Hearts of Iron IV
|Hearts of Iron IV|
|Developer(s)||Paradox Development Studio|
|Series||Hearts of Iron|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux|
Hearts of Iron IV is a war strategy video game developed and published by Paradox Interactive. Released on June 6, 2016, it is the sequel to Hearts of Iron III and part of the Hearts of Iron series of grand strategy games focusing on World War II. The game allows the player to take control of any nation in the world in either 1936 or 1939, and lead them to victory against the major powers at the time: the Axis, the Allies and the Comintern.
The formal announcement of the game in January 2014 indicated an intended release date of the first quarter of 2015, later postponed to the second quarter of 2015. At E3 2015, creative director Johan Andersson confirmed that the game would be pushed back from its original release window to the first quarter of 2016. This was an attempt to resolve several issues encountered with the game. However, the game would not be released in the first quarter of 2016. Finally, on March 15, 2016, it was announced that the game would be released on June 6, 2016, which is the 72nd anniversary of the Normandy landings. The game used the code name Project Armstrong while in development.
Features and gameplay
In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" event in 2013, Andersson promised better AI and accessibility compared to Hearts of Iron III, and that the game would not have a rigid, forced game-progression but would feature sandbox-style gameplay. He also stated in 2013 that Hearts of Iron IV would be available for Linux. The game also works on macOS and Windows 7 or newer.
The game touts "authentic real-time war simulation," with World War II characters playable and players able to play all the countries in the world that existed at the time. The player can choose three different ideologies: Democracy, Fascism, or Communism. The player can also stay Non-Aligned. The player of the game has to deal with their country's research, diplomacy, construction, production, trade, and have the job of commanding and recruiting their troops.
Hearts of Iron IV offers downloadable content (DLC). Current DLC includes "Together to Victory," "Death or Dishonor," "Waking the Tiger," and "Man the Guns," as well as music from the band Sabaton; a Swedish rock band who creates World War II music.
|Together for Victory||15 December 2016||"Together for Victory" is the first major expansion for Hearts of Iron IV, and it was announced on November 1, 2016. It was also released with Patch 1.3, or "Torch". It focuses on the British Empire's colonies including:
"Together for Victory" also includes a new autonomy system, that provides benefits for both the master nation and the puppet nation. Finally, it also includes technology sharing between nations, continuous focuses, and a spearhead command for your armies.
|Death or Dishonor||14 June 2017||"Death or Dishonor" is a country pack that was announced on April 26, 2017. It was also released with Patch 1.4, or "Oak". It focuses on the Central European and Balkan nations, including:
The country pack also included new diplomatic interactions like licensing military technology, and new subject levels for fascist puppets. Finally, the country pack included the ability to convert equipment. It got mixed reviews generally because of its lack of detail and variety of content.
|Waking the Tiger||8 March 2018||"Waking the Tiger" is the second major expansion for Hearts of Iron IV, and was announced on November 15, 2017. It was also released with Patch 1.5, or "Cornflakes". Waking the Tiger focuses on the Second Sino-Japanese War which was the East Asian part of World War II. Mainly, it adds National Focus trees for the Chinese nations and warlords, but it also revamps some other trees, including:
Waking the Tiger also includes a new generic focus tree for the Chinese warlords, including:
In addition, the expansion includes alternate history paths for some nations, a chain of command system with army groups, the new feature of missions and decisions, the ability to form nations such as the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Greater German Reich, and finally acclimatization depending on the climate troops are in.
|Man the Guns||TBA||"Man the Guns" is the third major expansion for Hearts of Iron IV,, and was announced on May 19, 2018. It will be released with Patch 1.6, or "Ironclad". It will focus on the naval theater of war by revamping naval combat, adding naval terrain, introducing a new detection and spotting system, and the ability to control which routes your ships go through. It will also add the ability to customize your ships by adding armor or guns on ships and refitting older ships to modernize them. Man the Guns will revamp some of the major nations of the world, including:
Man the Guns will also add new content for other nations, including:
There will be other nations announced in the future that will also receive new focus trees and content. There is no final release date as of yet.
Hearts of Iron IV has many possible community-made mods available through the Steam Workshop. Some of the more popular mods include:
- "Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg," an alternate history scenario in which the German Empire won the First World War.
- "Führerreich: Legacy of the Great War," a world where the Entente won the First World War from the perspective of an author's alternate history book from the Kaiserreich universe.
- "Millennium Dawn: Modern Day Mod," a modern day total conversion mod.
- "Red World," a modern alternate history scenario in which the Soviet Union triumphs in the Cold War and the United States has collapsed.
- "The Road to 56," a collection of 59 different mods that extends the game to 1956, as well as adding new national focuses, an expanded technology tree, and numerous other changes.
- "Old World Blues," a mod which converts the game to take place in the world of Fallout. You can choose from the factions in the Fallout game Fallout: New Vegas And Fallout 2.
- "The New Order: Last Days of Europe," a mod which transfers the game into a post World War II time where the Axis won the war. 
- "Equestria At War," a total conversion modification, putting the setting of the game into the My Little Pony universe.
- "In the Name of the Tsar," a mod that envisions a world in which the Brusilov Offensive was successful, thus preventing the Russian Revolution and causing Russia to become a victor in World War I.
- "Apres Moi Le Deluge," an alternate history scenario in which the Napoleonic Wars resulted in a total French victory. The name is a reference to the French expression.
- "Endsieg: Ultimate Victory", a historical mod that converses the end days of WWII and WWI with as much historical accuracy as possible.
Currently, the base game has a score of 83 from review aggregator Metacritic, translating to "generally favorable reviews". The game was a commercial success; global sales surpassed 200,000 copies after fewer than 14 days of availability. According to Paradox, this made Hearts of Iron IV "the publisher's fastest-selling historical strategy game to date." By February 2017, global sales of the game had reached 500,000 units, and by May 2018, sales reached 1 million units.
GameSpot gave the game a positive review, writing that "Hearts of Iron IV embodies the hard truths about all-consuming war and the international politics that guide it." It argued that the tutorial was the only weak point, and that "for the dedicated, Hearts of Iron IV could end up being the best grand strategy game in some time."
It was also reviewed in Kotaku, with the reviewer writing it was "overwhelming in both its depth and, more importantly, its complexity," and arguing that some players unfamiliar with the franchise might find the game interface too complex to easily navigate.
IGN wrote a positive review, describing it as "an incredibly complex World War II simulation that will require potentially hundreds of hours to master, both in-game and poring over wiki articles that read like an economics textbook," but writing that "the payoff is brilliant for those willing to put in the time to learn." The review praised the layout, writing "thanks to an unusually striking look and clean, easily navigable interface, the biggest challenges Hearts of Iron 4 presents us with are the good kind: strategic planning, division composition, and fine-tuning economic and political policies." IGN went on to conclude that Hearts of Iron IV "is a strong contender for the title of ultimate armchair-general game. The biggest problems I can point to are almost all performance-related, putting a slow, frustrating finale on what is otherwise an ingeniously detailed strategic stimulation of just about every aspect of 20th-century global warfare."
A review in PC Gamer described it as a "unique, beautiful, thrilling wargame... while I found a number of flaws when I stood close to the tapestry, it's important to remember that Hearts of Iron 4 exists to encompass the whole sweep of the war."
- List of grand strategy video games
- List of World War II video games
- List of Paradox Interactive games
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