Diplomacy is Not an Option, the tried and true of an RTS with the ruthless and bored protagonist

Diplomacy is Not an Option, the tried and true of an RTS with the ruthless and bored protagonist

Diplomacy is Not an Option

This is the story of a rich and bored overlord, who no longer derives any pleasure from parties and orgies. The poor man spends his time drinking and eating in his room, indifferent to what is happening around him, until one day he receives news that awakens him: some peasants, dissatisfied with the waste of the king and the court, have rebelled and want take the power. Our then arms his army by ordering him to defend his castle, excited by the prospect of shedding the blood of the rebels, armed with torches and pitchforks. The massacre of poor people succeeds so well that he gets compliments and honors at court, as well as a new assignment: to conquer a little-known continent, which is said to overflow with precious resources and minerals. Of course, there is the small detail of having to slaughter the indigenous population in order to achieve one's goals. But it is a trifle: more massacre, less massacre, what changes?

Furthermore, in case of victory, the chronicles will pass the abuses as heroic acts and the massacres as epic battles in which the good prevailed, with the complicity of the cheering people who will acclaim the murderer as a leader . Of course, in addition to human beings, the unknown continent is full of monsters and other magical creatures, not exactly happy with our presence, but reality certainly cannot curb ambition and bloodlust. Furthermore, are we sure that our feudal lord deserves only the compliments of the king and not to become king himself, ousting the tyrant with a coup?

These and other questions have been oppressing us since we tried Diplomacy is Not an Option, a typical RTS with an atypical scenario, steeped in cynicism.


Field battles are the best part of the game Diplomacy is Not an Option gameplay doesn't really offer many original ideas. Let's say that it heavily imitates the Age of Empires, lightening the strategic side to focus more on the construction of fortifications and on pitched battles. In fact, the game begins to take off when you find yourself having to face the attacks of hundreds of enemies at the same time, in clashes that are usually determined more by the preparation than by the choices that will be made in battle. So, if the defenses are adequate and the army is large enough you can face the challenge, otherwise there is nothing to be done and any alternative tactics you try to apply will still result in a defeat.

Starting from the basics, the player is called to take over the aforementioned bored overlord's kingdom and army, to develop it into a series of missions that form the single player campaign.

The classic phases of the genre are all there: automatic collection of resources, development of the base through the construction of new buildings and the growth of the castle, technological research, construction of walls with towers and gates and, of course, accumulation of troops to form an army as large and varied as possible. Of course, the more developed and fortified the castle, the more you get better units to deploy in battle. Anyway, the relationship between base growth and army strength should by now be known to all real-time strategy enthusiasts.

Some original ideas

Base development is very important if you want to win To add a little seasoning to the classic formula, there are some aspects that usually don't get much attention in RTS. In particular we think of the physical simulation of the various objects, with for example the materials with which walls and buildings are built that respond in a realistic way to the solicitations of the weapons (e.g. arrows bounce off the stone walls) and the units that act on the basis of what they see (e.g. take dead spots into account when deployed on turrets). Also interesting is the socio-economic side of the simulation, which for example requires the construction of a cemetery, complete with specialized personnel (read gravedigger) to bury the dead, not to create discontent and not to spread epidemics. If we want these small details they are the most interesting side of Diplomacy is Not an Option, because while not revolutionizing, they create new situations to be taken into consideration if you do not want to perish and that make the games interesting. Precisely for this reason the developers have made a fairly radical choice on progression: units, buildings and game mechanics are all available from the first mission, with no limits whatsoever. The goal is to let the player experiment and make his choices freely, starting from the exact moment the tutorial ends.

Low-poly graphics

Fortify is one of the keys to success, because often the enemies will be overwhelming in number. with some late stage battles fought literally between thousands of units, which are spectacular and aesthetically satisfying. Seeing these huge clouds of enemy soldiers pounce on our castle and collide with the walls and our well-deployed soldiers is satisfying, just as it is satisfying to see a well-placed ballista shot literally blow up dozens of enemies. There is little miraculous, but what is there is really well done and the particularly dry style chosen to build the various elements that make up the scenario and the inhabited centers goes well with the general tones of the game, imbued with a disenchantment that , after a few hours of play, it becomes part of the experience with arrogance, without ever being explicit.

In general we liked Diplomacy is Not an Option, even if we have to wait for the final version to express a more sensible and complete judgment. In the hours that we have tried it we have appreciated some design choices and some found to try to differentiate the formula from the other RTS, even if we have not felt that sense of rupture that the most innovative titles have transmitted to us in the past. Let's say that it seems to be a good variant of a well-established formula, which is not necessarily a little.


Interesting scenario Field battles There is some new starting point DOUBTS The formula seems to be that well known Have you noticed any errors?

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