I reckon it’s been a busy month at Paradox Interactive’s studios – first a new IP in the shape of Stellaris [Official Site], then the announcement of their initial public offering of 15% of the company and, just four days from now, on the same date as 1944’s fatidic D-Day (06/06), the release of the fourth entry into their World War 2 centered Grand Strategy series, Hearts of Iron [Official Site].
My playtime with previous entries in the series has been one of the most complex experiences I’ve had in grand strategy games, trumped only by Victoria 2 with its amazing depth. While I imagine the teams working on Stellaris and Hearts of Iron IV are different ones, if the developers on the latter took some cues from Stellaris at the very least we can expect a tutorial that does a better job at easing the player into the different mechanics and how the game will progress – though I suspect that in a game that unlike Stellaris your power is directly related to which country you start with, things won’t be as easy as in their space game.
While you can play with any of the world’s nations, you can expect some added flavor for the major powers (France, Italy, USSR, UK, USA and Japan) and Poland. If you want to take a better look at the game’s mechanics before deciding to pre-order it to get some extra goodies, Paradox have been doing a weekly episode of single-player campaigns with nations such as Japan, Hungary and Poland, which you can check out on their youtube channel, as well as tutorial videos that will be released on a daily basis until the game is out. Also worth mentioning: if you’re a diehard Paradox fan and fully expect to get the game’s DLCs, the Field Marshall pre-order tier includes the first two downloadable content packs.