Hướng dẫn - Updated on April 11, 2023

Developers from the Zelenograd studio Door 407 decided to combine three genres at once in their debut project: Diplomacy is Not an Option – a real-time strategy game, a settlement survival simulator and tower defense. And judging by the title, which says that “diplomacy is not an option”, military operations will be a higher priority here than peaceful development.

The game went into Early Access on February 9th. What to expect from the beta version of the new strategy – we will tell in our preview.

Cure for boredom

As you know, a midlife crisis is a very unpleasant thing, and rarely anyone manages to survive this period without moral loss. Fair enough, even if you are the lord of a fictional fantasy kingdom from a computer game – just the case of the protagonist of Diplomacy is Not an Option. The wife squanders money right and left, the feud is gradually withering, adventures with great battles and victories are not expected on the horizon, and even the king constantly reminds of the need to collect and pay taxes on time. Some kind of war would start, or what?

Fortunately for our lord, adventures were not long in coming – the peasants, who suffered from exorbitant requisitions, decided to put an end to feudal oppression and raised a liberation uprising. A common thing for the Middle Ages, even fantasy, as in our case. To pacify God knows what the mob who imagined about themselves is a so-so feat, but the main character is happy about this, he was so tired of boredom.

Diplomacy is Not an Option: Превью

Advisor with “Our hop has been devoured by a weevil, my lord!” is here too.

The plot of the story is shown to us with the help of small clips made in a minimalist style. The plot here is far from the main thing, but it is worth noting it too – for example, it is immediately noticeable that the developers are all right with humor.

Simple and tasteful

Graphic design, by the way, favorably distinguishes the game from other projects. Low-poly graphics with bright colors are immediately memorable, do not interfere with the control of units and create a recognizable image. A similar concise approach is noticeable in the implementation of the interface – minimalism, but very convenient. Plus, the clarity is pleasing – the indicators of units and buildings are in plain sight, you don’t need to guess the exact values ​​\u200b\u200bof the characteristics of the fighters. Very to the place and does not distract from the gameplay.

Diplomacy is Not an Option: Превью

The interface here is practically a standard for such strategies.

Let me remind you that we have a mixture of several genres at once. Perhaps the most famous mix of RTS and peaceful settlement survival simulator is the Stronghold series. Peaceful life in Diplomacy is Not an Option reminds many of this strategy, only simplified to the limit. There are no technological chains, but the relative position of buildings is important, it is necessary to monitor the health of citizens and, most importantly, build walls. Lots of walls. Lots of walls.

The thing is, enemies are everywhere. Literally: in all missions, the player’s castle, located in the center of the map, is surrounded by enemy troops, who sometimes send a small number of fighters to attack. It is not difficult to fight them off, and the main problem is huge waves of enemies rolling on a timer from different sides of the map. Perhaps there will be other tasks in the full version, but in the current “beta” the goal of all missions in the campaign is to withstand several such raids and clear the entire location from the rebels. This, as you understand, is the third element in the genre cocktail – tower defense.

Stronghold at a minimum

However, it is with the tower that everything is not so simple here. It will be necessary to stop the attackers not with towers, cannons and other shooting good that are familiar to this genre, but with ordinary units. In this regard, everything is subject to the laws familiar to RTS: population limit depending on the number of residential buildings, resource costs for hiring fighters, food that needs to be obtained and stored, research and improvements …

One of the funny things to note is that one of the most important buildings in the settlement is the cemetery. If the corpses of the fallen in battle are not buried in time, then sooner or later they will turn into bloodthirsty zombies attacking the player’s buildings and units. Considering the scale of the battles here (sometimes the number of participants goes to hundreds and thousands), it is quite an urgent problem, even despite a slight simplification – only the corpses of our subjects turn into zombies.

Diplomacy is Not an Option: Превью

The artists should be thanked for creating a cozy fairy-tale atmosphere.

One gets the feeling that the developers have not yet decided which of the components of the gameplay should be in the first place. This is definitely not the construction of your castle and not the peaceful development of the settlement – too little attention has been paid to this part of the gameplay. On the other hand, in terms of military operations, the strategy does not surprise with a wealth of possibilities.

Perhaps the whole point is that we have only outlines of a full-fledged strategy, the release of which is scheduled for this year – judging by the world map, our lord will not only have to fight on his native continent, but also go overseas to conquer the riches of uncharted lands. Or vice versa, you can support the uprising and fight against the royal despotism – such variability is already in the current version. In this case, the complexity of the missions increases and the type of opponents changes – instead of the peasant rabble with pitchforks and scythes, we are opposed by trained troops. The essence of what is happening on the screen, however, does not change: the task is the same – to survive to the end.

Diplomacy is Not an Option: Превью

The enemy broke through the walls – write wasted.

In addition to the campaign, which is still in its infancy, there is an endless game mode, which is great for both peaceful contemplative gameplay and for testing your strategic talent.

According to the developers, the game engine easily digests not so epic battles.

I will not name Diplomacy is Not an Option among those projects that require mandatory review. There are now enough real-time strategies for every taste, and in this case we have a potentially good thing, but never a revolutionary representative of the genre. Of the unique features, one can only note the very cute style and atmosphere, which is organically combined with leisurely gameplay at a low difficulty level. Although the gameplay can be called primitive, it is easy to catch that very “flow state” here, systematically building a fortress and fighting off more and more numerous enemy hordes.

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