Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance
I’ve played a veritable plethora of strategy games in my life, with some of my favorites set within the highly tumultuous World War 2 era. However, the vast majority of them focused solely on the military aspect of things.
I’m someone who relishes strategy games that feature some sort of espionage system, even if it’s simple in its mechanics. After playing most of your typical WW2 titles on the market these days, I usually grow tired of their rather shallow mechanics—the constant invasions and counter-attacks with no consideration of what was going on behind the scenes. Obviously, in real life, there was plenty of spying going on before and during WW2 and of course during the Cold War era that followed, but I digress.
Leave it to Paradox Interactive, with its multitude of highly evolved grand strategy games, to come up with an espionage system for their WW2 title, Hearts of Iron IV. Their new espionage-focused DLC, La Résistance, fills the much-needed gap of providing intelligence agencies, their various spies, and all of the chicanery that comes along with the shadowy world behind the scenes.
In La Résistance, intelligence is divided into separate sectors, three of which are for the military branches of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, along with one for civilian industries. Each of these different sectors of your country’s intelligence apparatuses can gather information in various ways. For instance, one of my favorite ways to gain intelligence is to utilize the DLC’s new scout planes to clandestinely fly over enemy ports and pick up some naval intel.
La Résistance adds a fresh new layer of strategy into the already complex mix of HOI4 by allowing you to do such things as find out what kinds of technology your enemies are employing or developing, what exactly their military forces are composed of, and other such tidbits of highly useful information. In doing so, you can rig your own forces to counter theirs before a single bullet is even fired.
You can also engage in more active espionage tactics such as stealing enemy technologies or sabotaging various parts of their country’s infrastructure. Feel like pulling off a coup with a particularly bothersome adversary? You can if you’ve invested enough resources into developing an entire clandestine network of spies there.
The Iberian countries of Spain and Portugal get some love in the form of vastly improved National Focuses. Portugal gets some interesting new choices in that they can cozy up to their Spanish neighbors and aid them in their various exploits, or they can focus on their overseas machinations instead.
Meanwhile, Spain has new Spanish Civil War features which usually ends up in an internecine struggle between their democrats, communists, monarchists, and fascists. Needless to say, things for Spain can quickly spiral out of control if not handled decisively.
Not to be outdone, France also gets some new goodies. Their newly overhauled Nation Focus tree has both Vichy France and Free France branches. What’s great is that like the other, aforementioned National Focuses, the various paths within France can lead to all sorts of fun historic and anachronistic shenanigans.
On top of all of the dastardly new ways that you can orchestrate various espionage tactics behind the veil of shadows, La Résistance also features some fun new toys to play with. Scout planes are there to keep tabs on enemy movements while armored cars (which have been much anticipated by HOI4 fans) fill the much-needed gap between tanks and smaller, unarmored vehicles. Scout cars are also highly useful for putting down rebellions and stifling dissent.
Overall, Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance is a crucial purchase if you enjoy any of the deeper aspects of strategy gaming, namely espionage and the ability to pull off all kinds of dastardly deeds. As a bonus, it also features some brand new music tracks that fit in quite nicely with the already robust selection of ones that are already available.
Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance has some pretty good looking graphics that make its WW2 gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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