In his review, Rob Zacny stressed the importance of separating Hearts of Iron 4 from the rest of Paradox’s strategy lineup. “Hearts of Iron is a scenario not a sandbox,” he said. That means updates such as the latest ‘Sunflower’ patch are important for expanding the game's scope.
Improvements via HoI 4’s first major patch, though, are mostly incremental, focusing on the likes of balancing and tweaks to the AI and user interface. As Paradox is wont to do, player suggestions have been taken into consideration. Peace conference changes come courtesy of Steam user Neutrino.
Custom difficulty settings have been implemented, allowing players to tinker with the relative power of the Nazis, Italy, France and the Soviet Union. What’s more, more nations can now be released as independent countries, and naval combat has been balanced to block players from spamming light cruisers.
AI is “more likely to update templates, build nuclear reactors and cancel unnecessary production” however is less likely “to risk encirclement, opt for a Communist France or throw everything at North Africa.” Hotjoin is also now available for multiplayer games, allowing players to join matches already in progress.