I don't even know why they bother to release games in such a state as this. This "game" is so incomplete that it would have been better to not release anything at all instead of repeatedly taking hits to your reputation over and over and over again.
It's always the same old stuff. It's always some programming error, while they and their fanboys run around the internet pointing fingers at everyone but themselves. I've seen this with around 3 of their releases now and every time I've had different hardware, and everytime they blame the problems on everyone but themselves.
Let me be frank; This is what happens when you do not test a game properly before releasing it for public consumption. HOI3 was supposed to be in a class of it's own. HOI3 was supposed to be one of the best WW2 Simulators on the market. Instead it joins the legion of other games released in this decade typically incomplete that most people can't even run even after patching the game, mostly because paradox has no idea what the problem is even though the problems are affecting so many people.
If any Paradox employees are reading this, I have a suggestion (Take it or leave it); Whoever is your Head Programmer; Fire Him. He is obviously the weakest link if he keeps releasing games in this state over and over and over again.
You text message your fellow fanboys to deliver the storm of thumbs to this review, but that won't change the fact that there are so many people giving bad scores and bad reviews. Save yourself the trouble, because it won't make much of a difference. Instead of blaming everybody else, take a good look in the mirror, because otherwise you are just really making people angry. And if you haven't noticed that by now--if I have to tell you this--then Oh My God ...... We can all do with 1 less company in the world that is totally void and lacking of empathy. If you want something to laugh at take a look at the head programmers wiki page history. He's acquired quite a few enemies over the years. I wonder how that happened? Could it be because he keeps developing and releasing games in such a state as this? Obviously. Maybe that is why we never see them outside of their forum.
Go ahead and buy this if you want to waste your money.
That is all.
The AI sucks, automation is broken. Even when patched it is broken, buggy, and overcomplicated. Go play HoI 2.
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
Hearts of Iron 3 has is a supremely disappointing game. It is so bad, broken, and buggy I will never buy a paradox game again depending on how Victoria 2 turns out. The game has one major improvement; Command Hierarchy, everything else is over complicated, boring, and unecessary. How they screwed up something as great as HoI 2 is astounding, and HoI 3 could be summed up as a game of needless micromanagement, and complexity.
Take technology for instance, rather than HoI 2's perfectly fine system which involved tech teams who would be assigned to slots and then research tiers of a technology, basic light tank, improved light tank, advanced light tank. The system has been thrown out for a HoI 1 system where you research multiple parts to create a tank. In addition to that you have to juggle leadership points to fund your research
On leadership points. It added a totally unnecessary element to the game which now heavily penalizes small nations. You need leadership for officers, espionage, technology, and diplomacy. A small nation now can't do nearly as much as it could historically, because they are now limited by officers rather than money. A foolish design choice.
Diplomacy has also regressed back to HoI 1. It now uses the triangle system where the three alliances(Comintern, Allies, Axis)
are at a point on a triangle, and nations drift towards them. It's unrealistic, it's pointless to form your own alliances, and it doesn't allow for "realpolitik" diplomacy(Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Comintern and Allies, the Big Three). Worse you can no longer warmonger unless you convince the world that the nation you want to attack is a threat. This is not historic, Italy aggressively expanded, Germany aggressively expanded, Japan aggressively expanded. They didn't need to prove that the nations they were invading were a threat. HoI2's system of belligerence was much better as it allowed you to warmonger, but at the expense of global outcry, and if your belligerence was high enough;global action.
The entire game is full of design choices like this. Almost every single change they made has needlessly overcomplicated the game without adding any fun whatsoever. For example Carrier Air Groups are now controlled separately from carriers. You no longer simply select a carrier and give it an order. This design design has made it infinitely more complicated for strong naval powers to control their navies.This is just one example of needless micromanagement
Another big problem is performance. Mid to late game is a absolute slide show. It doesn't matter what kind of computer you have (core i7, 8gb of RAM, 2 5870's in crossfire) you will mostly have piss-poor performance.I posted on the forums about this and was told that the game doesn't support multi-core processors, or 64-bit. I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't support Crossfire either. This game came out in 2009, and Paradox is telling me it isn't designed to run on modern computers. It's a modern game, very cpu-intensive with numerous AI scripts running in the background and it doesn't support multicore (I'm running the latest patch with semper fi as a reminder) Multicores have been out a long time, and hyper-threading before that and your engine doesn't support it, ridiculous. So I ask about performance and when their going to fix it. I get directed to a forum article on how to fix your performance problems on your own. That's right, they can't be bothered to fix it, or rather are too incompetent to know how. Anyway, most of that article was baloney like turn down your graphics settings. Yeah right, I'm not turning down the graphics settings on your crappy looking- game to run it. Fix the problem (turning down the graphics setting didn't help btw)
Paradox really disappointed me on this one. It's almost as if they didn't care about the product at all. They still churn out crappy sprite packs, and lame expansions (Semper Fi was 20$ and didn't fix any of the games problems) content to milk their consumers for money. I'm afraid my favorite developer is going downhill fast. Sprite packs should have been free, expansions free, and the damn game should run. It's clear that they release buggy games and use their consumers as beta testers (they even said this in one of their interview videos, albeit not directly. Quote: "Thank you for all the testing (referring to people playing the game) you do, it helps us make a better patch" Or something along those lines) I sincerely hope they get their act together and fix the damn game or they'll never get my money ever again.
BTW I highly recommend buying Arsenal of Democracy, a modder developed HoI2 game which does a magnificent job of modernizing HoI2, including the addition of higher resolutions and widescreen support. Otherwise just go back to HoI2 or EU series if you don't mind a different period.)
UPDATE: I would also like to make you aware of the upcoming Expansion, "For the Motherland". It has great potential, which great improvements across the board including multicore support. I have my fingers crossed, but hopefully it give this game some semblance of playability. The core design is so flawed though, at best we'll see HoI3's score rise to a 6.5
The most in depth strategy game possibly ever. Anyone who is even remotely a history buff will love this game.
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
Here's the scenario: You can control any country that existed during WWII. (Yes, even Nazi Germany) And by control, I actually mean control. Politics, laws, production, (tanks, infantry divisions, industry) and the furthering of your countries' technological abilities through your leadership.
You can be as historical or ahistorical as you want to be. To be honest, this is more of a simulator than a game.
The learning curve for this game is the hardest you will ever encounter. For me, it was definitely worth it, the level of realism is unprecedented, the detail is second to no game currently available. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a challenge, and is an armchair general at heart. I'm pretty sure anyone who did not enjoy this game didn't even get past the Production tutorial. While it may not be your type of game, it will always be a strategy game that did what no other could: Re-create WWII in a simulation style world where anything goes. I will definitely be getting their next expansion due this summer.
If you are looking for a WWII Strategy game stop searching. Almoust perfect if it as no bug's and "gaps"
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Best in series"
If you are looking for a complete WWII strategy game you can stop searching because this is the game.
Is complexity is amazing in every aspect! The units cannot be more correct in therms of historical reality, the logistical aspects despite some gaps are also superb, and the tactical reality is behind common.
However despite it is the best you can find you also have some issues. Bugs start to became normal if you play it some time, your logistic sometimes get some incomprehensible gaps, and the air theatre complexity could be dramatically improved.
On the tactical level it has only one problem that is the fact of side with players with "offensive" inclinations. Nothing that in a hypothetical HOI4, Paradox does not fix.
But if you are a graphics addicted you will get disappointed because of the not very "clear" map image/graphics like in Making History for e.x. Then, if you like geographic accuracy you will find some blunders that can inclusive change the course of war.
In conclusion, despite all those small errors, this is a game that if you are a strategy enthusiast you will not regret after buying it.
Not playable. Seriously.
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
I have played all all Hearts of Iron series, every one of them,
- Arsenal of Democracy
- Iron Cross.
I have enjoyed all of them, more or less. I also had created my own game via editors, created new pictures for techs/events, created and shared at least 3 music mods... enjoyed every bit of them.
About Hoi3... I have forced myself for the 5th time (put a couple of months between each try) to start a new game and i still am frustrated about tons of things. Everytime i try, after a couple of hours of struggle, i decide that it is simply not playable. Everytime it happens the same way. Not because of the bugs, but there is a serious flaw in the design of the game. There are excellent new ideas and implementations in the game, but in overall.. something keeps you off of playing this game.
This sequel is a complete disappointment. it requires great talent to ruin a great game with such a sequel.