There’s a fine line between tower defense and RTS. The idea of hunkering down with fortifications to defend from your attacker is a normal concept in a classic RTS game, but when that becomes the focus of the game, the priorities shift. Resources allocated towards developing an offensive army are instead invested in stronger walls and superior siege weapons. They Are Billions popularized the merger of the two genres by giving a greater freedom to home base development.
Diplomacy is Not an Option wants to take it a step further, making the incoming attack waves into something less monstrous. Covered by fog of war, the enemy aren’t ogres or beasts, they’re the peasants of the land you rule. People, like you, but controlled by the CPU. This, paired with the classic medieval fantasy world, gives everything a more Age of Empires feel than games like They Are Billions.
But that doesn’t stop them from keeping the core excitement. As the game develops, more and more enemies appear, reaching hundreds to thousands of units at a time. The simple, cartoonish art style only accentuated the ridiculousness of such numbers as well, something we don’t see enough of in RTS games.
One thing we particularly enjoy about Diplomacy is Not an Option is the physics system. The game takes place in a 3D environment. Whether an archer makes a shot depends directly on whether the line of fire is blocked by walls, cliffs, or trees. Not to mention the ragdoll physics, which are always fun. Seeing an entire army be blasted away from a magical meteor is tremendously satisfying.
Though don’t go expecting a flawless experience overall. Diplomacy is Not an Option is only in early access right now. So while it holds a lower price tag, it does mean that there’s still room for more, both with quality and content.
Diplomacy is Not an Option is available now as an early access title on Steam for PC. It costs about $25, which will likely change as development continues and it leaves early access.