Jagged Alliance: Back in Action marks a return and a re-make of the hit title from the late 1990’s. Boasting updates to bring it more in-line with the current generation, is this quiet title release worth your money and game time? Flip on past the break to find out.
I enjoy four-course meals. These tend to have the sort of length that dinner conversation is witty without becoming stale. They also give me a solid amount of food to chew on, since I dislike having just a small bite of something great. Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is just that sort of meal, despite some undercooked meat and tough flavors. Before we move on, check out the trailer and gameplay for the game (in case you have not).
Back in Action is a remake of the second game, from way back in the 1990’s. The hokey story behind Jagged Alliance hasn’t changed – Players are hired to oust a dictatorial Queen from island paradise Arulco, freeing its populace from her tyranny. To do so, mercenaries have to be hired, locations emptied of enemy troops, and funds “acquired” to hire more guns and buy more gear. As a means to an end, the storyline works. The wide varieties of maps – ranging from towns to mines to even a water pumping station – mean players gain a believable feel to the conveniently-square island. These varied, salad-y areas are chock-full of littered objects that breathe life into Arulco, such as NPC’s who cower at your gun-toting approach, or children who follow obliviously with their saviours. For a simple island, Arulco is rich in varied landscapes, a diced salad of jungle, desert, and suburban neglect.
The neat touches add colour and also give players a sense of progression and permanence. Dead NPCs stay dead, their half-looted houses still hosting the remnants of whatever trash you chose not to take during a previous rampage. Enemies who re-take positions are smarter, covering previous loopholes and forcing players to work around them in a different manner. A pleasant day/night cycle also adds some interesting spice to battles. Depending on how you equip mercenaries, the time of day and their surroundings affects how well they hide. Having the glaring opposite type of camouflage might even give penalties!