Written by  :  anton treuenfels (37)
Written on  :  Apr 03, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars

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Eye candy does not make it a better game

The Good

Eye candy. The graphics, frequently translucent, overall are very nice. The opening sequence, to the pounding strains of the "1812 Overture" in very obvious stereo, is quite nice.

The Bad

I bought two copies of this game (off the closeout shelf, of course!) because the box promised LAN play and I have access to a two-computer LAN used mostly for games. Well guess what? Although the game recognizes the LAN and the other copy all right, it won't start a LAN game until at least FOUR HUMAN players on FOUR COMPUTERS show up. Can't substitute a computer player for a human one, and can't have two humans (or one human playing two humans) taking turns on one computer. Now THAT wasn't mentioned on the box!

I'd RTFM (Read The [Fine] Manual) to see if this could be changed, but I can't find a paper one in the box or an electronic one on the CD-ROM.

Well, how about "Classic" play against one or more computer opponents? The word is "slow". The graphics, particularly the zoom-in from omniscient overview to country-level shoot-out, look nice but hinder getting on with things. Pretty pictures aren't the point. Killing every opponent who dares to cross me is.

The user interface in general is not geared toward speed. Little windows pop up all the time that need to be clicked in to continue (some of these can be turned off, though). A voice repeats your selections, although what this adds I couldn't tell you. More useful would be an "undo" button to cancel mistakes, the lack of which caused my brother to give up on this game in frustration (me, I don't make mistakes!).

When I wiped out an opponent and gained a matching set of cards, I was NOT allowed to turn them in. This is supposed to be "Classic" Risk! Don't the programmers understand the rules?! How can I continue attacking, or reinforce those countries I just took over?

The Bottom Line

The programmers spent all their time on how it looks, and not on how it plays. Maybe there is a way to play it that's fun, but it's certainly not obvious.