With the recent announcement of RISK: Factions coming to Xbox Live Arcade early this year, EA has made our geek hearts jump for joy. Memories of summer vacation days and after school hours spent pouring over a multicolored game board, working out strategies in our heads of how to craft world domination with Ural and Quebec as our only remaining territories, came flooding back and brought a smile to our faces. This time, however, it is the actual world we will be taking on, not just the kid with the big forehead down the street.
Not content to simply port over the classic board game or its various PC and web-based iterations, EA brought in Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers creator Stainless Games to helm the gameplay and design, and had the in-game cinematics produced by Power House Animations, of Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness fame. With their powers combined, the re-invention of RISK for XBLA gamers will be a significant change from the original, with the ability to play as one of five separate factions, each with different strengths, in both objective-based and world domination modes. The refreshed RISK: Factions will also allows us to go head-to-head in animated combat missions, with the chance to activate Overkill moments, depending on how the dice roll, and giving the opportunity to unlock avatar awards during our quest for world conquest.
“For the past half-century, millions of RISK fans have been consumed with ruling the world, underscoring the board game’s enduring appeal,” said Chip Lange, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA’s Hasbro Division. “We’re now going to bring that masterpiece experience to life and add other amazing layers of XBLA-style gameplay that will take conquests to a new level, including the ability to battle players from around the globe for the first time, truly giving new meaning to the phrase ‘world domination’.”
As veteran RISK players, the best advice we can give is to try to start in the most isolated places possible and build armies like there is no tomorrow. That, and make sure you have a powerful friend to bail you out when the going gets rough, then watch as they attack you anyway. There are no friends in war.