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Posted on Oct 7, 2005 in Electronic Games

Diplomacy – Game Review (PC)

Armchair General

Of course, once a proposal has been accepted, there’s no obligation on you to stick to the treaty you just signed up to, and indeed there’s nothing to stop you running off to make more treaties elsewhere. But let us assume that you are a man of your word and you do genuinely want to honour your agreement with the French – this is where the really clever bit comes in, because with a simple click of the mouse you can convert those draft orders to real orders and tell your units to move exactly as the treaty demands. Now that’s a time-saving feature.


If you do this…and I do this…


The real beauty of this system is that you can play anyone in the world, even if they don’t speak the same language as you, because it’s entirely graphical in nature.

Different treaties appear in different coloured folders on your main screen, and the colour of any draft movement orders always matches those of the folders. Deals aren’t restricted to just two parties either, if you decide you’d like a triple-alliance, you can click on multiple speech bubbles and have several leaders all chatting to you at the same time. Of course this is always in secret, so any players outside the loop won’t have a clue who you are talking to.

At the end of each turn, a summary screen displays some statistics for perusal so you can see who is aiding whom…alliances can be deadly and it’s always wise to see who you might upset if you attack your neighbour.


Who helped who?


Let’s face it, until and unless a future publisher ever somehow mounts an RTS recreation of the battles in Diplomacy, the graphical requirements for this game are never going to be high, nor do they need to be. They are merely adequate for their purpose, with shimmering water in the seas and 3D recreations of the other leaders of Europe that pop up during negotiation or resolution phases. They add a little flavour to the game, but not much.


I’ll be brief here – I hated the sound in this game. From the overly bombastic orchestral score of the introduction to the little sighs and shrieks of anguish as the AI players express their thoughts through the resolutions phases of combat, it’s all so unnecessary. So I turned the music off, and then after a while I turned the sound off entirely. I find that if you’re going to conquer Europe, it’s simply better to play music of your own choice that inspires. I’ll say no more on the sound.


This is a great update for the PC as the AI in the last version of PC Diplomacy was simply dire – it’s no longer possible to win a game without talking to any of your AI opponents as it was in the older version, and for all those who ask if the AI is actually any good in this version, I’ll leave you with this final screenshot. Mind you, it might be a sign that I’m just rubbish.



Armchair General Score: 80%

36/40 — Gameplay
10/15 — Graphics
02/10 — Sound
15/15 — Interface
05/05 — Installation Technical
05/05 — Documentation
07/10 — General’s Rating


These are the system requirements for Diplomacy:

Pentium 3 – 800 MHz
256 MB of RAM
Windows XP or 2000
DirectX 9.0
32 MB of Video RAM
Keyboard and Mouse.

However, although I was running this game on a PC with double the RAM, 4 times the Video RAM and double the processor speed, I did find the game to be rather sluggish in its responses, and I’m not sure why.


Official website

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Andrew Summersgill

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