Paradox Studios has had a busy period, releasing Hearts of Iron IV in June and Stellaris just the month before. They are both fantastic achievements – two high quality products in close succession. Stellaris, specifically, represents a new direction for Paradox, which is known for its historically grounded games such as Crusader Kings, Victoria, and Europa Universalis. This time someone in Paradox must have decided, “let’s make some stuff up and put it in space” – and it’s a good thing they did.
June 6 (D-day!) marked the release of Paradox Studios’ Hearts of Iron 4, the venerable World War II simulator. I’ve had a long love-hate relationship with this strategy series going back a decade or so. Love, in that in captures one of the most tumultuous periods of human history and lets you jump in wherever you please – feel like playing as the Dominican Republic? Sure, go nuts. Hate, in that, the game’s complexities, though adding strategic depth, make it nightmarish to approach at times. It is a series not for the casual strategist, but more for the armchair Pattons and Eisenhowers.