Everybody loves playing Risk, but no one can ever find the time for it. The games will most likely take up an hour or more of your time, so it’s very rare to find the time and patience to actually sit down and play. Luckily, someone saw this problem and decided to find a fix. Risk: Factions wisely cuts the time it takes to play a game in half and creates an interactive experience that I’ve become to favor over its board game counterpart. Read on for our Risk: Factions review and discover if this version of the classic game is for you.
Much like Carcassonne or Catan, Risk translates very well into the realm of video games. The game is still as fun as you remember, especially when competing with friends, but small tweaks to the general “world domination” objective of the game make it much more entertaining than before. Now, the purpose of the game is to capture objectives across the map to ultimately lead to victory. These capture points range from power plants to coal mines, which will usually reward the controller with extra troops in the draft that begins each turn. Other strategic points bring about the ability to exterminate certain areas of the map. For instance, controlling both sides of a dam for a turn will prompt you to open it, flooding the valley below and dropping every population within to one, including your own. Throw in environmental hazards, like volcanoes, and you have one heck of an exciting game.
Instead of controlling an army of the world, players will instead take the helm of several different races of creative animals, which include humans, cats, yetis, robots, and zombies. While they play similar to each other, each brings about a variety in the game that never gets old. The kill animations are quite funny, and the dialogue for each campaign is actually very satirical, something I hadn’t expected in such a cartoony game. The game doesn’t really take itself seriously, and although this can generally be bad, it actually adds to the entertainment value.
The game play, as I mentioned above, is quite fun with friends or against another person, Unfortunately, the feeling is lost when competing against the computer. For a game built on chance, it certainly felt like the virtual dice were weighted in one way or the other. Either I was completely destroying the enemy while rolling constant sixes against their ones, or I was in the exact opposite position and was eventually forced to restart and erase the forty-five minutes I had put into the battle. This bipolar mechanic can get very old, and was enough for me to warrant several breaks from the game, stating that the game was out to get me.
It’s a huge ordeal when you alter a weathered classic like Risk. If you get one thing wrong the game is doomed from the get go. Risk: Factions, while it has its faults is a perfect example of how a board game can be made into a video game, and developers should duly note it. Small tweaks change the game up while still keeping the game true to the source, and there’s even a classic Risk mode for the people who want to relive the memories of old. Freezing issues have marred the launch of the game, but once this is fixed, I strongly recommend at least a trial of this incredibly amusing game.
- A perfect port of a memorable game
- Strangely funny and incredibly amusing
- A lot of fun, specifically with friends
- Bipolar “chance” mechanic
- Campaign is around four hours long
- Freezing issues
Risk: Factions was developed by Stainless Games and published by EA. It was released on June 23, 2010 for the Xbox Live Arcade.