Hearts of Iron III is a grand strategy wargame developed and published by Paradox Interactive that is the sequel to the previous Hearts of Iron games. It was announced on August 20, 2008 and was released on August 7, 2009.
Hearts of Iron 3 allows the player to take control of almost any nation that existed or even plausibly could have existed during the period of 1936–1948, guiding it through World War II. A variety of decisions regarding the armed forces, production, research, diplomacy, politics and espionage is the focus of the game.
The game centres around three factions: the Axis (Germany and its allies), the Allies (Britain and the Commonwealth, as well as the French empire), and the Comintern (the Soviet Union and its allies). All other nations can slowly align with one of the factions. Nations are more likely to side with those with similar ideology.
Resources found in the game include: energy, metal, rare materials, and oil. The first three are required for industrial production, while oil is converted to fuel for vehicles, planes and ships.
The scope of military organisation ranges from brigades to entire theatres of operation.
Although happy with the scope of Hearts of Iron II, lead designer Johan Andersson wanted to improve upon every aspect of the game, starting again with a new engine. The game's artificial intelligence (AI) was designed to be able to achieve strategic objectives and control forces delegated to it, including whole theatres of operation. The AI can also remember and compare strategic possibilities as circumstances change. Changing to 3D graphics helped improve other areas, as Andersson explained:
"Going 3d meant we could do another type of architecture where we could support more screen resolutions, and develop our maps in a quicker way. The biggest advantage from going 3d though was the ability to offload more to the GPU. With the machine advances during the last decade this gives us the biggest benefits in development when it comes to gameplay and AI."
Paradox had a vision for the style of the map, given that the player would spend the majority of their time looking at it: "...to create a map that feels like a WW2 map, like it could be a map which...a commander in the War would be looking at himself." The content of the map was also altered; the number of provinces increased to more than 10,000 over Hearts of Iron II's 2,600. Customizable divisions, a first for the series, are available, each one containing two to five brigades, with each brigade increasing the division's combat power and cost.
|PC Zone UK||60/100|
|PC Gamer UK||81/100|
Hearts of Iron 3 initially received a mixed reception because the game shipped with a large number of bugs in the initial release.. After several patches eliminated many bugs reception improved and the game got generally positive reviews. In 2009 December it had a combined average of a 77 on Metacritic" and a 79% on Gamerankings."
Gamepro wrote "perhaps the worst problem is the interface itself, or more specifically, the amount of feedback it affords the player. In contrast to the old system, there is no instant way to assess how many divisions you have in each province, nor important values like their units' organization or combat values."
On the other hand, the game has been praised as being "tailored for experienced strat heads and wargamers with a lot of patience, but the game is more accessible than either of its predecessors and a great jumping-on point for new players who want to make the leap into a grand strategy epic."
On 6 June 2010, an expansion called Hearts of Iron III: Semper Fi was released. It is only available as a download.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gamespy Game Information, Hearts of Iron III. Gamespy (June 29, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-07-20.
- ↑ System Requirements for HoI3, Official HoI3 Manual. August 04, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- ↑ Hearts of Iron 3 Product Information, Virtual Programming. December 04, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-4.
- ↑ gamer's gate's hearts of iron 3 page. Gamer's gate (August 7, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-08-07.
- ↑ Hearts of Iron III Released. Inside Mac Games (December 7, 2009). Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
- ↑ Hearts of Iron III Preview. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2009-01-24.
- ↑ First trailer at gamer.no (Norwegian site/English Trailer). gamer.no (August 21, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-08-22.
- ↑ Developer diaries at hoi3.com. hoi3.com (30 June, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-06-30.
- ↑ Video showcases on YouTube. YouTube (30 June, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-06-30.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 RPS interview. www.rockpapershotgun.com. Retrieved on 2009-10-06.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Dev diary 27. hoi3.com. Retrieved on 2009-10-06.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Dev diary 1. HOI3.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
- ↑ Dev diary 7. HOI3.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/heartsofironiii/review.html?mode=web&tag=scoresummary;critic-score
- ↑ http://pc.ign.com/articles/101/1013881p1.html
- ↑ Note: Crispy Gamer doesn't give numerical ratings
- ↑ http://gamerlimit.com/2009/08/gamer-limit-review-hearts-of-iron-iii-review/
- ↑ http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/211594/hearts-of-iron-iii/
- ↑ http://www.smartyweb.org/2009/08/17/hearts-of-iron-iii-a-world-of-hurt/
- ↑ November 2009 issue, p.76 cited on Metacritic
- ↑ October 2009, p.88 cited on Metacritic
- ↑ See official patch notes and change log 1.1-1.3 Patch Changelog
- ↑ 2009 December score
- ↑ 2009 December score
- ↑ Hearts of Iron review from gamepro
- ↑ http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/heartsofironiii/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;read-review
- ↑ Semper Fi Announcement, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ Virtual Programming Releases Hearts of Iron III: Semper Fi. MacGamer (July 23, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
- Official Site
- Hearts of Iron III at Paradox
- HoI3Wiki - Official Wiki
- Hearts of Iron 3 Development Twitter