Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy

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Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy review
Davneet Minhas

Review

Much like a fully developed sequel

Increasing Relations (cntd)


You can also research mutually beneficial pacts, to share resource, missile, armor, and other technologies with allies. Doing so can afford increased metal extraction rates, increased missile damage, and improved armor strength, respectively. Of course, you have to be careful in creating pacts while a pact can bolster your armor, it may do the same for a potential enemy.

Diplomacy also greatly increases the strength, and resultantly the cost, of pirates. If you spend enough money, you can generate a pirate fleet large enough to destroy home planets. However, I found the addition of missions really reduced the necessity of pirates. And given the large amount of credits it takes to hire pirates, why not just upgrade or add to your own fleet? I always found pirates and their bidding wars to be a distraction from what I really wanted to do. Now they're powerful enough to obliterate me in early stages of the game.

Balancing Power


Outside of the new in-game features, the micro-expansion also offers a new and very welcome pacing option, Faster. You can apply it to a campaign's income rate, build speed, ship speed, and other game variables. Two new difficulty levels, Cruel and Vicious both of which I'm too scared to try are also available. And of course, the expansion adds new maps.

Despite the micro-expansion's victory option and all of its related features, you're not going to be able to sit back and win. Even the new peaceful victory requires more traditional gameplay: to establish an adequate economic base for Diplomacy, you'll need to expand your empire. You also can't completely ignore the diplomatic options and focus solely on military might relations offer substantial rewards and you can be sure AI players will make use of them. One of those AI players may even reach a diplomatic victory before you can reach a more traditional one.

Diplomacy's strength lies in the balance and depth it creates between your relations with AI players and their relations amongst themselves. AI players are no longer either enemies or allies. Now, they can be trade partners, military advisors, potential employers, or just tools for achieving an end.

Improving a Classic


Diplomacy may be a micro-expansion, but the features and gameplay it adds are akin to what one would expect from a fully developed sequel. It evolves Sins of a Solar Empire into a deeper, more varied, and more satisfying experience.

Given that Diplomacy is available alone or as part of Sins of a Solar Empir: Trinity e a package that also includes the original game and its first expansion, Entrenchment there is no excuse to not experience this improvement on an already worthwhile game.

8.5

fun score

Pros

A new level of interaction with AI and human opponents.

Cons

Pirates!