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Thursday, October 8, 2009
Hearts Of Iron 3 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

Adrenaline Vault has posted a review of the PC version of Hearts of Iron 3, the latest installment in the World War II war strategy series. The game includes a large new map and more than 10,000 provinces. Adrenaline Vault gave Hearts of Iron 3 a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

In HOI3, you can take control of any extant nation during the period of 1936 to ‘48. The game takes place in hourly intervals, allowing you to play through every hour of every day before and during the war. HOI3 features a number of scenarios, from the lead-up to war in ’36 to the last desperate attempts of Germany to stave off defeat in ’44; the entire world is your battleground. You set your country’s policies, build your military (ships, brigades and air wings), assign leaders and order your units to fight in any way you choose. When combined with the complicated tech tree, a political and diplomatic system that realistically portrays feelings of neutrality and aggression in various countries, and a combat system that recognizes the importance of supply lines, combined arms warfare, and terrain, you find a historical game with everything except FPS resolution of combat. And because the entire world is represented, there is plenty of room to carve your own place in history. You could play as Franco’s Spain and join the Axis, or play an imperialistic U.S. that abandons Europe to the fire of war and instead chooses to conquer North and South America. Japan can decide that war with America is a waste of time and instead attack the Soviet Union. The possibilities are breathtaking, and the only limitation is the historical position of any nation at the start of a scenario.

There is plenty to do in HOI3, so much that it might seem that you could be overloaded. Managing the German invasion of the Soviet Union is enough to tax any player, but doing that while coordinating the strategic bombing of the United Kingdom would normally require obsessive behavior. And yet, Paradox’s greatest innovation in the game is an AI component that takes care of anything you assign it to do. I don’t just mean automating the economy or letting the AI conduct research for you. Literally, any part of the game can be handed over to the AI, with the added bonus of allowing you to give instructions and receive feedback on what the computer needs to accomplish those goals. As an example, in one game as the Soviet Union, I managed to crush the Axis fairly quickly, leaving me time to spread Communism to other parts of Europe. As a test, I handed over the entire Western Front to the AI, and told it to prepare for an invasion of Spain. The AI deployed its armies properly and stockpiled supplies, but it also sent me a request for additional units, specifically medium armor, because it estimated that it would need the extra offensive power to completely crush the enemy. When I declared war, the AI went to work while I sat back and sipped a refreshing beverage. It took only two game months, but the AI followed my instructions properly and annihilated Spain, allowing me to add it to my ever-growing Communist empire. While no one would want to play a game in which everything is automated, my experiment demonstrates that, when the action gets hectic, you can count on the AI to run the minor conflicts by itself and follow your instructions while you concentrate on what is really important.
Check out the full review at the page linked below. Virtual Programming is currently working on the Mac version of Hearts of Iron 3.

Adrenaline Vault: Hearts Of Iron 3 Review
Virtual Programming

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