Jagged Alliance 2

aka: JA2, Jagged Alliance 2 Classic
Moby ID: 356
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

The political situation in the democratic monarchy of Arulco has gone from bad to worse. The country has been taken over through a coup d'état by Queen Deidranna Reitman, the wife of Enrico Chivaldori - rightful heir and son of late King Andreas Chivaldori. Enrico was reportedly killed in an assassination attempt during his trial for the murder of his father. Enrico however is alive and has contacted the Association of International Mercenaries (A.I.M.) to help him retake the island. Making contact with Miguel Cordoba, the head of the resistance team, A.I.M. will hire mercenaries and coordinate battle plans to control towns, organize militias in a quest to overthrow Queen Deidranna.

Jagged Alliance 2 is an isometric, third-person perspective turn-based tactics game. The role-playing elements of the game refer to (mostly) character development. The game is also able to switch between two different styles: sci-fi or realistic modes. From a new game, players will use their laptop to review information and hire mercenaries. Following that, the political map shows a satellite top-down position of the island of Arulco. From the map, equipment and funds are managed, as well as a review of enemy movement, and planning can be made to capture towns, mines and other locations. From the map, mercenaries can be deployed into a specific sector. Hostile sectors and enemy counter-attacks initiate combat mode.

The combat screen is where most of the actual gameplay occurs. Traveling in towns, exploring houses (with the purpose of stealing stuff of course!) and most importantly combat, occurs here. An encounter with an enemy team (either offensive or defensive) will prompt a battle in the area of contact. If on the offensive, players may opt to place mercenaries in favorable positions. Each team plays in turns, unless their action in interrupted by an opposing member. Enemies come in all shapes and sizes: enemy soldiers, tanks, bloodcats, and (in sci-fi mode) insect-like monsters. The team that remains alive will control the sector.

In order to recapture the island, players must engage in town militia management. A defense system must be organized for newly conquered towns to defend against enemy troops. Only loyal towns however may have its population trained into militia (indicated by a green percentage on the town via political map). A maximum of 2 mercenaries may train militia in any given town. The militia has 3 different training levels: green, regular, and veteran. The first 2 may be acquired through training, while the veteran status may only be acquired through combat.


  • Агония Власти - Russian spelling
  • 铁血联盟2 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

226 People (195 developers, 31 thanks) · View all



Average score: 87% (based on 31 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 142 ratings with 10 reviews)

One of the best squad-based combat games ever!

The Good
Though sometimes very hard, this game is one of the best squad-based combat games I've ever encountered. This game even best's X-COM by allowing the user to control every aspect of his sqaud's movements and actions.

The game runs in real-time until your squad gets into a battle, when it switches to turn-based combat. Here you can control every movement and shot fired by your squad members. The more experience they obtain, the better they get (just like in real life).

The controls are intuitive (once you get the hang of them) and allow you to quickly deploy orders to your team. Once you take control of the airport, you can order refreshed supplies of ammo and other items and can recruit more mercs to help you in your task of taking back Arulco.

The game is completely non-linear: you can accomplish your missions (taking over cities) in any order you like. If you want to barrel-on through and take out the head cities first, you're free to try.

The graphics, though 2D, are perfect for this game. The picking is almost flawless and movement fluid. The voice-acting, usually a stumbling point in such games, is just right. The interface is free of clutter: the information it displays in useful and pertinent. The music for this game also seemed "right on."

The enemy is finely tuned. The enemies don't seem to have any artificial education to help beat you. They seem to know what they can see and nothing else (a Good Thing(tm)). Many enemies are difficult to defeat but rarely "impossible."

I just wish there were a Jagged Alliance 3 on the way... (there are rumors, but nothing confirmed)

The Bad
The game usually runs fine, but seems to have trouble with NTFS disks. It ran flawlessly until I redid my installation as NTFS. It will run a ways, but then die and refuse to load saved games.

It would be nice if this game were higher res and 3D. But I think these are more of wish-list items for the next version instead of complaints of this game. I never found myself thinking, "Man this game needs to be in 3D."

The Bottom Line
A great squad-based combat game. One that needs to be played to be appreciated.

Windows · by Frecklefoot (189) · 2004


The Good
Good graphics, the whole "personalize this and that" feature, good sfx and an attempt to keep old characters.

The Bad
This game is a complete insult to the original. It steps on all genius things from JA 1 and adds too many clichés and that nerdy feel that just keeps on and on in all "modern" games! How so? Well, for example, the voice talents and characters are so watered down they look and hear really cartoonish, when will game developers understand that a credible character and a believable voice talent make so much a difference just as a good or a bad actor does inside a movie!? Also the characters' relationship with others and personality traits don't matter much anymore as it used to in JA1, something that made the game be truly unique and added a fun strategy to deal with. Also the mobility and gameplay is completely different. JA1 made the player be in total control and gave you a great deal of free will, you could plan your strategy well and conquer your enemy step by step according to your strategy. JA 2 however, is way more linear, almost as if it would be a turn-based beat 'em up game with guns. The characters also seem weaker in the game and characters that used to be excellent mercenaries in the original game, now are soft and slow witted. Graphics in general are good, but really important thing such as the mercenaries faces are terribly cartoonish or simply unattractive.

The Bottom Line
Terrible Sequel, but can make a good game for players as a whole different game.

Windows · by andvari a (2) · 2007

Mercs and guns and baddies, oh my!

The Good
Strategy, tactics, and a well thought out plan. This is what you need to play this game. X-COM was a lot of fun. The original Jagged Alliance was a blast. This game made me think in tactical terms for weeks (and still does from time to time). Jagged Alliance 2 is a rather large step up from the original in terms of scope, graphics, and all around gameplay.

The basic gist of things is that you have been hired by the ex-ruler of a country called Arulco. He is thought dead by its citizens and his ex-wife/queen of Arulco. Your job is to make contact with the rebels, and take the country back. You do this by hiring mercs and basically going to war with the country's army. This is a pretty basic plot, but there are so many side quests and extra NPC's and other things to keep your interest throughout the game.

One of the differences with this and the first game is that you can actually make yourself a merc in the game, instead of leading from some invisible command center. Depending on how you answer some questions, you will have certain abilities or quirks. Trust me, you WILL get attached to yourself. (Um... yeah. You know what I mean...) You hire your mercenaries from AIM (Association of International Mercenaries) by signing contracts (1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks) instead of just paying by the day. The mercenaries that you have access to are mostly new, with some returning from Jagged Alliance and Jagged Alliance:Deadly Games. While there are not as many as in the previous game, they all still have rather unique personalities. Some will simply not work with others, while some may go berzerk upon seeing the enemy. This was one of those things that I loved about the original. Personality. These are not mercs that you hire and use carelessly. Each one has their use in your team. When you lose one, you don't just feel it in the bank account...

As for weapons, there is a large selection that can be scrounged, stolen, looted or bought. There is even an option at the beginning of the game where you can use a larger range of weapons. There are handguns ranging from the Desert Eagle, to rifles such as the Colt Commando. Then of course there are the attachments. Bipods, scopes, silencers, even an underbarell grenade launcher!

The Bad
The AI in this game is very good. Sometimes too good. Even on the easy setting, the enemy is no pushover. The enemy will rarely fire a shot that they know will miss. Supposedly, this is due to the fact that the enemy always knows their chances of hitting, and will only fire when those chances are good. Its a fairly even trade-off to play on normal, so you can get the better guns earlier on. Like in any real-world conflict, weapon and armor quality mean a lot.

Another quirk is the line-of-sight. The manual states "you only see what your mercs see". There are some instances when you KNOW that they should see the enemy, but they don't. That and hiding behind trees/bushes is iffy. Sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't.

My final gripe is damage rules. Some of those weapons should be dealing a lot more damage than they do. One shot to the head, maybe two should kill a man regardless of what kind of helmet they wear. Three! Four! I don't think so.

The Bottom Line
Jagged Alliance 2 is a very enjoyable game. Despite a few quirks here and there, it does provide a very good squad-tactics kind of game. Once again, I'll refer to that tactical great, X-COM. Anyone that enjoyed that game, will also enjoy this one.

Windows · by Narf! (132) · 2001

[ View all 10 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Not 4x but x-com like squad/turn based tactics Dim Gri (30) Jan 2nd, 2012
4X (eXpand, eXplore, eXploit, eXterminate) SharkD (424) Aug 31st, 2007
Anyone know what those switches are for? Indra was here (20633) Jun 16th, 2007


Character Responses

  • When Ivan sees someone hitting an enemy in the head he says, "This is why my brother became an alcoholic."
  • Mercenaries (mercs) are known to have certain personality problems with other mercs. One instance is Enrico, the Arulco rebel leader (and his bodyguard) who dislike German and Austrian mercenaries (due to German occupation of Arulco in World War II).

Cover Art

The talent (model) on the front box cover bears a remarkable resemblance to one of Jagged Alliance’s top mercenaries: Sheila 'Scope' Sterling, a British sniper, though this might be purely coincidental.


  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2000 - Best Round-Based Strategy Game in 1999

Information also contributed by Chentzilla

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Heikki Sairanen.

Linux added by Trixter. Macintosh added by Cavalary.

Additional contributors: Andrew Hartnett, Shadowcaster, Brian Robinson, Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, Trond Berntsen, Patrick Bregger, Plok.

Game added November 1st, 1999. Last modified November 15th, 2023.