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The biggest WW2 strategy game is free for the weekend and 80% off

From April 4-8, you can play Paradox's World War II grand strategy game Hearts of Iron 4 free, and it's on sale at a steep discount, too.

There aren’t really any other games that capture the truly global nature of World War II the way Hearts of Iron 4 does, and now is a great time to try it out if you never have. You can play it for free now through April 8You can play it for free now through April 8, and if you decide it’s something you want to keep playing long-term, it’s also on sale at a very steep discount.

If you’re unfamiliar with Hearts of Iron 4, it’s one of Paradox Development Studios’ big tentpole grand strategy games that covers the entirety of the Second World War. You can take command of one of the major Allied or Axis powers, the Soviet Union, or as one of the countless smaller nations swept up in the conflict on either side.

As supreme commander, you’ll have to assign generals and admirals to your divisions and navies, plan operations, and set up chains of command. Combat is only one slice of Hearts of Iron IV though. You’ll need to make sure you have factories set up to supply your units with weapons and vehicles, you’ll need to make sure you’re researching the latest technologies, and you’ll be guiding your nation’s resolve and focus through the crucible of war. It gives you a zillion levers to pull, big and small, and I’ve found a lot of joy in yanking as many of them as I can just to see how things work.

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Like any big Paradox map game, it’s a complex game that can be overwhelming to take in at first. It’s well worth the effort though, because it’s unrivaled as a WW2 historical sandbox. There’s really no other game about WW2 out there that has a scope this vast.

If it’s a game you’ve had your eye on, it’s a great time to buy, too. Hearts of Iron IV is currently 80% off, putting it at $9.99 / £8.39. As for DLC, five expansions are also on sale, the Battle for the Bosporus country pack is 50% off, and many of the additional music and units packs are discounted as well.

Paradox is also showing off some new key art and a refreshed logo throughout the game and its store pages. The new art adds Marshal Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy Isoroku Yamamoto to the group of historic military leaders in Hearts of Iron IV’s branding.

Check out our guide to the Hearts of Iron 4 supply system, or browse our list of the best Hearts of Iron 4 mods if you feel like getting experimental.

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