“The New Order” Review

The+world+within+the+lore+of+%22The+New+Order.%22++All+territories+under+the+Unity+Pakt+represent+the+German+Reich%2C+the+Co-Prosperity+Sphere+represents+Japan+and+the+OFN+the+last+bastions+of+freedom.

Nicholas Scoggins

The world within the lore of “The New Order.” All territories under the Unity Pakt represent the German Reich, the Co-Prosperity Sphere represents Japan and the OFN the last bastions of freedom.

Nicholas Scoggins, Staff Reporter

Released over the summer during the COVID-19 crisis, The New Order has become one of the most popular mods for the strategy game “Hearts of Iron 4”. It explores the concept of an Axis victory in WW2, however unlike other portrayals of this scenario in books and tv shows, The New Order portrayal feels far more immersive and here is why.

 

The setting of TNO potrays a nightmarish world where Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire have triumphed over the Allies. Hitler’s empire stretched from the English Channel to the Ural Mountains and the Japanese freely exploit their conquered Asian territories. As most of European Russia is now under the iron grip of the Nazi-governed Reichkommisariat Moscowein, the unconquered portions of the USSR have completely collasped into anarchy with feuding warlords fighting for power in the subsequent power vacume. 

 

However, unlike in other portrayals of an Axis victory such as Man in the High Castle where the United States has fallen to the forces of tyranny, the United States is still around and competes for influence against the Germans and Japanese. Thus the developers have made the senairio behave like the Cold War in our timeline, with many events in-game directly modelled after real-life stories from the Cold War.  Some of these include the so-called “South Africa War” where German proxy forces invade South Africa and the U.S. deploys troops to the country to counter German influence, this in-game event bears a strong resemblance to the real-life Vietnam War, where U.S. troops were sent to counter Soviet-backed Communist guerrillas attempting to overthrow the government of South Vietnam.

 

I absolutely love this mod as it puts the player in the shoes of someone trying to avert a diplomatic crisis and the mod is not afraid to punish the player for their mistakes. My poor handling of a crisis with Japan led to full-scale war. I also love the fact that rather than making their own stuff up like so many alternate history authors do, the TNO developers modelled the world based on the horrific real life goals of the Germans and Japanese. Germany has destroyed the United Kingdom with Scotland and Wales breaking free while England is under a German-controlled puppet government. Such an action was planned by the Nazis when they devised Operation Sea Lion which would call for an invasion of the United Kingdom. France is little more than a shadow of its former glory with the Eastern portion of the country under the total control of the SS as Ordenstat Burgundy. This was an actual goal of high-ranking Nazi Heinrich Himmler. As for the Asia-Pacific region, most of it has fallen to the Japanese-controlled Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. In real life during WW2, Japan established this organisation in order to govern its occupied territories, it was supposed to give the illusion of Pan-Asian unity and brotherhood while in reality it was just a mask for the Japanese Empire as it brutally exploited it’s occupied territories in order to fuel its conquests.

 

The only problem I have with the game and a common one amongst it’s community is the way the graphics look. The game that the TNO mod is a part of, “Hearts of Iron 4”, has different menus for diplomacy, governmental affairs, weapon’s research and production as well as international trade. Normally it is a grey color, however in TNO it is a bright blue color which many have complained is hard to look at for a duration of time as it hurts your eyes. However this is the only complaint I have with this mod as it is absolutely incredible for its incorporation of real-life history into its framework. The mod continues to be updated and I hope that they add even more interesting history into it.