One of the best things about Paradox games — and their grand WW2 sim Hearts of Iron 4 in particular — is the freedom to play as any country and set your own personal win conditions. This if a game where one of the greatest thrills is choosing an ‘unwinnable’ scenario, where for you, survival is victory. One of my favorite Hearts of Iron playthroughs involved trying to survive as Poland. Clearly the unique fun of this isn’t lost on the people at Paradox, because their new DLC Death Or Dishonor will focus on “countries trapped in a tight spot.” Particularly the European countries caught between the two giants, Germany and the USSR.
The DLC looks to greatly expand political options for these weaker countries. With little chance of matching your foes’ military might it will be up to you to cut deals and make ‘uncomfortable alliances’ in your attempt to survive.
Beyond revamped National Focus trees for Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia the update will also include some general changes to make the game more playable. Details from Paradox on some of those below:
- Revamp of Air Gameplay: Take to the skies with new mechanics and quality of life updates that make it easier to bring your airpower to bear.
- Equipment Conversion: Update your arsenal by converting older units — or make use of captured enemy vehicles and gear.
- New Music and Art: Three new thematic musical tracks from composer Andreas Waldetoft, new art content for the four focus nations, and new troop voiceovers.
- New Diplomatic and Puppet Interactions: License military technology to bring other nations’ weapons to the field or sell your advances to the highest bidder. Fascist countries get new subject levels like Reichskommissariat, with access to licenses, industry and strategic resources. The instated governments are held in an iron grip, making it harder for them to break free.
- Improved Map Design and Display: the world map has been clarified to make it easier to follow the action around the world. New impassable areas create tactical choke-points and more historical gameplay.
I’m excited to learn more, especially concerning the revamped Air gameplay. The current system works very well, but I do find it a little clunky and time-consuming. Sometimes you’ll spend upwards of ten minutes with the game paused just to get your planes fighting in the right areas. Check back here for further details and news on release date for Hearts of Iron 4’s Death or Dishonor DLC.