4 ways of keeping yourself from dying in the meat grinder as you clear them out.
If you are with a squad of players, most defenses can be suppressed. By keeping up a steady stream of fire, either from an automatic weapon or several semi-auto weapons, the defenses rate of fire will drop down to almost zero. Then you run up and throw grenades at it.
If you are alone, you can throw a smoke grenade to obscure the vision of the defense. This will keep it from seeing your and firing at you as you lob your grenades at it.
Another option is long range artillery. Usually a mortar. Using binoculars to find the range and direction of the target, you set your mortar and fire, safely behind your own defenses.
One of the more fun options is using combat vehicles, especially tanks, to roll up and blow holes in the enemy defensive line. Careful though as there are anti-vehicle turrets that will turn your tank into swiss cheese as well as anti-tank mines that can leave you with a busted engine. Always bring some infantry support to scout ahead for you.
An update this past fall brought water vehicles and features to the game. You can now stage your own D-Day style landings with a swarm of amphibious troop transports or bombard enemy defenses from your gunboat. You can even swim a short distance.
A training ground was added for people to jump in and experiment with movement, building, etc, without impacting the war effort of a team.
Even more recently there have been changes to scouting, watchtowers, and radios with more updates to come.
The development team has been listening closely to the community for feedback on features and improvements and it shows. Catch one of their streams every other Tuesday on Twitch to find out more.
Caveats, Warnings, and Other Thoughts
This game requires some patience. It is designed to last multiple days or weeks. Ten to twenty minutes is not going to do much. Try for longer play sessions.
While there are roles you can perform playing as a solo that will help your team, you will not get much done by your self. It is specifically designed to be a team game and require cooperation for success.
It is best if you can find a group of at least 3-4 people, preferably on a regular basis, to make a bigger impact on the war.
This game is still technically in Alpha/Early Release. It has bugs and is unfinished. But like I mentioned before, the dev team is working hard and listening to community feedback. Also, it plays really well.
The whole cooperation for success aspect of the design is one of the things that makes this game stand out, along with the massive size of the teams. For example, you can’t do much with a tank by yourself. You need at least a driver and a gunner and it is even better when you have a commander sticking out the hatch with binoculars doing some spotting and a group of infantry keeping enemy soldiers with grenades from attacking you from the flank.
I love this game and hope it continues to be successful.
Keep getting wiser, stronger, and better.