Release Date: February 08, 2012
Developer: BitComposer Games / Coreplay
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Platform: [Reviewed: PC]
Rated: M for Mature
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is one of the newest games to come out of Kalypso Media. They re-imagine the second game of the series where you act as the commander of multiple hired mercenaires. But what has been revamped from the original Jagged Alliance that was released way back in 1999? Kaylpso says Jagged Alliance: Back in Action re-visits the title and fixes what didnt go so well back in 1999 and brings the gamer a more entertaining experience.
Before we dig in to the game itself, for those who are unfamiliar with Jagged Alliance lets explain the storyline. “Jagged Alliance: Back in Action takes you to a fictitious country called Arulco where a ruthless dictator has seized absolute power and only a small group of rebels are still able to resist the tyranny. You command the rebels and the best mercenaries in the world are fighting on your side, provided that you keep your troops supplied with plenty of cash and morale! You will require diplomatic skill and nerves of steel to win against the reign of terror.”
Right off the bat you will see that the Interface has totally been revamped as anyone would expect it to be. But whats truely amazing is Back in Action comes with a full tutorial for those who have yet to expierence what Jagged Alliance has to offer. Im never one to play tutorials, so of course I skipped it and jumped right into the game itself. Big mistake, I had no idea what I was doing or how to control my mercs effectively. That is what is great about the tutorial. It goes in depth and shows players step by step how to utalize each merc to their full potential. If you have never played Jagged Alliance, it is highly recommended that you step back and try the tutorial first.
Even after the tutorial I found Jagged Alliance to be quite challenging. This might be because being so used to run & gun gameplay style has killed my stratigic gameplay ability. But for me thats what gave the game an added level of difficulty. For first time players, It is highly recommended that you hire only one merc and learn how to strategically move him or her around the map and eliminate targets. Once that skill is set, hire a few more and use the team of mercs to your advantage. Even those who have played the original game back when it was a turn-based might find this now real-time strategy a bit harder. After a while this will become like second nature and it wont bother most.
Where I found myself a bit disappointed was with the team management. The gamer really does not have to worry about managing the team of mercs, worry about what type of merc they are hiring or anything really about them. After they are hired, you can even forget about how your going to finanace the operation overall. It feels like this should have been a bit of a bigger aspect in the game, to add that twist would add more of a challange to the game.
The AI seems to be a bit hit or miss at times too. I found that the enemies seemed to have some sort of super human hearing powers when crouch, walking or sometimes running far away from enemy targets. They would make comments about hearing something move and act somewhat alerted. But having said that the AI is not bad enough or even close to bad enough to affect the players want to continue playing or becoming immersed into Jagged Alliance.
Overall Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is a great real time strategy shooter that will have the player re-thinking their normal First Person Shooter playstyle. While there may be a few flaws, for those who wouldnt describle themselves as Avid Jagged Alliance players they are miniscule and will in no way affect the overall play through of the game. While the graphics arent the best in the world, looking back at the original they are a huge improvement. Jagged Alliance Back in Action is now available on Steam for only $39.99 and would be great for those who are fans of the older games and even those who want something new, challenging them differently than their favorite shooters that are currently on the market.
Overall Rating: 4/5