Hearts of Iron III lets you play the most engaging conflict in world history, World War 2, on all fronts as any country and through multiple different scenarios. Guide your nation to glory between 1936 and 1948 and wage war, conduct diplomacy and build your industry in the most detailed World War 2 game ever made.
User reviews: Very Positive (867 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 7, 2009

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Buy Hearts of Iron III Collection

Includes 20 items: Hearts of Iron III, Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Infantry Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: German Infantry Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: Japanese Infantry Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Music Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: US Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: Semper Fi, Hearts of Iron III DLC: German II Spritepack , Hearts of Iron III Semper Fi: Dies Irae Götterdämmerung, Hearts of Iron III: For the Motherland, Hearts of Iron III: Mega German Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: Dies Irae Stars & Stripes Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: US Infantry Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: Sounds of Conflict, Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour, Hearts of Iron III: British Vehicle Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: Japanese Vehicle Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: Italian Vehicle Pack, Hearts of Iron III: Axis Minors Vehicle Pack

Buy Hearts of Iron III: Semper Fi

Buy Hearts of Iron 3 DLC Collection

Includes 18 items: Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Infantry Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: DLC - German Sprite Pack, Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: German Infantry Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: Japanese Infantry Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: Soviet Music Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: US Pack DLC, Hearts of Iron III: Semper Fi, Hearts of Iron III DLC: German II Spritepack , Hearts of Iron III Semper Fi: Dies Irae Götterdämmerung, Hearts of Iron III: For the Motherland, Hearts of Iron III: Mega German Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: Dies Irae Stars & Stripes Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: US Infantry Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: Sounds of Conflict, Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour, Hearts of Iron III: British Vehicle Spritepack, Hearts of Iron III: Japanese Vehicle Spritepack

 

Recommended By Curators

"Hardcore historical strategy geeks, this game is for you. Be warned, though: it does not do any hand-holding."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

"offers a challenge to most strategy die-hards"

— Dreamstation
"Paradox has done a tremendous job of making this complex design relatively easy to get into."

— Gamespot
"With incredible flexibility, freedom, and depth, this is a history buffs dream and should not be passed up if you are a fan of the genre."

— PCgameworld
"Serious wargamers are in for a real treat as the hardcore franchise returns for another go at the world's most terrible war."

— Gamespy
"Featuring a fully integrated combat model, a wide range of strategic and diplomatic options for your country, and an intuitive AI system, Hearts of Iron III is shaping up to be the best game in the series yet."

— Strategy Informer

About This Game

Hearts of Iron III lets you play the most engaging conflict in world history, World War 2, on all fronts as any country and through multiple different scenarios. Guide your nation to glory between 1936 and 1948 and wage war, conduct diplomacy and build your industry in the most detailed World War 2 game ever made.
Features:
  • Play as any nation from 1936 to 1948, more than 150 countries to choose from.
  • Control the oceans with aircraft carriers, submarines and battleships and use your air force to defend your skies, support your naval and ground forces, and to bomb your enemies
  • Thousands of historically accurate real-world military commanders and politicians.
  • Realistic military command AI with unprecedented levels of interaction
  • In-depth diplomatic and political system.
  • Historical accuracy combined with an unparalleled level of freedom of choice
  • More than 10,000 land provinces makes the game five times more detailed than HoI2 and the most detailed depiction of World War 2 ever made.
  • Customize your divisions in detail with more than 20 types of brigades
  • New economic system makes it possible to buy weapons from abroad.
  • Mobilization and reserves gives the option of surprise attacks, Blitzkrieg made real.
  • Government-in-exile makes it possible to continue to struggle from abroad with underground movements and uprisings against the oppressing power.
  • Strategic warfare system makes it more important to defend the skies and oceans against foreign attacks; leaving cities open to enemy bombing will now be devastating.
  • A completely new intelligence system, with several types of intelligence sources, makes it possible to get information about enemy reserves and troop movements.
  • Assign troops to "theatres" on the map to fight two-front wars more successfully.
  • The new AI system and more detailed map will allow for more strategic decisions.
  • Flexible technology system with hundreds of categories, where major powers get their own unique attributes.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
    • Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 2000/XP/Vista
    • Processor: Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory: 2 GB of RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
    • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon X1900 videocard
    • Sound: Direct X-compatible sound card
    • DirectX®: Direct X 9.0
    • OS: OS X 10.5.8 or higher
    • Processor: Any Intel CPU
    • Memory: 128 MB VRAM, 1GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.3 GB hard disk space
    • Video Card: GeForce 7300, Radeon HD 2400 (GMA cards not supported)
    • Internet: Broadband connection for Internet play
    • Registration: Internet connection for registration
Helpful customer reviews
82 of 88 people (93%) found this review helpful
220.3 hrs on record
This is the game for leaders, commanders and heros. If you want to play as Germany in 1944 and push back the Russians and stop the invasion of Normandy, do it.
If you want to play as Japan and never attack the USA, do it.
If you want to Austria and refuse to be annex by Germany, do it.
If you want to play as Luxenbourg and join the Axis so you dont die in a useless war, do it.
If you want to play as Switzerland and stay netrual through World War II and War World III, do it.
If you want to play as Cube and nuke the USA in 1938, do it. If you want to play as Tibet (The Peace-loving country with little to no IC and has a 8-year old monk child as a leader) and invade India and nuke America, do it.
If you wand to play as the USA and "Unite" all of North and South America, do it.
If you want to play as France and over throw the Italian government before World War II is started, making them a puppet of france, do it.
If you want to play as the Soviet Union and refuse the Non-Agression Pact Stalin and Histler signed, so it.
If you want to play Britian and let Germany take everything over (and most likely you), do it.
THE POSSIBLITIES ARE ENDLESS!
If you want to play as Hati and... have an earthquake, do it!
If you want to play as Ethiopia and get taken over by Italy in 1938, do it. If you want to play as Australia and join the Axis or Communists, do it!
Do it! Do it! Do it!
Posted: August 24
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31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
340.1 hrs on record
THIS GAME IS AMAZING. this is the most comprehensive, most complete game I've seen in any gernre. It's definitely the type of game you need to invest time into learning. There is a deep learning curve but once you get a feel for the game, it makes sense why its so difficult to learn, because it basically lets you control almost anything. The game dynamics are amazing and very complicated but then again, so is global warfare. There is a great community of devoted HOI3 players who have answered literally every question related to this game so if you get it and find yourself not understanding the game dynamics, such as the supply situation, you can easily go online and read up on it. The supply dynamics, while sometimes buggy, is one of my favorite aspects of the game. If you're invading Western france, make sure to get large ports and not to outpace your supplies, less you fall victim to an axis counter attack that finds your front undersupplied and pushes them back in chaos. I like how the game manages the organization of the troops, both in terms of command structure and in terms of the org of the specifc unit. If they're under supplied or disorganized, they'll fail in an attack and soon you'll find the enemy routing you across the continent. It really takes a great deal of practice and patience to mount the correct offensive. You get a sense for how underprepared offensives can go awry in a second, especially when playing as Germany and trying to raise through the Soviet Union. You might get within 2 provinces of Moscow before you realize that you're supply lines havent caught up (because you didnt research the techs you needed) and then the Soviets counter attack with inferior forces and you have to scramble to recover. Thats the fun of the game though. You can prepare all you want but if things dont work out the way you planned, you often have to plan on the fly.

I played as the Soviet Union and thought I was perfectly set up to protect the mother land against the germans but got my but handed to me three ways to leningrad. It was the game of my life, reorganizing and launching desperate and doomed counter attacks to slow down the germans while I get more troops ready. It's very interesting because when you play as the Soviets you get the impression that the germans better conquer you within a year, because if they dont, you can create about 10 infantry divisions a month and thats a pace the Germans can't ever sustain.

Anyways, this game is amazing. You can play as anyone, Brazil for example, and work just to contribute a tiny amount to the war effort. Or you can play as the US and let Europe be while you focus on hunting and eliminating Japanese carrier groups that you know they can't replace the way the US can. Nimitz, Halsey and Spruance to the rescue!

If you like strategy and grand warfare, give this game a try, If you take the time to learn it and you understand what kind of game you are buying, you will not be disappointed!
Posted: August 1
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144 of 226 people (64%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
You can be Hitler
11/10
Posted: June 13
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23 of 27 people (85%) found this review helpful
218.3 hrs on record
The King of Grand Strategy

Most of you who visit the shop-page for Hearts of Iron III probably already know what this game is all about. It's a hardcore (as hardcore as it can get!) Grand Strategy Game by Paradox Interactive. That really says it all.
This review is intended for those who don't yet know what Grand Strategy (the capitals are there with a purpose!) is all about. Simply put: Grand Strategy games are the best, but also the most complex, pc gaming has to offer. They are immersive, complex, and very addictive. They are not for everyone, that's for sure. You don't play them for the graphics, nor for the sounds or some great level-design, but only for the gameplay, which can also be very, very difficult to master.

Let's take Hearts of Iron III as an example. Untill less than a year ago, I was convinced that this kind of games was nothing for me. Too difficult, too one-sided, I had lots of reasons not to delve into them. That's untill my son convinved me of trying this one. I gave it a try, but stopped playing after an hour of so. I couldn't make anything out of all the numbers and stats on the screen, and the static map where nothing seemed to happen. Then I read a superb guide made by the famous HOI3-community. It took me over a month to study guide and game (and ut was really studying, not even really playing), but then I was hooked. You see: it literally takes effort and even study to get into this game, but once you've done that, the effort more than pays off, and you can start guiding your nation to victory, or ... survival.

HOI3 lets you play ANY of the nations in the world, starting on 1/1/1936 and going into World War II (or avoiding it by following a more peaceful path). It's a tough challenge because you have to manage all aspects of government, economics, technological research and military, but once you see your nation flourishing, the reward is enthralling. Just give it a try if you feel it's ok to have to study a game in order to be able to enjoy it; the rewards will be there for sure. Very important: do get the expansion packs Semper Fi, For the Motherland and Their Finest Hour as well (all three needed). They really improve upon game mechanics.

Gameplay: 28/30
Graphics: 14/20 (they do the job more than decently, but could have been a bit more engrossing)
Sound: 7/10 (playlist is great!)
Gameplay for your money: 18/20 (multiplayer is a technical disaster, but SP can keep you going for years)
Technical/stability: 8/10 (after lots of bug-problems, it's now fairly stable, but MP is really difficult to set up)
Personal feel: 10/10 (just love this one)

Overall: 85/100
Posted: July 17
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.0 hrs on record
Great game, no grand strategy game has held my attention quite as good as this one. From managing your orders of battle to making sure front lines are secure to ensuring entire theaters are operating at full capacity to managing economies and entire countries, this game has quite the scale and an easy learning curve with high skill cap. You can ease into the gameplay by enabling AI control of certain aspects and slowly disable AI as you feel more comfortable.
The general theme can get boring as a lot of stuff is scripted for the campaign, however you can break out of the scripts sandbox by just not following some historical paths.

There are plenty of mods for the game that go from realism, content, a-historical to complete fantasy,
My personal favorite mod would be the RandomHoi mod that places random nations all around the world.

10/10 would buy.
Posted: June 24
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291 of 303 people (96%) found this review helpful
105.6 hrs on record
In the world of gaming, where modern games tend to become ever more colourful, faster and action-packed, and even complex strategy titles like the Total War or Civilization series offer more and more eye candy, this grand strategy game is the ugly duckling. It's not one of the cheerleaders but the geek you choose to learn math with. It's like an encyclopedia among hollywood movies. Instead of stunning effects and pretty graphics it has statistics and maps.

It presents itself with minimalistic visuals and sounds. But this is not what this game is about so I leave it at that.

HoI3 lets you take control over almost any nation that existed from 1936 to 1948 and lays its destiny during this difficult time in history in your hands. This is your chance to rewrite history, depending on your actions historical events like Japans attack on Pearl Harbor can occur earlier or later (or never) than they did in reality. Let's say you start a game in '36 with the U.S. You will have some time before Japan decides to attack. Will you prepare for war in the Pacific or build strong trade relations with Japan to make a war with you undesirable? And when all hell breaks loose in Europe, will you join the allies against the German Reich or do you have other goals? Or maybe you long for a real challenge, want to stay away from the major powers and try your luck with one of the smaller nations? How about playing as Brazil, joining the axis, trying to conquer South America and hold your ground against the U.S.A. The possibilities are unlimited.

You are given an enourmous amount of freedom when organizing your military. You can even put together your own divisions with three to five brigades to combine different types of units to tailor them to your particular needs. Set up chains of commands to influence supply lines and and combat strength or let the A.I. play individual commanders (and with them all units under their command) for you.

Not only do you command your troops but you are also responsible for reconnaissance, diplomacy, espionage, domestic politics, technological research, industrial production and infrastructure. All these elements are important and influence each other. For example: If you use your entire industrial capacity to produce troops you will not be able to produce enough consumer goods to maintain the approval among your civilian population and you will have to deal with uprisings (in totalitarian nations) or a power shift towards opposition parties (in democratic nations). The same goes for your A.I. controlled opponents: Use spies to influence their domestic political climate to your advantage and weaken their war efforts. Every one of these tasks can be delegated to the A.I. but its highly recommended to do at least the most important jobs yourself. The A.I. is not totally incompetent, in fact it does a pretty decent job, but a reasonably experienced player will still make the better decisions. And besides, why would you want to spend your time watching a game play itself?
Only new players might want to concentrate on one gameplay element at a time to get used to it before taking over complete control.

The size of the world map is immense, it is divided into 15000 (!) areas and maintaining the overview can become a difficult task, especially when you're playing as one of the big nations, with a huge army, war on several fronts and try to handle as much as possible without the help of the A.I.

HoI3 is played in real-time but lets you adjust the speed to your liking or pause any time during the game.

If you like a game to take you by the hand and tell you what to do, Hearts of Iron is not for you. It is difficult to learn and difficult to master, the six short tutorials are not overly helpful. It doesn't even lay down objectives for you. You won't miss them because there's always a lot to do and take care of. But if a strategy game with an impressive depth that puts all other representatives of the genre to shame in terms of complexity is what you want and if you have the patience and time to get over the initial steep learning curve, you can have fun for years to come with this title.

A few words about the DLCs (HoI3 has a lot of them): Semper Fi, For The Motherland and Their Finest Hour are the must get expansions, all the sprite packs... not so much. You will most likely not want to use the option to replace the nato symbols with new fancy sprites, as they provide more information about the units at a quick glance. The three aforementioned larger expansions on the other hand come with a great many features that really enhace the gameplay a lot. These include but are not limited to: New types of units for many nations, A.I. improvements, an extended espionage system, enhanced economic diplomacy, a strategic warfare screen that visually displays important combat information, improved, more in-depth naval warfare and more realistic amphibious assaults, enhanced character development of your commanders, additional combat tactics, balancing adjustments of unit attributes and many more.
Posted: December 8, 2013
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