East vs. West
East VS West: A
Hearts of Iron Game is an upcoming
strategy game from Paradox Studios and was one of three games previewed
at the “Strategy is Our Game” Tour. Each of the games is still in
development, but Impulse Gamer was invited to attend and preview the
games to see how they are currently looking. This was the first time
East VS West has been shown, so this truly is a first look!
East VS West is a
strategy war game that takes place during the Cold War era. As with
most Paradox games, East VS West gives the players untold
freedoms; allowing them to pick their own country to play as and giving
them free reign to set their own goals and victory conditions. The game
is very much a sandbox which allows players to repeat history or create
their own timeline.
By the time of the Cold War the world was very
developed and discovered and as such there are more countries and areas
to play as then ever before. With so many countries and so many
leaders, the choices are limitless. Paradox went all out and detailed
with the goal of making every choice have an impact. Each country has
their own population and each population is monitored with age. If a
player loses too many troops in a time of war they might find themselves
missing out on young people and find a gap in their population. This
forces places to not only keep track of their troops, but to remember
that those troops come from somewhere and aren’t always expendable.
In addition, the game features elections and policies
that a leader will want to keep an eye on. If he wants to remain in
power and not have to worry about riots, he has to keep an eye on how
people view him. Changing too many policies can cause people to
question the leader and with too much questioning arises the chance of
A unique feature in East VS West is the
introduction of the ‘goal’ system. When a person plays a game they
don’t always want to have to monitor and keep track of every single
thing they need to research to get the final piece of technology they
want. As such the goals system allows a player to pick what item they
eventually want and to select it, the game will then go down the tree
and research each piece of technology to get to the final goal. This
allows new players or players that don’t have as much time to quickly
grab the technology they want without digging around in menus.
During the Cold War, missiles had a much long range
and as such finding targets was the main focus. To help showcase this,
East VS West introduces spies, special units that can be sent to
do all kinds of various things. A spy starts off with little training
and each type of mission gives him experience and makes him better and
better. Different spies have different abilities ranging from
eliminating other spies, converting enemy spies, killing key leaders,
and more. Players can use these spies to watch their enemies and strike
if they desire or to try and rule through the diplomacy game by forging
and altering details.
The U.N. plays a large role in East VS West by
allowing players the ability to take part in the diplomatic features of
the U.N. Players can try and get sanctions placed on countries,
embargos on trade, and more. Thus players have to be careful to make
sure how other countries view them. A loved country can find quite a
few friends to help tilt the U.N.’s choices in their favor.
The Cold War era was a time where countries had to be
careful to avoid World War III and East VS West is no different.
There are different threat levels and if things get too bad it is highly
possible that nuclear war will start. If a player is trying to cause
it, power to him. But a player that wants to keep their nation going
strong will have to watch out that they don’t bite off more than they
While the multiplayer wasn’t previewed and obviously
mods were not out since the game is still in development, the developers
assured me that the game would be completely moddable like their other
games and the multiplayer would feature up to 32 players.
In the long run, East VS West: A Hearts of Iron
Game is a fun way to experience all the subterfuge of the Cold War
Era. It allows players to try being diplomatic, sneaky, or even hostile
and each choice will affect your country for years to come.