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:
Recent:
Very Positive (24 reviews) - 87% of the 24 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (627 reviews) - 92% of the 627 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

Scenarios:

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
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (24 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (627 reviews)
Recently Posted
Mr Horsey.
( 136.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
So much love for this game, a must buy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
OTTO
( 126.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
8/10
Not the HOI game to start with.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hontik
( 49.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
I have done horrible things and altered the fate of humanity.
After downloading several mods that expanded the game year to 3000, i did the following:
Expanded the the Reich into the British Isles, and abandoned the alliance with Japan. By 1943, Russia had been annexed and the US was still only at war with Japan. After forcing the surrender of the British and french african corps by nukes I gained the alliance of Argentina and conquered the americas.
Best game ever.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BlackenedPies
( 85.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 13
I really like this game and consider it the best of the HOI 2 series. Hearts of Iron isn't easy to get into and there's a lot to learn in order to play, but it's a very in depth and engaging experience once you understand how it works. It's certainly not for everyone but I enjoyed it. Check out some of the many excellent community mods such as World in Flames and Keiserreich
Helpful? Yes No Funny
-=Crazy=- Mike
( 233.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 12
How to invade Britain with Germany
1. research all amphibious assault and navy soilders tech
2. wait a whole year with failed assults
3. ♥♥♥♥ it just nuke them
4. Invade Britain within a month

10 out of 10 would nuke Britain again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ael
( 83.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
DON'T UNDERSTIMATE THIS GAME FOR BEING OLD or BEING BASED ON A OLDER HOI2 ENGINE!!!

Seriously this game it's sooooo deep and good that will make you lose hours of your life into it.
I know HOI3 or even HOI4 are out nowadays but this game adds lot's of different stuff and a very acurrate Historical scenarios.

Also if you want the best experience Download THE GREAT CAMPAIGN MOD (TGC). it makes the time go from 1914 to 1991.... I can't begin to tell how much replayability that adds, especially because it's so well made that it has a bazilions of events and connect all the timeline together very historical and nicely(if you want).

Seriously this game especially with TGC offers like 1000hours of gameplay... And for a very low price, if you are a Grand Strategy fan this is a must for you.

Overall Score 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Surtr
( 445.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
Beat China on trade and infrastructure. Bolstered the military and made them pay for it.

10/10 would Make Japan Great Again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
baba_ti97
( 57.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 29
Its a nice game + there are some nice mods and the community is still active.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
green name
( 14.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 28
roses are red
violets are blue
get the game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ravo
( 34.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 20
> Laughs at France surrendering easily.
> Starts a full invasion of France as Austria, with friends (Germany and Ottoman Empire) in 1914.
> Hopes to be back home by winter.

Naaaah m8.

> War lasts for 4 years, UK joins in at the last second of conquest and buries our hopes and dreams of a European Empire.

I just got ♥♥♥♥♥-slapped. By a baguette.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wolfman
( 28.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 20
Go to World War 1 scenario
-> play as Germany
-> fight the French
-> when you are about ot beat them have UK decare war on you
->stalemate for the next 4 years
-> lose the war
-> wait 21 years
-> Declare war on every country in europe
-> allied with Japan
-> Ai attacks USA
-> Dday
-> lose the game and get puppeted by USSR
-> End of the game

12/10 gr8 History lesson
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lord Hanky Danky
( 78.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 19
pretty much hearts of iron 2 with a lot more content and a better combat system




p.s:
unlike the uk, i helped poland


p.s.s:
fite me u british ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s
Helpful? Yes No Funny
snorterdog
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 15
Lol, what a joke of a game. The first obstacle in this game is actually running the game itself, the developers decided to keep 16 bitrate, so every windows system past windows 7 is incompatible with it, making the game lag to complete ♥♥♥♥. You have to right click exe, and fool the program into running 16 bit, and set it to windows mode. So if you wanted to play this game in fullscreen on a system past windows 7, sorry pal. One thing to note as well, I have way over 2 hours but it won't show them because I have to run this directly from the exe, and steam doesn't recognize that I'm playing the game.

Don't worry though, when you finally get the game finally running you surely won't be super dissapointed. Infantry takes months to make, because as you know it takes months and months to put a gun in some peoples hand and to send them to the front. It takes around 6 months to get 1 full division (assuming you put only 3 units in it) and you need tons of infantry as majors or you will lose. When I tried playing as the soviet union, by the time your first infantry is ready you will most likely have already lost since germany has over twice the industry as you, thus they can spam tons of infantry, and their manpower barely goes down so they can march their way right to moscow.

The game is also very veery narrow; you are discouraged to do any kind of alternate history or you will get boatloads of dissent which means you will have no ic to make infantry or anything. You need to dedicate ic to consumer goods to bring it down, which even if you dedicate your whole industry to making it go down, it still takes years for it go to back to 0, and it won't matter because some random event will occur where it brings it right back to 10%, keep in mind there is almost no events that bring down your dissent either.. If you have over 50% dissent, you may as well be finished. You will lose 50% of your industrial capability and will lead to an almost imminent failure because you can't make ♥♥♥♥.

Another great thing about this game that I love so much is diplomacy and intelligence. Have fun trying to do anything in diplomacy that isn't a scripted event, as nothing will work. I've tried to make countless peace treaties before and it seems to always get auto denied unless its a white peace, probably because they couldn't program it to work correctly. Intelligence has such a low chance in succeeding that ignoring it all together seems to be the way to go, or you can go right on ahead and waste 650 money on trying for the 1% chance to coup a tiny nation. Intelligence also seems awfully unrealistic, why is uk and usa trying to sabotage me before the cold war even started? The allied powers had a good relationship before the defeat of germany, and they helped the soviet union during ww2, but still try to assassinate my ministers anyways. Not like it really matters however because of how utterly useless intelligence is in the first place.

At least in hearts of iron 3, I don't have to spend an hour to get the game running, infantry doesn't take months to make and barbarossa isn't 100% guarantee win for germans, diplomacy and intelligence have an actual role in the game, and when I get dissent I can easily get rid of it within a month without dedicating my whole industry to getting rid of it. In my opinion don't even bother with this or any of the hoi games at the moment, and pray that hoi4 will be the game that is possibly the divide between both games since hoi3 has its fair share of problems as well, but not nearly as much as I have had with this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
|12.Iftr| Rec. Duke
( 60.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 12
Let me put it this way. At the time of this review, I have played 20 hours and I'm not even 30% through my FIRST campaign. Get this game and get it now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EvilCorgi
( 2,292.9 hrs on record )
Posted: March 30
This is a fantastic game. I have about 2000 hours in it, and I don't at all feel like I wasted that time. It's a bit old and clunky, but if you're willing to look past that, mod it a bit and learn the mechanics, it's well worth it. It's a bit less complex than Hearts of Iron 3, but I feel like that's more of a perk than anything. This is a strategy game, not a logistics simulator. Order of Battle and supply lines are not as important as your plans and your armies.

If I had to say one bad thing about this game, it's that it has a pretty poor domestic focus. Food is not simulated at all, and anything that doesn't contribute to your war effort is lumped into the non-descript "consumer goods" category. Diplomacy is also a bit weak. Without an event or a specially coded AI tick, the AI is highly unlikely to agree to anything you suggest. War really is the best way to solve anything, and that's fine. The game accells at war. It is a bit frustrating that the belligerance mechanic punishes you for going to war, when it's often the only way to progess, but it would seem weird to leave it out, so that gets a pass.

But for the love of god, do not play vanilla. It's fine. Vanilla Darkest Hour is a very good, enjoyable game. But you're seriously missing out by not playing Kaiserreich, Boneparte Legasy, New World Order, Fatherland and the mirad of other awesome mods you can get on the Paradox Plaza fourms. It's worth the small headace of installing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
King Cook
( 242.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 22
Lets just say i have one in my inventory just in case a friend wants to play and doesnt have it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[TAW] TheCrazyScot
( 422.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 16
Pretty much the best HoI game up to this point that money can buy, and some pretty good mods for it at this point to sweeten the pot. Buy if you find HoI 3's combat to be too micro-heavy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
red dead redemption
( 159.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 13
i was the germans pushed the soviets all the way to kazahkstan in 1943,ran out of manpower soviet were at berlin in 1944
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
83.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
DON'T UNDERSTIMATE THIS GAME FOR BEING OLD or BEING BASED ON A OLDER HOI2 ENGINE!!!

Seriously this game it's sooooo deep and good that will make you lose hours of your life into it.
I know HOI3 or even HOI4 are out nowadays but this game adds lot's of different stuff and a very acurrate Historical scenarios.

Also if you want the best experience Download THE GREAT CAMPAIGN MOD (TGC). it makes the time go from 1914 to 1991.... I can't begin to tell how much replayability that adds, especially because it's so well made that it has a bazilions of events and connect all the timeline together very historical and nicely(if you want).

Seriously this game especially with TGC offers like 1000hours of gameplay... And for a very low price, if you are a Grand Strategy fan this is a must for you.

Overall Score 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
233.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 12
How to invade Britain with Germany
1. research all amphibious assault and navy soilders tech
2. wait a whole year with failed assults
3. ♥♥♥♥ it just nuke them
4. Invade Britain within a month

10 out of 10 would nuke Britain again
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
85.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
I really like this game and consider it the best of the HOI 2 series. Hearts of Iron isn't easy to get into and there's a lot to learn in order to play, but it's a very in depth and engaging experience once you understand how it works. It's certainly not for everyone but I enjoyed it. Check out some of the many excellent community mods such as World in Flames and Keiserreich
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
18 of 23 people (78%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Recommended
28.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Go to World War 1 scenario
-> play as Germany
-> fight the French
-> when you are about ot beat them have UK decare war on you
->stalemate for the next 4 years
-> lose the war
-> wait 21 years
-> Declare war on every country in europe
-> allied with Japan
-> Ai attacks USA
-> Dday
-> lose the game and get puppeted by USSR
-> End of the game

12/10 gr8 History lesson
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2,292.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
This is a fantastic game. I have about 2000 hours in it, and I don't at all feel like I wasted that time. It's a bit old and clunky, but if you're willing to look past that, mod it a bit and learn the mechanics, it's well worth it. It's a bit less complex than Hearts of Iron 3, but I feel like that's more of a perk than anything. This is a strategy game, not a logistics simulator. Order of Battle and supply lines are not as important as your plans and your armies.

If I had to say one bad thing about this game, it's that it has a pretty poor domestic focus. Food is not simulated at all, and anything that doesn't contribute to your war effort is lumped into the non-descript "consumer goods" category. Diplomacy is also a bit weak. Without an event or a specially coded AI tick, the AI is highly unlikely to agree to anything you suggest. War really is the best way to solve anything, and that's fine. The game accells at war. It is a bit frustrating that the belligerance mechanic punishes you for going to war, when it's often the only way to progess, but it would seem weird to leave it out, so that gets a pass.

But for the love of god, do not play vanilla. It's fine. Vanilla Darkest Hour is a very good, enjoyable game. But you're seriously missing out by not playing Kaiserreich, Boneparte Legasy, New World Order, Fatherland and the mirad of other awesome mods you can get on the Paradox Plaza fourms. It's worth the small headace of installing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
422.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
Pretty much the best HoI game up to this point that money can buy, and some pretty good mods for it at this point to sweeten the pot. Buy if you find HoI 3's combat to be too micro-heavy.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
60.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
Let me put it this way. At the time of this review, I have played 20 hours and I'm not even 30% through my FIRST campaign. Get this game and get it now.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
39.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game was my first foray into the world of Grand Strategy games. Unlike many other games, where you can pick up and play immediately, this title required a little study on my part. The in-game tutorials give some of the basic concepts, but fail to connect the dots between the various resources, province improvements, economic impacts, decision points, and WAR. It also fails to provide the dizzying array of factors that go into waging war on the land, sea, and in the air.

Thankfully, the manual more than makes up for this bare bones set of tutorials, and browsing a few popular steam forum posts regarding getting started can fill in the few missing details that the exhaustive, and lengthy, game manual fails to provide. All told, I had at least 4 miserable attempts at cranking up my German war machine and 3 hours of studying the manual and online material from other players before the game actually clicked. But once it did I found the experience to be more rewarding then any other strategy game I have played.

Planning is key in Darkest Hour and the game will punish you for trying to switch horses in mid-race. You wanted to invade Africa with your newly formed Afrika Corps under Rommel? Too bad, you have been gearing up for an airborne invasion of England and neglected to station a fleet in the Mediterranean, and now the Brits have closed the sea to you with strong garrisons at Gibraltar, but think ahead next time. You have been throwing back the fascist surge into your Soviet Motherland and now you wish to strike at the heart of Berlin, but oh no! Your aircraft are being chewed up by a powerful Luftwaffe and the edge of your armored spear is blunted by withering ground fire that starves your leading troops of supplies, should have planned for better AA or better aircraft to take on the advanced German machines, but you foolishly invested extremely heavily into tanks alone. You are playing as France and your doom lurks to the East, but you masterfully united your country by focusing on monetary gains and consumer goods while spending lavishly on decisions that lowered your dissent and strengthened your economic base, while simultaenously extending the Maginot line like a family of beavers on cocaine, maybe this time Fritz will not have such an easy stroll through Belgium into the north coast.

These are only a tiny fraction of the possible ways to lose or win in Darkest Hour, and I will not even get into the actual warfighting, as 50 pages of manual only starts to do it justice. If you are crazy over 20th century history (yes WWI and one of the greatest mods of all time "Kaiserreich" is available in this game), you often ponder or discuss the blunders of Imperial Japan and the Wehrmacht, or you just love the thought of Stuka's pouncing on your broken and retreating foes to inflict additional casualties, this is the game for you!!!

Unlike Civ V or some other strategy games, this one is about WAR. Playing peacefully is sometimes possible as a smaller nation, but play as a major power. That is how the game is meant to be enjoyed. Watch your Reich grow, or spread freedom to the enslaved peoples of the globe as the USA. But remember, if you wish for peace. prepare for WAR!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
These days I have been keeping my reviews short with just a simple thumbs up or down. But one thing had to be said for Darkest Hour. The Tech tree is by far the biggest and most intricate of any Grand strat game I have played. This truely is a Gem among the Grand Strat Genre.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Thought that this lasted from the beginning of WWI to 1964, the standard ending of HoI2. Unfortunately, the WWI campaign originally ends in 1920 or 1942 based on settings. Regarding that, it was a huge disappointment as I planned using one of the minor European countries and making it a huge force before the beginning of WWII. Apart from that, WWI campaign seems decent. If you didn't like HoI3 just like me, this can be a good option for you until HoI4 comes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
27.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
with kaiserreich I made the murderer of Grigori Rasputin the king of Russia 10/10 would murder Rasputin again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
33.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Some games have the ability to inspire the player to read books, watch documentaries and truly indulge in the subject the game is exploring. This is one of them.

While I'm not watching 'WW2 in colour' to supplement my gaming experience I'm currently 30 hours or so into a UK play through.

The interface may look cumbersome but I've found it fairly simple after an hour or so.

I'm finding the small tactical changes I'm adopting are making a difference. Finding a balance between historical events and your own style is very rewarding.

D-Day approaches!
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
912.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
One of the best and hardest strategy games out there, accurate historical knowledge and their still doing updates for the game after 5 years. 10/10
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
85.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
The pinnacle of the HoI 2 type gameplay. If you're looking for a very fun wargame this is one of the best there is. Much less micro than HoI 3 while being just as deep. Has the ebst modding scene of any paradox game. Highly recced.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Recommended
28.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
10/10 !!!

From gamers to gamers ... all that is missing in HOI is here ...

... Czechoslovakia will live again ...
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
238.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
This game is simply one of the best Hearts of Iron Games, it is very moddable, has a great replayability(Who wouldn't want to try your hand at winning WW1 as Germany, or surviving WW1 as Russian Empire?). It is a simple game, that has lots of historical events, which might also teach you something. There is quite a lot of mods, so everyone can find something. You want Cold war? No problem, just find the mod on the forums! The community is very alive, and the game is updated from time to time, with big updates. It also has no technical issues, at least there isn't any major ones.
Overall, it is a great game, that is worth the 10 euro's price, although it is on sale for 2 or 1 euros at the times.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
139.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
Get this, get Kaiserriech, get fun.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
111 of 112 people (99%) found this review helpful
27 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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170 of 191 people (89%) found this review helpful
117 people found this review funny
Recommended
358.3 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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