Hearts of Iron IV is a Grand Strategy game set in the era of the Second World War. You are in control of a nation in one of the most violent wars in history. You decide the faith of thousands of people by reliving or rewriting history. Keep peace or go for world domination in this real-time war simulation.
Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Developer: Paradox Development Studios
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release date: 6 June, 2016
The game also looks very good. The unit models are of good quality and the map looks detailed enough for a Grand Strategy game. Also the weather effect they implemented are a nice addition to both appeal and combat.
The fast amount of units active on the map can cause some major performance issues. Especially in Europe after a large peace deal many units start rebasing at once, causing the fps to drop significantly. Also simulation speed will be influenced. But overall performance is stable and allows for lots of gameplay fun.
Combat in Hearts of Iron IV has become easier for new players, but for fans of the earlier titles it may have become to simplistic. Especially the draw tools have their limitations. Drawing a frontline will grant your armies entrenchment bonuses and drawing a battleplan will grant your armies planning bonuses, but the excecution of the drawn orders sometimes seem unefficient. Armies would sometimes attack into the mountains (which gives the attacker negative modifiers) or not take into account other natural borders, like rivers. A recent update however did improve upon the system a bit by implementing three mode: carefully, balanced and rush.
Research and National Focus Trees sometimes become a limitation to the player. Eventhough it is historically accurate, most national focusses limit the player or force the player into a certain direction. Yet it also adds diversity to the game and makes many major countries unique. However most minor nations have a very generic National Focus Tree, which seems a little bit rushed. Because a few modders created mods for nations with a generic National Focus Tree to have their own special options. For some major nations some doctrines have already been researched, locking the player into a certain branch. Luckily for the player, there are still a lot of options to choose from in both the National Focus Tree and Research department. Making each playthrough a bit different than the previous one.
Rebels and partican activity seems to be trimmed down to the least possible amount. They are suppressed way to easily and it never really comes to a massive revolt or any sabotage events. Sometimes breaking through an enemy frontline allows you to bring a large nation to its knees by simply rushing the victory points. Causing the enemy to capitulate within a few months of battle, if not weeks. And what is next? If the war is over, the game basically is over. There is not much to do after defeating most of your enemies other than just wait until 1948.
Hearts of Iron IV definately is a fun game for new players to the franchise, but not that interesting for hardcore Hearts of Iron fans. The game has been simplified a lot to reach a wider audience and has a lack of real depth as seen in previous Hearts of Iron titles and other titles by Paradox Interactive. Eventhough it has been simplified and is more limited than other Paradox Interactive titles and previous instalments, it is still a good game and hours of fun for casual gamers.