<< Portico: Hearts of Iron II 1.3

11/12/2005

Hearts of Iron II 1.3

Paradox has just announced the third patch for their hit WWII grand strategy game Hearts of Iron 2. They persist in calling these things "enhancements" instead of patches, which makes my skin crawl, but once again the Swedish masters continue to support some of their games well after release. (Victoria seems to have fallen by the wayside.)

The patch has dozens of little tweaks. I'm not sure the game needed more minister portraits, but it looks like the AI has gotten seriously examined in many setups. There are even some new events and triggers.

Will it be enough to persuade me to reinstall HoI2? Maybe.

The HoI games have never had the appeal to me that their other games have. As intriguing a period as the Second World War is, the grand strategy portion of the game is constricted by the time frame and the limits of the historical setup. Where even the mostly confounding Victoria feels like an historical playground, Hearts of Iron feels like the same game every time you play it - never a good idea for a genre where replayability equals reputation.

But it has been a long time since I've played Hearts of Iron II. There are enough changes in this patch to make me curious as to how it all turns out. And I've never played as Canada, and I should just to keep my Canuck cred. So I'll probably give it a spin sometime over Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, Crusader Kings is still stuck at 1.04a even though the new official patch was promised for the fall. And that's a game I know I like.

2 Comments:

Blogger roboczar said...

I'll put it this way... you won't even notice anything's different one way or the other. The only thing I really noticed was that stacks of strategic bombers no longer had dogfights with enemy naval bombers.

Everything else is pretty much hidden and doesn't affect the flow of the game. This patch was basically tweaks and a quick repair of the ridiculous 'redeploy back to the capital' feature that everyone complained about on the forums.

HoI is still an awesome game, though, and while I may not ever know the real reasons you don't like it, I think a lot of it may have to do with the differing perspectives people have on just how important the War is in human history. I have a feeling the more used you are to looking at the enormity of time, the less likely you are to assign special importance to WW2, and draw less satisfaction from the struggle when playing it out.

I think you're also wrong when you say you're limited by timeframe and historical setup. HoI 2 frees you to do whatever you want to do within the realistic political limits of the time. The object of the game isn't to conquer the world or build sprawling empires, it's to do things differently and hopefully better than your historical counterpart. The challenge is tied more closely to actual history than the others, it's true, but that doesn't mean you're a slave to the history. Anyone who's sunk the mighty British fleet or raced to Moscow in less than a month can attest to that. It's the games that *don't* follow the history of the war that are the most rewarding, especially because it's so difficult to get there.

Anyway, to each his own. I'd like to say you aren't giving HoI 2 a fair chance, but as you know, there are plenty of games I never gave a chance. I just don't want you giving HoI 2 a bad rap. ;)

11/14/2005 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger roboczar said...

By the way, CK is getting an update on 15 Dec.

So says the mighty Paradox development calendar: http://www.europa-universalis.com/forum/calendar.php?month=12&year=2005&c=1&do=displaymonth

11/14/2005 01:13:00 PM  

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