doogie2k's Axis & Allies (PC) review

This game is broken.

Hasbro has adapted many familiar board games and game shows into video games with mixed results, but perhaps the weakest of these is Axis & Allies. Buggy gameplay, laughably predictable AI, and virtually non-existent sound make what could have been a great Risk-esque game into a nightmare of mediocrity.

For starters, the game will randomly crash for no good reason. Replicating the conditions of a crash does no good, because it never seems to happen the same way twice. It certainly demonstrates the need for an autosave (which, thankfully, the game comes with, although you have to manually activate it). Then, sometimes it will hang for a minute but come back, and for the rest of the game, you won't be able to move units individually--it's all or nothing for any given type, even if you only want to move one or two.

Then there's the issue of the AI. Regardless of what you do, it will pretty much follow the same handful of patterns the whole game, with the only altering factor being the dice rolls. This makes it so that after a handful of games, you can utterly paste the computer without even trying because you already know what, approximately, they're going to do/try. This is where multiplayer comes in and, thankfully, saves the show. Because the core A&A gameplay is there (and fairly customizable), multiplayer is relatively enjoyable, so long as the aforementioned bugs don't crop up.

Multiplayer is the only saving grace of the game, though. Replay value outside that is pathetic, the sound effect (note the singular) and music are painfully repetitive, and the three or four video clips thrown in when you capture/liberate a capital or initiate a bombing run add absolutely nothing, and only serve to annoy after the fifteenth repetition. If you want a good game of Axis & Allies, break out the board, because this most definitely is not it.


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