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Hearts of Iron 4 to get a big free update with Trial of Allegiance

Paradox WW2 grand strategy game Hearts of Iron 4 has a hefty free update arriving with a new patch alongside its Trial of Allegiance DLC.

Hearts of Iron 4 might be nearly eight years old, but there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back to the World War II grand strategy game giant. Boasting a 92% Steam rating from nearly 200,000 user reviews, HOI 4 stands tall among the likes of Stellaris, Crusader Kings 3, Europa Universalis 4, and Age of Wonders 4 as some of Paradox’s finest – and most grounded – work to date. Now, alongside the upcoming Hearts of Iron 4 DLC Trial of Allegiance, all players are set to be treated to a sizable free update.

With its intricate, detailed simulation of the deadliest conflict in human history, Hearts of Iron 4 remains one of the very best grand strategy games around. Its upcoming expansion, Trial of Allegiance, is set to launch in just a few weeks and will focus on an often overlooked region in the conversation of World War II: South America. It includes new national focus trees for Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, along with additional updates to Paraguay and Uruguay.

Even if you’re not looking to pick up the expansion pack, however, there’s plenty coming in a free Hearts of Iron 4 update releasing alongside Trial of Allegiance. Titled the Hearts of Iron 4 Bolivar patch, it includes a representation of the 1941 conflict between Peru and Ecuador. The latter starts with ownership of Pastaza, and Peru players will need to take it by force, although there are ways for both sides to secure a scripted peace deal that gives them territorial control.

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There’s also a wealth of new formable and releasable nations outside of the countries that form the focus of the DLC. Peru and Bolivia will both have the option to form the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, for example, while other new formable nations include the United Guianas and Hispaniola. The new releasable nations (ones that can be formed if relinquished by their controlling nations once certain conditions are met) include Quebec, the Republic of Yucatan, the Republic of the Rio Grande, and Rapa Nui, known best as Easter Island.

Expect even more in the Bolivar patch, too. Canada gets some nice upgrades to its war effort, including the Canadian Pacific Railway, the ability to create the Mounties as an agency, new unique traits for Canadian leaders, three democracy branch focuses, and an overhaul to some of their underloved focuses as well. Not to be outdone, the USA gets the Union Pacific Railroad, while Central America gets the ability to integrate both Panama and Yucatan.

The Naval Admiral trait tree has had an overhaul, removing some potential path blockers and updating some of the lesser-used traits. Finally, if you own the La Resistance pack, you’ll also gain access to a set of new American and German operatives.

Hearts of Iron 4 Bolivar patch - A look at the new Admiral traits tree, reworked for the new update.

Hearts of Iron 4: Trial of Allegiance launches on Thursday March 7, with this free update arriving alongside it at release. If you want the South American expansion, expect to pay $14.99/£12.79, but you’ll get the above update for free as long as you own the base game.

For other explorations of the world’s most infamous conflict, here are the best WW2 games. If you’re after more of the best strategy games, we’ve picked out all the ones you won’t want to miss out on in 2024.

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