Risk has existed for nearly 60 years now as a board game. In that time, it has seen various developers try something to make its world conquering gameplay work as a videogame. Ubisoft are the latest developers to take a shot at making it work by trying to make it a bit more edgy and cool for gamers. By edgy and cool obviously what is meant is “set in the near future with some science fiction things.” Risk Urban Assault sees you trying your best to take control of five cities around the world individually and making sure other factions don’t succeed in doing so. There are up to five factions to choose from as you try to fill the void of the fallen governments of the world.

All of the factions have leaders with their own special abilities and quirks, with some seeming much more useful than others. You can also purchase various buildings and upgrades to help make your city wide domination even easier. There’s a nice level of personalisation and you will no doubt find your way of playing the game that you enjoy. That is if you can put up with its issues first of all. The game is fairly basic, with animations that feel extremely dated and not in a nostalgic way. It also seems to struggle frame-rate wise when actions are being made at a high speed, which can often happen if you turn quickly in a singleplayer match. Its most irritating problem though is with its dice rolls.

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Digital board games normally struggle when it comes to dice rolls and finding that fine balance between making the player feel like they’re in control or that an AI is just messing with them. Judging from several hours playing Risk Urban Assault I can conclude that dice rolls seem to fall far too often in the latter. On too many occasions you will find yourself against an enemy you have a high percentage chance of beating according to statistics and still lose multiple rolls. Yes, dice rolls can be that way, but in Urban Assault they just seem a touch too frequent.

It can be annoying, especially when you have invested in building up your troops in an area just so you could attack someone and not have to worry about losing a chunk of your army. It also seems that these issues don’t impede the computer as much when you are playing in singleplayer mode. They will often steamroll through you in the quest to control the board or occupy three town halls.

Human opposition is a different beast though. The game has same couch multiplayer, but there is an online mode in the game. It doesn’t, however, seem to be occupied by many players on the PlayStation 4. I was able to find a game on release week, but I had to wait about 10 minutes for it to start and couldn’t seem to find another room to join. There are custom online games and also a league system, but the tiny gamer pool means the league system is basically irrelevant.

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Playing against other humans should be great fun, but the lack of an in-game chat room means online is spent in silence just watching the battles unfold on the map. Considering the amount of down time, a game of Risk can have this seems like a huge oversight. It makes it even more difficult for the game to appeal to people new to it that may be considering playing online.

If you’re a fan of Risk or classic board games, then you might enjoy Risk Urban Assault and its new take on a well-known formula. It’s a perfectly passable interpretation of the game, but the technical difficulties that sit within it, considering its basic graphics, are likely to put off newcomers. The dice rolls frequently feel unfair and there just isn’t enough of an online community to keep you going back to it once you’ve had your fill of the singleplayer modes.

  • If you’d like to see my first hour with the game and me being awful against AI then you can see below. I got a bit better… honest.



Author

Brett Claxton

I like video games. That's why I write about them. I've played them for years and in that time I've found a love for creepy horrors, indie darlings and the oddities that come out of Japan. Although my main purpose on the site is to write up news and reviews I'm also one of the main Let's Play video creators of the team (or, as I call them, Brett's Play videos). You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bretteh2