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JAGGED ALLIANCE   Back in Action   
A S.T.R.A.W. game

I have always been a fan of Jagged Alliance from the very first time I played the very first version I saw. IT is great to be Back in Action checking out the recruits and being turned down by almost every one you want to hire - who says experience counts ?

I’m good enough to be hired for the mission(s) but not good enough for other Mercs to chance their arm with me. I do wish there was a better hiring process though, one where you had a chance, by asking/answering questions, to hire the Mercs.

Before making any moves you are able to scope out the land by using the arrow keys over the map. This allows you to select where you want to attempt whatever it is you are about to try to do.

If you have installed Jagged Alliance by downloading it into Steam you will not have a manual to refer to, thus it is imperative that you go through the tutorial first. (having said that, the tutorial froze on me after Hartman had used all his ammo on the first firing range - I hit the target and could move the group around, firing at targets etc but the actual tutorial text commands just froze. This happened twice so I gave up and went into the real world.

I did lose Mercs simply because I didn’t know how to use items, such as Red Cross packs (health) on them when they were wounded. Mind you, when I did find out how to use them Health packs, neither of the men left in my unit had the intelligence to be able to heal anyone, not even themselves.

This version of Jagged Alliance is realistic to a point - wounded men travel slower and do not magically heal - but it also has some annoying and frustrating  areas, such as having to have an injured man limping at a quarter speed all the time, especially when he is carrying medical supplies that could heal him Grrrr !

It is also frustrating to have a man in prone position having only 50% (unlikely to hit) chance of hitting an un-armoured  bad dude who is moving slowly towards you, yet with one shot that bad dude kills the prone character. Grrr!

So does Jagged Alliance: Back in Action hold up well against its predecessors? The overall answer would be no, but it is still an enjoyably playable game. I prefer its flowing game style instead of the turn based action of JA2 (Back in Action is truly just a remake of JA2 with a different play style) but I would have liked to have been able to program (give orders to) the units a little better.

Graphically it is much better than either of its predecessors and indeed better than most of its contemporaries and rivals for the strategy action wargame genre (I think I have just created a new acronym, STRAW = STRategy Action Wargame) , wonder if it will catch on.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015