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)

The best turn-based squad combat strategy game around

The Good
This game got all the details right. First and foremost, JA2 only operates in turn-based mode when an enemy is spotted or one of your soldiers is attacked. Non-combat movement happens in real time. This makes the game exponentially more enjoyable to play than many similar titles. Combat--the meat and potatoes of the game--is a blast. There are plenty of items to choose from - a veritable cornucopia of guns, ammo, armor and assorted stuff. A mechanically adept character can often combine two or more apparently useless items into something useable, like a gun barrel extender or a trip-wire booby trap. The characters are all distinctive and they let loose some great sound bites, especially during combat. If you liked the character of Minsk in the Baldur's Gate games then you'll find plenty to enjoy here. All the potentially mundane management tasks (character generation, recruiting personnel, buying equipment, tracking your finances) are actually enjoyable, thanks in no small part to a wonderful pseudo-web browser interface.

The Bad
This doesn't detract from gameplay at all, but it's worth mentioning. JA2 is supposed to be set in a tropical island nation. The NPC natives of the island don't seem to realize this; they speak with a variety of Russian, South American and African accents. The voice acting is good, but the accents don't make any sense.

The Bottom Line
Don't be fooled by the ultra-cheesy box cover - this is a fantastic game. Essentially this game is a member of the turn-based squad combat genre pioneered by X-Com UFO Defense, with a healthy dose of role playing thrown in for good measure.

Windows · by Kurt Sample (1071) · 2001

My favorite game!

The Good
This has to be my favorite game ever. It's a perfect mix of strategy and role-playing. You control a squad of up to 18 characters as they try to wrest control of Arulco from the evil dictator Deidranna and return the country to its former monarch. You take control of sectors on a map, gradually leading up to Deidranna's seat of power in Meduna. Along the way you combat green and elite troops, meet individuals who help you along the way and upgrade your units.

The game runs very smoothly on even low-end systems. There's no interface lag like in many other video games. The graphics are nice and the controls are functional. The sound, music and humour are also great! The tactical gameplay is superb and some of the best you'll find in any video game. I'd rate the tactical combat even higher than X-COM's. The interaction with characters and side-quests, while less prevalent than in some other role-playing games, is interesting and adds a nice break from the combat.

The Bad
The only complaint I can think of is the lack of multiple levels in structures as in X-COM. While it is possible to walk along the ground and climb on the roof of some buildings, multiple storeys within buildings would have been nice. The sci-fi aspects are also not so good.

The Bottom Line
Probably as close to perfect as any video game as ever come! The game is always interesting and never leaves you wanting to play something else.

Windows · by SharkD (424) · 2013

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

[ 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.