Published on February 27th, 2015 | by Don Parsons0
Summary: Not taking many risks, this is just the classic board game we all know and love.
There’s a handful of board games from when I grew up that I still love to play as an adult. With the right crowd, a few drinks, and some finger foods, these board games can create an entertaining evening. RISK is a game one of my best friends and I grew up playing together. Slumber parties were always awesome, and the nights that we sat down to play the tedious game of RISK were memorable. Blending technology with that old favorite can open up a world of possibilities. Or, conversely, disappointments.
RISK, recently released from Ubisoft on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Playstation 4, is no stranger to video game releases. I spent a little bit of time with earlier releases like RISK II on PC and RISK Factions on PS3. Factions was the last release before this one, and had some fun and cute options, like playing as colorful zombies.
For those unfamiliar with RISK (I find it hard to believe those people exist, but what the hell), it’s a territory-grabbing game of strategy (and luck). The players take turns picking territories on a world map, then proceed to try to conquer the world. After setting up the board, so to speak, the process is as follows; deploy troops based on territories owned, attack nearby territories, then pick one territory to fortify with nearby troops if needed. At certain points, you can trade in cards randomly awarded to deploy even more troops. Dice rolls are how battles are won or lost, which is where the luck portion comes into play.
The video game simplifies a lot of rules that can be overwhelming for newcomers, which is nice. I’m not a newcomer, but I also don’t have the rules memorized anymore. There’s no creative aspect to this release of RISK, however; it is simply RISK with a few rule variants you can change, like auto-assigning territories. There’s single-player, which anyone buying this should consider their main option unless they have friends with the game, and two multiplayer modes. Trying to find a random opponent, however, isn’t an option as I tried several times during what I figured would be peak times and sat there waiting with no results.
If you do know someone with RISK and get a game going, the fun-factor changes a little. Against the AI, when I lose a dice roll I feel cheated. I stopped playing RISK II on PC because of the same thing. I’m sure the variable that rolls the dice in the game is the same for me and the AI, but for some reason, I can’t help but feel the AI wins because it is controlling the dice. When I played our resident Strategy Gamer 1v1, I had more fun than when we played with a few AI opponents. Sure, I lost (I didn’t expect to win). I had fun, though, and laughed, even when I lost attacks. I didn’t feel cheated. When I was leading a game we played with some AI opponents and then lost several key battles in a row because of rolling 1’s or 2’s, I got pissed. Sure, it’s a mental thing, but it certainly makes my experience playing the computer a poor experience.
The aesthetic is a neat, futuristic one. But for $14.99, it would have been nice to have more meat to the game. How about a Halo board? Or an old-fashioned board? There are a bunch of things that could have been done to spice this release up and make it worth $15. But alas,this is a disappointing release that relies on getting your friends to purchase it themselves to make the most of it.
This review was written with review code provided by the publisher on the Xbox One console. For more on our review policies, please read here.