Risk: Factions - Xbox Live Review

Risk was a game I really enjoyed in junior high, though I grew out of love with it and found myself playing Axis and Allies more regularly when I was in high school. There is an element of luck in almost any board game like this, but with Risk it often felt like luck was more important than strategy.

Risk is about putting units in territories as you try to juggle keeping enough defenders in a territory versus being able to overtake neighboring regions. You choose how many units are involved when attacking, and there may be some modifiers that get added to to the equation, but at that point it all boils down to a roll of the dice.

Graphics - 7:

Not bad, not great. Bright and colorful, but we are mostly talking about animated cut scenes and maps. The art direction is, for lack of a better term, somewhat cute as you battle for supremecy. It all looks nice, if unspectacular.

Music & Sound - 7:

The musical score is good enough and varried enough that it never actually gets on my nerves, despite the long, played out nature of the maps. You can easily spend 20-40 minutes on a particular level, so this was a refreshing discovery.

Gameplay - 7:

Everything is fairly easy to control, and the single player mode scales new features and the number of players appropriately. The online multiplayer is good in theory, but I only ever finished one match - and I lost in it. Every other online match resulted in players bailing as soon as it looked like I was going to win. Aside from that, the matches can take quite a while - it goes much faster when you are up against computer opponents it seems.

Intangibles - 7:

There are several modes available to you. Online play, multiplayer, single player - if you like the gameplay there is quite a bit to do with it. That said? The single player mode was a bit shorter than I would have liked. I enjoyed the modernized, objective-based version of the game better than the classic one.

Overall - 7:

Still, regardless of mode, a bit too much of the game comes down to the sheer luck that comes with rolling the dice - at least for my liking. A perfectly sound strategy can be ruined with a series of 1's or 6's. The game is fun, but its replay value was a bit lacking for me after some failed online matches and beating the single player mode. It was a nice diversion for a couple of days, but I have not felt compelled to play Risk: Factions very many times since.


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