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East vs. West gets some loving at Strategy Informer

East vs. West gets some loving at Strategy Informer

Preview - posted by Trash on Mon 11 February 2013, 08:41:24

Tags: East vs. West; Paradox Interactive; Strategy Informer

East vs. West: A Hearts of Iron Game is the follow up commercialised Hearts of Iron III mod from the people who brought us the rather decent Arsenal of Democracy. I've not been paying too much attention to it but thankfully Strategy Informer did and brought us both an interview and a preview of the upcoming Paradox game. Mentioning a ticking Doomsday Clock in the preview sure got my attention.
This is more than an update of Arsenal of Democracy though – for starters the time frame is significantly different. Spanning a whopping 45 years (which is ‘whopping’ because the game ticks through at hourly intervals, which was for the 37’-45’ timeframe of the vanilla game), you get to pick any country in the world and guide it through one of the most tense periods in human history. Obviously the prevalent theme of nuclear war permeates the game – the Doomsday Clock, a visual representation of the papers Einstein and Oppenheimer would publish commenting on how close humanity was to destroying itself - is forever on display for you to see. The state of the game influences the clock, with it either ticking closer or away from ‘Midnight’. We haven’t been told explicitly what happens when the clock ticks noon, but we imagine it can’t be good. They have talked though about how you can essentially ‘reset’ the game by causing everyone to wipe each other out and then rebuilding from there. I can’t help but feel that loading an earlier save would be easier.
If that doesn't make me want to phone Dmitri from the war room I don't know what does. Anyway, I do like the ambition and scope presented here. Check out the East vs. West interview as well.
Strategy Informer: The time span of the game is 45 years, which isn’t technically the longest span ever but considering this game ticks through on an hour-by-hour rate, people are in for a long-term game over a short-term one. How does the game progress? What kind of narrative is there?

Gellert Keresztes: We have three main stories in the game – the square off between Nato and the Warsaw Pact that developed through-out the time period, the fall of empires and colonialism, with many of the colonies freeing themselves, and then pan-Arabism. The whole relationship between Isreal and the other Arab nations.

When you play the UK, you could try to prevent the colony nations from forming... or you might start off by freeing some to buy some time to prevent others from leaving. At the same time though, that means a certain segment of your population is going to be pissed at you, so you’ll have low national unity. It’s a bit of a trade-off but it’s always an option to try and play against history, same with the Soviet Union as well.

We use a dynamic events system that’s not tied to the time-line at all. In previous Hearts of Iron games there’s been a lot of linear progression, but in East vs West all of our events are tied to certain conditions, that can be met at any time. You could start the Vietnam War whenever you wanted, for example. It all depends on what you do. We had one play test where someone was fighting the Korean War and then launched the Vietnam War as well. We also have this thing called ‘defensive’ wars, which is wars you can fight to protect other nations.
Thanks to Tzaero for pointing this one out to me!

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