reviews\ Apr 5, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Hearts of Iron 2: DOOMSDAY - PC - Review

There are a multitude of games that take place in the World War II time period. You can name one in just about every single genre, from simulation to strategy, first-person shooter, adventure, and many more. Some of the best, pure strategy games that deal with World War II are the Hearts of Iron games. Well, the series is back with an expansion to Hearts of Iron II, entitled Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday, which will deal with the aftereffects of World War II;in other words a portion of the Cold War. Read on to find out more about this expansion pack.

At the onset, the game will remind people of the earlier titles since it relates so much to what happened after the end of World War II. You see the entire world is now in shambles and there are two super powers vying for power: the United States (democracy) and the Soviet Union (communism). With these two powers trying to be the supreme one it is only a matter of time before another war is started and more lives are lost. Do you have what it takes to lead the people and control the world? Every decision that you make will effect you in many ways, some seen and some unforeseen. With great power comes even greater responsibility, and you will find this out first hand.

Since this is an expansion I will assume you know what all is involved in this game so I will just discuss what is new for those of you foaming at the mouth to know. Since this game goes 10 years further in the future, there is a whole new slew of technology to research and use for your own use. First of all since this happens after the events of World War II, you will want to get into the arms race to get those nuclear weapons up first. Some of the better things to get are various helicopters and espionage units that are just fun to play with and usually help turn the tides in your favor.

Since this is set in the post-World War II era, you can sure bet that espionage is a huge part of the game. You can now get a whole slew of spies that can be use to steal, assassinate people, or just cause havoc on your enemies by screwing up production on various things. The best thing to do is go in and screw up the production of the enemy and spread malicious rumors. Just be careful that your spies do not get caught or you are in a huge mess that you will need to try to clean up.

The Hearts of Iron series is not know for its graphical prowess; the graphics just do enough of a job to get players involved in the game. This series' main focus point is to give players the necessary information in a nice way in order for them to be the most productive in their strategy to take over the world. Just like the previous games, you will be able to see the entire flat world map. Players will then be able to change the mode of the maps to see different weather, economic, terrain, and many other map-viewing modes that will help out during the course of a game. Even though there was not as much effort to make this game “dazzle,” the graphics get the job done simply enough.

If you have enjoyed the music for the previous games in this series then you will like the music in this expansion pack as well. What makes the music really good is that it contains tracks that give players the feeling that they are actually fighting in that time period. Unfortunately the sound effects remain practically the same in this new game, retaining that very generic sound that you hear in so many other games. You just get tired of hearing the same uninspired sounds over and over again with out any difference between them.

Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday is rated Everyone and contains violence.

The system requirements are as follows:
AMD/Pentium III 800 MHz or better
128 MB of RAM
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
DirectX 9.0
4 MB of VRAM
1 GB of Hard Drive Space
Keyboard and Mouse.

Review Scoring Details for Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday

Gameplay: 8.6
Veterans of the game will get comfortable with the game’s settings and new additions pretty quickly. Even though the learning curve is pretty steep, if you love this kind of game you will enjoy it thoroughly.

Graphics: 6.5
Like the other games in this series, do not show Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday off to your friends if you want to show off the latest video card in your machine.

Sound: 8.7
I really enjoy the music selection in each of their games because it really brings the players that much more closer in tune with the game's time period. What is disappointing is that the sound effects are very generic and uninspired unlike the music portion of the game.

Difficulty: Hard
Just like Hearts of Iron 2, this expansion has a very steep learning curve. Even though the tutorials are really comprehensive, it will take a while for players to get adjusted to the amount of options available to them.

Concept: 8.5
I really like how the developers went into the future instead of staying in the World War II genre. It is a refreshing twist and hopefully more developers will follow this trend.

Multiplayer: 8.5
The game offers some multiplayer via LAN, IP, or connect to the game’s matchmaking service.

Overall: 8.6
If you enjoyed any of the Hearts of Iron games then you will love this expansion pack. Just like the other games it has huge replay value and you definitely get a lot of “bang” for your buck.


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