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 (10 reviews) - 80% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (678 reviews) - 92% of the 678 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 8, 2011

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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
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411 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
887.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
132 of 136 people (97%) found this review helpful
74 people found this review funny
72.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 1, 2014
In this game, you can play as FDR, the well known imperialist who conquered South and Central America in the early 1930s, and went on to pre-emptively invade Japan. His famous speech on the day of the invasion will be remembered as "No seriously, guys. I am a time traveller. Japan attacks us in late 1941. That's why I transferred the entire Army to the Marine Corps and based the entire US Navy in Guam." The Belgian Prime Minister, when questioned about his decision to build a massive line of backwards fortifications on the French border facing into his own country answered "The Germans don't actually stand much of a chance against the French and British in 1939 if the Maginot Line continues through Belgium." The Swiss Prime Minister, when asked why he devoted his country's entire GDP to Nuclear research and nuked Berlin in 1944 famously stated "♥♥♥♥ Hitler". tl;dr Alternate History is great.
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103 of 106 people (97%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
293.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
Grand Strategy,play every Nation from the USSR to Peru.Fight in WW1 ,WW2,even into the Cold War Era.
Realtime,pausable,with different Speeds.

+++ Lots of Game Depth,Manage your Armies,Generals,Fleets,Air Wings,Ministers,Finance,Trade,Diplomacy.Hardly anything is missing.
+++ Events : historical Events trigger,you can decide if you want to follow History or create an alternate Timeline.Examples: Deny The Soviets their Share of Poland,abort the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
+ Control over internal Politics : You can play a moderate Nazi-Germany,or rekindle the Flames of british Imperialism and attempt to retake the lost american Colonies.
+ Armies and Generals gain Experience ,even develop new Perks
+ Extensive Research Tree: Hundreds of Units and Techs ,ranging from Subs,over encryption to Nukes.
+ Control over the Armies of Allies and Puppet States (If you wish)
++ Many Factors influencing Battles and Movement.
Night/daycycle ,seasonal and hourly Weather Patterns,Experience,added Special Brigades,Unit Types,Terrain,Morale,Envelopment,Supply.
Example: Warfare in Russia gets bogged down during Winter as everything is snowed in.

- Timeconsuming , a game can last from one (Scenario) to several hundred Hours (Grand Campaign,World Conquest)

One of the best Grand Strategy Games
HOI2 +Addons and "Darkest Hour lite" are also included in this Deal.
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129 of 152 people (85%) found this review helpful
141 people found this review funny
368.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 23, 2015
Annexed all of South America and Latin America as Brazil
Germany Annexed all of Europe except Italy
I waged a never ending war with the US of A in Texas and Mexico.
Nukes started flying in 1950
USA Became Communist from the Nukes
Italy launched 8 Failed Naval Invasions of the USA
I lost millions of men in Texas and Mexico
Pretty sure woman and children were also being forced into the war as soldiers.

100/10 Would wage never ending war again.
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76 of 78 people (97%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1,169.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 3, 2014
I am going to be honest with you.

This game has stolen many, many hours of my life. I have changed the course of History in an infinite number of ways, and have played most nations, from Germany to the USSR to Cuba to Portugal. It is the best 20th century (until 1950, anyway) grand strategy game in existence. It is far better than Hearts of Iron III.

But what is just fantastic about this game is two things: the community and the mods.

The community is one of the greatest, best bunch of history maniacs and armchair generals I have ever seen. Going to the forums is a rare and wonderful experience. And they are exceedingly nice. And they will advise you and help you. And they will discuss intricate, microscopic details of historical events with you. And you will learn. And you will like it. And you will make friends. A fantastic bunch of people.

The mods, as if the game didn't have enough content already, are incredibly fun to play, and some are incredibly detailed as well. They are not that difficult to install, and you will have a ton of fun with them. I personnally recommend Kaiserreich (Germany wins WWI) and New World Order 2 (get to play during the Cold War as well, including alternative history events for a German victory in WWII). And, of course, the community has also dedicated itself to these mods, especially Kaiserreich.

I have been playing strategy games since Civilization (the first one), and this is the best strategy game I have ever played. Period. If you like strategy games, it is a must own.
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76 of 83 people (92%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
215.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2015
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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58 of 62 people (94%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
1,627.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 21, 2015
I pretty much chose my undergraduate college majors based on my interest in this game, it's so good. Also, at least half of my 1600+ hours in this game was spent with the mod Kaiserreich, which is based on the idea that the Germans won World War I, so check out the mods, there are a number of well-developed ones out there.
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59 of 64 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
496.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2014
Darkest Hour is one of my favourite games, hands down. but why? I think I will list them in bullet points to make it simple
-Compared to HOI III it is much less complex and much, much easier to follow
-Graphically compared to HOI II it is a massive improvement. However, I also think that compared to HOI III it looks much better, but thats just my opinion, you should look at screenshots if graphics are important to you

-I find the game to be Historically accurate, with interesting scenarios that can happen, caused by the player or sometimes not caused by the player at all.

-The WWI senario also has an interesting amount of choices which no matter who you're playing as will have an interesting affect to the game as a whole, and are plausible

-The WW2 scenario is pretty good though I always want to think of alternate events that can happen etc. etc. and there are certainly some missed oppertunities, but nothing major.

-Mods, firstly the AAR mod, which gives the player an extended timeline from 1914 until 1964

-Mod33 a French mod that gives new nations, new events, new units, new desicions, it is a very good mod, however the event text is in French, so it is also a way to practice your French

-Modern Day scenario, a very good mod, as it says you get a modern day scenario, with all new techs, all new Units, and a load of new events, not to mention all new leaders,

-And Finally Kaisrreich, firstly no 2 Kaiserreich games are the same, they always turn out different, in one the USA becomes Syndicalist (no communists), in another the Qing Empire re-unite China, in another game you might see an independent Siberia, chanes are you will see many of these in a single game, you might also see none

-Kaiserreich is an extremely interesting scenario, the Central Powers win WW1 and you believe that scenario, in fact it is done so well, to the point where I remember someone on the forums saying "I don't play Kaiserreich that often, but when I do, I forget real History"
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142 of 190 people (75%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
39.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 26, 2015
I played many hours and many campaigns in HoI ages ago and enjoyed it. I hoped to enjoy DH: HoIG as well, but really couldn't.


The advantage of HoI was that you could do alternate history, changing the course of events, etc. DH pretty much forces you into a very pre-determined course. I tried playing as Yugoslavia, 1936 and in spite of beefing up an army, fortifying borders, doing my best to stay out of the coming war, having excellent relations with Germany, Italy, etc, come 1941, scripted ultimatum by Germany, your choices are "become a puppet" - game over or "be invaded" - game over.

Tried playing as the Soviets, HoI gave you a choice "do Stalin's purges, lose a third of your generals" or "don't do purges, see your dissent skyrocket". DH gives you no choice, purges just happen, you lose a third of your generals AND your dissent skyrockets (weird actually, since the purges had a rather opposite effect, putting everyone in line with the dictator's commands).

So, basically the player has very little freedom of action, outside of the developers vision of how a scenario should play out. This, to me, defeats the purpose of a sandbox grand strategy game...

Bias or unbalance. I got a distinct feeling the game was very pro-Germany biased. I tried a 1933 Soviet scenario and tried to play a "nice Stalin" one that helps and liberates, rather than opresses. Got involved in the Spanish civil war, took over the troops, helped Republicans get a clean win. And the thanks for my effort? Minimal relations increase, no alliance, a puny 1% dissent decrease (but for changing a minister I ger a 2% dessent increase), no military experience, basically nothing.

Got involved with the Chinese in fighting off the Japanese invasion, by inviting Commie China into an alliance. Automatically Nationalist China also becomes an ally. I soundly beat the Japs, annex Chinese territory which automatically transfers to (should at least ask me which China I wanna give it to) Nationalist China. Japan asks for peace giving all Chinese territory back and Korea and Pacific islands too. I accept, Nationalist China becomes huge, but both Chinas immediately break off the alliance with me and go into negative relations. I immediately liberate Korea, but my belligerence goes up. I get no option to liberate Pacific islands and am forced to give them to Korea if I don't want rebellions.

I don't give any ultimatums or invade Finland, but they still hate my guts and try to assasinate my ministers. And French and British keep trying to assasinate my ministers. I don't accept Hitler's pact to divide Poland, but he still invades it, just instead of getting half of it, he gets all of it. My belligerence is still in its 70s just for helping liberate China without keeping a single province to myself, while German one after invading the entire Europe is in its 50s.

I fortify my western border with bunkers, behind rivers, upgrade all my troops to latest level, research nothing but land tactics, beefing up my ground forces to latest standard of warfare, got 1941 tanks in 1939, good and skilled generals in command. No good. When the Nazi decides to invade, he's got at least 100 divisions more than me and in spite having lower organisational rating, still cuts through my lines like a hot knife through butter.

Oh, and Lend-Lease. US sent over 20,000 tanks and airplanes to the Soviets. What does DH game give me? Not a single tank or plane, but 50 units of roads instead.

Airforce is entirely useless. When the Nazi invades, I got complete air dominance (his planes are likely over Britain). I pound an advancing column with my entire airforce of 4 Tactical bomber groups, 4 close-air-support groups and 12 fighter squadrons all in their latest 1941 upgrades. And all I kill is 400 enemy men out of 100,000, practically don't even scratch them. No organisational disruption. No advancement slow down. Nothing. All money spent on (expensive) airforce is completely wasted.

Diplomacy. Pretty useless. Any alliances, non-aggression pacts, demanding territory, outside of scripted ones are practically impossible to achieve.

Intelligence. Pretty useless. Chances for any actions are so low and so expensive, that the money is utterly wasted on them and coups, sabotages, etc are practically impossible or if they happen they're definitely not worth the money in the minimal effect they have.

I suppose the only way to have a chance is to invest everything in a thousand infantry divisions with artillery attachments and all the money into research boosts so you get blueprints for stuff every time. All the other features are useless and a waste of time. I'm a stubborn person, so I tried same scenarios several times, trying to make some optimal decisions to enable me to gain the upper hand, but the game just keeps blocking any progress I make by its punishing mechanics, limiting diplomacy and disruptive random events. Maybe I should just play as Germany and steamroll everyone.

Verdict: Forced. Unbalanced. Biased. Frustrating. Unrewarding. Punishing. Irrational.
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53 of 57 people (93%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
520.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
With the 1.03 patch we have plenty of scenarios, including the 1945 one which is fun to play !
In my opinion is better than HoI3 because is easier to learn and the UI is really friendly for new players . Unlike Hearts of Iron 3 you can have different aproaches on the game , based on your decisions , a communist Germany for example right from the beginnig of the 1933 scenario !

On the official forum you can find many mods which can extend the regular timeline of the game , for example New World Order 2 mod ( a Cold War Mod ) and Modern Day scenario mod !
Alternate history:Kaiserreich (What if Germany had won the First World War )
Fatherland (What if Germany had won the Second World War )

All in all I really recommend Darkest Hour !
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Recently Posted
★Tqd★ Miϟtikei
34.8 hrs
Posted: October 28
-After smashing France I'll get some meal for me
-oops after ♥♥♥♥♥ up those damn Allies I will go to bed
-ah crap Russia declared war to me, what do I do? nope no school today
-ok ok I will atleast drink something to not die
-day 3 yeah finally conquered whole world. I think mom would be proud of me ^^
Helpful? Yes No Funny
106.4 hrs
Posted: October 24
>Buys Game
>Gets Kaiserriech mod
>I wonder what country I should choose...
>Sees that the USA hasn't changed much
>Oh yeah time to be the world police
>Things go smoothly for 2 months...
> Who the hell is Huey Long?
>Syndicalists? What?
>Makes MacArthur dictator
>"Send FBI to capture Long"? ok sure
>"FBI agents killed by Minutemen" oh ♥♥♥♥
>Sees in-game timer reaching Nov. 6
>Something is going to happen that day isn't it
>Nov. 6 comes
>"Combined Syndicates of America secedes and declares war"
>"American Union State secedes and declares war"
>"Pacific States of America secedes and declares war"
>"Canada seizes New England"
>♥♥♥♥ you Canada
>"make deal with Pacific States"?
>PSA lends their military
>1 in-game year later
>Ok I have annexed both the AUS and CSA
>"Should MacArthur step down"? Hell yes
>"Canada gives back New England"
>Thank you Canada
>Sooooo now what?
>Sits at computer
>1950 comes
>Ok I am bored what nation should I choose next?
>Qing Empire? that sounds cool
>Falls asleep at the keyboard since it was 4:00 AM
Helpful? Yes No Funny
228.8 hrs
Posted: October 22
Super cool game, it never gets old as always is a new game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
29.2 hrs
Posted: October 18
Simply beautiful. A lot of flavor for ww2. Some for ww1. ANYONE WHO IS READING THIS, GET THIS OVER HOI4! Hoi4 removes money, a lot of flavor, has a shorter timeline, has the annoying factory system, and has less start dates.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
89.3 hrs
Posted: October 18
a Seriously good payed modification of HOI2
Helpful? Yes No Funny
58.9 hrs
Posted: October 17
Don't forget to save on each month in this game or Paradox will give you an amazing Crash-Bug
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.3 hrs
Posted: October 2
This game was amazing for it's time. It was a great upgrade of HoI2. HoI3 was also a bit of a failure in some ways, so this game remained awesome. However. HoI4 fixes many of the things wrong with HoI3. As such, I no longer feel that this game is a good purchase.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
336.9 hrs
Posted: September 24
It's worth playing this game.
Incidentally my favorite Commander is Mutaguchi. I have absolute faith in his ability.
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Obey the Fist!
0.1 hrs
Posted: September 15
Do not buy: Does not work/unsupported.
This is a Paragon turn based strategy game set in WW2 Europe.

Unfortunately, while the game was published in 2011 and updated up until 2015, support for modern PCs was never applied - overscan/DPI issues make the game fail to render properly on monitors with higher resolution than HD.

However, as they are keen to leave their hand out for people to give them money for this on Steam, even knowing it doesn't work on modern PCs, I am forced to leave my hand out too - with a downwards thumb.
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