Entertainment once again revisit this popular turn based
counter game for the PC in Hearts of Iron III which is set in
the turbulent era of World War II. Although this was generally a
niche market, Paradox Entertainment have streamlined their latest
title, ensuring that even those a little wary of similar games will
enjoy this war strategy game. Without alienating long-time fans of
the series, the game still contains many of the complexities,
however the learning curve for newcomers has been greatly
At its core, Hearts of Iron III
is a professional's strategy game that has successfully transformed
these classic board games of yesteryear onto the PC. This is not
Command & Conquer but rather the thinking man's game and allows
players to change the tides of war from 1936 to 1948 with over 100
nations available to them. To add a spanner into the works, the game
is five times larger than the previous titles and the scope of your
battles are quite epic.
Once you have selected your nation to
play, the gamer can either attempt to defeat the AI or even better,
take the game online to challenge a plethora of Hearts of Iron
fanatics. Even though you can play the entire campaign for
12-years, gamers also have the choice of picking some of the most
memorable and notorious battles from World War II as they attempt to
change the tides of war.
Hearts of Iron III
is a war game which relies heavily on politics but thankfully this
micromanagement feature has been streamlined to prevent the player
from getting bogged down. Similar to games such as Civilization, you
also need to listen to your advisors, research technology and of
course move your troops into battle which is definitely the
highlight of the game.
To help with the
learning curve the title, several aspects of the game can be set to
auto-pilot such as Diplomacy or Fighting and is a nifty idea to
allow players to focus on their strengths or weaknesses to practice.
It's a great little feature that works on many levels of play and
thankfully the AI is quite smart.
Similar to previous games, spying and
diplomacy play a large role in this game and is great for making
allies or getting insider knowledge on your allies and foes.
Ordering your troops has also received a slight makeover which
features stronger AI for your troops, ensuring that they follow your
orders but also have enough leeway that almost at times makes you
believe they are thinking for themselves.
The technology in the game is quite
riveting and researching the various facets of your nation is quite
impressive but best of all, each nation has their pros and cons
which goes along way on how some of your battles will proceed. The
best part for me, was playing the campaign from start to finish and
basically changing the outcome of the war for the British. Quite
Of course all this power and choices come at a cost and the menu
system of Hearts of Iron III is still quite convoluted and
does distract you from the main game at times, especially if you've
taken a few days or a week off, you need to retrain yourself where
everything is. As this is made by Europeans, we did notice a few
typos throughout the text in the game which is a little shame but
hopefully the patches will address this in the future.
Graphically, the game mimics the
counter world of gaming quite well , however it does feature some 3D
graphics as well and when there are too many units on screen at
once, this did cause some slowdowns. Of course for a game such as
this, sound generally takes a back seat which is the case for
Hearts of Iron III, however the ambient music does suit the game
It's good to see Paradox Interactive
revamp their franchise by allowing even the novice of strategy
players be able to pick up the game and start playing within a
couple of hours successfully. If you're looking for true control and
almost an unlimited war-game scope, than Hearts of Iron III
is your game, however it would have been nice if some of the bugs
were fixed before the release. Even so, this is one truly engaging
game from start to finish!