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In-depth WWII strategy sim
The Hearts of Iron series is a pretty comprehensive collection of strategy titles that includes several base games plus a handful of add-on packs. All of the entries are similar in style to Europa Universalis and offer a decent amount of historical wargaming fun, so they are worth checking out. Doomsday is an add-on to the second game but actually includes the base game so you don't need to worry about picking it up separately. Unlike most WWII games, this one simulates the war across over 170 countries but instead of focusing on the battles, this is more about the bigger picture, with the player deciding on things like resource production, research, diplomacy and supply. This makes it quite a complex game so if you're looking for an easy ride, look elsewhere. It's possible to play a free game, where you just build up your resources, but the included scenarios are more interesting, with their specific objectives and settings. The Doomsday add-on includes some extra scenarios but also has some 'what if?' campaigns which allow you to explore the unwritten possibilities that might have lead up to WWIII. Hearts of Iron is almost certainly not for casual gamers but if you want something meaty to get stuck into and enjoy lots of detail, this is for you. You really have to think hard about your actions and having a strategy is vital if you're going to come out on top, making this one for armchair generals and politicians. While there are a few irritations, on the whole this is a first class strategy game that makes for a good time.
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