Hearts of Iron III

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Hearts of Iron III
Basic Information
Video Game
Paradox Interactive, Virtual Programming
Paradox Interactive
Hearts of Iron
Hearts of Iron II
Successor title
Hearts of Iron IV
Real-time Strategy
Microsoft Windows and macOS
Windows XP, Windows Vista
Retail Features
Technical Information
Clausewitz Engine
United Nations International Release Date(s)
December 42009
United States American Release Date(s)
Microsoft Windows
August 72009[1]
Australia Australian Release Date(s)
Microsoft Windows
September 242009[1]
United Kingdom British Release Date(s)
Microsoft Windows
August 142009[1]
Awards | Changelog | Cheats | Codes
Codex | Compatibility | Covers | Credits | DLC | Help
Localization | Manifest | Modding | Patches | Ratings
Reviews | Screenshots | Soundtrack
Videos | Walkthrough
GOG | In-Game | Origin | PlayStation Trophies | Retro
Steam | Xbox Live

Hearts of Iron III is a grand strategy wargame developed and published by Paradox Interactive that is the sequel to the previous Hearts of Iron games. It was announced on August 20, 2008 and was released on August 7, 2009.[2]

A Mac OS X version of Hearts of Iron III was announced by Virtual Programming on December 7, 2009.[3] The game was available for purchase the same day.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Hearts of Iron 3 allows the player to take control of almost any nation that existed or even plausibly could have existed during the period of 1936–1948, guiding it through World War II.[4] A variety of decisions regarding the armed forces, production, research, diplomacy, politics and espionage is the focus of the game.

The game centres around three factions: the Axis (Germany and its allies), the Allies (Britain and the Commonwealth, as well as the French empire), and the Comintern (the Soviet Union and its allies). All other nations can slowly align with one of the factions. Nations are more likely to side with those with similar ideology.

Resources found in the game include: energy, metal, rare materials, and oil. The first three are required for industrial production, while oil is converted to fuel for vehicles, planes and ships.

The scope of military organisation ranges from brigades to entire theatres of operation.

Development[edit | edit source]

The first trailer[5] from the Games Convention in Leipzig showed new features such as 3D graphics.

Paradox released a series of developer diaries[6] and video showcases.[7]

Although happy with the scope of Hearts of Iron II, lead designer Johan Andersson wanted to improve upon every aspect of the game, starting again with a new engine.[8] The game's artificial intelligence (AI) was designed to be able to achieve strategic objectives and control forces delegated to it, including whole theatres of operation.[9] The AI can also remember and compare strategic possibilities as circumstances change.[9] Changing to 3D graphics helped improve other areas, as Andersson explained:

"Going 3d meant we could do another type of architecture where we could support more screen resolutions, and develop our maps in a quicker way. The biggest advantage from going 3d though was the ability to offload more to the GPU. With the machine advances during the last decade this gives us the biggest benefits in development when it comes to gameplay and AI."[8]

Paradox had a vision for the style of the map, given that the player would spend the majority of their time looking at it: "...to create a map that feels like a WW2 map, like it could be a map which...a commander in the War would be looking at himself."[10] The content of the map was also altered; the number of provinces increased to more than 10,000 over Hearts of Iron II's 2,600.[10] Customizable divisions, a first for the series, are available, each one containing two to five brigades, with each brigade increasing the division's combat power and cost.[11]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 8.5/10[12]
IGN 8.5/10[13]
Crispy Gamer Buy[14]
GamerLimit 75/100[15]
GamePro 70/100[16]
Smartyweb! 65/100[17]
PC Zone UK 60/100[18]
PC Gamer UK 81/100[19]

Hearts of Iron 3 initially received a mixed reception because the game shipped with a large number of bugs in the initial release.[20] After several patches eliminated many bugs reception improved and the game got generally positive reviews. In 2009 December it had a combined average of a 77 on Metacritic"[21] and a 79% on Gamerankings."[22]

Gamepro wrote "perhaps the worst problem is the interface itself, or more specifically, the amount of feedback it affords the player. In contrast to the old system, there is no instant way to assess how many divisions you have in each province, nor important values like their units' organization or combat values."[23]

On the other hand, the game has been praised as being "tailored for experienced strat heads and wargamers with a lot of patience, but the game is more accessible than either of its predecessors and a great jumping-on point for new players who want to make the leap into a grand strategy epic."[24]

Expansions[edit | edit source]

On June 6, 2010, an expansion called Hearts of Iron III: Semper Fi was released. It is only available as a download.[25]

The macOS version of the Semper Fi expansion pack shipped from Virtual Programming on July 23, 2010.[26]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gamespy Game Information, Hearts of Iron III. Gamespy (June 29, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-07-20
  2. gamer's gate's hearts of iron 3 page. Gamer's gate (August 7, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-08-07
  3. Hearts of Iron III Released. Inside Mac Games (December 7, 2009). Retrieved on 2010-08-20
  4. Hearts of Iron III Preview. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2009-01-24
  5. First trailer at gamer.no (Norwegian site/English Trailer). gamer.no (August 21, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-08-22
  6. Developer diaries at hoi3.com. hoi3.com (30 June 2009). Retrieved on 2009-06-30
  7. Video showcases on YouTube. YouTube (30 June 2009). Retrieved on 2009-06-30
  8. 8.0 8.1 RPS interview. www.rockpapershotgun.com. Retrieved on 2009-10-06
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dev diary 27. hoi3.com. Retrieved on 2009-10-06
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dev diary 1. HOI3.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-06
  11. Dev diary 7. HOI3.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-06
  12. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/heartsofironiii/review.html?mode=web&tag=scoresummary;critic-score
  13. http://pc.ign.com/articles/101/1013881p1.html
  14. Note: Crispy Gamer doesn't give numerical ratings
  15. http://gamerlimit.com/2009/08/gamer-limit-review-hearts-of-iron-iii-review/
  16. http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/211594/hearts-of-iron-iii/
  17. http://www.smartyweb.org/2009/08/17/hearts-of-iron-iii-a-world-of-hurt/
  18. November 2009 issue, p.76 cited on Metacritic
  19. October 2009, p.88 cited on Metacritic
  20. See official patch notes and change log 1.1-1.3 Patch Changelog
  21. 2009 December score
  22. 2009 December score
  23. Hearts of Iron review from gamepro
  24. http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/heartsofironiii/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;read-review
  25. Semper Fi Announcement, Paradox Plaza
  26. Virtual Programming Releases Hearts of Iron III: Semper Fi. MacGamer (July 23, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-08-20

External Links[edit | edit source]