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Jagged Alliance: Back in Action

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Critic Reviews 61% add missing review

Hooked Gamers (8 out of 10)

Meeting Jagged Alliance: Back in Action head on and with an open mind will show you a tremendously enjoyable strategy game; one that will keep you entertained for weeks on end. So, while I cannot answer my opening question with "army boots", I can wholeheartedly say that the game wears a pair of sturdy hiking boots that many will appreciate.

Feb 10th, 2012 · Windows · read review

GBase - The Gamer's Base (8 out of 10)

Am Ende ist Jagged Alliance - Back in Action ein gutes Spiel sowie eine wĂŒrdige Neuinterpretation geworden, aber eben doch noch kein Jagged Alliance 3. Dennoch sollten sich alte Hasen und GrĂŒnschnĂ€bel den Titel durchaus einmal anschauen. Es lohnt sich!

Feb 6th, 2012 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (73 out of 100)

Was haben die Entwickler da mit der JA 2-Lizenz an die Hand bekommen! Und was haben sie draus gemacht! Aus einem der besten Taktik-Epen aller Zeiten mit einer lebendigen Welt und gelungenen RPG-Elementen ein lieblos dahin geklatschter Söldner-Schinken. Es ist teilweise zum Haare raufen, wie Coreplay essentielle JA 2-Elemente mal eben aus dem Programm schmiss, ohne dafĂŒr adĂ€quaten Ersatz zu liefern. In den ersten Momenten (sprich: Spielstunden) meint man noch, ein zwar auf Echtzeit umgestricktes, aber Ă€hnlich komplexes Spiel vor sich zu haben. Doch je lĂ€nger die Befreiung Arulcos voranschritt, umso öfter musste ich mit dem Kopf schĂŒtteln. Auf positive Überraschungen wartete ich vergeblich – stattdessen blieb mir regelmĂ€ĂŸig der Mund offen stehen, wie selbst einfachste Dinge hier grandios versemmelt wurden. Sicher, insgesamt ist Back in Action kein echter Totalausfall. Aber selbst unter gĂŒtiger Ignoranz der JA-DenkmalschĂ€ndung fĂŒr mich doch eine herbe EnttĂ€uschung.

Feb 10th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Game Captain (73 out of 100)

Jagged Alliance ist damit in dieser Version kein Taktikbrocken mehr, sondern eine leider etwas zu leicht verdauliche Hauptspeise, die aber durchaus sĂ€ttigt und den Weg fĂŒr schwerere Kost ebnen könnte.

Feb 8th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Looki (73 out of 100)

Dass ich mit Back in Action trotzdem meinen Spaß habe, zeigt, was fĂŒr ein geniales Spielprinzip im Kern steckt. Zusammen mit dem gelungenen Plan&Go-Feature und den actionreichen KĂ€mpfen motiviert mich der Befreiungskampf Arulcos auch dieses Mal. Aufgrund seiner offenkundigen SchwĂ€chen kann ich dennoch jeden JA-Veteranen und Genre-Fan verstehen, der Back in Action die kalte Schulter zeigt. Meine Empfehlung daher: Probespielen!

Feb 25th, 2012 · Windows · read review

GamingXP (72 out of 100)

Alles in allem ist „Jagged Alliance: Back in Action“ ein gelungener Mix aus Action und ein wenig Strategie. Doch in Anbetracht des Erbes, das der Titel anzutreten hat, muss man sagen, dass der jĂŒngste Teil der kultigen Reihe seinen VorgĂ€ngern nicht das Wasser reichen kann. Leider wurde das Spiel an den falschen Stellen einer Schlankheitskur unterzogen. Die teilweise ĂŒbermĂ€chtigen NPCs tragen zudem nicht zur Spannung bei, sondern sorgen eher fĂŒr Frust. Davon abgesehen kommt man vor allem im fortgeschrittenen Spielverlauf in Sachen Action voll auf seine Kosten. Wer einmal Abstand von all den fotorealistischen Shootern nehmen, aber nicht auf Maschinengewehrfeuer verzichten will, ist bei „Jagged Alliance: Back in Action“ doch gut aufgehoben.

Feb 9th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (70 out of 100)

Vergevingsgezinde Jagged Alliance fans en fans van real-time tactische spellen als Commandos moeten deze game een kans geven. Perfect is het allemaal niet, maar er valt zeker lol mee te beleven.

Jan 31st, 2012 · Windows

Eurogamer.de (7 out of 10)

Und sonst? Das Land ist groß, es gibt viele, wenn auch wenig abwechslungsreiche Missionen und entsprechend werdet ihr eine ganze Zeit lang beschĂ€ftigt sein, wenn ihr in Jagged Alliance: Back in Action alles sehen, alles befreien wollt. Es ist ein zwar kein Traumurlaub, aber ein gelungenes Abenteuer. Ein gelungenes Abenteuer, das noch eine Menge Luft nach oben hat, fĂŒr Taktik-Fans aber durchaus einen Blick wert ist.

Feb 16th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Gamezoom (7 out of 10)

Es ist bestimmt schwer eine so festgefahrene Fangemeinschaft mit einem neuen Titel zu ĂŒberzeugen, doch mit Back in Action streut man Salz in offene Wunden. Nach Titeln wie Brigade E5 oder High Calibre sehnte man sich nach einem wĂŒrdigen Nachfolger der alten Serie. Als man in den News hörte, dass alles noch mal neu aufgerollt werden sollte, wuchs die Hoffnung. Doch leider wurde man wieder ein wenig im Stich gelassen. NatĂŒrlich muss man auch mit der Zeit gehen und kann so nicht mehr auf die Grafik der 90er zurĂŒckgreifen, aber darauf kam es nie an. Eine nett gestaltete 3D OberflĂ€che kann nur leider die anderen Fehler nicht ausmerzen. Back in Action zeigt in vielen Punkten gute AnsĂ€tze und ein gut durchdachtes neues Taktiksystem, doch wirkt es auf Fans der alten Reihe eher enttĂ€uschend. Je lĂ€nger ich BIA spielte umso mehr wuchs der Wunsch in mir JA 2 wieder zu installieren und einmal nicht die Grafik in den Vordergrund zu rĂŒcken.

Feb 15th, 2012 · Windows · read review

PC Gamer (68 out of 100)

A good squad-wargame for those patient enough to forgive the awful interface for making the strategic component a chore.

May 2012 · Windows

PC Games (Germany) (66 out of 100)

Das umstrittene Plan&Go-System ist noch das geringste Übel von Back in Action. TatsĂ€chlich funktioniert das KĂ€mpfen mit der Pausefunktion meistens gut. Allerdings sorgen KI-MĂ€ngel von Gegnern und Söldnern immer wieder fĂŒr viel zu simple Gefechte oder Frust wegen dĂ€mlicher FehlschlĂ€ge. Zusammen mit der spartanischen PrĂ€sentation, der hakeligen Bedienung und den fehlenden Features ergibt das ein Remake, das dem Original in allen Belangen unterlegen ist.

Feb 6th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Gameswelt (65 out of 100)

Es ist mehr als mutig, einem legendĂ€ren Spiel ein Remake zu verpassen und dabei grundsĂ€tzliche Komponenten zu Ă€ndern. Zumindest im Falle der EchtzeitkĂ€mpfe und des Plan-&-Go-Features hat das sogar recht gut geklappt, denn beide funktionieren einwandfrei und lassen es nicht an taktischen Möglichkeiten missen. Das Hauptproblem ist, dass einige sinnvolle Aspekte, wie der Nebel des Krieges, spurlos verschwunden sind, selbst die beste Taktik mitunter der schwachen Spielbalance und der wechselhaften KI zum Opfer fĂ€llt und die Bedienung in vielen Bereichen so umstĂ€ndlich ist, dass man sich fragen muss, ob die Entwickler jemals etwas von sinnvollen Interfaces und KontextmenĂŒs gehört haben. Das Remake der Legende ist zwar nicht komplett misslungen, kostet aber zumindest einiges an Nerven.

Feb 15th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Imperium Gier ( )

Jednak pomimo powyĆŒszych zastrzeĆŒeƄ, nie sposĂłb zaprzeczyć, ĆŒe Jagged Alliance: Back in Action jest wymagającą grą strategiczną, udanie oddającą klimat poprzednich częƛci. ZwƂaszcza na poziomie trudnym z wƂączonym dymem wojny i samodyscypliną odnoƛnie Ƃadowania stanĂłw rozgrywki. Z drugiej strony dla weteranĂłw serii moĆŒe okazać się za sƂabo rozbudowane taktycznie, zaƛ dla mƂodszych graczy zbyt przaƛne i niepotrzebnie skomplikowane. Jednak ci, ktĂłrzy dadzą szansę Back in Action, mogą spodziewać się kilkudziesięciu godzin solidnej zabawy, moĆŒe nie do koƄca pozbawionej bƂędĂłw i frustrujących momentĂłw, ale wciągającej i przynoszącej satysfakcję z oswobadzania kolejnych terenĂłw.

Jun 18th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Thunderbolt Games (6 out of 10)

The Jagged Alliance series has a lot of potential to be excellent, it just requires a lot of attention to the little details to construct a product that acquires that perfection. Back in Action isn’t quite that product, though after a few patches it’ll likely be heading in the right direction.

Mar 10th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (11 out of 20)

Back in Action n'est dĂ©cidĂ©ment pas le signe du renouveau de la sĂ©rie, mais plutĂŽt le signe de sa dĂ©cadence. Avec un tel matĂ©riau de base, les dĂ©veloppeurs ne pouvaient pas se planter et pourtant ils l'ont fait. Si on ne peut dĂ©cemment pas dire que le jeu est mauvais, la sensation est quand mĂȘme amĂšre : dix ans d'attente pour une malheureux update graphique et quelques changements au niveau du gameplay... Ă  10 euros ça passe, Ă  40 c'est dĂ©jĂ  plus problĂ©matique.

Aug 11th, 2014 · Windows · read review

4Players.de (55 out of 100)

Der erhöhte Actionfaktor durch die Gleichzeitigkeit der Aktionen ist zwar okay, aber warum mĂŒssen die Gegner immer sichtbar sein? Warum reagiert die Computerintelligenz so vorhersehbar und dĂ€mlich? WĂ€hrend die Plan&Go-KĂ€mpfe mit zugedrĂŒckten Augen durchweg in Ordnung gehen, ist es die fehlende ĂŒbergeordnete Strategie und das völlig verkorkste Interface, die mich richtig Ă€rgern. Ich hatte permanent das GefĂŒhl, dass die Entwickler selbst nicht wussten, was sie mit dieser Modernisierung wollten. FĂŒr ein Actionspiel gibt es viel zu wenig Action. FĂŒr ein Taktikspiel fehlen (abgesehen von Söldnern und Waffenauswahl) die tiefgehenden Optionen. Unterm Strich ist das alles weder Fisch noch Fleisch, sondern ein halbgarer Mischmasch, der dem Vorbild in keiner Weise gerecht wird.

Feb 10th, 2012 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (5.5 out of 10)

Over time all of the niggling little problems build into a bigger headache, making this remake a disappointing, often irritating excursion at best. For every design decision that enhances gameplay there’s one that sets it back. A good stiff challenge is one thing, but so many aspects of Back in Action’s design actively work against you. That’s unfortunate, because there are stretches where the core game is really enjoyable--just not enough to keep all but the most diehard players from packing it in.

Mar 7th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Gamona (55 out of 100)

Auch das Plan&Go ist weder anspruchsvoll noch innovativ genug, als dass es sich mit den taktischen Möglichkeiten und Finessen des VorgÀngers messen könnte. Die Fans wird der Teil nicht hinter dem Ofen hervor locken. Wen allerdings die KomplexitÀt der bisherigen Serie eher abgeschreckt hat, der kann Back in Action ruhig einmal anspielen.

Mar 2nd, 2012 · Windows · read review

Gaming Nexus (C-)

A mixture of fun ideas and careful gameplay with excessive micromanagement and poor AI make for a game that has its moments, but falls apart under fire.

Mar 14th, 2012 · Windows · read review

GameSpy ( )

I can't say I had no fun at all playing Jagged Alliance: Back in Action -- in fact, I'm having an entertaining time replaying the early missions with an all-melee hit squad and doing better than my first time around -- but I can say that of the 50 hours of my life it took to put a bullet in the queen, I want about half of them back. Even hardcore strategy players are going to have a hell of a time liberating Arulco without it turning into a frustrating quagmire.

Feb 21st, 2012 · Windows · read review

Gameblog.fr ( )

L'idĂ©e de faire un remake fidĂšle est louable, mais la rĂ©alisation de Jagged Alliance Back in Action en devient schizophrĂšne, en plus d'ĂȘtre assez limitĂ©e de maniĂšre gĂ©nĂ©rale. Trop de dĂ©fauts, trop de lacunes viennent perturber un gameplay trĂšs accrocheur et beaucoup de charme dans le background. Je veux un vrai Jagged Alliance, exigeant, ergonomique, moderne. Je sais que c'est possible.

Feb 9th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Calm Down Tom (2 out of 10)

I’ve just totally ranted over a game that's being tested haven't I? No, no I haven't. They’re releasing this thing today. If its released in this state the only people that are gonna enjoy it are the people that loved the original so much that ridiculous game design decisions aren’t going to make them go on a witch hunt. If you’re looking for a tactical squad based game Frozen Synapse is still an outright winner in my mind. Jagged Alliance is slow, difficult and poorly designed. I got absolutely no enjoyment out of it what-so-ever, except from the fairly childish things like finding a hardcore lesbian magazine. The game was slightly pretty, but my god was it badly designed!

Feb 10th, 2012 · Windows · read review

Player Reviews

[v1.0] A somewhat jaggy experience...
by Indra was here (20775)

The Good
Review Version: v1.0
Review Date: March, 2013
Review Length: Three page(s).
Game Version: v1.0.0.1
Tech Specs Used: Intel Core 2 6300 1.86 Ghz CPU, 3 GB Memory, 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT Video Card.
Finished: No, gave up.
Last time played: March, 2013.

Well, Jagged Alliance is back. At least some of it. Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is the long awaited sequel in the Jagged Alliance after many a bumpy road. That bumpy road among others refers to Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge and many other whispers claiming to be one way or the other as a continuation of the series, many of which are hardly worth the mention. As the game description says, it's a 3D and real-time remake of Jagged Alliance 2; with the real-time element might take awhile for the player to adjust to.

If you're familiar Jagged Alliance 2, here are some of the things you'd expect:

  • Same hire mercenaries mechanism from AIM, though the quantity of mercenaries is now noticeably fewer. There are also some new perks that mercenaries have: amazon, loner, etc., in addition to the standard perks its predecessor introduced. Also, for whatever reason, mercs no longer have salaries, so there's just a signing up fee, however not all mercs can be hired easily. Most may require some reputation on your part before agreeing to join.
  • Same non-player characters that may be recruited from Arulco. Including the among others, Miguel, Ira, Mad Dog, etc. Though to acquire them, the player needs to finish quests before doing so.
  • Similar militia options. Though in this game, the training of militia is automatic. Additionally, you have to manually equip volunteers with a weapon for them to become active militia, and if you choose to do so, equip them with additional armor.

Other new features worthy of mention:

  • Locations on the map, when conquered may provide additional bonuses to the player. For example, controlling a nearby farm, will increase income of nearby surrounding location. Some of these new locations although may be enforced by militia are not attacked by enemy soldiers for whatever reason. Considering how large the map is, it's a welcome minor feature.
  • Slightly more variety in weapons, especially armor. Some armor now have specified camouflage bonuses per specified terrain/event: desert, forest, night, urban, etc.
  • The real-time combat takes awhile to get used to. Your mercenaries for the most part don't do anything unless ordered to. When ordering a mercenary, you enter a pause mode, and create a sequence of actions for that mercenary to order. When done, you exist the pause mode and real-time commences. Also, in defend mode, your mercenaries will attack anything in within range (though range isn't exactly clear...sometimes requiring manual intervention if you want to snipe an enemy located quite far away). So for the most part, all you need to do is position your merc and let combat commence by itself.

And most importantly, the bugs are at a minimal for its first release, so kudos on that one.

The Bad
I tried to like this game. I really did. Though admittedly only because I'm a Jagged Alliance fanboi. There are numerous features that I've found to be addictive in previous installments, which for whatever stupid reason have been disabled or replaced in this game:

Minor Annoyances

  • Company Logo Intro Extravaganza
    Publisher, publisher, developer, sponsor, main title, cutscene,..then finally main menu. That's six times you have to press 'Esc' every time you want to play the game. Seriously, they really must want attention.
  • Item Management
    The game consists of a lot of items. In Jagged Alliance 2, item management was pretty helpful. As long as you control an area, all items are accessible from the world map if your mercs are in that area. An efficient way to attain items, as it's just a minor feature. Now, they removed that feature, and you'll have to do it the hard way by manually sending mercs in the area to the location of that item. A time-consuming and boring routine. Note: This feature has been added in the sequel Jagged Alliance: Crossfire. Not entirely sure if it was also added to later patches of this game.
  • Tiresome Militia
    Managing militia is a tediously boring job. Not only do you have manually equip militia, which in itself isn't a problem, it's the fact that you need to manually reach them on the area map to do so that makes it a tiresome routine. Even more annoying, unassigned militia aren't located near each other or near the central area. They're always located somewhere far off for some stupid reason. If would be much more efficient if everything were accessible from the world map rather than waste time running around on the local map. Also, if a militia dies during combat, all the items you gave him/her conveniently disappears. Replace by a somewhat random stash. So much for 'state of the art' equipment. Another annoying militia feature is that you cannot view battles (unlike its predecessor). For the most part, your militia tends to die easily, and re-equipping them is a sore. Which is somewhat frequent, as militia rarely wins a battle without your help.

Major Deal-Breaker Annoyances

  • Character Creation
    This almost made me hate the game. In the words of Jagged Alliance 2 character creation, whoever made this decision should be shot, strung up, and run over by a buick. The lack of no personal merc previously made available means for me, the lack of emotional attachment on my part to this game. No personal merc that gets the nice goodies first or one-merc killing machine that gets all the attention. As far as Back in Action is concerned, your role is basically an accountant managing a merc squad.
  • Character Development
    It's now a skill-distribution based. Mercs gain experience and level up. A total of 7 points may be distributed to attributes or skills per level. In previous installments, character development relied on skill repetition, gradually increasing, thus a sense of anticipation as your merc gets better and better. It was fun. Each action your merc does may be rewarded with a skill increase. Now it's just plain dull. Whoever made this decision obviously isn't a Jagged Alliance 2 fan.
  • Character Level Cap
    I stopped playing this after I found out the hard way that there's a level cap. No more leveling up after level 10. I don't know stupid games these developers have been playing, but a level cap has never been a good thing in role-playing games. So screw this.
  • Combat, Stupid AI, and Pathfinding
    Non-player characters have this tendency to run into combat, instead of away from combat, getting themselves shot at, or blocking your movement, or blocking your line of fire. Silent kills for the most part do not mean much, as any shot fired at an enemy only alerts a small fraction of the enemy. Attempting a silent kill via melee is almost impossible, so might as well not attempt it anyway. Movement isn't penalized during combat, so opponents carrying melee weapons are more to be feared than snipers. Aiming takes awhile, so no free surprise attacks if an enemy suddenly shows up in your line of fire. Most of the time, you don't even know if your merc is actually firing his/her weapon, as there is no indication when the merc will fire his/her weapon. Note: Feature indicating that a merc is aiming has been added to the sequel Jagged Alliance: Crossfire. Effective formation are non-existent, for the most part, you'll need to move your merc one at a time. When moving, your mercs can't engage the enemy either, forcing you to pause and cancel their movement so they can attack. Additionally, placement gets buggy as if a merc bumps into another merc or NPC, they sometimes get stuck, in other times, they face the wrong direction when ordered, forcing you to constantly check on them. Dude who did the path-finding algorithms really should have paid more attention to this. It has yet to be fixed. Path-finding errors in this day and age in gaming is embarrassing.
  • Repairing Items
    Armor can no longer be repaired, which means you'll have to keep buying new armor, while piling up damaged armor. Also repairing weapons takes up charges now, instead of the previously more accurate and efficient percentage points.

And that's only some that I remember.

The Bottom Line
Well, officially it's Jagged Alliance. From a fanboi perspective however, it isn't. They've taken away too many good features that made previous installments addictive, leaving this shell of its former glory just for the sake of making it in a real-time 3D environment. From a more romantic interpretation, the game lacks the soul of a Jagged Alliance game. As far as I'm concerned, this game fails to live up to its predecessor.

Also note that this review is for version 1.00.1. Perhaps there have been some features in this review that since have been enabled. Which unfortunately means for the avid gamer, one has to wait awhile for the patching process to meet an acceptable level before you can enjoy this game. It's up to patch v1.3.00 or something since this review, so heads up. In fact, you're probably better off playing Jagged Alliance: Crossfire and avoid this one entirely, since clearly they were paying more attention in adding company logo intros that making a remake.

Overall it's a still a sad attempt to revive this once lovely series. Though keep in mind, this game may be more of a letdown to fans than to new gamers unfamiliar with the series.

Mar 27th, 2013 · Windows

Plus 7 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Tim Janssen, jaXen, Patrick Bregger, Cantillon, Rambutaan, 666gonzo666, Alsy, Lhetre, Cavalary.