User Score
7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 207 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 207

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  1. Aug 1, 2012
    2
    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.
  2. HinhG
    Aug 14, 2009
    5
    While Paradox Interactive has indeed updated the look and feel of HoI:2, they have failed to really improve it. The 10,000 provinces become overwhelming, forcing you to let the AI handle your wars, taking away much of the pleasure of personally directed an armored assualt. The technology screens are a massive step backwards in terms of look and feel. Perhaps the most annoying aspect of While Paradox Interactive has indeed updated the look and feel of HoI:2, they have failed to really improve it. The 10,000 provinces become overwhelming, forcing you to let the AI handle your wars, taking away much of the pleasure of personally directed an armored assualt. The technology screens are a massive step backwards in terms of look and feel. Perhaps the most annoying aspect of HoI:3 is that in some areas it has fewer features than HoI:2, such as the ability to automanage trades and convoys. You can either give the game full control of all production fields or none. I would keep an eye on this game and perhaps in a few patches and update mods consider it, but for now save your money. I wish I had. Expand
  3. Hans
    Sep 3, 2009
    5
    Another game in the line of Europa Universalis 3 and Rome. This publisher releases unfinished games and expects the users to fix them. This game lacks any sense of realism. I am not talking about logical bugs, but who woud expect that Ireland would disembark alone on the german coast? Who would expect Argentina did the same on england? As it is, the game should not be sold linked to WW2, Another game in the line of Europa Universalis 3 and Rome. This publisher releases unfinished games and expects the users to fix them. This game lacks any sense of realism. I am not talking about logical bugs, but who woud expect that Ireland would disembark alone on the german coast? Who would expect Argentina did the same on england? As it is, the game should not be sold linked to WW2, but instead in creating an alternative reality that has very few to do with WW2, at least if one wants to play the full campaign. This publisher got lucky with Europa Universalis 3, when a group of users coded Magna Mundi and solved most of the faults. They had no such luck with Rome, because the Magna Mundi team was not interested in fixing it. And probably they are now praying the Magna Mundi team will fix HOI3. This is terrible, because these games have lots of potential. Expand
  4. Nov 14, 2012
    3
    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.
  5. Sep 12, 2014
    2
    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;
    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.
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  6. ZachG
    Aug 11, 2009
    6
    Although the groundwork is in place, the game needs a huge shot of performance enhancing steroids. Being an avid strategy gamer, and certainly a fan of the Hearts of Iron series, I can see that the potential is huge. Once the bugs are ironed out along with performance issues, it will be a delight to play, and will surely be a great sequel, but until then i have to give it a 6 out of 10. Although the groundwork is in place, the game needs a huge shot of performance enhancing steroids. Being an avid strategy gamer, and certainly a fan of the Hearts of Iron series, I can see that the potential is huge. Once the bugs are ironed out along with performance issues, it will be a delight to play, and will surely be a great sequel, but until then i have to give it a 6 out of 10. Does quality assurance even exist at developers names that don't start with a B and end with an lizzard? Expand
  7. May 27, 2011
    3
    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
    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.
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  8. Feb 7, 2011
    10
    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 aThis 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. Expand
  9. Apr 7, 2011
    0
    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,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.
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  10. Jul 8, 2011
    3
    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, theEver 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 aspect...fun 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
  11. WimH
    Sep 1, 2009
    6
    This version is the first I play so I cant compare with series 1 and 2. Though I have to say that the game detail is impressive and is a platform for a great game. Unfortunately thats it for me, as I cant say I enjoy it. Maybe I need to play longer and go through the learning curve, but there are some things that just dont appeal to me such as: there are certain political leaders you cant This version is the first I play so I cant compare with series 1 and 2. Though I have to say that the game detail is impressive and is a platform for a great game. Unfortunately thats it for me, as I cant say I enjoy it. Maybe I need to play longer and go through the learning curve, but there are some things that just dont appeal to me such as: there are certain political leaders you cant change. Some countries are almost impossible to change the general democracy level which makes it impossible to switch sides (allies vs axis). Depending on the research available only some countries can eg. get to the nuclear weapons. A.I on resources does often give insufficient to consumer goods, which increases revolt automatically. etc etc. Although officially this is not a retelling of Word war 2, a lot of things are programmed to happen as they did. No surprises and a lot of details to manage to get to the same result. I hope I am wrong but this is my feeling after playing around 5 seperate attempts. Expand
  12. FionaL
    Aug 14, 2009
    3
    I'm sure there is a game in here somewhere, but after two hours I haven't found it. This games needs a "first ten minutes walkthrough". Without it, it is impossible to penetrate. The in-game tutorials are extremely lacking. The manual provides a lot of details about individual game features and the effect of different settings, but it does not provide an overview of gameplay. I'm sure there is a game in here somewhere, but after two hours I haven't found it. This games needs a "first ten minutes walkthrough". Without it, it is impossible to penetrate. The in-game tutorials are extremely lacking. The manual provides a lot of details about individual game features and the effect of different settings, but it does not provide an overview of gameplay. The manual claims that you can find a "Quickstart" overview guide on the developer forums, but after much searching ( and a complicated registration process which requires you to manually enter your game key -- you can't copy and paste from steam ), I still couldn't find it. Expand
  13. JohnP
    Aug 23, 2009
    3
    There is a special feeling one gets when they pay $39.99 to participate in a public beta test, to which HOI3's developer, Paradox Interactive, has invited its paying customers. PI has a reputation for releasing games before they are finished, and they have fully lived up to it. Following on the heels of HoI2, which had several expansions, HoI3 totally redesigns their game from the There is a special feeling one gets when they pay $39.99 to participate in a public beta test, to which HOI3's developer, Paradox Interactive, has invited its paying customers. PI has a reputation for releasing games before they are finished, and they have fully lived up to it. Following on the heels of HoI2, which had several expansions, HoI3 totally redesigns their game from the ground up. If you are familiar with its predecessors, you will be mostly familiar with the latest iteration. From an aesthetic perspective, the game actually looks fairly good, and it is playable in high resolution (works fine on my HD TV monitor). My system is upper-end, and I have not had many issues with regular graphic processing, although many users have expressed concerns on the PI forums about performance. If anything could be said for the graphic design, it is that the map looks nihilistic. It is washed out with muted earth tones that one might joke were the remains of the world at the end of HoI2: Armageddon. I won't mince words. It is just an ugly map. The biggest problems with HoI3 lie with its incompleteness and obvious premature release. It is a very complex game. Yet for all its, frankly, absurd over-complexity and obsession with minute detail, the game allows for such ahistorical and contra-logical events as Japan joining the Allies, the US joining the Axis, etc. Some of the Design Changes: The size of the world in terms of playable areas has jumped by over a factor of 10, to over 14,000. This necessitated a change to their ground unit rules, which are now more complex, but conceptually good ideas. The unit purchase menus are different, especially for land units. Instead of buying a division and perhaps attaching a brigade, you construct brigades and assemble them into divisions. There are some quirks built into the game that make juggling brigades between divisions just plain annoying (you have to remove a leader from a 2-brigade division before you can break it down into separate brigades, for example). You will spend a great deal of time fighting the system to get your divisions set up the way you want them, but you have much more flexibility. IMO, this is a good change, but the niggling playability issues need to be addressed. The research has been altered (in my mind, improved), but like everything else HoI, it is overly complex. Do nations really need to research separate Destroyer, Light Cruiser, Heavy Cruiser, Battlecruiser, Battleship, and Aircraft Carrier technology chains? Or is that just a mechanism to give you something else on which to drag out your research? Do you really need to research Light Cruiser Crew Training to learn to use Carrier Task Forces? Or is that just an excuse for you to spend points on light cruiser technology? Do you really need to research anti-aircraft technology for every class of ship in the game? Or is that just a time sink? IMO, the way tech has been changed is good, but the details of the implementation are not logical. The game has implemented a wide variety of AI management routines for all aspects of the game. And as with any AI in any Complex game, you'll never use it because it can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory before you ever notice that it's doing something totally stupid (for example, during the battle of France, my German AI pulled a quarter of my divisions out of contact and parked them deep inside Germany on Victory Point zones instead of using them to break the French lines). As with anything, the more complicated the design, the harder it is for an AI to respond well. "Bugs, Mr. Rico! Zillions of 'em!" Or, in many cases, bad design decisions. If you are very successful (and your production goes very high), the Production screen will begin to lag out to the point where, even on fast systems, you may need to wait up to a minute or longer before you can click anything. To the best of my ability to judge, this seems to be because of optimization errors. Every time you revisit the main screen (e.g., every time you place a unit into your production queue, you must return here), the game recalculates and redisplays your convoy routes and your production values. This will park your system, leaving you to ponder whether or not the application has locked up. Every. Time. You. Open. The. Unit. Production. Window. Diplomacy is broken. Any time you begin the game as Germany, if you follow historical precedent, every country not directly aligned with you or the Comintern will join the Allies about the time you get around to invading France. Part of the reason for this gameplay bug is an obvious lack of playtesting prior to release. Other reasons include an AI mechanic called "threat" and another that governs "alignment" between the three major power blocs (Axis, Allies, Comintern). The in-game mechanics are unacceptably unrealistic, and frankly, just plain silly. Partisan implementation is silly. Yes. Silly. In occupied territories, about once a week (5.8% chance times every province you control), a partisan brigade will spawn randomly and start running as fast as it can to change control of other provinces. In the entirity of the war, such forces might have sprung into being once a year (and I think that's an exaggeration). This sub-system will turn your games into a distracting Whack-a-mole partisan hunt that does nothing except detract from your fun. Your police and garrison units will not do anything to prevent partisans from appearing. But two brigades of them will always stomp a partisan unit out of existence, assuming you can catch it. The game moves slower than a one-legged ant in a barrel of molasses. I began a game as Germany in 1936. Four days later, I am finally in 1940, and that is playing at least 6 to 8 hours a day. According to the forums, the save game feature might corrupt in 1941, so I'll need to wait on the next patch before playing further. Of course, in 1940, I just finished conquering the Netherlands East Indies and the Belgian Congo. As Germany. Now, one of the reasons for that was a bug in the saved game process. I went to sleep at war with France and England and the rest of the 160 Allied nations I had honked off by conquering Poland in 1936. And the Baltic States. Etc. When I reloaded the game the next morning, with my divisions having just cracked the Maginot line by direct assault, lo and behold! I was no longer at war with the Allies. In fact, the Allies, Axis, and Comintern had all ceased to exist as diplomatic entities, and I was in a truce with everyone. So I immediately declared war again on France just to see what would happen. From that point, the diplomacy was so broken that it never recovered. Oh, and Luxembourg still refuses to surrender, despite having no units and no territory. Apparently, I need to spend espionage points on "lowering its national unity" first. Conclusions There are so many problems I have seen with HoI3 so far that I can't list them without writing a novel. Like HoI2, HoI3 may eventually become a playable game, and if tweaked to reduce some of the absurd ahistoricity that arises from the working-as-designed diplomacy engine, it might be worth your effort. As it was releases, this is an incomplete game, and even if it was complete, it would still be flawed in that it is overly complex for an open-ended fantasy game about the WWII years, and hopelessly unrealistic for a conflict simulation. It truly is an ambitions project, and I'll go so far as to say it's an amazing application. But it's currently (version 1.1c) broken beyond all reason. Until it is fixed (meaning until Paradox finally releases a release candidate), I suggest avoiding it like the swine flu. Expand
  14. JohnC
    Aug 13, 2009
    5
    Hearts of Iron 3 promises much, but delivers little. The diplomatic mechanic is broken and severely unbalanced, so the German AI cannot help avoiding the entire world to side with the Allies. Ministers do not die of old age nor get otherwise replaced, this means you will NEVER see WINSTON CHURCHILL take power in Britain. Naval transports have unlimited range, which means Finland can Hearts of Iron 3 promises much, but delivers little. The diplomatic mechanic is broken and severely unbalanced, so the German AI cannot help avoiding the entire world to side with the Allies. Ministers do not die of old age nor get otherwise replaced, this means you will NEVER see WINSTON CHURCHILL take power in Britain. Naval transports have unlimited range, which means Finland can easily invade Korea, and the Pacific war makes no sense, as islands can be invaded at random and not in sequence. The AI does not research military doctrines, which means the player will always surpass them in efficiency. Also, many features from HoI2 were removed, such as Claiming Provinces and auto-production-sliders, demanding from the player daily attention to the sliders. Plus, the game has severe performance issues and crawls at a very slow pace. Will HoI3 still be played years from now, as HoI2, once the novelty wears off and only the bugs and issues remain? Only time, and many, many patches will tell. Expand
  15. JoeB
    Aug 16, 2009
    0
    Horrendus bugs, terrible performance to the point of unplayablity even on i7 basically its not finished yet it only a half made game and this is after one patch and one hotfix to fix the broken patch. So imagine what it was like to start with! And im sorry what the game will be when and IF its patched is all speculation and irrelevant the game you paid 60 dollars for is useless at present
  16. MarcoCV
    Sep 16, 2009
    1
    Huge beta test, the latest release (1.2) is still unplayable (unless you think is funny to spend tens of hours on a game that you'll not be able to reload since crashes to desktop are very common). Paradox is planning to release another patch but won't commit to a date (quote from the forum : "I do not want to promise a date [for the next patch] as I rather want it to be 99.999% Huge beta test, the latest release (1.2) is still unplayable (unless you think is funny to spend tens of hours on a game that you'll not be able to reload since crashes to desktop are very common). Paradox is planning to release another patch but won't commit to a date (quote from the forum : "I do not want to promise a date [for the next patch] as I rather want it to be 99.999% polished at release".) The game is simply unplayable in the current state. Expand
  17. Feb 28, 2011
    1
    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
  18. PeterI
    Dec 5, 2009
    9
    This is written under patch 1.3 and I will not really focus on bugs. I have played HOI2, and find HOI3 to be a good upgrade of this game. It's got an all new game engine (which I assume will be used by Paradox for various games for several years = addons) The game is complex, very complex. It does not really hold your hand either so be prepared to spend a lot of time reading strategy This is written under patch 1.3 and I will not really focus on bugs. I have played HOI2, and find HOI3 to be a good upgrade of this game. It's got an all new game engine (which I assume will be used by Paradox for various games for several years = addons) The game is complex, very complex. It does not really hold your hand either so be prepared to spend a lot of time reading strategy guides, forums, manuals and pressing buttons to see what happens. You can do research, building units, managing economy, espionage and diplomacy and a whole lot of other things a world leader must cope with. But this makes for a serious WW2 game where you can change the history if you want to (another review makes this a problem, a real simulator is boring as we KNOW Nazi-Germany lost) Some of the fun playing a small country is to see whether you can avoid the historical fate. The game has serious replay value since you can play all the different countries of the time, and even the same country can be played differently. Pros: Lots of details, lots of sliders and options to be micromanaged You can play as any country of your given starting time. AI will do the things you don`t, so you can choose the level of micromanagment you want to do. Cons Runs slow, not really optimized No windowed mode, I play on dual screen, and the need to read manuals and guides makes the alt+tab really painful. Conclusion A game for the serious, not a casual game, but it will reward you for being persistent and learning the game. Great WW2 strategy game with lots of detail. Expand
  19. NickR
    Dec 13, 2009
    8
    Impressive up step from HOI2. Chain of command is awesome , intelligence and espionage improved, research is improved (epically like practical/theoretical bit about it). Have had some bug troubles with supply in 1.3 , hopefully they will be resolved.
  20. ZillianM
    Aug 14, 2009
    1
    The game has potential, and I thought paradox was the last good company that cared about their fansbase. Wrong, they released a halfassed game full of bugs making it still pretty much unplayable a week later. And the do not plan to release a new patch in 2-3weeks. not good enogh by a long shot. And even the first patch that got released made the game worse. Unfrigginbelivable. The game The game has potential, and I thought paradox was the last good company that cared about their fansbase. Wrong, they released a halfassed game full of bugs making it still pretty much unplayable a week later. And the do not plan to release a new patch in 2-3weeks. not good enogh by a long shot. And even the first patch that got released made the game worse. Unfrigginbelivable. The game atm is nothing else than fail as far as the eye can see. In a month, it might just as well be a 6-7-8, who knows. Expand
  21. Dec 30, 2011
    0
    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 tellI 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
  22. jamie
    Aug 23, 2009
    7
    Looks to be a great game so far. It needs patches, but it's hard to make something this complex that doesn't. However, I'm subtracting one point for the moronic tutorial, that introduces me to each of the six buttons across the top of the screen - and then forgets to tell me HOW TO MOVE UNITS OR ATTACK !!!
  23. Lucian
    Sep 9, 2009
    8
    Once again Paradox have delivered an absoulutly emense game in both sheer physical size and depth. The learning curve for those new to the series has been flattend, although the game still demands a lot of the player the effort to reward ratio is very well matched. It can be said that palying with history is fun and Hearts of Iron 3 makes it so. Hats off to Paradox for delivering a game Once again Paradox have delivered an absoulutly emense game in both sheer physical size and depth. The learning curve for those new to the series has been flattend, although the game still demands a lot of the player the effort to reward ratio is very well matched. It can be said that palying with history is fun and Hearts of Iron 3 makes it so. Hats off to Paradox for delivering a game ON TIME and well developed. Expand
  24. Feb 20, 2013
    6
    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 realThe 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
  25. JackK
    Dec 1, 2009
    4
    Before anyone thinks that I didn't play the game long enough, you're 100% right. It looked like a very promising alternate-history strategy game but here is my single biggest complaint: it has no draw to it. I don't get how you can get to people to play this game for more than a while, because to someone not used to grand strategy games like me, it has NO entertainment Before anyone thinks that I didn't play the game long enough, you're 100% right. It looked like a very promising alternate-history strategy game but here is my single biggest complaint: it has no draw to it. I don't get how you can get to people to play this game for more than a while, because to someone not used to grand strategy games like me, it has NO entertainment value. Maybe if they added something like a stripper on one of the toolbars it might keep me playing long enough to actually know how to enough work this contraption of a game. Expand
  26. MartinP
    Aug 17, 2009
    4
    The game is plagued by bugs. The intelligence system is broken: allied countries sabotage one another, annexed countries's spies cannot be removed and become invincible. Weather is broken: it often rains for 2 years non-stop in places like Poland. Tecnical problems are the sad cherry on the cake: performance is very sluggish. One of the causes are save-game writing bugs that The game is plagued by bugs. The intelligence system is broken: allied countries sabotage one another, annexed countries's spies cannot be removed and become invincible. Weather is broken: it often rains for 2 years non-stop in places like Poland. Tecnical problems are the sad cherry on the cake: performance is very sluggish. One of the causes are save-game writing bugs that progressively increase the size of the files with repetitive useless data. The game could be playable, if all the bugs were ironed out. Collapse
  27. Jun 4, 2011
    8
    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 outEven 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
  28. MikeH
    Aug 12, 2009
    10
    The great Grand Strategy war game I've been waiting for since the Apple II. Minor bugs here and there that will get fixed don't dilute the fact that running a true World War, and delegating items that bore you to the AI, is like a history time lab. You can see how the world could have turned out very different. I am loving this one.
  29. Mar 28, 2011
    8
    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.
  30. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    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 theIt 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
  31. Jun 25, 2013
    10
    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
    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.
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  32. Jan 30, 2013
    8
    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 evenI 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.
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  33. Mar 31, 2013
    10
    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 withAfter 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
  34. Mar 1, 2015
    2
    Five reasons this game is absolute s h i t e !

    1. I needed community support to even start the game. 2. Game-mechanics are somewhat booring. Rather limited options for doing anything, and unless you know the tricks you'll be doing absolutely nothing the first half of the game. 3. This game is drudgery galore. It's main game-mechanic consist of organizing your troops into a proper
    Five reasons this game is absolute s h i t e !

    1. I needed community support to even start the game.

    2. Game-mechanics are somewhat booring. Rather limited options for doing anything, and unless you know the tricks you'll be doing absolutely nothing the first half of the game.

    3. This game is drudgery galore. It's main game-mechanic consist of organizing your troops into a proper chain of command. Doing this is about as time-consuming as in real life. A cluncky and unintuitive interface makes this chore into your own personal hell.

    4. HoI3 is spent waiting for something interesting to happen, but it never does.

    5. You have to go online to learn how to play the game.
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  35. Sep 10, 2013
    10
    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.
  36. YermakirumY.
    Apr 26, 2010
    9
    Very good game.
  37. Jun 5, 2014
    4
    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.
  38. MaxL
    Sep 16, 2009
    0
    The game would not run well at all on my machine, even though it's a pretty decent machine that runs some very high end games, and is well within the specs for the game. After a short time it became completely unplayable. I'm glad some other folks are enjoying it since it is certainly a game with some potential, but it's bizarre to me that some users give it a perfect 10 The game would not run well at all on my machine, even though it's a pretty decent machine that runs some very high end games, and is well within the specs for the game. After a short time it became completely unplayable. I'm glad some other folks are enjoying it since it is certainly a game with some potential, but it's bizarre to me that some users give it a perfect 10 and then talk about it having severe bugs. HOI 2 is a terrific game, but my advice here is to pass on this woefully inclomplete pice of software. Perhaps it can be fixed. Given that each new patch has broken something else, I have my doubts. Expand
  39. Dec 15, 2013
    0
    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
  40. OliverK
    Aug 13, 2009
    9
    A great game when it is patched up to 1.4. A few bugs and optimization issues, but nothing that can't be fixed. The structure upon which to build is rock-solid. Gameplay is addictive, absorbing, and, most importantly, a lot of fun. Buy this game if you have any interest in grand strategy.
  41. YsyB
    Jan 14, 2010
    9
    first thing i'm not an english spoker so sry for my bad english.I think the game deserves a 9 cuz it's great game i think, i've played stratedy games for ever.The level of realism of the AI is very good!i've tryed many triks to see enemy's capacity attaking flanks cuting regions...etc and wow the enemy was answering with flankings,,,tryng to cut my supply road first thing i'm not an english spoker so sry for my bad english.I think the game deserves a 9 cuz it's great game i think, i've played stratedy games for ever.The level of realism of the AI is very good!i've tryed many triks to see enemy's capacity attaking flanks cuting regions...etc and wow the enemy was answering with flankings,,,tryng to cut my supply road strategic bombings on my industry ,and tryng to circle me very nice!I enjoy a game where the Ai puts me in dificulty.BUT the performace is very bad....the game is perfect and very very realistic and everything but i think i wasn't necesary to offer the possibility to play in China Africa new zelland Australial....to complex i think the performance is bad for that reason...i enjoy the first 20 min then i lose fps....I've played even ver 2 very smoth unlike this one.I'm waiting for 1,4 hoping that will render the game better! Expand
  42. TM
    Aug 8, 2009
    9
    Hearts of Iron 3 is the most in-depth strategy game i have played. however it is like unfortunately most new games coming out now and is full of brutal errors and bugs. So the rating i give it is really based on the future potentional of the game, as after a few patches will be the game everyone wants it to be
  43. HåkanG
    Nov 27, 2009
    10
    The game is a great step forward from HoI2. The command chain is impressive and the modular divisions give the player a lot of room to customize their armies. What many people don't really grasp is that the research system is very realistic. You are neither looked in historical options, nor can you disregard the traits your nation have. You start out with both theoretical and The game is a great step forward from HoI2. The command chain is impressive and the modular divisions give the player a lot of room to customize their armies. What many people don't really grasp is that the research system is very realistic. You are neither looked in historical options, nor can you disregard the traits your nation have. You start out with both theoretical and practical capacities in a wide range of areas, and the more you focus on thiose areas the better you become. But the reverse is also true, for example. Germany is good at submarines at the start of the game, but if you as Germany don't build a single submarine or even research submarine technology, then your capacity in both submarine research and building subs will dwindle. The game is very playable with the current patch 1.3, and it will be supported further. Expand
  44. EliasO
    Aug 11, 2009
    10
    Great game - once the game has ironed out some bugs and fixed performance issues as Zach G already said. Hooowever, just because a developers name isn't Blizzard doesn't mean that they don't have a feeling for quality. (WoW has faced many issues..) Blizzard, however - have alot of money and can basicly decide their own development time - other have to work quickly, maybe Great game - once the game has ironed out some bugs and fixed performance issues as Zach G already said. Hooowever, just because a developers name isn't Blizzard doesn't mean that they don't have a feeling for quality. (WoW has faced many issues..) Blizzard, however - have alot of money and can basicly decide their own development time - other have to work quickly, maybe even stressed and release it... This game is definetly worth my money (supporting Paradox) and the value will grow over time. 10/10! Expand
  45. RobertE
    Aug 12, 2009
    9
    Amazing game in spite of a shaky release. If it was another company, I'd give the game an 8, but I have faith that Paradox will fix the bugs, AI and map problem, and add content, as they have done so with their past games. The actual mechanics they have made for the game though are nothing short of brilliant. The system for land, air, and sea battles are by far the best simulated in Amazing game in spite of a shaky release. If it was another company, I'd give the game an 8, but I have faith that Paradox will fix the bugs, AI and map problem, and add content, as they have done so with their past games. The actual mechanics they have made for the game though are nothing short of brilliant. The system for land, air, and sea battles are by far the best simulated in a Paradox game. The ability to create a command structure and customize brigades and the like is amazing. The tech system is once again, the best in any Paradox game, from Hearts of Iron 2 to Victoria. Diplomacy needs work, mostly AI work, as do events, but as long as Paradox addresses these problems this will be the epitome of World War 2 gaming for a long time to come, and for a much wider audience too this time, as it is very intuitive and much easier to play than their past games without losing anything in complexity. Expand
  46. AndreasL
    Aug 26, 2009
    10
    This game has the potential to become the greatest strategy game ever. Right now, it has some severe bugs, and the AI needs tweaking, but Paradox is working hard to iron out all the bugs.
  47. Nov 27, 2011
    10
    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, andCOMPLETELY 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
  48. Aug 18, 2013
    2
    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 goodThe 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
  49. Feb 16, 2013
    8
    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.
  50. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    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 theI'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.
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  51. Mar 6, 2013
    9
    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.
  52. Mar 22, 2013
    10
    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.
  53. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    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.
  54. Nov 24, 2013
    8
    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.
  55. Oct 10, 2013
    10
    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
    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.
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  56. Mar 9, 2014
    9
    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
  57. AnonymousMC
    Aug 12, 2009
    7
    Bad game as it stands now. Like most games by this developer they get better and better with patches and expansions. I have no doubt this game will be a 9-9.5 but not yet. Do youself a favor and wait for them to fix all the crap wrong with it and dont buy it now. The problems will get fixed eventually, i have no doubt
  58. oso
    Jul 18, 2013
    6
    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 appliedAfter 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.
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  59. Dec 29, 2012
    5
    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 highThe 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
  60. AWG
    Jul 30, 2013
    5
    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.
Metascore
77

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.