Hearts of Iron II

aka: Den' Pobedy 2, Gangtie zhi Xin II, HoI2
Moby ID: 18895
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Like the first part, this game situate the gameplay at World War II, but the map spans the entire world and allows you to play one of over 175 countries during the course of World War II, not only the typical countries.

This game does not center in battles, instead you have to control the production, research, diplomacy, supply of no communicated regions, the infrastructure and a lot of features that makes this game a long learning curve.

You can play a free game, with all aspects of the game at your disposal or a scenario like Barbarossa, The Coral Sea, the Spanish Civil War, North Africa, and a few for the German Blitz into Eastern Europe and France and the Allied invasions of Italy, Normandy and Japan. While these scenarios teach the basics of combat, the production, research and diplomacy options are limited or entirely absent.

All of the major personalities in the war are here. Photographs or generals, government officials, etc. are all in the game with detailed descriptions.

Spellings

  • День Победы II - Russian spelling
  • ハーツ オブ アイアンⅡ - Japanese spelling
  • 钢铁之心II - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Windows version)

117 People (115 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 81% (based on 39 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 15 ratings with 3 reviews)

Excellent World War II grand strategy game

The Good
Every country in the world playable from 1936. Right mix of military, diplomatic and industrial options. Nearly unlimited options and vast ability to mod the game.

The Bad
Slight wrinkle over treatment of puppets.

The Bottom Line
My favourite game of all time. I couldn't recommend this to WWII enthusiasts enough.

Windows · by thevaliant (1) · 2023

For WW2 buffs who wonder "What If...?"

The Good
Paradox has had a string of engrossing geopolitical sims to date, from the Europa Universalis series to Victoria and Crusader Kings... Hearts of Iron 2 continue this fantastic legacy by not only outdoing its successor (Hearts of Iron), but arguably topping the legendary Europa Universalis 2 itself.

The interface and gameplay mechanics have been simplified from the original Hearts of Iron, which removes a lot of the duldrums and non-fun chores associated with the original. For example, in the original Hearts of Iron, upgrading units on the field after a new technology is developed required manually upgrading each and every unit... and if you controlled a large nation such as Germany or the Soviet Union, the process is simply torturous. In HOI2, however, upgrades are as simple as adjusting a slider in order to allocate resources to the upgrade process.

If left to play itself (if the player decides to play, say Bolivia and just watch the rest of the world duke it out) WW2 will unfold much like it did according to the history books. Germany will annex Austria and the Sudatenland, militarize the Rhineland, crush Poland and fight their war on two fronts. However, if the player becomes the "bully" on the block (say, as an aggressive Soviet Union or France) the war will be entirely different. Germany might decide to "play nice" and a whole new string of events will unfold.

A lot of WW2 "What ifs" are explored. From the realistic "What if Italy or Japan didn't join the Axis" or "What if the Spanish Nationalists lost the war against Republican Spain?" to the absurd "What if the Soviet Union annexed Greece and joined the war on the side of the Axis?" or "What if the USA went communist or fascist?" Even the leaders of these nations change... Charles Lindberg or Eugene Debs as the leader of the United States? Yep, it can happen in this game. Despite the limited context (world geopolitics and warfare between 1936 and 1948) the game will rarely, if ever, be the same game twice.

The player can also "liberate" territories belonging to other nations. For example, if Italy is conquered, it can be broken down in to three new nations. The US can have the Republic of Texas and the Republic of California taken away from them.

Nations all have a geopolitical designation which prohibit the player from being too crazy... for example, the game won't let Neville Chamberlain wake up one morning and decide to attack Sweden. Historically aggressive nations like Japan and the Soviet Union don't have that problem, so they may declare war at will... which makes for some very, very interesting games.

Alliances and protectorates are modeled as well. The United States guarantees the independence of every nation in the Western Hemisphere. Turkey is a protectorate of Germany. Mess with any of these alliances, and the chips will start to fall.

The Bad
Well, for starters, it's possible to conquer the world with a third rate power like Albania or Portugal. Not to besmirch the good names of Albania or Portugal, but the reality is that neither of these nations could conquer Germany, France or Russia on their best days.

Nationalism is modeled by the amount of dissent in each conquered province. However, the leaders of the nations themselves don't seem to mind losing a large swath of their territory and sign a peace treaty signing away those provinces after a year-long war... For example, fifteen Mexican units can lop off a huge chunk of the southern United States (and maybe even take DC) before the Americans can mount a decent defense... But instead of reconquering those lost territories, FDR seems to be as equally inclined to write off Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, California, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona in order to achieve peace.

The Bottom Line
All in all, this is a well-polished, well thought out game that is a must-have for fans of the WW2 genre.

Windows · by APFelon (19) · 2005

Technology and combat systems have been improved drastically, otherwise it's like the original.

The Good
Great, if a bit unbalanced multiplayer. Very easy and very broad modability ensures that the game never gets boring if you find fellow WWII geeks to play with. The sounds in the game also work very well, bombastic classical music and proper sound effects for battles do wonders for the atmosphere.

The Bad
Do NOT buy this if you want a good single player game, the Artificial Intelligence is terrible (marginally improved, but still terrible). The peace treaties which AI can't handle are taken care of with events, which are unfortunately often very dysfunctional, ensuring that the what-if scenarios (say you've just conquered almost the whole Europe all alone with US, USSR has made peace with the Germans and has been beaten to the Urals years ago) don't really work (the moment Germany surrenders, the "Germany surrenders" event kicks in and the historical 1945 border is created, handing the whole eastern Europe to USSR), unless you code them to work on your own or try to find some mods from the large forum community at Paradox Plaza (current address: paradoxplaza.com). Needless to say, this kind of wrecks the whole point of the game when completing what-if scenarios almost never works.

The Bottom Line
It's a WWII geopolitical simulator covering the years 1936-1948, based on the original Europa Universalis engine. Very much like the other Paradox games before it. There is a world map (very much like one of a board game), divided on hundreds of provinces. Different nations and alliances try to grab as many provinces as they can as the game progresses. It's also a very "sandbox"-like game: it's very hard to motivate yourself to play if you aren't interested from the geopolitical schemes behind WWII, since the goals of the game are abstract and very far away: you don't get any rewards even if you "win" the game.

Windows · by Va Jaa (3) · 2005

Discussion

Subject By Date
Winter War Games Patrick Bregger (303232) Nov 9, 2010

Trivia

Version differences

The German version of the game features some USK censorship on the names. The leader of Germany becomes "Adolph Hiller" and the person at head of the airforce is changed to "Hermann Gorink".

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  • MobyGames ID: 18895
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by DarkDante.

Macintosh added by Xoleras.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Shoddyan, Foxhack, Ivan Napreenko, Klaster_1, Patrick Bregger.

Game added August 22, 2005. Last modified May 24, 2024.