Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hearts of Iron III

The fine folks at Paradox Interactive released a demo for their upcoming World War 2 strategy game, Hearts of Iron 3. If you have not played previous iterations, it is a grand strategy game that focuses on the entire world at the time. The fighting is abstracted so there are no Total War 3d battles.

The strength of the series has always been it's scope. You can play any country at the time, although some might be pretty boring (i.e. Cuba). Politics, Military, Production, Logistics are all under your control. The latest entry in the series build upon it even more. Dare I say this could be the most comprehensive WW2 game ever?

For the demo I chose to play Poland. The demo starts on the first day of the war in 1939. In the full version I will start at 1936. We don't really stand a chance at this point, as Germany is about to steamroll us.

The zoomed out looks uses counters, if we zoom in close we get a different view. If you are a fan of using counters all the time, you can do that too.

There is also a full weather system in the game which effects all sorts of things like movement, logistics and combat. It has it's own map overlay. As we can see, there are some heavy storms in Italy.

The technology (research) in HoI 3 is pretty extensive and customizable. You don't research new units, you research components, like a tank gun. Then you pretty much just build your new unit so there is a lot of customization.

And lastly, a picture of combat. It may not look like much but there is a lot of detail. The terrain, technology, leadership, doctrines (strategies), weather and time of day all go into deciding the battle. When I get the full game, I will cover more of that in depth.

HoI 3 should be available in stores/online anytime now. Hopefully my copy will arrive soon. When it does you can expect a campaign report as I take control of Italy.


"The fighting is abstracted so there are no Total War 3d battles"

Therein lies the issue with the game for me no matter how much I want to like these titles.

Nope, not the 3D, the terrible combat. I am a grognard first, flashy graphics guy second. I like my battles with hexes and movement of units and supply routes and leaders and artillery support etc etc, and I just cannot get around the combat in HOI3, I just don't like it and it is a major turn off for me.

Overall, the game looks spectacular and is an awesome in depth grand strategic game, but I usually veer away from those due to how I like my games based on certain fronts.

I guess there are 2 types of wargamers :) I am a high level kind of guy. I could care less about what the individuals are doing on the battlefield, I just like to direct the campaign for world domination :)

Yeah the only grand strategy games I can get into are usually the ones like Commander at War or Strategic Command 2. Its really weird

BUT, I will play games that are grand but hexed based and based on a front, which is why I will be getting Gary Grigsby's War in the East ASAP.

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