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Video Game / Foxhole

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Persistent World Warfare
Foxhole is a 2017 top-down shooter by Clapfoot.

Set in an Alternate Timeline that resembles the World Wars , Foxhole is a Top-Down View, Wide-Open Sandbox war game. Players choose one of two factions—the Wardens or the Colonials—and battle for dominance over different battlefields, capturing resources and occupying the various towns. The war is persistent, the fighting continues whether you're logged in or not, and the logistics are completely player-driven. Players must gather resources, produce materials, deliver them to the battle, and then defeat their enemy in combat.

Foxhole can be found in Early Access on Steam.


This game provides examples of:

  • A.K.A.-47: Most of the weapons are given generic names like "Rifle" or "Submachine Gun"; many of the weapons are generic in their designs as well, but a few resemble real-life weapons. The "Storm Rifle" is pretty clearly a WWII-era FG 42, while the Grenade Launcher resembles the M1 Grenade Adapter, to name two examples.
  • All-or-Nothing Reloads: Once you start reloading, there is absolutely no way you can stop. Pressed it by accident? Need to swap to a sidearm because an enemy is in the way? Too bad.
  • Amphibious Automobile: The Amphibious Warfare Update added the Landing APC, an open-topped amphibious tracked vehicle for landing troops on beachheads. A small squad of troops can ride on-board while it crosses the water, able to shoot out and vault over the sides should they need to disembark quickly.
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  • Anti-Vehicle: A number of anti-vehicle weapons exist, including; RPGs, high-explosive grenades, Sticky Bombs, and anti-tank rifles.
  • Armored Coffins: While it's possible to eject from a tank or armored vehicle at any time, it is highly frowned upon to do so and instead encouraged to die with the tank. The reason is that while respawning is relatively cheap, leaving a damaged vehicle behind can allow the enemy to capture it.
  • Army Scout: Some players elect to act as this, traveling deep into enemy territory and calling out the locations of enemy troop concentrations. The addition of Radio Backpacks (which can be used to mark enemies on the map) has made this much easier.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The automated defenses will stop at nothing to destroy its targets... even if you are in the way.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Halftrack and the Landing APC both count. The former carries fewer troops but is armed with a mounted Heavy Machine Gun; the latter is unarmed but carries large numbers of troops, can cross water, and allows passengers to return fire with their regular infantry weapons.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The sniper rifle: it can one-shot an enemy and has an extremly long range, but in return it has a slow rate of fire, expensive ammo and it takes a very long time achieve a steady aim, in which the target can escape.
  • Bayonet Ya: 0.2 added bayonets to the game. They occupy the gun accessory slot and can be fixed to rifles or carbines, giving the user an Emergency Weapon with more reach and damage than just swinging their fists.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Relics were vehicles that can be found abandoned our as a blueprint randomly drop from mining components, they are meant to be a small boost on the early-war and justified that they are outdated models of modern versions of their vehicles. They are the "World War I" equivalent to the more modern "World War II" tanks seen in the battlefield. They were eventually removed due imbalance issues and the vehicles retooled into normal buildable ones.
  • Boring, but Practical: Since Foxhole is inspired by WWII, a lot of things fall under this category.
    • The Rifle is the default primary weapon. While it's slow to fire and requires quite a bit of steadying for a good aim, it's the cheapest weapon and can dish out a good amount of damage.
    • Trucks are cheap to manufacture, and can transport a good amount of troops and supplies to the front. Expect to see a lot of trucks around.
    • Foxholes (the dugout defenses) are the namesake of the game for good reason. They can be built for free, and much more quickly than other structures, making them useful for holding ground before more permanent trench defenses can be established.
  • Color-Coded Armies: Wardens are blue and Colonials are green, and their vehicles, uniforms, and flags reflect this.
  • Combat Medic: Unlocking medical supplies on the tech tree allows a player to become one by carrying both firearms and medical equipment. While the Trauma Kit (used to revive downed allies) takes up the primary slot, it's possible to simply swap between your weapon and the kit when needed.
  • Combat Resuscitation: When taking small arms fire, players usually don't immediately die but enter a 20 second "downed" phase. Before they die out, another player with a Trauma Kit can come over and revive you; but sometimes your enemies will reach you first and trash talk you while you die instead.
  • Common Crossover: Given the nature of the game (long drawn out battles with insanely-high casualties), Foxhole has become rather popular with Warhammer 40K fans, with one of the larger clans within the community (The 82nd Death Korps) being named after one of the more well know units of the Imperial Guard.
  • Cool Sidecar: The patrol bike features a sidecar; the passenger can use secondary equipment like pistols and binoculars.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: The Colonials and the Wardens have different designs for their infantry uniforms, half-tracks, tanks, utility vehicles, and landers, most which are identical stat-wise. However, the Arms Race (0.37) update introduced faction-exclusive variants for some vehicles. The tanks especially are very varied and have it's own models and variants with different stats depending on the factions.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: The game's lore primarily exists of small bits of flavor text for maps, along with statue plaques, forgotten notes, and descriptions of view points that reveal tiny snippets of the setting.
  • Damage Over Time: Being shot has a chance to cause bleeding, which can eventually kill you unless you use bandages or have someone heal you. Additionally, this applies to defensive structures if there are no upgraded Encampments or Town Halls stocked with Garrison Supplies nearby. This is an attempt to Nerf the amount of defensive structures that players build; gameplay in early access beta has become about spamming foxholes and bunkers and turning matches into a pseudo-Tower Defense game.
  • Dash Attack: Zig-zagged. While it's not possible to shoot while sprinting, you can always affix bayonets and stab with it.
  • Deadly Gas: Green Ash grenades create a cloud of poisonous green gas at the target location. It kills very quickly and can even take out vehicle crews. However, since gas masks render them harmless, most infantry prefer more direct means.
  • Death from Above: Mortars, howitzers, and field artillery provide ways for raining explosive death on your enemy.
  • Derelict Graveyard: Component spawn sites are filled with tank debris; the rusted out treads and oddly solid hulls are window dressing, but the bombed out tanks with wrecked turrets can be harvested for components and occasionally tech parts.
  • Diesel Punk: The setting strongly resembles a version of the World Wars in terms of aesthetics. Ostensibly, the game world is our own world in the far future, but the connection to Earth is tenuous enough (pretty much only existing as Word of God statements) that it more-or-less qualifies as a Constructed World.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Battle Tanks. Badass death-machines of destruction with thick armor, a big canon and a deadly machine gun. But needs a crew of 5, chugs a lot of fuel and to produce you need a lot of refined materials and expensive blueprints.
  • Easy Logistics: The meat of this game is in Averting this trope. Resources must be collected by hand at specific sites and sent to refineries, then into factories to produce actual equipment and vehicles. After that, these supplies and vehicles must be physically taken to the front and stockpiled in a Town Hall or Encampment with a truck. All of these are done by individual players. This means it's feasible and actually crucial to sabotage supply lines by ambushing enemy logistics vehicles. Capturing certain towns can flat-out deny the enemy production facilities, and also seizing whatever equipment they have in the stockpile. Playing as a logistical worker (or "logi" as they are known to the playerbase) is a useful and profitable (though complicated and often thankless) role to take on.
  • The Enemy Weapons Are Better: In an active battlefield, lots of people dying will mean lots of dropped equipment, including juicy grenades, life-saving medkits, or advanced weapons. It's not always worth running into the crossfire to snatch whatever's there, but it is definitely tempting.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: Player characters don't get any stronger during a war; instead, research allows the manufacture of better equipment and vehicles to make them more powerful.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Played straight, but necessary to see where the enemies are shooting from due to the perspective. Especially important at night, where targets are invisible at range and tracers are the only things revealing positions.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: All vehicles explode in a fiery (but harmless) fireball when destroyed. Ostensibly justified for tanks and armored vehicles since those usually contain ammo, but they would explode regardless of whether it was stocked.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Warden faction uses gaelic and anglo-germanic proper nouns and French/German inspired aesthetics, while the Colonial faction uses latin and hellenic proper nouns and American/British inspired asethetics.
  • Forever War: The game takes place at a fictional world of endless conflict between the Colonials and Wardens, which had started centuries ago and has left the battlefield resembling the World War period. The current conflict isn't some major push for victory for either faction, but a campaign to capture the resource-rich lands to continue the war. The "Battle of the Red River" event was stated to be set in the beggining of the current wars, the troops instead had Napoleonic-era muskets and uniforms.
    • In-game wars have become an example of this. Whereas a first-person shooter match will last at most 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour, wars in Foxhole can last for weeks, and in some cases, more than a month. The longest war to date (The 83rd War) lasted just over 36 days in real time (in-game, it went on for over 2 years), and by the end, more than 4 million fatalities were recorded.
  • Garrisonable Structures: Aptly named "Garrisoned Houses" are large houses that exist within towns, wrecked from previous battles and needing to be rebuilt with a Construction Vehicle. Once rebuilt they'll function as a Sentry Gun, or players can pile inside to fire on enemies from cover, including heavy machine gunners.
  • Genre-Busting: Foxhole combines multiple game genres to create a unique war experience, taking the social aspects of a sandbox MMORPG like EVE Online, the "massive persistant war" from PlanetSide, isometric top-down shooting from Running With Rifles and also has the logistics and supply system of a RTS game.
  • Grenade Launcher: An accessory for the rifle that allows grenades to be shot over long distances.
  • Grenade Spam: While grenades are relatively expensive compared to basic weapons, it's still possible to grab a dozen frag grenades and lob it at the enemy lines. A surprisingly effective tactic, if not very costly.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Despite their resemblance to the Allies and Axis of World War 2, the Wardens and the Colonials are both morally grey and neither is the "hero" or "villain" of the story. If anything, the Wardens are the current aggressors in a war to retake territory from a previous conflict.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: The basis of what the community calls "partisans", small forces (usually independent squads) that slip into enemy territory to raid supply lines, trash undefended camps, and silence artillery.
  • In-Vehicle Invulnerability: It's impossible to damage passengers or the driver in a vehicle... Unless you have Green Ash and they forget to bring gas masks.
  • Last Stand: Common within the game. Certain regions/areas of the map are of strategic importance, either because they contain factories/repair facilities/raw materials to aid the continuation of the war, or because they contain a Victory Town Hall (i.e. a base whose capture/lose with award/deducted victory points from the attacking/defending army). These areas often become highly contested, with the defending army often fighting on to the very end to prevent the capture of the strategic locations.
    • War 83 became one for the Colonial Faction. Despite the fact the outcome of the war had been effectively decided by the end of the 4th week of the war, the Colonial's held out in their remaining territories for another 9 days, and even launched some successful counter-attacks. It would take the firing of 6 ballistic rockets by the Wardens to destroy both several strategic Colonial Bases, and much of what remained of the Colonial's armored strength, to bring the war to an end.
  • Lost Technology: In over a century of constant warfare between the Colonials and the Wardens, much technology has been lost to the times, leading to WWII-era equipment. The tanks in particular are both outdated and a rare sight on the battlefield.
  • Nerf: Due to the Early Access nature of the game, many things undergo this in the name of balance.
    • Fists were nerfed in version 0.2. Originally they were a One-Hit Kill to enemy soldiers since you'd have to risk getting shot to reach melee range to deal it; when bayonets were added the instant-kill was given to the bayonets to serve as a direct upgrade to fists, which now dealt half damage.
    • The Sticky Bombs used to be very good against everything (but particularly buildings and vehicles), but it has been nerfed to being anti-tank only.
  • Nitro Boost: The motorbike can boost itself at the cost of consuming extra fuel. This makes it a very good vehicle when patrolling, doing recon, or ramming straight into enemy lines.
  • One Bullet Clips: Averted. Each magazine or clip is an individual item, and all remaining ammo in a weapon is dumped away when you reload.
  • One-Hit Kill: Some ordnance and equipment are powerful enough to kill in one shot. They aren't usually overly expensive, but have caveats to them, often requiring setup or exposing oneself.
    • The Warden Clancy-Raca M4 Sniper Rifle is one of the only firearms capable of incapacitating a full-health player in one hit—if you are patient enough to steady its aim, that is.
    • If sitting in the back isn't your style, the Shotgun is also capable of doing such a feat at point-blank, though their range is appropriately dire.
    • A cheaper close range option are the bayonets, which can be affixed to Rifles and Carbines for a one-hit melee kill.
  • On-Site Procurement: A common strategy is to get into the front and get equipment from dead troops instead of its own supplies in order to save equipment in the long run.
  • Player Versus Player: While there are automated AI defenses, Foxhole is predominately player-focused and does not have bots or AI enemies. Automated defenses are considered a Necessary Weasel—the game simply can't support the hundreds of players necessary to harvest, build, supply, fight, and garrison towns away from the immediate fighting.
  • Quick Draw: The Pistol is this, having a very fast draw speed in order to function as a backup weapon. Just like what they always say, it's always faster to switch to your sidearm than reloading...
  • Rank Up: Instead of tying rank to level, Foxhole instead uses a system where players have to be manually commended by other players (as appreciation of good work) in order to increase their rank. This means when you see a high rank player, you know he did well to earn that rank, and not by grinding experience.
  • Rare Guns: In-universe, the Storm Rifle is a 7.92mm rifle with a large side-loading magazine and a selective-fire option, fulfilling long and short range duties admirably. It's also a rarity in the game's battlefields, having been too difficult to produce and falling out of favor for the far cheaper bolt-action 7.62mm rifle. Building them requires having an advanced war factory.
    • Interesting enough, it is based on real-life rare gun FG 42.
  • Refining Resources: Played straight. All farmed resources need to be refined at a refinery before they can be used to produce equipment. Fuel can be used raw, but the refined form is more efficient. While scrap, fuel and components are refined relatively quickly, refining sulfur can take hours.
  • Respawn Point: Port Bases serve as infinite respawn points where weapons, ammo, and other equipment are conveniently stashed. Players can construct Encampments and rebuild Town Halls, both of which can store Soldier Supplies which are consumed upon respawning a player and provide the same functions.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The revolver is a straight upgrade over the starting pistol. It has higher damage, better range and accuracy. It's even possible to outmaneuver players using primary weapons with it if you are agile enough.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Averted. Most structures require basic or refined materials to build, and players have to hit it with a hammer for as many times as the required amount of materials. A watchtower, for example would take 125 hammer hits. Construction Vehicles can build them slightly faster, but buildings requiring them have even higher costs and can take minutes to build. Dugout structures like foxholes and trenches are constructed in a similar manner, using the shovel instead of the hammer.
  • Sentry Gun: While too primitive to field actual automatic turrets, static defenses can function as this provided that an Encampment or Town Hall is within range. If the Encampment / Town Hall are destroyed, the defenses will go silent after a couple of minutes.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Played straight. The aptly named Shotgun (based off the Winchester Model 1897) has the least range of all firearms, but also does insane damage, being able to One-Hit Kill at close distances and easily cause bleeding at nearby targets. More than half a screen away though, it's completely harmless.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: In the right hands and the right places, there isn't anything quite like the Shotgun. It doesn't require steadying aim at all, can kill in one or two shots, and can take out unexpected squads of people faster than you can scream "contact".
  • Shows Damage: Foxhole doesn't like health bars, and instead opts for visual cues to show durability and health.
    • Players do not see their health bar. Instead, the amount of blood on the character shows how much damage they have taken.
    • Buildings have a healthy, damaged, and critical state, with visual differences in each. However, it's possible to see the durability of the building as a number when in front of it.
    • Vehicles emit smoke when damaged enough to be disabled, and erupts in flames when near destruction. You also can see its current durability, but only when repairing it.
  • Skeleton Key: While players can lock vehicles for themselves or their squad, nothing can't be handled by a Wrench in a couple of seconds after 5 minutes have elapsed. Locking is more of a suggestion, really.
  • Sniper Rifle: The simply named Sniper Rifle is this: it's a high damage, long range weapon used to take out targets with precision. It has incredible range and zoom, and at max range your targets can't even see you without binoculars. Unfortunately, the downside is it takes forever to stabilize the weapon and get an accurate shot.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: Players doing logistics like gathering, production, base building and researching fit this role, as "back regions" away from the front see little conflict — at least when partisan squads aren't preying on the supply lines. Logi jobs are vital to the war effort, but are complex, tedious and often thankless.
  • Sprint Meter: Played straight. The player's stamina bar goes down as they sprint, but it is also affected by terrain and encumberment. Walking on grass instead of roads, as well as carrying too much, will significantly increase the drain on the stamina bar. If that bar goes down too much, the player character collapses for a moment.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Played painfully and incredibly straight. It's all in the name: Pistol, Rifle, SMG, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle...
  • Starter Equipment: Whenever you spawn you're given a pistol with two magazines and a hammer for self-defense and construction. If you spawned at a stocked Town Hall or Encampment, you can immediately gear up with whatever other players have provided.
  • Sticky Bomb: The Sticky Bombs are powerful grenades that stick to terrain, vehicles, buildings and players, but are only effective against vehicles after an update in 0.20.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Back in very early versions, bodies of water are less deadly pools to drown in and more bottomless pit. You die but the game shows you plummeting off the map.
    • Subsequently averted with later updates: players can now tread water for a few seconds before drowning, as an anti-frustration feature reducing the number of accidental drownings from accidentally falling off the dock while trying to board a vessel.
      • Subverted again with more swimming capabilities and opportunity to be rescued by a boat by keeping still.
  • Swiss Army Gun: The Storm Rifle is intended to be this, being able to switch between Automatic and Semi-automatic, the latter firing slower but with more range and accuracy.
  • Tactical Door Use: Gates and Heavy Gates can only be opened by your faction. Building gates are a common way to fence off a secure town or area, but you can also use them to trap enemies or launch surprise attacks.
    • Drawbridges won't close if a water vehicle is passing underneath them, so a common early-game tactic to stymie supply chains is to park a barge under a drawbridge, forcing the other team to waste time destroying the blockage with whatever they have on hand (which can take a while if the other side hasn't researched explosive weapons yet).
  • Tank Goodness: The Arms Race update added many different categories of tanks, which one with its own variants. The Wardens and Colonials also have each own some exclusive models and variants.
    • The light tank is smaller, less armored and lower firepower. However, it's cheaper to produce, very manuverable and requries only crew of 3 (Gunner, Driver and Commander).
    • The battle tank is big, bad, packs significant firepower and nearly undestroyable if you don't have the right equipment and coordination. However, it lacks manuverability - thus can fall prey to light tanks, require a crew of 5 (Main Gunner, Machinegun Gunner, Driver, Commander and Engineer) and are absurdly expensive.
    • The Storm Tank and the Armored Fighting Tractor are both a case of Break Out the Museum Piece and are considered outdated if compared to the modern tanks, however, they are usually found in very early game when armies have almost no AT capabilities, they are both able to raise hell when the enemy barely expects it.
  • Target Spotter: Most artillery equipment like Howitzers, Mortars and Field Artillery requires binoculars to operate, reason being binoculars can display azimuth and distance, and artillery requires a distance and azimuth to fire. This also means the spotter needs to calculate the artillery's target through triangulation. It's extremely Difficult, but Awesome.
    • Downplayed with tank commanders, which can equip binoculars to allow the gunner to shoot ofscreen.
  • The Namesake: Foxholes are the most basic shelter structure in the game, capable of shielding a crouching player from enemy small arms fire. In previous versions, they required materials to build, but could also shoot on their own.
  • Tier System: Encampments and Town Hall follow this, requiring Upgrade Parts and materials before being upgraded to Tier 2 and 3 respectively. Having a certain amount of Tier 3 towns is the victory condition for World Conquest.
  • Tech Tree: At the start of a Skirmish or World Conquest, players only have access to the most basic weapons and trucks. By collecting Tech Parts dropped from scrap and refining into Research Parts, the faction as a whole can climb a long tech tree to unlock new equipment and vehicles.
  • Trick Bomb: Smoke grenades obscure vision with a dense cloud of smoke, which can blind enemy fortifications or cover your allies' movement. There are also Deadly Gas grenades (see above).
  • Tunnel Network: In earlier versions of the game, these are built in order to automate defensive structures (they're implied to be manned and supplied using the tunnels). As of version 0.20 they are removed and replaced by Encampments and Town Halls providing the same capabilities.
  • Vehicular Assault: All vehicles are capable of killing enemies by ramming into them. Naturally, this means it's possible to suicide charge with one of them, though it mostly happens with trucks and motorbikes (the cheapest and fastest vehicles).
  • Vestigial Empire: The Wardens were once a mighty empire, but the war against the Colonials has broken them. The Deadlands map takes place where the empire's capital was located; now just a sprawling ruin that's home to smaller settlements.
  • Walking Armory: It's possible to be this—you can carry multiple weapons and swap between them at any time. However, you'll also be very overencumbered and walk very slowly, making you a big target.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: You require more scrap, fuel, sulfur, "technology parts","components" "Basic Materials" ,"Refined Materials" and "Explosive Materials"!
    • Scrap, fuel, and sulfur can be found in respawning points across the maps, fighting for control of them will be critical to your war effort. Scrap must be refined into basic materials, components into Refined materials and sulfur into Explosive Materials before being used.
    • Technology parts are required to level up your production facilities and components are processed into refined materials for advanced construction. Both of these resources are occasionally found within other nodes and do not spawn on their own.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The "Dead Harvest" seasonal Halloween event has the Wardens and Colonials teaming up to battle hordes of "cursed". However, there isn't actually anything stopping the two factions from killing each other like normal during this time; occasionally mixed crowds of Wardens and Colonials will wipe each other out before the zombies even get there.