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Hearts of Iron IV – Game Review

Hearts of Iron is one of Paradox’s premier strategy games of which they have become known for. As we near the end of the Paradox Publisher Weekend I thought it would be a good idea to give it a Review.

Release Trailer

Gameplay: Hearts of Iron is an Incredibly in-depth real-time strategy game that focuses on the conflict of World War 2. You can choose ANY, and I mean ANY country in the world (this does include countries that no longer exist such as Yugoslavia). The primary aim of the game differs based on what Country you are, Germany, for example, is world Domination, while Britain is to prevent the spread of Communism as well as to stop the Nazi Empire from expanding. The game features resource management in addition to management of Factories and their individual output (whether consumer goods or military machines where you select the number of factories working on each product). Heats of Iron also dives into politics as you can choose your foreign policy, hire adviser into certain positions (such as Rommel as a military adviser) each of whom gives you perks based on their expertise.

Furthermore, you can even manage the command of your armies, which generals, each of whom also provide perks or pitfalls as well as the number of units (and each of their sizes) within that army. This makes the game incredibly in depth, however, it has a huge learning curve, as each unit has different properties aside from damage and health, such as organization (Tanks make the army more disorganized while Infantry increase organization) which is important as a disorganized army has a higher fleeing and routing coefficient. The balancing of the game is a bit off, as it favors certain countries (above all, Germany) as for example, Germany, basically dictates the pace of the entire game, they decide when War starts, and they decide when they are ready to fight. The game can get very overwhelming at the later stage, as you can be fighting on over 3 fronts at once at a time in real time, making you split your attention back and forth and therefore making it overwhelming. Lastly, the game is very slow and time-consuming, it can take you weeks before you finish a game at times.

Main Selection of Countries (However all countries are available)

Graphics and UI: The Graphics in game are amazing, for being so simple, Paradox was able to squeeze everything that could be made into a 3D model, into a 3D model. Everything has texture, from the units to the arrows. It Truly looks great. The color pallet of the game also suits it, darker greens and greys dominate the game, which completely makes sense in its setting of World War II. However, the game’s biggest problem lies with its User Interface. The User Interface is in Hearts of Iron is terrible in my opinion, just naming units and setting symbols is a chore. Furthermore, the factory management makes no sense to me, to be transparent, I haven’t mastered the game by any means. There are a lot of issues with it, mainly because of its complexity and the sheer number of things that are on the screen at one. There is also an issue with selection of units and sending bombing raids which can get very annoying.

Banner Art from In Game

Multiplayer: The Multiplayer of the Game is great, as other actual human beings are making the decisions, making the game more dynamic. My only problem with its system is that you need to have a few people to play with as there is no online matchmaking that I know off, so you need to have actual friends to play multiplayer, I know it’s challenging. Furthermore, the overall layout of the Server Brower is not very good in my opinion, it’s ok, but not that good.

Mods: It is worth noting that there is a wide range of mods available to the game.

Conclusion: In conclusion, Hearts of Iron IV is a great in-depth real-time strategy game. The game allows you to customize your strategies, units, army and production to a huge extent. However, the game suffers from a terrible User Interface which just adds to the games complexity and learning curve. Games also take a prolonged period of time to complete, as well as being overwhelming and even stressful at times. However, in the end, I feel that Hearts of Iron IV is amazing and even though it may be frustrating and at times boring for newer players, it’s very rewarding for those who Stick with the game. The Price of the Game can be an issue, getting the full game is ridiculously expensive (I was lucky to get it at a major discount) Overall, I give hearts of Iron IV an 8/10 at the standard price but a 9/10 at anything higher than 50% off.

Plays way too many games and should probably sleep more.


Aditya Rao


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