hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Hearts of Iron IV

Going through World War II with Hearts of Iron IV

7:30 PM on 01.24.2014 // Steven Hansen

Hearts of darkness

Following up on the continuing recent success of Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV, Paradox is revisiting another beloved grand strategy series, Hearts of Iron, with the recently announced Hearts of Iron IV.

The Hearts of Iron series focuses on the World War II period of world history and has a much more concentrated focus on combat than other Paradox strategy games. If you were interested in Crusader Kings II or Europa, but felt overwhelmed or bored by some of the headier mechanics, this may be the grand strategy game for you.

While the bulk of World War II dealings are centralized in Europe, Hearts of Iron allows you take control of any country from the period, from Venezuela to Germany. You can alter the course of history or try to repeat history with a major power, or just try to sustain yourself -- and maybe even have some greater effect -- with a smaller power.

The first thing that caught my eye in Hearts of Iron IV was the terribly pretty map. I'm no cartographile, but seeing eye-popping HD maps that put those of my childhood classrooms to shame is kind of neat.

Plus, an important part of the game is its day and night cycle; for example, you don't want to be deploying your stealth bombers in the day time where they can be spotted like dalmatians. This is represented as a cool, large amplitude oscillation on the map (because timezones mean it is day or night in various parts of the world simultaneously).

The seasons also play an important part in deciding strategy, and they're represented on the map at more zoomed in levels. You'll be able to easily see that those cumbersome mountains that would make your invasion a challenge are now covered in nearly impassable snowfall. And what sort of idiot would attack Russia in the winter?

That's up there with getting involved in a land war in Asia.

The neatest addition to Hearts of Iron IV has to be the battle plan system. Zoomed all the way into your country, you'll find it broken down in provinces, upon which you can place a unit (strategically, you'll want infantry in forests, tanks in flat lands, and so on). You can control your units in a simple fell swoop with the battle plan feature that lets you draw arrows to orient your units and then hit execute to have them follow the plan.

Did you ever watch the history channel before it got consumed by the reality TV bug? Remember all the maps with wavy arrows indicating movement? It's that, basically. You draw out your strategy and set everything in motion at once, rather than stabbing at individual units, though you could do that if you want.

I didn't go hands-on with it or see too much, but early in development it looked good and seemed conceptually sound. A few arrows saw a whole smattering of troops head east and establish a front. There's even a way to sort of paint a country's border for simple front establishing, and you can advance that whole front at once when the time is right. It's a cool touch that's organic and could simplify and hasten the process of play without sacrificing anything.

Also, there is 32-player multiplayer, in addition to the single-player. You can have everyone play as their own country, or even co-op play a country.

Other than that, Hearts of Iron IV will feel like a familiar grand strategy game when it comes to PC, Mac and Linux early 2015. There are Doctrines that act as overall directions for you country. Two are based on German and American styles, respectively, while the other two are based on Russian/Chinese and Japanese/British styles.

And, of course, there are bundles of other decisions to be made within those doctrines, paths to branch out on, and more nitty gritty details to manage.

Producing early tech tanks becomes easier as the years go on thanks to an efficiency bonus from repeat production. Do you go the German route and produce the most technologically good tanks, losing that bonus by changing the means of production, or do you do things the American way and mass produce a crappy tank, winning by sheer volume? Rotting, burnt corpse volume.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
It's my Birthday 22 today, Bleh!
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
One thing I've learned about the Japanese fighting game players: They are willing to play any fighter no matter how good or bad it is, and they don't shit on the game or the community behind it.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I killed Darth Vader by crashing a spaceship into him 10/10
Parismio avatarParismio
Watched the first ep of One Punch Man and I was not disappointed. It seems like they'll be adding their own stories into it because I don't remember that fight in the last 5 minutes in the manga. I'll have to reread it to make sure.
Paul S avatarPaul S
What the hell is Sega using in the printing of their PS3 game manuals? I wouldn't be surprised if some dumb kid stuck one in a plastic bag and started huffing the fumes to get high.
CeeDotGreen avatarCeeDotGreen
Been playing MGO obsessively, still can't find anyone in their right mind that uses the Hush Puppy. So of course I'm gonna be the dumb bastard that tries.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why don't we have more games that use filtered 3D models to creat faux-pixel art? It's such a cool, smooth style, but you never see any games using it.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh lawd. Next Saturday, Gamestop will have three hour access to Tri-Force Heroes. Nintendo, really wish we could just get normal demos from you more often, please!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
I made this. Want one? [IMG]HTTPS://[/IMG]
JawshButturBawls avatarJawshButturBawls
Star Wars Battlefront is pretty good. Except the beta is basically a demo with nothing in it so that upsets me. but it's still pretty good.
gajknight avatargajknight
Just cleaning up the last of Gotham's Most Wanted before I finish Arkham Knight. Those Riddler trophies...much more fun than Arkham City but my word, stop it Rocksteady. Love the game though, outstanding. In my top 5 this year, fo sho.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
SCIENCE. IS. AWESOME. [youtube][/youtube]
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Looks like my copy of Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash won't be here till Tuesday. What do I pay for Amazon Prime for again? I think I might have to stream me playing it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I have just heard someone say Uncharted was a "role playing game."
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The glitched walking animation people carrying crates in Novigrad do is hilarious.
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Undecided what to do with my weekend now my fiancée is away. One part of me says I should work my ass off, another says I should go watch The Martian while the last part tells me to be a slob, play games and masturbate to Highschool DXD.. Such a hard lif
Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
The 1.10 patch for The Witcher 3 is out. Downloading for PS4. Pretty excited to see the changes, especially since it said the damn swamps in Velen would finally see performance enhancements, along with like a million other areas. So good! Yes?
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Just got confirmation that a feature I spent way too long writing is going up on Sunday. Not a bad way to start the weekend off, though I wish I had a slot on a weekday.
gajknight avatargajknight
PB&J sandwiches. Saturday morning cartoons. A blanket. Ominous sounds coming from the next room. Blood seeping from the walls. A dark figure standing in the corner, staring, watching. Darkness, everywhere. Such darkness. This is childhood.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Dear Namco, give me a proper localizer Super Robot Wars title. I need it in my viens, especially this
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Hearts of Iron IV

  Aug 11

Hearts of Iron IV wants you to rewrite World War II

Or try to make it happen exactly as it did!

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -