March 5, 2012

Remote Control Combat

Lasting First Impressions of Jagged Alliance: Back in Action from Kalypso

Jagged Alliance boxartJust as Hollywood has been bringing back old movies for a new generation, so now, too, is the gaming industry; taking classic games and reimagining them for a new era in an attempt to breath new life into once popular titles.  The original Jagged Alliance 2, developed by Sir-Tech Canada and first released in 1999, has been resurrected, upgraded, and reimagined completely in Kalypso Media’s latest offering, Jagged Alliance: Back in Action.

Jagged Alliance is a non-linear strategy combat RPG of sorts.  Presented in an isometric overhead view, you are in complete control of a group of mercenaries on the island of Arulco, charged with the daunting task of reclaiming the cities and ultimately defeating the dictator in rule.

To achieve this victory, you will control your custom selected mercenaries in a combination of turn-based strategy and real time strategy; instructing them to go full on guns a-blazing, or take it quietly in stealth.  The choice is completely yours and there is no one right way to accomplish your goal.  Guide your team to run into the enemy bunker and just start firing at anything that moves, or pause the action and carefully plan each individual’s specific commands and then synchronize them to pummel the enemy on queue.  The choice is yours.

Jagged Alliance screen

Jagged Alliance harkens back to the golden age of gaming with a plethora of controls and options for playing the game.  There is a lot going on here so don’t expect to go into this one looking for unending action and mayhem. A great deal of thought and planning will be required to realize your triumphant win.  This game is not for the faint of heart but for someone who really wants to spend time strategizing and carefully planning the road to victory.

The game looks and plays beautifully.  After taking the tutorial, I felt a little daunted at the sheer number of commands and options available to play the game.  Need to unlock a door? You better equip one of your team members with the lock picks first.  Mines up ahead? Equip the necessary tool first and carefully defuse each mine before proceeding.  The details in this game are a little overwhelming at first and will certainly take dedication and time to fully understand and perfect.

Kalypso Media has truly done a wonderful job with this remake of a 14 year old title. Fans of combat strategy games will get some great enjoyment out of this title and can expect upwards of 70 hours of gameplay.

Kalypso Media, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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