Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
The Table-Top or Board Game genre on XBLA doesn’t get as much love as some of the other genres out there. Stainless Games’ Magic The Gathering was the last good game to be released since Catan and Carcassonne, some of the best games on Microsoft’s digital download service to date. Given the scarcity of fresh titles, whenever a great game hits, players jump on it. Just look at how robust of a package that EA/Hasbro was able to provide with Family Game Night.
However, since it was geared more towards families, the hardcore competitive gamer have been gazing at RISK: Factions since it was first announced.
Now that it’s here, invading territories, alienating enemies and dominating the world from the comfort of your living room has never been so much fun!
Of course, those who are huge fans of the classic RISK won’t have to worry, as not only the classic game as we know it is available but, a faster, simplified and more stylized gameplay mode was also introduced. Let’s face it, a game of RISK can last hours and even though the game lets you save your progress right in the middle for later pick-up, a game of Factions with the new modern rule-set can be over in no time if you manage to clinch more objectives than your opponents. Rather than just simply conquering parts of the world and hold them until enemy armies are depleted. That’s only if you go with the right strategy. The game itself is far from being a walk in the park but it gives you enough tools to succeed.
Dice rolls are what will determine who loses or wins during a territory battle. You may already know how frustrating the dice roll system can be. Throw in the very smart AI and your quest for total domination may become incredibly irritating in the long run. The AI rarely makes a mistake and you will regret not taking that extra second or two to plan your strategy better. I’m not saying that you won’t win; it’s just that you can’t rely on the AI to make a bad move and then expect to win easily. RISK has always been a game for thinkers, but this game will be better enjoyed with human opponents, whether they’re offline on the same console or online through Xbox LIVE. Still, whether you lose often or dominate the world, RISK: Factions remains an enjoyable game to play. The vivid colors, the humor and the great animations that carry the same visual panache as the uber-popular Penny Arcade comics will set you off for a great ride.
Even though it has a strong emphasis on multiplayer (up to five players in total), RISK: Factions does come with a quite amusing five-chapter single player campaign that will act more as a huge tutorial than anything else. Knowing how difficult the AI can be, the campaign’s length actually is a strength as this is truly something to be played against human opponents anyway. There are five factions to choose from (Humans, Zombies, Cats, Robots and Yetis), each with their own feats and hilarious combat animations.
I knew that a RISK game on XBLA would be great to experience. What I wasn’t expecting was for it to be this fun and addictive. It reminded me the countless hours I’ve spent playing Catan a while back with my XBL buddies. As another point of comparison, for me to spend more than 5 hours in a single day on an XBLA (the last time being with Shadow Complex), it means that more than just entertains me. I may not be the greatest RISK: Factions player out there but it will definitely get my vote later this year when the time to choose our favorite downloadable games of the 2010.
+ Objective-based gameplay accelerates the game’s pace
+ Hilarious voice acting, great soundtrack
+ Great replay value
+ More enjoyable against human players
- Frustrating dice roll system
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Release Date : 2010/06/23
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Electronic Arts
Developer : Stainless Games
Category : Strategy
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
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