Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Jun 6, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV delivers everything grand strategy is about, and balances armies, navies and air forces with the need for resources and industry. It is a true strategy game that can be played in countless ways, and offers potentially hundreds and thousands of hours of pure enjoyment.
  2. Jun 7, 2016
    Hearts Of Iron 4 manages to surpass its only rival in this sector, Hearts of Iron III, delivering the best strategy experience available, from your armchair.
  3. Jun 6, 2016
    The best grand strategy game out there. The setting is added an excellent level of authenticity with the battle-plan feature, excellent Ai and a world map that is absolutely splendid to look at and watch the war unfold. Combined with a well developed political and infrastructure system, there is so much that can be done in the game, one that will absorb your time and leave you with lost time.
  4. Jun 22, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV is a no-nonsense strategy game. Its steep learning curve will challenge you from the start, but will reward you with one of the most satisfying experiences in the genre. Invest on it and prepare for a lot of sleepless nights.
  5. Jul 29, 2016
    Hearts of Iron 4 is a wonderful grand strategy experience capable of giving the player many interesting levers while explaining them properly and efficiently; also it comes with top notch production values.
  6. Jun 24, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV has learned from its past and, thanks to his experience in strategy games, Paradox Interactive has created one of the best wargames set in the World War II.
  7. Jun 10, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV goes further than any other Paradox game. One of the best war simulators games ever made.
  8. Jun 7, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV is an easy recommendation for grand strategy fans of all ages and encourages them to take the time to figure everything out.
  9. Jun 6, 2016
    Sandbox possibilities and endless ‘what-if’ questions bump up what is already an impressive level of replayability. Paradox Interactive have created a game that strategy gamers and history buffs should get on their shelves as soon as possible.
  10. Jun 6, 2016
    Hearts of Iron 4 wields complexity like a swift armor division during the blitzkrieg, allowing it to serve the idea of layered, cerebral, strategic warfare instead of letting it needlessly bog down the experience.
  11. Jun 10, 2016
    The best 2016 wargame, a great sequel to Hearts Of Iron III, endless possibilities of tactics personalization; worst thing is its technical performance on some PCs
  12. Aug 12, 2016
    Hearts of Iron 4 in one word is "optimization". There is now proper gameplay mechanics instead of duct-taped hacks and artificial restrictions seen in previous installments; the AI, freed from dozens of scripts, now thinks and acts on its own, while the game itself is more accessible and comprehensible, but still offers the same depth.
  13. Jun 24, 2016
    The game does a fantastic job at delivering accurate content and historical events. It does all this while allowing the player to go in any direction during a campaign.
  14. Jun 9, 2016
    It captivates me because—imperfectly, impressionistically, and perhaps a little amorally—it lets me orchestrate the most titanic armed struggles in history, from the fussy economic details to the cut-and-thrust of mechanized warfare. There are other great strategic-level wargames out there. But I have never played anything like Hearts of Iron 4.
  15. Jun 6, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV improve the interface and some features of the third chapter, without sacrificing the typical complexity of the series.
  16. Pelit (Finland)
    Sep 28, 2016
    Hearts of Iron 4 successfully streamlines a complex strategy game while still retaining the feel of total industrial warfare. AI difficulties persist, however, and some revamped mechanics still need a bit of polishing. [Aug 2016]
  17. Jun 23, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV is one of the best war simulators games that you can play right now.
  18. Jun 7, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV has some not especially well-done economical solutions but at the same time has such a great combat system, wide scope and a very complex gameplay that it's a perfect game for seasoned strategy fans. All of this is also quite pretty and much more approachable for newbies (without sacrificing anything along the way).
  19. Jun 6, 2016
    A great game with a couple of fatal flaws, mainly in the AI department.
  20. Jun 23, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV throws the player in the midst of the WWII, offering a deep gameplay and a spectacular freedom. There are still some things than can be polished and improved (AI above all), but Paradox laid the foundation for one of the greatest strategic titles ever produced.
  21. Jun 6, 2016
    Hearts of Iron 4 is extremely complex with love for details - a nightmare for beginners, but maybe still too easy for veterans of the series.
  22. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Sep 14, 2016
    Excellent revival of a rusty brand with improved accessibility to a wider audience. Paradox studio has rocked in recent years and proof of this is the best episode of the series Hearts of Iron. [Issue#266]
  23. CD-Action
    Aug 21, 2016
    A brilliant, deep strategy game that offers a lot and at the same time leaves much room for growth, which probable means it will ripen over the years. [08/2016, p.62]
  24. Jul 19, 2016
    For now, after many dozens of hours, I'm taking a break from Hearts of Iron 4. Not because I'm sick of it; quite the contrary, in fact. What I need to do is some serious reading, some careful planning on what my vision for the United States should be in 1936. And when I've done that planning — when I've formulated my character sheet, as it were — I have the utmost confidence that Hearts of Iron 4 will be ready for me to play a role in world affairs.
    Jul 18, 2016
    Amazingly sophisticated and despite its complexity surprisingly accessible strategy for all enthusiasts of the Second World War. It’s easier than the previous game, it has flaws, but it still rocks.
  26. Jul 12, 2016
    Hearts of Iron 4 makes it hard to sometimes register what's happening on all the fronts, but gameplay is extremely engaging - and exciting, when watching the frontlines move. Paradox Interactive managed to create an atmosphere of overwhelming conflict, making it very hard to quit.
  27. Jul 6, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV proves why it’s the king of grand strategy games once more. With a plethora of improvements, this game is a must-have for every grand strategy and history buff.
  28. Jun 22, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV mixes in a very accurate way political and military management, although its graphic interface is meant to be understood by experts of the genre.
  29. Jun 8, 2016
    For the dedicated, Hearts of Iron IV could end up being the best grand strategy game in some time. It’s many disparate pieces harmonize, and your decisions, and the responses of foes and allies, are different each and every time. While human drama might get lost in the spreadsheets and figures, there’s nothing quite like seeing the culmination of a strategy you’ve invested in since 1936 pay its dividends in 1945.
  30. Jun 8, 2016
    Quotation forthcoming.
  31. Jun 6, 2016
    What makes Heart of Iron IV work is the fact that although it’s moulded around just ten years of history, it offers so much historical background and variable outcomes, and as such packs a mightier punch than might be at first expected. It’s complicated - overly so at times - and may not offer the same amount of replayability as other genre similars, but one thing is certain: there is rarely a dull moment.
  32. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Aug 23, 2016
    The game has good economics system, interface shortcomings will probably get patched and DLCs will add stuff that’s missing right now (like spying mechanics or ability to play in early Cold War period). But that bloody mandatory AI assistance is obviously here to stay, so there’s only two options – either learn to accept it, or wait for a total conversion. [Issue#211, p.70]
  33. Sep 5, 2016
    Hearts of Iron 4 is a strategy game with a nice flow. The many aspects of war are realistically embedded in the game, thought the AI unfortunately fails very often.
  34. Jun 7, 2016
    It demands dedication (unless you’re a series vet) and neither AI nor UI are exactly flawless, but once you’re entrenched Hearts of Iron IV reveals itself as a capable and absorbing alt-history WW2 generator.
  35. Jun 7, 2016
    Hearts of Iron IV is an ambitious grand strategy game. The different components work well, but nothing in the game really stands out as impressive or entertaining.
  36. Mar 20, 2018
    The complexity and slow speed of how things evolve take the fun down notches lower than it otherwise would deserve. Endless clicking through menus, and a glacial speed, ruin what could have been a pretty slick overall experience.
  37. Jun 7, 2016
    I’m sure some WWII enthusiasts and military logisticians will appreciate the level of optimisable detail of armies and their behavior, but for a general audience, the managerial emphasis is in all the wrong places.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Oct 19, 2016
    If you’ve got experience with Hearts of Iron III, I guess all I can say is that as much as I bitched about the interface up top, you’ll find this a lot easier to get around, especially when it comes to production.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 908 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jun 7, 2016
    The good:

    - Better graphics then other paradox games, The bad: - Performance (it's unplayable past 1943-44 thanks to the engine only
    The good:

    - Better graphics then other paradox games,

    The bad:

    - Performance (it's unplayable past 1943-44 thanks to the engine only using 1 CPU core)
    - No partisan activity, no revolts
    - Diplomacy dumbed down for 4 year olds
    - Peace-conferences after the war are plain broken (pick Luxemburg, dont do anything in the war, get half of Germany after it in the peace conference)
    - Soundtrack is very mediocre
    - AI can't handle the scope of the game, braindead retarded AI
    - Interface overcomplicated with too many important buttons hidden
    - trade??? wtf is this?
    - Price, this is not worth 40€, wait for a 90% sale and 2 years of patchfixing the game before getting it
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 7, 2016
    This is my fisrt Paradox game. I tried to play their previous ones such as Darkest Hour and HOI III, but they were really hard to get intoThis is my fisrt Paradox game. I tried to play their previous ones such as Darkest Hour and HOI III, but they were really hard to get into (i'm mostly a RTS player) and i gave up really fast because i simply had no fun playing them.
    While Still overwhelming at times, this game is far more easier than their previous games, thanks to a really good interface and less microing.
    Veterans should not be afraid, since it's possible to micro if they want to.
    I would say this game combines the depth of the previous Paradox games, but with a welcome Interface and mechanics overhaul.
    If i should summarize, i would say it's easy to learn, hard to master.
    Everyone should try it, and they will like it !
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 7, 2016
    Everything that made HOI3 the truly great game it is was abandoned in HOI4. Why?? It looks better, sure, but that's about it. For HOI-veteransEverything that made HOI3 the truly great game it is was abandoned in HOI4. Why?? It looks better, sure, but that's about it. For HOI-veterans it's just too simplified, for the average newcomer it's still too demanding and unstructured. The simple truth is: You can't turn a game like HoI into a game that suits the needs of the average casual player. HOI 3 was demanding, true, but it was rewarding as well, once you found your way through the complexity. HOI4 however offers no such degree of complexity. Building your army, for instance, is nothing but assigning divisions to a commander. That's it. You command them by drawing lines on a map, a so called battle plan. Once you activate your plan, you have to wait till it's completed (or failed). Before that you cant do anything to react to changing situations. The game plays as boring as this review reads.

    Air combat, which was ok in HOI3, is now degraded to assigning randomly put together squadrons (size doesn't matter) to a region (like for instance "Northern France", thats how big these regions are!) and wait for your enemies to be shot down. Nice idea, actually, but you don't get any feedback at all without clicking through three screens. And you can't demand air support for a specific part of the front where battle is at a critical point. Your bombers just fly over said region and bombard all enemy units in combat at the same rate.

    IN HOI4 you just don't get the level of immersion and presence which HOI3 offered. Everything feels detached and not really important. Your armies march according to pre-drawn lines, while your commanders make nonsensical decisions which you cannot undo before it's too late. Tech trees are apallingly linear and boring. The only good bit is the "national achievement" thing where you can unlock some bonuses for your country. But even they become boring after having it played twice.

    HOI4 should have been a milestone. Unfortunately, it's just a very expensive version of a free-to-play browser game.
    Full Review »