Hearts of Iron III Updated Impressions

Paradox is hoping to make the greatest strategy game ever with Hearts of Iron III. We spoke to them and took a first look at the game to find out more.

It has been a long time since Hearts of Iron II was released--almost four years, in fact. Back then, we gave the game an 8.3 and said that it was publisher Paradox's finest hour. In the interim, the publisher/developer has been toiling away on a third game in the series, which will see the map-based real-time strategy game run to 15,000 provinces across every country in the world. It's ambitious, and we got to see those claims in action with a brand-new demo of the game.

Hearts of Iron III promises an almost unbelievable number of provinces--15,000, to be precise.

Like Hearts of Iron II, the third game in the series will cover World War II. You'll be able to play as any country in the world, and while it will be beneficial to control one of the major Allied or Axis forces, there's no reason you can't head up Romania or an equally small nation instead.

We got to see Hearts of Iron III at last year's Games Convention, but at that time we saw little in the way of gameplay. The folks at Paradox showed us a lot more of the game during our recent visit to Stockholm, and it looks to be shaping up nicely. You'll command your armies using a world map view, and it's from here that you can dip into the various menus that will influence your actions. The diplomacy menu will let you see your relationship with other countries, and you'll be able to see each nation's political allegiance towards democracy, communism, and fascism.

Another key aspect of the game is where each country stands in terms of being aligned with the Allied powers, Axis forces, or Comintern. This affects certain skills, because the Comintern states, for instance, can barter for goods, whereas the Axis powers tend to take things by force. You also have to take care of technology, and the game displays tech trees where you can allocate resources to things such as infantry theory. We're also promised a greater number of intelligence considerations, which are tied in to the number of spies you have, and it's all about allocating spies to certain countries over others.

The military aspect of the game promises to have stronger AI than before; you'll be able to tell your troops where to march and then let the computer take care of the rest. The game will also give you hints every step of the way, so you don't need to have played the previous games to get into the third. We also like the new leadership option that gives you greater control of your country's manpower, right down to lower-level skill groups and university graduates.

Hearts of Iron III has plenty of great ideas in place for its late-2009 release, and we hope to see more of the game in the coming months. Make sure you command your troops to check out GameSpot for more info soon.

Written By

Want the latest news about Hearts of Iron III?

Hearts of Iron III

Hearts of Iron III

Follow

Discussion

22 comments
illuminutty
illuminutty

So long as the interface isn't cluttered, and one can get to any piece of information in a couple of clicks.. it doesn't need to be hyper 3d... and actually preferably shouldn't be.

dadaandkel
dadaandkel

@hazzerz this is supposed to be a grand strategy game with epicness written all over it. HOI games lets you play any country during the ww2 era, it doesnt have to be crysis in terms of its appearance, because what it does, it does well. ill take gameplay over graphics any day of the week, and this game has it in spades.

jjdomo
jjdomo

@ hazzerz: obviously, this game relies heavily on its gameplay and not so much on the graphics. besides, with all the new games coming out that require such heavy hardware to play, i'm glad this one looks like it will run even on older systems.

mentat76
mentat76

I hope they will not purge the excellent research system of HOI2 in this release. Thats what i see in the screenshots... sadly.

Hazzerz
Hazzerz

Wow, did anyone ask for a game that looks like it was drawn with crayons? What is this supposed to be? Looks like something I would play on the Apple 2.

TheClown24
TheClown24

interesting, ill need to find out more first though

Salt_The_Fries
Salt_The_Fries

I played the previous one briefly, actually I feel like returning to it now...I will keep an eye on this.

philipi
philipi

Paradox are looking to be creating there best game yet. And FYI they are aiming for a launching in between June-August not late 09. They want a Summer this year with the June launch but realise they may have to settle for the August launch

snaggleoooo
snaggleoooo

Looking forward to this. I loved HoI2 and wasted huge amounts of my life playing it and it's expansions. This is a poor preview, but check out the Development Diaries (can be found easily and neatly on wikipedia's Hearts of Iron 3 article) for better information on how this is shaping up.

picklesrocks
picklesrocks

sounds cool ive never played the other ones but i may now, they sound fun

lucky326
lucky326

Paradox are looking to be creating there best game yet. And FYI they are aiming for a launching in between June-August not late 09. They want a Summer this year with the June launch but realise they may have to settle for the August launch.

gobo212
gobo212

Lame preview but the game looks like it is shaping up nicely.

arun_pullat
arun_pullat

This isn't like Empire Total War - Europa Universalis is a better comparison. This doesn't have a battle screen - a good thing too with 15000 provinces! HoI2 was a belter. I wasted months of my life playing as every single major power. Japan was the most fun.

lathan94
lathan94

Sounds interesting... i love empire building games. This sounds extremely deep. Empire total war and this should provide all the empire building i can handle.

will952
will952

i heard that HoI2 was good. Got demo, but then realized I had absolutely no idea of how to play it. I hope there is a half decent tutorial with this one.

Brendissimo35
Brendissimo35

Wow this preview is totally inadequate. Read the dev diaries in the HoI3 Paradox forums if you want substantial real information.

Nr_1
Nr_1

HoI 2 was amazing. Hopefully HoI 3 will be as great if not better.

ZakMcKracken
ZakMcKracken

HoI2 was a great game. This game is very likely to find itself on my shelf as well.