Jagged Alliance 2

aka: JA2, Jagged Alliance 2 Classic
Windows Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/30 1:30 AM )

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)

An outstanding update of the original

The Good
Jagged Alliance 2 takes the original Jagged Alliance and updates it with improved graphics, AI, bells and whistles, and everything else. If you're a fan of the original game, you'll feel right at home with the sequel (once you get used to the new interface, that is).

The gameplay is the same as the original: You guide a squad of mercenaries through a series of turn-based tactical combat missions. The updated game engine, however, provides exponentially more depth and variety than the original.

One of the interesting new developments is that you don't have the artificial time limit of playing only during the day. In the original game, your mercs hit the field at 5:00am and had to be finished by 5:00pm. In JA:2, you can play around the clock (assuming you have mercs available), and indeed some missions are particularly suited for night ops, using one or two stealthy mercs armed with knives and silenced pistols.

Your mercs also may have enhanced abilities with certain weapons or with non-combat skills. In the original Jagged Alliance, a skilled marksman was equally good with a pistol, a shotgun or an assault rifle. In JA:2, some of your mercs may be particularly adept with heavy weapons, or hand-to-hand combat, or night ops, etc. And they'll gain a bonus to their skill when the circumstances are appropriate. (Mercs with the Night Ops specialty, for example, see better in the dark than other mercs, and will therefore be more accurate with firearms.)

In addition to the combat aspects of the game, the non-combat "role playing" aspect has also been enhanced. The Jagged Alliance games have always touted themselves as "Role-playing Strategy" games. In the first game, the roleplaying was pretty limited, and mainly centered around the different personalities of your mercs. In JA:2, roleplaying has been enhanced by (A) the addition of a fully customizable merc that will join your squad for free; and (B) the ability to interact with NPCs, who can give you clues, quests, directions, misinformation, or simply background color.

In short, Jagged Alliance 2 is what a sequel should be: a game that captures the feel of the original game, but improves on the original to make a new, better game.

The Bad
My only complaints about JA:2 center around the absence of some non-critical features of the first game. For example, the original Jagged Alliance had voiceovers for the item descriptions, done in this smooth, mellow DJ announcer voice (don't know how else to describe it). It added nothing whatsoever to the gameplay, but it was fun to click on items and hear the guy say "A 10-bullet box of .357 ammo." or "A medical kit. It's almost half empty!" This feature is sadly lacking from Jagged Alliance 2.

Also, it's obvious that the sequel decided to get Serious(tm). In the original Jagged Alliance, you had a lot of competent, no-nonsense mercs, but you also had a lot of mercs that were clearly placed there for humor value. Pops and Moses were old geezers, Raffi was the "doctor" with no medical ability whatsoever, Reuben was the psycho who killed his whole family with an electric hedge trimmer, Tex was the Japanese guy who wanted to be a cowboy, etc. (And some of these humorous mercs actually turned out to be useful. Tex, for example, wasn't too bad of a merc for the start of the game, and if you used him heavily, his skills improved along with his level, allowing him to keep pace with the increasingly more challenging missions.)

Alas, in JA:2, you find that the humorous mercs have all left the A.I.M. roster. No more Raffi. No more Sparky. No more Vinny. No more Tex. They've either left A.I.M. for greener pastures, or retired, or resigned, or gotten killed, or were forced out for conduct violations. Their replacements are all serious, no-nonsense mercs who emphasize competence at the expense of humor. Again, this isn't something that affects gameplay (in fact, it probably improves it some since you don't have to worry about being saddled with flakes like Reuben and Raffi), but it's still something I miss.

The Bottom Line
Jagged Alliance 2 is a great, great game if you like turn-based strategic/tactical combat games.

Windows · by Afterburner (486) · 2001

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

Sirtech magic touch blessed this one too....

The Good
Absolutely almost everything was perfect, but what made this game a winner - even if as people say within the certain circle, is that mercenaries you controlled during game, had different personalities, something we always miss when we do create own whole group at the start. Different voices, faces, habits and traits made this gaming experience so wonderful for me, I come back every year to install and play this one. With decent if simple story, detailed and plentiful equipment and realism (as far as game allows) it has captured me forever. Graphics and music.. I dont care much about - as far as I concerned, they will satisfy me until I turn 60... Animations were as good as year 1999 allowed, granting small size of mercenaries too. Its a tragedy that there will be no Jagged Alliance 3, and I sincerely hope that no other company thinks of releasing flop sequel on their own.

The Bad
Some particular voicing was irritating at times, small glitches, but otherwise perfection itself.

The Bottom Line
Find it, buy it and play it - but beware, if it captures you like it did me, there are at least few days without sleep ahead... Really hard to stop playing this one, except if you mess up quite a bit and forgot to save before....

Windows · by Marina Shoykhet (6) · 2003

[ 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 September 16th, 2023.