Excerpt: As the German war machine falls, two great nations rise to claim power. In the West, there is the United States, leader of the allied nations, and in the East lies the Soviet Union under communist rule. As both nations attempt to claim superiority, a new war is waiting around the corner; this time, the conflict will decide who will be the remaining superpower.
Excerpt: From the time of hexagons and cardboard units, games on a grand scale have always excited the imaginations of strategic minded gamers. These games provide a gamer with so many options and choices that make them perfect for playing out historical what-if scenarios and guarantees that no two games will ever play out alike. As far as grand scales go, you can’t get much grander than Hearts of Iron II (HoI2).
Excerpt: The largest conflict in history was the Second World War. For six years, the armed forces of dozens of nations fought a war on land, in the sea, and in the air, that had not been seen before or since. Before the war was over, millions of people would be killed, Europe and Japan would be reduced to ashes, and the world would be left with only two super powers, the Soviet Union and The United States of America.
Summary: Hearts of Iron II is a very good strategy game once you have got around the steep learning curve - thankfully this second instalment features a much better manual spread over 93 pages along with an additional six tutorials. Once you've got to grips with the game and learnt how to stop blinking you will find an extremely deep and enjoyable game that takes a different route to other strategy games.
Excerpt: Hearts of Iron II, an introduction. Hearts of Iron was a grand strategy war game set in the World War II era. The game wasn't a simulation as such and allowed you to create your very own World War II. Fancy playing through the whole of World War II in charge of a 'minor' nation such as Tibet? No problem. Hearts of Iron allowed you to take charge of any one of a number of nations and take on the challenge that your chose nation would bring.
Excerpt: Hearts of Iron is a strategy title that focuses on the events leading up to WWII. Like its predecessor, Hearts of Iron II focuses on the period between 1936 and 1947. Using the same design concept that powered the critically acclaimed Europa Universalis II, Hearts of Iron lets you command a nation as large as Great Britain to something as small as Liberia.
Excerpt: If there were a hall of fame for great game concepts, Hearts of Iron would be a first-ballot inductee. But moving the strategic themes and historical depth of the Europa Universalis series to World War II was such a surefire idea that developer Paradox Interactive forgot the actual game.
Pros: Incredible depth and scope, Tremendous replay value, Much better than its predecessor
Cons: Very steep learning curve, Dated presentation, Some noticeable bugs
Excerpt: When the original Hearts of Iron came out I was simply floored. Being able to control just about every aspect of your chosen country whether that country was England or Mongolia or anything in between during World War II was pretty amazing. It took me three days of nearly constant play to become even mildly proficient with the game, and there were times when I thought about quitting.