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Hearts of Iron 3 review

August 10th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 12 Comments · Crispy Gamer, Paradox, Review, WW2

I was out of town for a long weekend. Caught a show in NY, met up with some of my Crispy Gamer colleagues, shot a video with them, etc.

In the meantime, Crispy Gamer published my review of Hearts of Iron 3, which I love.

There are problems with the game. There is some slowness when the map gets crowded, but it is not buzzkilling slowness like the load screens in East India Company. The map has some unfortunate geographic errors and the first patch introduced a bug in the consumer good production equation, which did nothing to lessen my enjoyment of the game – I noticed that the goods calculation had changed but I wasn’t quite sure whether the new one was right or wrong. Math.

Remember that a recommendation to buy a game is not the same as saying it is flawless.

But Hearts of Iron 3 is an excellent game and a big leap forward for a series that I have not really enjoyed. The HoI games have usually been at the bottom of my list of “most anticipated” Paradox games because they are so focused on the warfighting. The game is about the war, and if you don’t want to play the war you shouldn’t play the game.

We talk more about the game on this week’s podcast.


12 Comments so far ↓

  • Hudson

    I dont think I will ever be able to get over the combat in these games. I just feel so uninvolved watching watching the units bump into each other in provinces and having no direct control over the battles or what is going as little numbers and pop up windows spam my screen.

    I think I really just do not get into Grand Strategy games as much as I thought I would

  • Punning Pundit

    I’m a bit annoyed at the DLC offering from this game. Near as I can tell, they want me to give them money for new art assets. Not new units (not that I can tell), but new pictures of the original units.

    None of which will keep me from buying the game in a few weeks :)

  • Dave

    Curious about this.

    Any impressions of the map? It’s supposed to have a lot more provinces than before. I’m guessing that giving HQs orders instead of individual units mitigates this problem?

    That said, you know grognards– they hate ceding control. So the question is, how good is the HQ pursuit of objectives? It’s AI based, I can imagine you giving orders to take Warsaw and all the units march off to Hungary. Some fog of war even on *your* side is a realistic plus, but I’ve seen enough “friendly AI” systems fall apart quickly when tasked to do anything more complex than “move that way.”

  • Troy

    About 15,000 provinces, some of them “misnamed”.

    Grognards do hate to cede control, and that’s fine. You can do things just fine without trusting the AI though you need to keep those HQ units close to keep the supplies, reinforcements and orders working well.

    That said, the AI is quite good at driving towards objectives. You can set the pace it will do so, and specify the axis of attack if you like. It will make sensible moves most of the time and can be trusted with a simple plan of attack with air strikes and that stuff, too. However, if you want to get really creative with your assault you are better off taking control yourself.

  • LintMan

    I’m curiuous what everyone thinks about the DLC sprite packs being offered, also.

    IMHO, they’re cheap, but really strike me as stuff removed from the game so they could milk players for more money, rather than added value extra content.

  • Sarkus

    The sprites are really stupid, IMHO, because the game plays much better with the counters turned on instead of the sprites. But to each their own, and if eye candy fans want distinct looking models for each warship, tank type, or aircraft type they might field then I don’t care if they pay for them versus Paradox filling up a folder with them that I will never open.

  • James Allen

    I hear the next HoI3 DLC sprite pack will include shiny horse armor.

  • Dirk

    People should be careful about the requirements necessary for this one: I’m on a modern Macbook Pro that is loaded using a Bootcamp install of Windows XP and this…game…slogs. I’m in the summer of 1937 – no warfare! – using counters not sprite and at the fastest speed each day takes over a minute to pass. Its pretty brutal. I can run Company of Heroes perfectly yet the pre-war buildup of this game kills my machine. Major bummer.

  • James Allen

    Yeah, slow game performance is a significant issue. Somebody should really say something about that.

  • Neil

    Will wait for several rounds of patches, some mods, and a price drop before I get this. Standard policy with Paradox games now.

  • James Allen

    + the inevitable expansions.

  • Tim McDonald

    “Remember that a recommendation to buy a game is not the same as saying it is flawless.”

    I don’t have much to say about the game itself, but I really wish more people would remember that line.