The next expansion for WW2 grand strategy game Hearts of Iron IV will focus on China, developers Paradox have announced. Waking the Tiger is its name and making China more unique is its game. They'll get new artwork for units as well as National Focus trees to play as either the Chinese Republic or Communist China. The expansion will also bring new alternate history options for Japan and Germany, including ways to topple Hitler and take Germany in a different direction. In a funny little twist, the announcement of this China-centric expansion comes just weeks after Hearts of Iron IV was removed from sale on Steam in China "due to a claim that the game does not comply with local law." It's like rain on your wedding day.
As ever with Paradox strategy expansions, a free new patch bringing game changes for everyone will accompany the launch.
Paradox set up Waking the Tiger thusly:
"Years before Europe went to war, Japan's imperial ambitions targeted the divided Chinese Republic. Crippled by political paralysis and centuries of fitful development, China is still not a pushover. With vast reserves of manpower and resources, not to mention a giant landmass, the Republic of China and its temporary ally, the Communists under Mao, can withstand another aggressor. There have been, after all, very many."
Paradox have explained more about the Nationalist China Focus Tree in a dev blog post. Another post dug into the expansion's new Germany alternate history Focus Trees. Possibilities include fighting a civil war to return Kaiser Wilhelm II from exile and revive the German Empire, forming an alliance with Great Britain to fight Communism, or forming a democratic European alliance against the Soviet Union.
No firm word yet on when Waking the Tiger will launch, but Paradox say it'll hit Steam "soon" priced at £15.49/$19.99.
The free update launching alongside is version 1.5, codenamed Cornflakes. Its changes will include replacing National Unity with the separate Stability and War Support and the new Decisions and Missions systems that will throw up dynamic events and challenges. Hit the dev diary archive for more on the update and a bit on the expansion.
Here's Paradox playing with Waking the Tiger in a stream yesterday: