Flash of Steel header image 2

Diplomacy sliding south

November 20th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Paradox’s Diplomacy was released to initially positive reviews. Well, mostly positive. The scores tended to the mid-70 to 80 per cent range. A couple even hit the 90 range, including one from a veteran of the board game. The scores themselves don’t quite reflect the generally respectful tone that the board game conversion gets in the text of the reviews.

But as the bigger publications have finally begun to weigh in, the scores have moved down the scale. CGW gives it one star. Gamespy only half a star. IGN hits it with 5/10. Still nothing from PCGamer, Gamespot or Gamesdomain. (My review in CGM will out in a few weeks.)

Why the move downward?

When the review copies were first sent out, the metaserver wasn’t up yet so multiplayer had to be done through a LAN. This means that most of the opinions of the game were based on the single player mode or an atypical multilayer setup. Could the late arrival of the metaserver account for early good press? Unlikely. Diplomacy at its best is a multiplayer game.

Paradox generally gets good reviews for its games. It has cultivated a following among strategy gamers and strategy game reviewers for its attention to detail, devotion to its fan base and originality. But Victoria‘s reviews were fairly tepid (it got a mild endorsement from me) though there were fewer of them, so it’s probably not fanboyism.

Is it that the later reviews (which are closer to my evaluation) are from people who have had a chance to spend more time with the game? Also doubtful since the problems with Diplomacy are pretty obvious from the opening few turns.

Once my review is published I will have more to say on Diplomacy and the press reaction to it. But the southward slide in review scores is a trend that could use a little more investigation.


No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.