Jagged Alliance

Copyright: © 1994 Sir Tech
Genre: Strategy games

Strategy games

Jagged Alliance
Review 1:
Not too many games of this kind were made: Laser Squad, X-Com, Jagged
Alliance. Squad leading strategy games are one of the best type of
strategies, but for some strange reasons game companies aren't making
more of them. In Jagged Alliance you're in role of a mercenary leader.
Your job: recruit mercenaries, equip them and complete the mission.
Various weapons, characters, areas of action... Every mercenary has its
own characteristics (for example - Fidel will never retreat, he'll rather
die fighting). The game is taking place on an "industrial" island on
which two factions are fighting over the land on which a mutated trees
are being grown. After a nuclear disaster that happened on the island,
some vegetation mutated and is now a source of various medication. The
price of those trees i very high, and you must help the "good" guys take
over the complete island...

Review 2:

I'm myself a big fan of Microprose's X-Com series and have been that
since the first game in the series was published. So it was a great
surprise the first time I played Jagged Alliance since those games have
many similarities. Mostly combat related features though. Like seen in
only few other action based games the combat is turn based which means
that each of your soldiers will only be able to do a specified amount of
actions within a turn. Said in another way, each of your characters will
get an amount of points they can use in each turn. You start the game by
selecting between different freelance soldiers each with different skills
spread among different areas (shooting, explosives, medical etc.). Each
of them also demands a fee for each mission you pick them for so if you
are on an easy mission it's not wise to pick the most expensive
characters since you wont' be able to finance future missions that
require certain people that know how to get the job done. Each mission is
chosen by you from a map. You don't have to follow a certain path and can
always freely choose which mission to play. Before you choose it you can
get a briefing on it. Many different weapons are of course included as
well and each mission is different so you won't just have to kill the
same enemy in a new area on each mission either. In Jagged Alliance you
are served several missions with a high quality of gameplay and overall
the game is quite detailed with decent and some nice comments when your
soldiers kill enemies. The game is easy to control and when you walk
around on the different missions you can go into houses, run, crawl and
much more. Sometimes it seems like you simply can't hit your enemies
while shooting and at other times you hit them every time. The makes the
game a bit unbalanced but it's still great fun. If you are a fan of both
strategy games and action games you will love Jagged Alliance as it
offers many of the good parts from both genres.

Review 3:

One of the most addictive games ever made in any genre, Jagged Alliance
is a great strategy game that successfully combines the outstanding
squad-level gameplay of X-COM with an unprecedented level of
personalities and RPG elements that make it even more addictive than
MicroProse' classic. You know the game is something special when it
starts off with a great plot: the island of Metavira contains valuable
tree sap, which is harvested and sold to pharmaceutical companies. The
island facilities were operated by Jack, his daughter Brenda, and Lucas.
Lucas took over the island by hiring a bunch of thugs to capture the sap
trees. You are then hired by Jack and Brenda to recapture the island. The
catch here is that you don't have unlimited funds at your disposal: you
are paid based on the amount of sap that is harvested by your workers.
Funds are used to hire mercenaries on a daily basis to recapture the
island from Lucas. Gameplay evolves over a complete day during which you
try to perform your mission, which starts in any sector you choose. You
move each of the team members in real time on a tactical map, until
combat starts, at which point the game switches to a highly effective
turn-based mode which allows you to plan moves for each merc. X-COM fans
will be right at home with tactical battles in Jagged Alliance: in each
turn, every merc has a limited number of "action points" that are used
for everything from moving to firing a weapon. Leaving a few action
points remaining at the end of your turn will allow a merc to respond
when he/she spots an enemy during the enemy's turn. Instead of faceless
soldiers of X-COM, however, Jagged Alliance mercenaries come to life with
characteristic snides, complaints, cheers, and even bickering among
themselves. Each merc has his/her own personality which does affect
gameplay: coward mercs will tend to whine and run away from combat
quicker than others, while bloodthirsty mercs will unload all their ammo
on a hapless enemy, and will refuse your command to change target or
lower their arms. Relationships between mercs are also important: many
mercs will refuse to work with their rival mercs, while some may agree to
work for you only if their buddies are in the team. The merc's
personalities are so well-written and distinctive that you will soon grow
fond of some mercs and wary of others. There are numerous other
innovations that Jagged Alliance brought to the genre that will take
pages to list. In addition to tactical battles, there are many strategic
options: you can hire guards to defend conquered sectors against enemy
re-invasion in case your mercs are somewhere else. The enemy AI is also
excellent. They run for cover, try to out flank you, respond to to gun
shots, and appear to have different skill levels. There are also a lot of
special items, some of which are hidden, that can be used to help you
with your missions, as well as optional missions. In true RPG fashion,
your mercs' statistics improve with more experience and practice, and the
plot is integrated seamlessly into the actual gameplay. The missions
themselves are the typical Find Something, Rescue Someone, Capture
something, etc that RPGers have come to love. Landmines, traps, team
interaction, and the general RPG feel are but some examples of a long
list of strengths that give Jagged Alliance a lot of depth and
addictiveness rarely seen in this type of game. If you ever wondered how
X-COM can be made better, look no further. Note: The version here is only
CD-rip, which lacks great voice acting that truly gives the mercs their
own personalities.
 

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