Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. HOI3 has a steep learning curve and it will be a struggle at first, but once you've got it all under control you can have some serious fun.
  2. Hearts of Iron 3 follows the previous installments becoming the current most complete war game.
  3. 85
    The depth of information and modeling in this game is as comprehensive as we've ever seen and it holds rich rewards for players who are willing to make the considerable investment into learning how to play.
  4. Reduced micromanagement and streamlined automation make Hearts of Iron III an absorbing game of grand strategy.
  5. One thing’s for certain though, this game is huge.
  6. Hearts of Iron 3 treats die-hard “armchair generals” with depth and attention to detail while easing things up for newcomers. Its shortcomings, namely bugs and poor optimization, pale in comparison with its many virtues.
  7. Deep, logical and ambitious, Hearts of Iron 3 is a daunting prospect. Be prepared to lose entire weekends to it. [Oct 2009, p.88]
  8. The war waging is brilliant, but diplomacy, speed, user interface etc robs the game of a better score.
  9. Unbelievable complexity in this strategy game with many ways to automate processes that lets players manage wars on a global scale – enjoy it fully! [Sept 2009]
  10. Life consuming strategy - after you beat that learning curve. [Nov 2009, p.60]
  11. More complex and yet also more accessible than ever, with an incredibly in-depth simulation of WWII.
  12. Once again Paradox offers a strategy game on a global scale, perfect for retirement, taking a year off or spending your life in solitude. It's dry presentation is full of statistics and details. If you've got enough patience, this game could keep you occupied for years.
  13. Hearts of Iron III does not even attempt to be beginner-friendly, it rather remains what it always was: One of the most complex and challenging strategy games that are currently available.
  14. Despite dwelling on the well-worn topic such as the World War Two warfare, this third installment of the acclaimed Hearts of Iron 'grand strategy' saga truly delivers. Based on the revamped engine displayed on Europa Universalis, Paradox' title offers unique depth, flexibility, historical accuracy and wonderful playability that will perhaps overwhelm newcomers but will surely make strategy enthusiasts rejoice once again. It may lack state-of-the-art graphics and sound effects but it is anyway one of the greatest war simulators currently on the shelves.
  15. If you're looking for true control and almost an unlimited war-game scope, than Hearts of Iron III is your game, however it would have been nice if some of the bugs were fixed before the release.
  16. Ambitious, deep, intense… Hearts of Iron III brings again complexity and hardcore feeling to the strategic genre.
  17. All but the hardest kernel of strategy fans may be overwhelmed by the micromanagement required and jaded by the long hours of meticulous planning that precede any action, but Hearts of Iron III isn’t designed with casual players in mind. Fans of the series and the genre will find much to be excited about.
  18. Hearts of Iron 3 is by far the most complicated and in-depth strategy game I’ve ever played. My big issue with it is that I didn’t have much fun with the game after delving through hours of menus: it wasn’t until I actually experienced some combat that the game stopped feeling stale.
  19. Hearts of Iron III has lot of potential but is crippled by bugs and flawed AI. The addon surely will fix many problems but are fans willing to sacrifice 20 buck for a patch? [June 2010]
  20. The third installment in the strategy franchise Hearts of Iron is, like it's two predecessors, a game made for the hardcore strategy enthusiasts. This is about as heavy as it gets when it comes to strategy depth, and if you're a member of the intended audience you won't be disappointed.
  21. 70
    Everything is in place for an absolutely great game that's unfortunately bogged down in a mess of bad design decisions, bugs, and some odd gameplay changes.
  22. It's not a bad game, and if you're one of the aforementioned strategy fans, you will likely enjoy it. [Nov 2009, p.76]
  23. A deep, detailed strategy title occasionally mired in its own complexities. [Issue#24, p.56]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 57
  2. Negative: 17 out of 57
  1. Feb 7, 2011
    This is one of the greatest games of all time.. There is a great deal of work when you want to play it so if you are not serious about playing it then it may be a bit to much for casual gamers. Saying that, the game can be overwhelming but if you give it 100% of your attention it can be really great. They added the ability for the computer to control certain micromanaging which is a welcome change from the previous edition. Full Review »
  2. Jul 8, 2011
    Ever bought a game and thought you were going to love it but the game actually ended up laggy and barely playable? Yeah, thats this game. I loved HOI2 and I still play it today, and I was very excited when I picked this game up, with all the new features promised, I nearly wet my bed in anticipation (I didnt actually btw). Well, their are many new features to this game, thats for sure, the developers really spent their time on this game, but they failed in the most important factor. This game isn't fun more than a hassle, firstly, the game is slow....and by slow I mean it. Secondly, it's too complex, it's easy to take over a simple country like say Belgium, but go against the Soviet Union and you'll have carpel tunnel trying to order your units around. Overall, this game won't interest you, unless your a hardcore HOI fan, stay away! Full Review »
  3. Dec 30, 2011
    I love grand strategy games. I love games that require so much detail and tedium that most people find boring and cannot stand. So this game and its reviews about how there is a lot of micromanagement did not faze me. Then I read about people crashing and not being able to load the games, but that it was 2011 and that these problems have been fixed in 2 years worth of patches. Let me tell you: THEY ARE NOT. The game crashes on load EVERY TIME. Want tech support right away? Too bad, Paradox has you register on their forums, register your game codes on their forums, and then go to their 16 step program on how to *maybe* fix the game. Now normally this wouldn't be so bad, but their site loads so slowly that I tabbed to watch a youtube video while I waited for each page to load. This is unacceptable given that they have acknowledged so many problems AFTER 2 YEARS OF RELEASE. This game looked like it was just for me and seemed promising, but after an evening trying to do all of their fixes, I give up. And no, I am not challenged with computers. However, if I was, I could only imagine the frustration that I would be having on top of my current frustration and waste of money. Full Review »