Reviewed by the gibb
Developed by Meyer/Glass Interactive, LLC
Published by Microprose
Originally from Avalon Hill’s classic board game.
Here is the background that is in the beginning of the instruction manual, describing Diplomacy. They used it (with permission) from the Diplomatic Pouch.
The game of diplomacy was invented by Allan Callhamer over a period of years, taking its final form in the mid to late 1950s. Mr. Calhamer marketed the game privately for a time and then thorough various game companies.
Diplomacy has been called “the chameleon game” because it is uniquely “varintizable”-that is, from the basic rule set any number of new “variant games” have and can be invented.
The standard game of Diplomacy is set in the Europe of the early 20th century and is played by seven players, each taking the part of one of the Great European Powers of that age. Players order two types of units (armies and fleets) into combat against each other in a war for control of Europe. This control is symbolized by ownership of “supply centers,” of which there are 34 on the Diplomacy board. Control of a majority of supply centers will bring a player to victory.
There is more, but I’m too lazy to write it and that’s really all you need to know. Diplomacy is a lot like Risk, except there is no die, and thus no luck involved. It is also like Chess, in that it is all strategic moving of pieces, and has nothing to do with luck. Diplomacy can be played FTF (face to face), over snail mail, or over e-mail. I played it and having been playing it for a few years now over email.
Gameplay Score - 6
To sum it up, the gameplay is good. Not great, but good. When you enter the game, you find yourself in a room with 6 other leaders, called the discussion room. You can go into the Map room to see the current map and positions, and create a private room where no one can enter or hear except by your invitation. This allows for discussion, and really is the main part of this game. This part is very well done by Meyer/Glass Interactive. The portraits move their hands, nod their heads in acknowledging other leaders, and give you a look that seems like “What the hell is this guy doin?” Their appearance to you changes depending on your attitude towards their country, which you can easily change. Then, you go into a phase in which you actually move your pieces. This is pretty well done, as it is fairly easy to choose where you want to move which piece. Then, you move into the phase in which all the pieces are moved and conflicts resolved. This may be done well, but I’ll admit the AI is horrible. I was on the medium level, and playing England, making the same stupid mistakes the whole game, ended up limiting them to 3 pieces the whole game, which is what you start out with. The AI needs major fixing. I heard that a patch is coming out soon to fix this and other things, so lets hope that this rumor turns out to be true. After the conflicts are resolved, you start all over again.
Graphics Score - 9
The graphics are surprisingly good, and the cinematics at the beginning are very good. There’s nothing really else to say about graphics, except they’re amazingly good, even on my nVidia STB 128 8MB AGP graphic card.
Multiplayer Score - 7
Multiplayer is played on The Zone, a choice by Microprose that I particularly don’t like, mostly because of lag. It is hard to get 7 players in a game at once, so 6, 5, even 4 player games are commonplace. The lag in game is pretty good, but there are many times when the game mysteriously freezes. Hopefully, this is fixed in the next patch. Also, since my patience level is about 0, I hate waiting for people discussing and making they’re moves. That’s why I don’t play multiplayer much, but, some people like it.
Overall - 6
The game is crafted very well, and it was made very well. Unfortunately, AI problems bring the rating down. Microprose obviously made this game for those who are starting to play Diplomacy, which is a good thing, but for someone like me, it was too easy. I think there should be more Diplomacy players out there, and I am confident that there are a lot more people out there like me that get bored with real time strategies, but love the war and, well, strategic strategies.