Reviews and Problems with Jagged Alliance: Back in Action
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Jagged Alliance: Back in Action
2 September 2013
Summary: Ask any old-school PC gamer about his favorite tactical games, and more often than not you'll find a Jagged Alliance title near the top of the list. It's a name held in nearly as high regard as X-COM or Syndicate, and for good reason. Sir-Tech's classic series combined impressive depth with character and personality, cementing its place in the pantheon of all-time PC greats.
Excerpt: Downloadable Content or DLCs seem to be de rigueur
for most PC games these days and the types of DLCs range from simple add-ons
and weapon packs to what we used to call “expansion packs”--expanding the
original premise of the game considerably. Jagged
Alliance: Back in Action, the top-down tactical mercenary game by
bitComposer Games and Kalypso, has also stepped forward into the DLC market
with two DLC titles: Shades of Red
and Point Blank.
Excerpt: One of the very first games I played on the first 'modern' game computer I ever owned, a supped-up 486, was Jagged Alliance. The game had it all. Tactical combat. Lots of cool guns. Mercenaries as characters who all had unique personalities and voices. And a great story about liberating a county, and making money while doing it. As good as Jagged Alliance was, there was not a lot done with the series until later when Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games came out in 1995.
Excerpt: Turn based strategy games require certain degrees of patience, planning and some tactical decisions. This level of unit command and control is what made games like the original XCOM and Jagged Alliance so popular, but Back in Action has changed their mantra. Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is the latest title in much loved classic Jagged Alliance series.
Pros: One of very few recent offerings in the Tactical RPG genre, lots of challenge, long play time
Cons: Terrible voice acting, poor game balance, weapon variety is an illusion, terrain is impossible to read, enemies are overpowered too early on, 3D graphics are lost in isometric view, squad management is terrible... I could actually complain about more, but I'm losing my will to live.
Excerpt: John Thompson gets 'back in action' with the latest release of the revamped classic that puts players in control of mercenaries to free an island from tyranny. Is it a job worth of the A-Team?
Excerpt: The tiny but mineral-rich Caribbean islet of Arulco sits under the baking sun, blue skies and jackbooted heel of its insidious dictator, the evil queen Deidranna Rietman. Its populace is starving and working in indentured servitude to Reitman, who sucks the island’s mines dry while padding her coffers and, to a lesser extent, those of her minions.
Summary: Going back to improve on older games can sometimes muck up what worked rather than fix what was awry in the first place. That's partially the case with Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, a remake of the second game in the series that attempts to freshen up the old-school formula. It still looks and plays like a relic from the past, which may be a selling point for some, but the transition from turn-based strategy to quasi real-time combat is a bumpy one.
Pros: Lots of mercs to hire and gear to customize, Combat is fun when it clicks
Cons: Punishing difficulty curve, Real-time elements are problematic, Frustrating camera angles
Conclusion: Verdict: A flawed gem. A lot of great qualities that make the gameplay solid and fun, but here are also quite a few annoying design decisions that slow down the pace. Definitely worth a look if you really like tactical action strategies, a genre that doesn’t see much love these days.