User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 194 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 194

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  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. Collapse
  2. Apr 7, 2011
    This game is one of the best examples of why you shouldn't fix what isn't broken. Hearts of iron 2 was a great combination of simplicity and fun, this game makes everything extremely difficult to understand by compaison with no seeming good reason, for example the tech tree in Hoi2 was pretty standard and straight foward (select team, department of research, tech,go) while in this game, the whole system is horribly convoluted and diffcult to understand as it's so radically different to Hoi2 for no good reason.

    The battle system is the same as Hoi2 on the whole however even that has been made more complicated than point and click, for example when attacking, other units in the surrounding provinces can be told to "support attack", in Hoi2 it was as simple as (right click, support attack, go) in this it's CTRL right click, not only does the game never tell you this but neither is there a good reason for changing it. The Map has also been made much more complex by adding a ton of new provinces that were not in Hoi2, making the lines that defined provinces much smaller and not having their names displayed on them until you are right up close. The new provinces slow down the game and help to make the game really unfamilar to Hoi2 veterans. The provinces are different colours and are a similar shade to the text making then hard to see. Having the names hard to see means that only when you see the name of the province, you've zoomed in too far to see the entire front while in Hoi2 the names could be see from any distance.

    The 3d effects are terrible and completely unneeded. Hoi2 was effectivly a text based game with the lack of visuals it had and that was still better to look at than this. The 3d models often get in the way of the province name and don't represent the size of the force e.g. The amount of troops you have in one province isn't represented by the 3d effect. The performance of this game is dreadful, mainly in part due to the horrible 3d models and perspective. This game really shouldn't have Framrate issues with any computer made before 2004 yet I get a better framerate on Crysis.

    I would go on about "national unity" and how the game thinks that there's a difference between Politics and diplomacy seeing as Hoi2 had then under the same partition but writing down everything that's wrong with this game would take as long as actually understanding this game.

    This game should have never been made, or atleast've been a remake of Hoi2 with 3d graphics. But no they had to release a game that bears almost no relation of Hoi2 apart from the sound effects which are identical. The bottom line is DO NOT BUY THIS GAME(especially for £15), buy Hoi2 it's much cheaper and much much better.
  3. 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! Expand
  4. Jun 4, 2011
    Even though the game had a near disastrous launch, it is a pretty good game now with Semper Fi. From the Motherland should raise it to excellent. This was a very ambitious project from a middle market game developer so I am inclined to be somewhat more understanding as compared to Firaxis and the piece of crap Civ 5. Hopefully Paradox has learned from their lesson and continues to put out quality products in the future. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. Feb 28, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In one word "disappointment". I am an avid and long time strategy game player. Back when Europa Universalis came out in 2001, it was a huge improvement over strategy games so far. Having bought Hearts of Iron 3 I noticed the game play was still very similar to that of Europa Universalis 1. Then it was a fun game, now it is boring. Worse, to balance the game, odds are very much in favour of the AI. For instance, when my dug-in and well supplied fortified troops (13 brigades) were attacked by France in the Ruhr Area by 2 brigades (note: why the AI attacks at all against such a stronger force is beyond my comprehension), there were equal losses on both sides (approx. 10?? Yes, that many!) and I still lost the battle and was in retreat. On other occasions my attacking force overwhelmed French troops inflicting 1700 casualties against maybe 100 on my side and I still lost the battle? Considering I spent 8 hours preparing my forces in terms of supply, technology and training and my country through bunkers, AA and infra, such illogical battle losses quickly "killed" my interest in the game! No fun and unrealistic. Then I am also taking for granted that Churchill does not come to power, transport ships can sail forever, that it rains for 2 years in some areas etc and that the game requires a heavy computer to deal with performance. Don't buy it, even when it is at bargain prices!! Expand
  7. Mar 28, 2011
    best game with this timeline. there is nothing else outhere, with this kind of complexity. if you love great strategy games you should give hoi III a try.
  8. May 27, 2011
    After the excellent Hearts of Iron 2, I was expecting much from this game. Regrettably, I was sorely disappointed. After purchasing, with version 1.00, the first thing I noticed was the horrendously slow game play. Now my system wasn't particularly good, but this was awful. It took several patches to bring things to a reasonable speed.

    Micromanagement was heavy, detailing down to the
    brigade level and I never really got far in either the politics or diplomacy settings due to dire game speeds.

    The only good thing to say about the game is the technology tree which looks good.

    Paradox then went and released Semper Fi, an insult to injury - Effectively you have to pay for further patches to the game.
  9. Aug 1, 2012
    This game would maybe would be better if it was faster, but it is soooooo slooooooowwwww. It takes forever. If you play the US, you will be bored and quit before you even get into the war.
  10. Feb 20, 2013
    The idea is good and interesting, but the execution still has a LOT to develop. With a lot of patching the problems can be repaired (There are quiet a few problems at the moment, like balance issues -German units are almost invincible-, performance issues -The game start lagging no matter what PC you are using...-dumb and unbelievable diplomatic moves...maps are not matching real borders...etc..). I do not know if they will ever fix these, but if they do you will have a great strategy game.… Collapse Expand
  11. Jun 25, 2013
    The game teach us a lot and allow us to understand more about world war 2 if you dont know well about WW2 its the perfect game !
    you also can change the facts for example as Holand i can attack my neighbors and other more stuff u can do its ur country your decisions !
    they Devol did great job with the game and i really hope them the best specially that they are working on new game
    which i will buy to support their work. Expand
  12. Jan 30, 2013
    I always wanted a game where you can control an entire nation to greatness. I played Civ (to my shame), whose crappy excuse of combat and diplomacy soon drove me away. Then I discovered HOI3. I have to say, it is a really satisfying game. Once you actually understand at least some of the control system, that is. Having not played the previous games in the series, I was a "n00b", and even now, some aspects of the game still eludes me. This probably would have been alleviated to some degree if the devs had actually thought to give some hint boxes on certain screens to help newbies like me understand the game. My gameplay, while not afflicted by bugs, seemed to be marred by some weird game mechanics. Naval combat, for example, often tell me that I had lost no ships and sunk over a dozen of the enemy's, thus somehow losing the battle. The diplomacy is also annoying, in that everyone joins the Allies, and the fact that you cannot trade land. I mean, i wanted to have the power to negotiate with my powers over how to divide up land so that New Zealand will not randomly have a pathetic province in the middle of my territories.
    That aside, overall the gameplay is fun, but atrociously slow. I have yet to use the two fastest options for the game speed for fear that I might some back and find out that I had lost half my provinces. it takes ages to go one year, especially when you are at war. In conclusion, good game, but with some very very complex gameplay. (There is an official manual for it, and it's almost 100 pages) The payoff is good though, despite some odd mechanics and the occasional bugs.
  13. Mar 31, 2013
    After a few years of patching and expansions, HOI3 has become the gold standard in WW2 grand strategy simulation (surpassing HOI2 before it). Deeper and more complex than anything else by a wide margin, nothing else can bring you closer to realistically controlling a nation in a sandbox WW2 setting. It's obviously not for all audiences and has a cliff-like learning curve, but anyone with an interest needs to give it a serious try. The poor reviews here remind me what a shame it is that Paradox releases their games in such unplayable states. Considering they always patch them into much better games, the bad initial reviews just leave a horrible impression to potential newcomers. HOI3 is leaps and bounds better than it was on release. I hope PI adopts a paid beta model for the hardcore fans to help them work out the bugs and balance before a general launch. Expand
  14. oso
    Jul 18, 2013
    After finally getting multiplayer running and haveing alot of fun there are still a lot of stupid and frustrating gameplay elements. For example if you play as democracy there is no option to declare war without haveing to wait like 10 years for reducing the potential enemies neutrality. At early game versions you were able to declare war on anyone at any time with the latest patch applied this isn't possible anymore.
    The whole intelligence system is also quite pointless. For example if you manage to coup a nation what is quite an effort there is no direct benefit for you. It is not possible to control puppet nations like it was in previous hoi games.
    Some unit movement mechanics are extremely stupid f.e. every air unit or flotilla has a limited range but you can easily outpass it by 'rebaseing that unit to any other friendly airbase/naval base.
    overall its fun to play but unfortunately has some major issues and unlogical mechanics that can quickly destroy your or your buddys game that been carefully prepared for many hours.
  15. Nov 27, 2011
    COMPLETELY DISREGARD ALL OF THESE NEGATIVE REVIEWS! IT IS NOW 2011 AND THE GAME IS NO LONGER BUGGY OR S****TY! If you are looking to buy this game, go on youtube and watch some gameplay vids first, before you buy it. This game is very complex, and takes awhile to learn. I absolutely love it, and have spent 220+ hours on it. It makes you feel like the commander of a country during WW2, and I love how you can play as anyone. The only downside is that nobody plays multiplayer, and whenever you try to connect to someone it doesn't work. And the AI gets frustrating to play with after 50+ games, because it is quite repetitive. But besides those two things, its a great game. Expand
  16. Aug 17, 2013
    It has taken a LOT of time for the team to get this game in shape. But as it stands presently, this is a really good game and the best WWII grand strategy game available. Be prepared to invest hundreds of hours into learning how it all works, for it isn't easy to get all the parts flowing together. Once you are in war it's an overdose of continuous micromanagement of EVERYTHING in the national war effort. Fortunately this game is still being developed and improved. It's not quite perfect but hats off to the team for lots of unceasing effort to make it work as well as it does. Keep the DLC coming! Whatever it takes! Expand
  17. Nov 14, 2012
    This follow up to a great game is extremely disappointing. Many bugs on release, ran extremely poorly and the game just wasn't all that fun.

    More or less acknowledged that you need to buy all the expansions pack, which cost nearly $60-80 combined to be worth it. Do not waste your time.
  18. Dec 15, 2013
    Just like the User score says game is crap. No fow global removal tools has to be the worst. I like to watch what is happening and I can't. I could in other games. This one is the worst
  19. Dec 29, 2012
    The game is a complete mess, missing many of the things that made HOI 2 fun. Far too many provinces to work with, way too much micromanagement. Nation specific tech teams and unit models are gone; you're stuck with generic research and technology. The game feels like a generic war simulator moreso than a WW2 grand strategy game. The game suffers from performance issues as well even on high end PC's. Expand
  20. Aug 18, 2013
    The usual mindnumbing yawnfest from Paradox complete with enough statistical and numerical micromanagement to be the stuff of wet dreams for accountants. Sure these games are clever and try to think of everything but that is the problem so that you get taken along as a flailing passenger. What these games seem to forget is that the leaders in history had a raft of advisors (some good some bad) who actually sat down with you and tried to make sense of all the numbers and help you make an informed decision on a course of action. Working in a vacuum with more numbers than an aircraft carrier full of accountants would know what to do with is not a game it is just an exercise in egotistical masochism! Expand
  21. Feb 16, 2013
    Finally after all of the major expansion packs and a decent mod for you historical players, HOI3 is not only playable but enjoyable as a very nice WW2/early cold war simulator. If you like grand strategy, definitely pick it AND the expansions up.
  22. Dec 12, 2013
    I'm playing this game with all the major DLC in 2013. I had played some other more popular paradox titles and figured this one was worth a shot despite some of the harsh reviews. I think if you can get to grips with this game, it's a very satisfying grand strategy experience. While the game lets you play as any nation you want, most of them are a very boring experience, play as any of the majors and you'll have as much as a hundred or more hours of fun. A lot of time has to be spent organising and preparing things, a casual gamer who just wants to jump right in and play is going to be in for a disappointment I feel.

    I will say that I had some minor performance issues to begin with but they were resolved quickly via the tech support forum.

    Scoring this game a 10 might not seem accurate but if a game provides me with a hundred or more hours of entertainment, it deserves a 10.
  23. Mar 6, 2013
    Great game but only with all expansions. With such complicated game you can't avoid bugs. The only downside is that after new add-on developers are patching newer expansion so you need to get them all. Right now game is playable, fun as hell and there is 100000000 mods for it on official paradox forum.
  24. Mar 22, 2013
    I love this game, so much detail, every brigade in WW2 is modeled with their appropriate commanders, and the sheer detail on the map.I believe it gets pretty close to being the perfect model for a WW2 strategy war game.
  25. Apr 11, 2013
    This game is addicting, pure and simple. It took awhile for the Hearts of Iron 2 fans to jump onto this wagon, but trust me, they did. The game is a huge improvement over its prequel. More provinces, a more advanced tech tree, in-depth OOB and a prettier interface. Don't pass HOI3 up, because you'll be missing out.
  26. AWG
    Jul 30, 2013
    I'm not into strategy games (I get bored almost immediately if I have to read tons of text and data just to move what I suppose is a soldier from here to there) and this one seems really complicated anc complex. Not really my piece of cake.
  27. Nov 24, 2013
    I think its a solid 8/10 game. It requires a lot of effort to learn how different aspects of the game works but overall its very worth it to get into. Just make sure you buy the expansions as Paradox isn't known for its willingness to patch games after release unless its in the form of an expansion.
  28. Sep 10, 2013
    the game has come through a huge change. all the patches and the DLCs make the game one of the best world war two game that there is out there. i had a lot of fun with the game.
  29. Oct 10, 2013
    I think, Hearts of Iron is a great franchise. Perhaps the best strategy genre, but I like Supreme Ruler Cold War, also.
    What I am slowly realizing is, that Hitler saw the devil in the details. What if the theory tabs were researched to the latest date and beyond, pertaining to 'naval theory', 'infantry theory', etc.? It seems, that if pure science keeps on advancing, and people are not
    taught other branches, then every person who learns pure science, applies the science to practicality, pertaining to the personal. Seemingly, if the theory of naval science is advanced, then as and when it is pertaining, the science can be applied, in the degree that is required. This teaching of science might make the human more free, and not more interdependent, but less.
    In short, if the theory of an aircraft carrier has been recognized as a practical option, then, if aeronautical engineering is advanced to levels in 1943, in the year 1938, the aircraft carrier, if one has been built, should be effortlessly upgraded to the levels of technology in 1943. But, the more we crystallize technology into a process, the more it binds us. Science is seen to be progressing, but we can also see science to be regressing, to the origin of the meaning of the discipline. We want to know what the meaning of science applies to itself.
  30. Mar 9, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. hoi3 is all most the grand daddy of WW2 strategic games. For those looking for improvement of TOAW series this is it, with only the transportation scheme lacking in realism. Railroads not introduced with 25-30 mph speeds. Fighting uprisings becomes somewhat annoying but improves your planning and creates highly experienced units. Unit creating is diverse and battles can unfold into victory with the right units at hand. Air combat is somewhat lacking. Naval combat must be monitored very closely with air support and reinforcements. In my 1st game as Germany I took over Allies and USSR by Feb. 42' with USA not issue'ing DOW. The planning and managing aspects of this game make for a different game experience every game. Expand
  31. Jun 5, 2014
    A game I'd love to really dig myself into but It's so embarassingly complex and downright annoying to play, I'd have a hard time believing anyone who didn't play HoI 2 extensively would ever touch this.
  32. Sep 12, 2014
    Pros: The World War II scenarios are fun at first; the graphics look much better than Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon when the game isn't stuttering into a low frame-rate oblivion.

    Cons: Worse music than Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon; the AI for the game is quite dumb, very much worse than it was in Hearts of Iron II; game has a much reduced scope from Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon;
    idiotic "neutrality system"; super-long loading screens; a huge amount of problems with realism and history in the game; the huge amount of tiny provinces destroys the performance and fun of the game; the good graphics destroy the framerate and make the game seem to go by ten times slower than Hearts of Iron II; feels like a huge unnecessary waste of resources to have a 3D graphics engine for what is essentially a 2D board game; game is so so bloated that it cannot run on older computers which could run Hearts of Iron II very well.

    Score Breakdown: Graphics 7/10, Sound Effects and Music 3/10, Realism 2/10, Game Stability 1/10, Gameplay 1/10, Loading Screens and Frame Rate 1/10, Replay Value 0/10, Total Score 2.1/10

    Conclusion: Overall a huge step backwards from its prequel Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon. Instead of playing Hearts of Iron III or any of the Hearts of Iron III expansions, buy Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday with the Armageddon expansion and perhaps try the game Darkest Hour.
  33. 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. Collapse

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reduced micromanagement and streamlined automation make Hearts of Iron III an absorbing game of grand strategy.