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Risk, the classic Parker Brothers board game of world domination, armies and conquest, has previously appeared on the PC from Hasbro Interactive — but in creating a sequel, developer Deep Red and MicroProse have taken the game to a whole new level.
The world is at war, and you are in command of enough armies to begin your quest to conquer the globe. You will need to organize your forces and survive the conflict through strategy, cunning, ruthless decision-making, alliances, betrayals and luck. Risk II two basic gameplay options for this Napoleonic war gaming — Classic Risk and Same Time Risk.
In Classic Risk, you have access to all the features and elements of the original board game plus a few new ones. You can play the game as single-player versus computer opponents (Tournament mode), as a Hot-Seat game for up to eight players on one computer (in turn-based or Same Time modes), over a LAN or on the Internet through the MSN Gaming Zone. You can win at Classic Risk in three different ways: dominate a percentage of the world by conquering territories (60, 80 or 100 percent), capture enemy capitals or complete a secret mission.
With Same Time Risk you are freed from the agonizing wait of turn-based gameplay as all players can carry out actions at the same time. This mode utilizes a modified battle system that allows up to seven armies to simultaneously attack a single territory. A new dice mechanism has also been added that allows for a larger variety of outcomes. Players can now use a 12-sided dice instead of the standard 6-sided.
The global map is divided into six continents and 42 territories (48 if you choose to turn on the new additions). You must simultaneously defend your lands while creating a strategy to destroy your adversaries. Territories are initially allocated by one of three ways, Random Allocation, Territory Grab or Election. Random Allocation divides the territories up as equally as possible between all players at the start of the game; Territory Grab allows players to choose territories in turn until all are owned; and the most complex method, Election, gives payers the chance to vie for power and control of the 48 territories by using Election Points to influence the balance of power in as of yet uncommitted territories.
Risk II also offers 16 different computer opponents who you can pit your wits against — each with a unique character profile, personality and strategies. These 'AI Generals' include Campbell, Mackenzie, Wellington, Bonaparte, Marmont, Barbacena, D'Erlon, Maransin, Solignac, Sherbrooke, Aubert and others.
The game's single-player Tournament mode offers you a series of 16 progressively tougher scenarios, all designed by die-hard Risk players. As you make your way through the challenges, more options will be available, such as Same Time and secret missions. Adjustable game preferences include various sound effects, music, video, controls and tutorials. Video preferences allows you the option to view the battles on a 3D landscape, as well as territorial zooms and Map Zooming.
Risk II's three different game objectives are playable in both Classic and Same Time modes. World Domination is the longest and most classic objective (conquer 60, 80 or 100% of the world to be victorious), Mission Risk is an object-based version of the game and Capital Risk gives each player a capital city to defend.
As with the classic game of Risk, Risk II players collect battle cards that can help them gather more troops as the game progresses or as they conquer territories. These cards can be traded to other players during the reinforcement phase of each game turn. Speaking of phases, each game turn has four distinct phases, Diplomacy, Reinforcement, Battles and Tactical Moves. In the Diplomacy phase you can strike alliances with other players. The system used to negotiate these deals with the computer players is called I-Com (Iconic Communication), which provides a way for you to communicate with the 'AI Generals.' I-Com can only be used during a single-player game when facing multiple AI opponents. Whenever there is more than one human player, I-Com is disabled.
Developer Deep Red has crafted a sequel to the classic Risk game that adds many improvements and enhancements to the original. Along with multiple viewing options, a global 3D tactical overview, cinematic battle sequences, challenging AI, a variety of multi-player options and much more, Risk II offers players the chance to play the classic Risk boardgame in an electronic format with new twists. ~ Tara Hernandez, All Game Guide