Smart strategy

Who I am
Aina Martin
Author and references

Darkest Hour it tells us in a strategic key the most dramatic moments of the twentieth century through two scenarios that take us from 1914 to 1964. At the center of the scenarios are the two world wars and the starting point is the event that triggered the first Great War or the assassination of Francesco Ferdinando d'Asburgo-Este at the hands of the Serbian student Gravilo Princip. But in Darkest Hour not everything is already decided. States can behave differently than what happened in reality, interacting based on relationships, diplomatic decisions and obviously based on the player's actions. In short, it is also possible to avoid the escalation of events as the books report them even if it is difficult to avoid the conflict. The diplomatic situation is in fact tense and there are several opportunities to unleash the desires of some states and lead them to unleash a chain reaction. A dense network of pacts, alliances and frictions that is capable of involving, at different levels, practically all the over one hundred nations that animate the title.

The evolution of Hearts of Iron 2

Developed by a group of hired modders and based on the Paradox Europe engine, like Hearts of Iron 2 of which it is an evolution, Darkest Hour not only improves and increases the diplomatic component and the possibilities of interaction of artificial intelligence, which are evident from the increase in diplomatic interrelationships managed by the CPU, but it allows us to choose the experience we prefer by presenting itself in 3 variants.

The basic version is fully compatible with the mods for Hearts of Iron 2 but offers few differences compared to the predecessor, the Light one instead implements almost all the novelties at the code level and is partially backwards compatible, while the Full version implements all the news but is incompatible. In any case, the community already confirms that the most important mods are being converted for this incarnation of the series which apparently has already convinced the fans. In addition to this the title offers a complete localization in Spanish which includes the tutorial, essential for newbies and to quickly discover all the news, and even includes historical quotes that appear during uploads.

Being a statesman

Although it is possible to experience the title almost like an adventure, playing a head of state who moves between the coils of history, Darkest Hour it is obviously a complex title, capable of offering a remarkable challenge and chock full of possibilities. First of all, there are resources, transport and dissent to consider, which respectively manage war capacity, speed in moving troops and solidity of power. And immediately after we find the technology that allows us to develop new technologies and it is fundamental in various situations, as in the case of the atomic bomb, to guarantee us an advantage. But each of these items is then divided into sub-types such as the specific resources that are needed to support the different military strategies or the type of government adopted which obviously has pros and cons. An important part of the title concerns diplomacy which is also influenced by economic policies, such as the free market, and by the status of the provinces that are under our control. And the economic question goes deeper with the possibility of changing labor policies and introducing money in the event of a deficit. All of this is obviously focused on being competitive on the military level. Even a nation that aims at democracy and the free market will sooner or later have to defend itself or attack and therefore will need metal or oil and will have to deal with its own military organization which depends on the composition of the troops and the competence not only of the graduates. but also of those we have placed in command of ministries and armies. Each army must then be used wisely and in combination with a diplomatic management that does not force us to operate on too many fronts. Furthermore, strictly military variables must obviously be considered, such as the composition of the army, the presence of aviation, the type of terrain, the weather, morale and so on.

A place in history

As anticipated, artificial intelligence is a pride of this sort of stand alone expansion and automatically adapts to geopolitical situations and the player's actions. The wealth of responses is truly impressive and almost always consistent and credible responses. Certainly there are some defects, such as swap pacts that provide concessions in exchange for nothing, but the result is undoubtedly of excellent quality with nations that act considering the relations of the secret departments, the economic advantages and the need for control of some territories perhaps in view of a full-scale war.

And all this is combined with a net increase in interaction between the player's actions and the historical elements that obviously are present and mark the passage of time but offer us the opportunity to intervene. The title is in fact caught between the grip of absolute strategic freedom and the need to remind us of the historical atmosphere of the 900th century. Darkest Hour he manages to juggle this close quite well and although the limits of course are there, they are perfectly masked and the spell holds. The Full version, in addition to making the interface clearer, revolutionizes the maps and introduces even more variables that give us the possibility to intervene consistently on a wide range of events. In fact, we will be asked to take a stand on the Comintern, if we use one of the nations that oppose it, or to cleanse the army of incapable graduates, something to be taken seriously before starting a big war. And these are fundamental details that together with the soundtrack and the numerous historical events set us in the middle of the most violent century in human history. Unfortunately, while some music is incredibly spot on and evokes both real and cinematic atmospheres, there are some that are a little too slow for a title of this type that must arouse strong emotions despite being limited to a strategic map. But the result is undoubtedly commendable for a product made by a group of modders.



Readers (15)


Your vote

Ultimately, each sector does its duty and the overall effect is to finally have an authentic impact on what is happening. The integration between historical events and diplomacy is meticulous and often surprising, and the reactions of the nations controlled by the CPU are now complex enough to allow the creation of infinite yet always credible scenarios. Sure, perfection would like to integrate all of this with the Hearts of Iron III interface, but in any case Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game, despite being a spin off with an almost amateur genesis, it is undoubtedly a remarkable arrival point for the genre and at the price of 9.99 euros it is almost unmissable for lovers of the genre.


  • Amazing artificial intelligence
  • The historical breath is guaranteed
  • Three versions for a personalized experience
  • Minimal hardware requirements
  • Technically inferior to Hearts of Iron III
  • A couple of songs on the soundtrack are soporific

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Operating system: Windows 7
  • Processor: Inte Core i7 920
  • Memory: 6 GB
  • Video card: GeForce GTX 275

Minimum requirements

  • Operating system: Windows 98/ ME / 2000 / XP / Vista / 7
  • Processor: Pentium III 800 MHz
  • Memory: 128 MB
  • Hard Disk: 1 GB of free space
  • Video card: 4 MB DirectX-compatible
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
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