The New Order: Last Days of Europe is a Hearts of Iron IV Game Mod that is set in an alternate timeline where Nazi Germany utterly wins World War II, but quickly loses the peace. The New Order is a narrative-driven mod that focuses on the fallout of an Axis victory and its disastrous effects on the world, leading to a three-way Cold War in the 60s. The mod is known for being incredibly ambitious and features many new mechanics and large amounts of events, paths, and characters; its primary gameplay also deviates from the war and conquest-based gameplay of the base game HOI4 in favor of political simulation and storytelling through events and new mechanics, in the vein of Political Strategy Games like Crisis in the Kremlin. Later iterations of the mod has even added a full-on economy mechanic that engages and challenges the player in both war and peacetime with balancing the state budget and making investments in civilian infrastructure as well as the military, while keeping track of their chosen country's GDP against inflation, foreign debt, and credit rating. It can be downloaded here.
The year is 1962. World War II ended with a Greater Germanic Reich dominating all of Europe. France and England are Nazi puppet states. The Soviet Union has shattered into several dozen warring splinter states. America was humiliated under a combined assault from Imperial Japan and a nuclear-equipped Germany. For all intents and purposes, the Reich is at the top of the world. It ought to be invincible and unbreakable.
In reality, these are dire times for the thousand-year Reich. Over the first thirty years of a golden age that Hitler promised would last a millennium, the Reich has gone from being the world's preeminent superpower to teetering on the brink of collapse. Germany's economy experienced a disastrous crash in the 1950s from which it has never recovered. The Reich struggles to reassert control over its unruly Eastern European colonies and a massively powerful SS, which has effectively gone rogue under Heinrich Himmler. From his headquarters in Ordensstaat Burgundy, he plots to implement his vision of a purer, fundamentalist version of National Socialism across the entire Reich. The internal politics of the NSDAP have grown increasingly bitter and adversarial due to an elderly Hitler's deteriorating health, with the intense factionalism reflecting the broader rifts in German society. The kindling is in place for a fire to burn down the whole Reich... and perhaps the rest of the world along with it.
In the world outside of Germany, the international scene is significantly worse off as a result of the Axis victory. The alliance between Germany, Italy, and Japan collapsed shortly after the war due to mounting tensions and conflicting interests. Iberia, Italy, and Turkey, the former allies of Germany in the Mediterranean, formed the Triumvirate to counteract Germany in response to their increasing hostility. The other superpowers, America and Japan, have developed their own nuclear weapons, creating a three-way Cold War between the German-led Unity-Pakt, the America-led Organization of Free Nations, and Imperial Japan's Co-Prosperity Sphere. The world now hangs on a thin wire that could snap at any moment, with the result being nuclear war and the destruction of human civilization. In the titular "new order," a shroud of darkness hangs over the world that is as black and empty as an open grave. Has the light of hope been extinguished for good by the Nazi victory?
The mod is loosely based on a Facepunch Alternate History RP called A New Order. The mod's community can be found on Reddit, on Discord, and on Twitter. Cold Southern Springs is a former submod, designed to give content to the Latin American nations, that has since been integrated into The New Order proper. Operation Deep Freeze is a submod giving content to Antarctica and, although not integrated, is considered fully canon to the main mod. Other notable submods include The Soaring Eagle, Torch of Liberty, The New Order: Brave New World, and Kamchatka: The Pacific Fleet.
In short, The New Order is equal parts The Man in the High Castle (albeit slightly more plausible), DEFCON, Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg, Warhammer 40,000 and 1984 in terms of tone, setting and subject matter.
Compare with Thousand-Week Reich and Von Der Asche, other HOI4 mods that offer more grounded takes about a German victory in WWII, and The Man in the High Castle, the codifying work of the genre. Definitely not to be confused with Wolfenstein: The New Order although both settings do focus on a Nazi victory.
In addition, a spin-off called The Red Order: First Days of Eurasia is in development, where the Allies win World War Two but turn on each other in a three-way Cold War between the United States, Bukharin's USSR, and the French and British Empires.
This Game Mod provides examples of:
- Allohistorical Allusion: A couple of familiar faces from OTL show up, but now serving different roles.
- Soviet rocket designer Valentin Glushko is mentioned in a newspaper from the announcement teaser, but with Russia divided and in no condition to compete in the space race, he helps the United States, ironically enough.
- The superpowers teaser shows that Wernher von Braun is an important figure in the space race, but now serving in the German space agency rather than NASA.
- In the teased "Murder Week" event, initial planning for Project Apollo is split between two architectures: Lunar Orbit Rendezvous and Direct Ascent, just like in OTL. In addition, NASA is considering both the "Ulysses" rocket, which seems to be an analogue to the OTL Saturn, and the even larger "NOVA" rocket, which is presumably like its real-life counterpart.
- Elder Employee: According to the "A Battle Above Earth" teaser, Gaetano Arturo Crocco is 96 years old, but still working at the Italian Space Research Organization.
- For Want of a Nail: In OTL, the Axis defeat allowed the United States to capture V-2 rockets, as well as employ German scientists and engineers from Operation Paperclip, taking their expertise to develop missiles for the Army. However, with the Nazis never defeated, the United States now has to rely on technology developed from their own scientists and other sympathetic foreign agents. The "Redstone Arsenal's Thunder" teaser shows several of these designs, such as the MGM-11 Major, the TNO counterpart to the OTL Redstone missile which has a different propellant combination (RFNA/kerosene, according to the devs) and overall design.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: A teaser animation shows that a rocket will visually launch into orbit when an expedition is commenced.
- In Spite of a Nail:
- James E. Webb still manages to become head of NASA during the 1960's and organizes Project Apollo, as shown in the teased event "Murder Week".
- The Nike Zeus project still exists in this timeline, as seen in a magazine from the announcement teaser that asks if John F. Kennedy should kickstart it.
- The San Marco programme happens in this timeline, with full support from the Duce. The satellite successfully enters orbit in the teased "The Dream of Flight" event.
- Interservice Rivalry: Whereas Germany and the United States have one space agency head, the superpower teaser shows that Japan has three. Specifically, the Army-Navy rivalry in Japan spilled over to the Imperial Space Operational Headquarters, where Hideo Itokawa and Miki Tadanao represent the interests of the Army and Navy, respectively. Meanwhile, the Imperial Japanese Space Development Agency acts as a second organization, led by Hideo Shima and backed by the Japanese private industry who want to reap their own rewards from the space race.
- Space Cold War: "The Final Front" update overhauls the space race so that the three superpowers and several other countries can compete and develop space technology to reach Earth's orbit, the Moon, and maybe even beyond that. The announcement teaser gives a glimpse into the competition between the three superpowers, setting ambitious goals to put themselves over.
- Villainous Legacy: In the teased event "Dr. Rocket", the Japanese entry into the space race can be credited to Iwaya Eiichi, who managed to temporarily mend the Army-Navy rivalry to build the rocket fighter, the Shūsui, and form the Imperial Space Operational Headquarters. Though he died three years prior, the agency he built is still around.