Hearts of Iron III PC

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77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 234 Ratings

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  • Summary: Play as any nation from 1936 to1948 with more than 150 countries to choose from. More than 10,000 land provinces makes this game five times more detailed than Hearts of Iron 2 and the most detailed depiction of World War 2 ever made. Control the oceans with aircraft carriers, submarines andPlay as any nation from 1936 to1948 with more than 150 countries to choose from. More than 10,000 land provinces makes this game five times more detailed than Hearts of Iron 2 and the most detailed depiction of World War 2 ever made. Control the oceans with aircraft carriers, submarines and battleships. Use your air force to defend the skies, support naval and ground forces, and bomb your enemies. Customize your divisions in detail with more than 20 types of brigades.New economic system makes it possible to buy weapons overseas. Mobilization and reserves gives the option of surprise attacks. A completely new intelligence system makes it possible to get information about enemy reserves and troop movements.Assign troops to theatres on the map to fight two-front wars more successfully. Thousands of historically accurate real-world military commanders and politicians. Realistic military command AI with unprecedented levels of interaction. In-depth diplomatic and political system. [Paradox Interactive] Collapse
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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. One thing’s for certain though, this game is huge.
  3. Reduced micromanagement and streamlined automation make Hearts of Iron III an absorbing game of grand strategy.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ambitious, deep, intense… Hearts of Iron III brings again complexity and hardcore feeling to the strategic genre.
  7. Total PC Gaming
    50
    A deep, detailed strategy title occasionally mired in its own complexities. [Issue#24, p.56]

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 62
  2. Negative: 20 out of 62
  1. 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 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. Expand
  2. Jun 1, 2016
    10
    An all around amazing game with more features and on a larger scale than any game I have ever seen.
    It's a good game, but for people new to
    An all around amazing game with more features and on a larger scale than any game I have ever seen.
    It's a good game, but for people new to the series it might seem a little hard to get in to.
    It was not for me but it is a really great game that i suggest anyone to play.
    If you're having issues learning the game and you feel it is too hard.
    Then search it up on YouTube, and you are sure to find very good and helpfull videos and also a very helpful community on their forums
    "In Paradox We Trust And They Shall Deliver" - Me may 31 2016
    Expand
  3. 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 playingThis 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
  4. 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 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 !!! Expand
  5. 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 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
  6. 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 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
  7. 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 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

See all 62 User Reviews