Developed by a team of experienced modders from the Paradox forum, Darkest Hour is a stand-alone Hearts of Iron game. The game features a mixture of short and in-depth campaigns set across the darkest chapters of the 20th century. Play from the outbreak of the Great War up until the onset of the Cold War.
User reviews: Very Positive (516 reviews) - 92% of the 516 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 8, 2011

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Recommended By Curators

"Darkest Hour is the most polished and expansive Hearts of Iron II to date. If you're a grand strategist, you'd be crazy not to own it. Very great."

Recent updates View all (3)

September 20

Final version of Patch 1.04 now available

IMPORTANT: Savegames of patch 1.03 are not compatible with patch 1.04. Savegames of patch 1.04 beta are partially compatible with patch 1.04 (a new game start is always recommended).
IMPORTANT: As a general rule (with few exceptions) mods for patch 1.03 do NOT work with patch 1.04. Mods for patch 1.04RC1 need only a simple update to work with patch 1.04 and are mostly compatible.

Patch 1.04 is now finally ready to be officially published!

Very short list of changes (compared to patch 1.04 beta):
- many ministers and cabinet fixes, for every scenario (thanks to our contributors for their help);
- removed fixed event picture height on styles 1 and 2 to allow pictures of any height to be used on events;
- removed fixed event header height on style 2 to allow headers of any height to be used on events;
- added retreat arrow to counters to be used instead of moving arrow for retreating units;
- suppressed repair of buildings and resources in provinces with active land combats;
- many fixes and improvements to Japanese Northern Strike path in 1933 scenario;
- corrected effects of SOV event "Great Patriotic War" (no more free units on normal difficulty);
- corrected effects of FRA event "What colonies for Free France?";
- improved event "Vlassov defects";
- various fixed and improvements to England Surrenders events and Japanese surrender events;
- fixed many flags, counters and icons;
- a few fixed to units and technology tree;
- a few fixes to bugs and glitches in the map;

This is just a short list, read the complete changelog and everything else about this patch at the Paradox forum.

27 comments Read more

About This Game

Developed by a team of experienced modders from the Paradox forum, Darkest Hour is a stand-alone Hearts of Iron game. The game features a mixture of short and in-depth campaigns set across the darkest chapters of the 20th century. Play from the outbreak of the Great War up until the onset of the Cold War.

Darkest Hour will introduce a new artificial intelligence that is now able to react to hundreds of different situations simultaneously. It implements a dynamic diplomatic system that will allow the player to have a real impact on the course of history.

Key Features:

  • Short and grand campaigns allow players to experience the darkest hours of the 20th century, from the Great War to the onset of the Cold War
  • New map, redesigned to offer greater detail as well as strategic and tactical opportunities
  • Dynamic diplomatic system giving the player greater influence on the course of events
  • New artificial intelligence capable of reacting to hundreds of different situations


Grand campaign scenarios (where it is possible to choose any of the nations involved):
  • 1914 The Great War (starting on June 27, 1914)
  • 1933 Day of Decision (starting on March 4, 1933)
  • 1936 The Road to Another War (starting on January 1, 1936)
  • 1939 Invasion of Poland (starting on September 1, 1939)
  • 1940 Burning Europe (starting on May 10, 1940)
  • 1941 Awakening the Giant (starting on June 22, 1941)
  • 1942 Enemy at the Gate (starting on November 22, 1942)
  • 1943 Allied Invasion of Sicily (starting on July 26, 1943)
  • 1944 Allied Landing in Normandy (starting on June 20, 1944)
  • 1945 Battle of the Bulge (starting on December 16, 1944)
Battle scenarios which focus on specific battles or wars and where players can choose between a small number of nations:
  • 1904 Russo-Japanese War
  • 1939 Invasion of Poland

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 98/ ME / 2000 / XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: Pentium III 800 MH
    • Memory: 128 MB Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB hard disk space
    • Video Card: 4 MB DirectX-compatible
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0 or higher
    • Additional: Mouse with scroll wheel, keyboard and internet for multiplayer
Helpful customer reviews
61 of 65 people (94%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
215.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
I was playing as the Nazi Germans, and was in the fight of my life against the soviet union, playing on Hard. My Army Group South's advance was stalling out, and I couldn't break the Soviet Defenses around Leningrad. Army Group north was closing in on moscow, but the feirce winter had my troops stuck in their tracks. Hoping to avoid Hitler's folly, I had build up winter equipment for my men prior to the invasion, but however these extra insulated uniforms and felt boots haven't done much to increase my chances of sucess. After just losing a key battle on my way towards Moscow I decided to pan down to North Africa. Here I had blitzed through the British Lines with my Italian allies, however it was becoming more apparent that we were going to be surrounded at the suez cannal. However I just had to hold the province long enough for my fleet of troop transports to go through the cannal and escape the mediteranian sea, where they would then drop reinforcements off in Somalia to bolster the failing Italian defensive lines. Then It happened. Out of no where the English navy blindly stubles into my fleet of unarmed troop transports and they sink every single one of them. Eight Divisons, a total of 104,000 Soldiers died at sea because of my blunder! I then saved my game and decided to pick it back up later. After just getting off the game, It hit me that I've been playing this amazing game for so long, and never publically voiced my opinion about it, so I decided I'd give this game and the developers, the credit it deserves.

I have to say this is by hard my favorite grand strategy games of all time. The gameplay allows for endless possibilities such as alternate historical events and outcomes. The events triggered in the game catter to shaping a world that you desire. The game also has a plethora of many great Mods for it, such as "The Grand Campaign" which bridges the World War 1 Sencario with the World War II scenario, allowing you to start in the year 1914 and end in 1991. I've spent about 212 Hours playing this game on steam, however I've easily spent another 400 playing this game on Multiplayer via Game Ranger, which at the moment is the only way to play this game with your Friends, however it does not launch the game through steam. Not only will you being scultpting the world, but you also learn a great deal about history and geopraghy at the same time. This ultra realistic diplomacy, political, and war simulator will, Darkest Hour a Hearts of Iron game, will always hold a special place in my heart, and I do not think Hearts of Iron IV will even be able to top Darkest Hour.

My Favorite Strategy Game ever! Totally worth the buy! If you have it and are discouraged, don't give up, once you learn how to play this game you can have so so so much endless fun with it!
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Started as social-conservative Canada in 1936.
1937 Ovethrow the American Goverment in a secret intelligence action / USA becomes Communist

1938 USA declares War on all his allies, me included / Blitzkrieg against USA / Whole USA occupied by end of the year / but USA wont give up... 1 Mil. American Soldiers dead, 200k Canadians...

1939 Germany declared WAR against France and Sovietunion/ France occupied, Soviet union heavy casualties/ Nuclear Technology Rising

1940 Canadian D-Day/ Liberation of France,Belgium,Netherlands, Germany,Poland../ Nuclear Bomb drops from my Side on fascist Italy (Rome and Venice R.I.P)

1941 Liberation of European Italy (Colonies fight on)/ USA surrenders finally after occupation of Hawaii...Annexed whole USA / Plans are made to invade the Soviet Union

With in 30-40 Hrs. Of Gaming a good Start :P

+ Write your own History
+ Become Psychopath Leader
- Very Diffcult Game (first 10 Hrs.)
- Becomes Boring after a while
- No Achievements at all (like "Congratulations you just invaded Poland")


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25 of 36 people (69%) found this review helpful
24 people found this review funny
25.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
The nazis are so powerful in this game I forgot how they lost in real life.

19/45 would like to get my entire alliance rekt by nazi germany again
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
50.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
This mod turned Hearts of Iron Standalone expansion is what every HOI2 player ever dreamed of; a bridge between WW1 and WW2 while adding more research options, more events, more units and a hell of a lot more replayability. A prime example of a mod that deserved to be paid for. Essentially, if you're a Hearts of Iron fan, you need to play Darkest Hour.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
36.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
That feel,when you cauldron 30 enemy division's and eradicate them... 11/10
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