A ruthless dictator has taken control of the tiny nation of Arulco. The country’s brutal army is holding the terrified population in its iron grip. The only opposition is a ragtag bunch of rebels. The bad news: you’re in charge of the rebels. The good news: some of the world’s best mercenaries will fight on your side... that is if you can afford them.
Jagged Alliance 2 features: perfect blend of strategy, roleplaying and tactical combat; dozen of new weapons; 150+ individual in-game characters; realistic combat physics; and more than 10,000 lines of digitalized speech. The only thing missing is YOU.
Welcome to the killing grounds!
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: MATURE with Strong Language, Mature Sexual Themes, Animated Violence.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.Patched to version 1.12
Posted on 2009-01-06 16:10:10 by Mnemon:
Jagged Alliance 2 is a squad focused turnbased strategy game with (slight) roleplaying elements that did a lot right and very little wrong. In what it does it is - up to now - unequalled. You are the leader of a band of mercenaries that are hired by Arulco's ex-President Enrico Chivaldori to re-take this fictious third world country from the hands of Deidranna Reitman (his ex-wiferead more :) ) who turned it into a vicious totalitarian dictatorship.
You start the game by creating your own personal mercenary and hire additional mercenaries to join your squad (from first one, then two internet based agencies). Unlike the similar X-com these mercenaries aren't nameless soldiers, but complete characters with different abilities, skills, personalities (that can and will clash) and likes/dislikes. Here is one of the many things that turn this game into a classic: The voice acting is superior, the characters amusing and the social relationships between them have provided fodder for many many forum threads filled with discussion.
Landing in Arulco you are on your own - all you have is a letter for the rebel leader and a lot of soldiers between you and the target city. You'll have to fight your way there. And this is another thing Jagged Alliance 2 got just right - the combat system is intuative and simple, but at the same time allows for far more complexity and interesting situations than what other similar turnbased systems manage(d).
How you get from there to Drassen is up to you - the game is non-linear within this framework. You can conquer cities, mine for gold, train militia, pretend to be MacGyver or simply explore the world (there are optional sidequests if you look for them). At certain stages in the game a few cut scenes present Deidranna's reaction to your activities. These cutscences - in their slightly cheesy B-movie satire - are a bit hit or miss, but don't distract from actual gameplay.
What really catapults Jagged Alliance 2 in the five star category is that it is a game that is obvioulsy made with love and deserves yours because of that. Here a world with an inherent logic has been created. If your troops are captured the game doesn't end. You either hire new mercenaries to eventually free them, or have them attempt to break out themselves. Not even the alter-ego you created needs to be alive ot finish the game. As you play and replay the game you will find these little things that tell you the developers thought ahead, and provided players a chance to muck about. Want to send Flowers to Deidranna? There is a chance. Play the game the fiftieth time and you still might come across a death animation you hadn't seen yet, find a combination of mercenaries you didn't know yet and so on.
Despite all the additions the v1.13 mod brings I'd recommend a play-through with the game as is, first. Once you got the hang of it though - get the mod for better AI, more options, higher resolutions and/or windowed play and last but not least tons and tons of more ammo and guns.
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Posted on 2009-02-24 22:38:32 by TLGAthena:
Okay, obvious bits. It's a turn based strategy game - if you've played x-com or any of it's children (not the runty offspring like interceptor but instead TFTD or Apocalypse), Laser Squad, or even MissonForce : Cyberstorm, you'll have a fairly good and instant feel for what you're looking at.
However, this has two distinctly major features that many (including and some will probablyread more shoot me for saying this, the first x-com) of these games lack, first and most notably, it has *character*. I don't mean as in the many mercenaries you can hire, but more the fact that these mercenaries actually have had enough time invested in their backgrounds and persona (see Buzz for a prime example) to actually make them a bit more than just nameless cannon fodder. You will almost certainly come to care enough about your favourite mercs that you will not want them to die over the rather hefty campaign.
It's not just the attention to detail that the mercenaries got either, the guns all come with various "Fallout" style commentary attached, the items are more meaningful than just "Gun of killzap +2" , and the armour actually has quite a noticeable effect between the levels available. All of your equipment is subject to wear and tear so field maintenance and first aid also become priorities, remember, you're out in the middle of nowhereland, you do not get free medpacks and respawn points.
The campaign itself is both open ended enough that you can choose quite a few "paths to victory" (even though they all culminate in the same final sequence, namely the queen taking a bullet to the head), but the options to get there are left more or less in the hands of the player (nagging employer aside). The open ended nature encourages multiple playthroughs to test different combat strategies, different mercenary setups, and different orders to take the cities, you will get your money's worth here.
One major word of warning - this game does require you to think a little more than the usual red alert style RTS's that currently dominate the market, and not paying attention to cover, line of sight, and ensuring that your mercs watch their back will net you a very fast and painful lesson. Even the so called "novice" difficulty is not exactly beginner friendly, so for new players, this will prove somewhat of a steep learning curve.
The reward for the climb is in my opinion, one of the best Turn Based Strategies available, only just behind the likes of the sublime X-Com: Terror From the Deep and easily ahead of much more modern offerings. If you have the patience and time to learn and get into an old gem, make it this one.
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Posted on 2008-12-25 02:06:52 by saenz:
Yes the graphics are dated, yes it crashes to desktop every few hours, yes the formulas are dodgy.
Has there been been a similar game I've enjoyed as thoroughly in the past ~10 years? Surprisingly enough, the answer is no. (Fallout Tactics does deserve an honorable mention though.)
The world is sandbox-y enough for replayability, yet straightforward enough to enact a trueread more plan. The MANY characters are unforgettably hilarious and have unique interactions with each other, all very well voiced acted. RPG style character and inventory building create clever logistic opportunites... hit the objective now or wait for your sniper get out of the hospital in 48 hours (with your mail order ak-47 in 72 hours) but face enemy reinforcements?
PS There's a very active mod community out there that has fixed many of the ills and limitations of JA2 out there. You owe it to yourself to check them out.
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