Denny Markovic
12 Feb, 2010

Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy Review

PC Review | A diplomatic solution or a galactic disaster?
We here at PALGN love Sins of a Solar Empire, as is apparent by our glowing review upon the game's release in 2008. Featuring incredibly deep and addictive blends of 4X style strategy and RTS elements, Sins pretty much established itself as the king of Space Strategy. Several patches, additions and one micro-expansion pack later, and the final add-on for Sins, aptly named Diplomacy, has arrived. Does it add enough features to justify the price of admission, or fail to reach a peaceful resolution?

Thankfully, it is indeed well worth the price of admission, as Diplomacy adds yet another level of depth to an already staggeringly deep game. The previous expansion, Entrenchment added several features to the game for the war-like players. Things such as defence platforms and starbases were all added in, so the depth of the game’s combat was further enhanced and balanced.

Diplomacy on the other hand is the complete opposite, adding in features to win the game through more peaceful means, or alternatively through the power of manipulation. Each of the game's three races now have a whole new skill tree to invest in, which allow them to enhance their ability to influence other opposing factions around them. This in turn makes games usually last a whole lot longer, as development of highly effective diplomatic tactics requires quite a lot of resources and time. For people who just want to blow planets up, this will likely put them to sleep, as most of your resources would be focused on the political side of things rather than building massive fleets of planetary death, though the addition is certainly welcome.

Diplomatic solutions are always good!

Diplomatic solutions are always good!
The expansion now also allows you to give missions to AI players, which further adds more depth to achieving galactic supremacy. Missions can be varied and highly customisable, with the ability to specify exactly what planet you want destroyed, what faction, how many ships, etc. Missions are motivated through rewards that you can specify to the faction you’re negotiating with which can be manipulated in your favour, in that you can make a much more militaristic faction in the galaxy do the dirty work for you for the right price. It adds a very interesting level of tactical depth to the game, and rewards the patient and cunning of players.

Data on exactly why a faction dislikes or likes you is much more informative now as well, so you can gain an extensive level of understanding as to how you can make 'super powerful faction number 5' love you some more. Though this feature will likely be brushed aside by the more gung-ho players, the patient and observant ones will find it most rewarding.

But if you suck at it..well, there's always this.

But if you suck at it..well, there's always this.
Regardless of all these improvements however, Diplomacy is really not for the impatient. The title is exactly what the add on expands upon, and is meant for the much more resourceful and patient of gamers who’d rather play it safe than go in with guns blazing. This in turn does somewhat reduce the appeal of the add-on, as it’s realistically only for the most hardcore of Sins fans, and ones who want games to last even longer than before.

Overall though, the quality of the add-on (in addition to its budget price) cannot be denied. While it’s certainly not as useful as Entrenchment was, Diplomacy still manages to add on a substantial amount of content to an already enormously deep game. For the more resourceful and cunning players, Diplomacy is an absolute necessity, as it finally adds in the ability to effectively win a match through peaceful or manipulative means. For the gung-ho, unless you’re intrigued in the prospect of dominating without your guns, Diplomacy isn’t going to have much appeal. With that said, if you’re looking to lose yourself in hours of game time for a good price, Diplomacy is definitely recommended.
The Score
Diplomacy is a worthy add-on to an already stellar game, but those looking for more action and less negotiation may want to give it a miss. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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4 years ago
PALGN wrote
ou can gain an extensive level of understanding as to how you can make 'super powerful faction number 5' love you some more
I always hated the opaqueness of the AIs seemingly arbitrary love/hate in games like the Civ series, so this is good news.

I might have to pick this one up despite only playing Sins once since buying Entrenchment.
4 years ago
I just picked up SIns from work so I've probably got a fair bit of playing to go through before I can get excited about this, suffice to say I will get excited though.
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