I've been a fan of the HoI franchise for a while now and decided to buy HoI 3 even though it got mixed reviews. Hearts of Iron 3 is bigger, more detailed, and more absorbing than its predecessors. I thoroughly enjoyed it during the first few hours of gameplay. The AI is very impressive. At times it felt like I was playing chess with a human player.You have to think 4 or 5 moves ahead of your opponent if you want to have any chance of winning the campaigns, especially if you're leading a nation with limited resources.
Unfortunately, after the first few hours, the game starts to bog down for some reason. Possibly rushed programming to meet release deadlines. The game starts to stutter terribly and at times it seems on the verge of grinding to a halt altogether (freezing). Till now 3 patches have been released and this major issue is still very present. It's a shame because the game is very challenging and forces the player to take the AI seriously or face dire consequences. Hopefully its flaws will be ironed out eventually.