Metascore
62

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. Mar 13, 2012
    76
    A classic that captured the minds of countless tactical role-playing game enthusiasts back in 1999. It had superb turn-based combat, mercenaries with larger than life personalities and loads of guns and gadgets. Overthrowing queen Deidranna and freeing Arulco was a quest for the ages. Jagged Alliance - Back in Action is a remake of Jagged Alliance 2, but fails to capture the magic of its predecessor. Turn-based combat is gone and the mercenaries have lost their edge. The visuals are up to date and roaming Arulco is still a treat, but getting rid of fog of war is a huge mistake. Back in Action is not a bad game, but pales in comparison to its father. [March 2012]
  2. Mar 13, 2012
    75
    Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is one of those games that I enjoy despite itself. It has an almost unlimited number of flaws, and yet, I can't help booting it back up over and over. It's fun to gradually capture town after town and steadily grow your army. Unfortunately, it's hard to play in anything other than small doses because before long, it once again starts feeling like a job. Similar to how the old Sim Tower really should have been named Sim Elevators, Jagged Alliance should have been named U-Haul Alliance.
  3. Feb 15, 2012
    75
    Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is a game that you will love or hate. The "plan & go" system takes a different direction from its predecessor and many fans of the saga could be disappointed. In any case this is still a good and deep strategy game that can be enjoyed by the fans of the genre.
  4. Feb 13, 2012
    75
    Once I got into a mission I found it hard to stop until all my plans worked out, and even defeat often had me immediately coming back to try again. That's the mark of an addictive, fun game, which Jagged Alliance: Back In Action definitely is, but it just doesn't do quite enough to earn the really high marks.
  5. Feb 10, 2012
    73
    Compared to the ageless original, Back in Action is indeed not a milestone of the genre - but it's certainly a solid tactical game. Because the plan & go mode works, the selection of mercenaries and weapons is huge and I'm engaged for weeks with the liberation of Arulco.
  6. Feb 6, 2012
    72
    With the well-known heritage in mind I have to say that Jagged Alliance: Back in Action can't hold a candle to its predecessors. Nonetheless the game is a nice mix of action and a bit of strategy.
  7. Mar 13, 2012
    70
    Before I wrote this review, I spent 30 hours with Back in Action and I don't even know when this time flew by. I regret that the remake is not as complex and deep as the original game by Sir-Tech but some things are just gone and will never return. [April 2012, p.64]
  8. Mar 9, 2012
    70
    There are lots of little flaws with this game, and fans will no doubt be upset about the change from turn-based to real-time with pause. But the truth is that it's still a quite satisfying and tactical experience, and every time I sit down with it I end up playing for much longer than I planned.
  9. Mar 8, 2012
    70
    Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is a game from the time when games were games and movies were movies. And now you can relive those lovely times again.
  10. Feb 23, 2012
    70
    Spit on the Back in Action title or play it. This game is not better than the old-fashioned Jagged Alliance 2. Nevertheless, it's still quite an enjoyable experience.
  11. Feb 16, 2012
    70
    Going back to Arulco may not be the vacation of your dreams, but it´s still a worthy adventure. One that leaves a lot of possibilities for improvement, nonetheless, but if you´re into tactics it´s still worth your attention.
  12. Feb 15, 2012
    70
    It's still a little distressing that a game with all the potential in the world to be one of the most spectacular gaming experiences of the decade is instead... a middle-of-the-road title. It may not crash, and it may not really bore you, but it isn't polished, and doesn't fully engross you.
  13. Feb 14, 2012
    70
    Jagged Alliance Back in Action is a good real time strategy game, but it's not the old Jagged. If you are able to give a clean break with the past, you could enjoy it. Else, give up.
  14. Feb 9, 2012
    70
    Despite many unfortunate decisions and rusty technology, CorePlay's game is a good return of the Jagged Alliance series. Going real-time hasn't dimished the tactical aspect, and team development and better equipment provide fun equal to what the best RPGs can give you.
  15. Feb 9, 2012
    70
    Back in Action is a nice game, but some flaws in the artificial intelligence make it less engaging than it may have been. The Plan & Go system is a good try however, and we hope to see more of this in the future, but Jagged Alliance 2 is still on top.
  16. Mar 21, 2012
    68
    A good squad-wargame for those patient enough to forgive the awful interface for making the strategic component a chore. [May 2012, p.74]
  17. Apr 10, 2012
    67
    As you manage your squads and try to take down the Queen's men in Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, you can't help but feel that the game could have been a lot more. The open premise really works and allows for you to tackle nearly any obstacle in the game as you see fit. The game is fun, but it has a lot of baggage and head-scratchingly rough edges that dull the enjoyment. The title does a passable job of bringing the Jagged Alliance series back to life, but it's not as good as it could've been, and it doesn't live up to the legacy of its predecessors.
  18. 66
    Surprisingly, the new, controversial real-time-combat isn't the expected game breaker for Back in Action. Its much too aggressive, oftentimes stupid AI is. Add to that a bulky interface and cumbersome inventory and soon the liberation of Arulco becomes more of a chore than an enjoyable trip, motivating level-ups and non-linear gameplay notwithstanding.
  19. Mar 17, 2012
    65
    Jagged Alliance: Back in Action may ultimately be inferior to its legendary predecessor, but it has just enough of that spark in it to be a compelling, substantial impostor.
  20. Feb 15, 2012
    65
    Although it may be a discreet strategic/tactical game Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is nearly completely different from Jagged Alliance 2. The encounters with enemies are no longer turn-based, but instead there's a real-time approach sided by a new Plan & Go system. With it you can plan the next actions of the mercenaries that we control, a feature that prompts us to reflect and study the battlefield as you'd expect from a title like that. On the other hand, because of the ridiculous AI and general inferiority when compared to Jagged Alliance 2, Back in Action is just a mediocre title and not the remake that could've been.
  21. Feb 15, 2012
    61
    Less strategic and poor artificial intelligence, Back in Action is far from being the game we expected. At times it's fun and challenging, but unfortunately in a negative balance is imposed on the positive.
  22. Mar 31, 2012
    60
    The Steam version of Jagged Alliance 2 Gold is two times cheaper and at least two better than JA: Back in Action.
  23. 60
    RPG elements and a bunch of charismatic mercenaries make the new Jagged Alliance playable – it's solid team-tactical action but we bet that the fans of original game will stay with the classic. [March 2012]
  24. Mar 12, 2012
    60
    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.
  25. Feb 17, 2012
    60
    It's a strategy game of uncommon substance. The painstaking management and honing of your team, the desperate push-and-pull war for territory, and the gradual incursion towards Arulco's heart of darkness offer a hearty feast for anyone who can make it past the more superficial disappointments.
  26. May 16, 2012
    55
    Ignore Back in Action and just buy Jagged Alliance 2 to cherish the original version of a great game. Then again, if graphics are so important to you, go ahead and buy Back in Action- you might enjoy it but you will have paid four times more, for an inferior product. [May 2012]
  27. Mar 7, 2012
    55
    The series' transition to real-time strategy is a rough one in this flawed remake.
  28. Feb 10, 2012
    55
    It seems to me as if the developers didn't know where to go with this reboot of the turnbased tactics classic. It's nice to be back in Arulco but the gameplay experience lacks depth and direction, the action is superficial while the tactical options are shallow.
  29. Feb 13, 2012
    54
    It has some good ideas to reinvent the series and it tries to offer something different, but it has too many problems and falls far below Jagged Alliance 2. Its interface and awful AI make the game too limited.
  30. Feb 24, 2012
    52
    Back in Action is a boring game that just doesn't cut it, regardless of whether you're a purist or a new player.
  31. Apr 5, 2012
    50
    The real-time combat isn't the problem; it's everything else, which was done with a depth and confidence 13 years ago that this reimagining lacks. [Apr 2012, p.54]
  32. Mar 14, 2012
    42
    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.
  33. Feb 22, 2012
    40
    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.
  34. Feb 9, 2012
    40
    The idea of a remake is welcome, but Jagged Alliance Back in Action did it with serious shortcomings in terms of production values. The AI and pathfinding are sometimes completely off, the interface not really smooth, and it lacks tactical options... but despite all this it remains quite enticing, thanks to the charms of its background and a genre that is really not that common nowadays.
  35. Mar 2, 2012
    30
    I hope to God the guys at Firaxis are watching this, because Jagged Alliance: Back In Action is, and probably will for many years hence be, the definitive textbook example of how to mess up by the numbers when attempting to "relaunch" a classic franchise.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 173 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 74
  2. Negative: 28 out of 74
  1. Feb 11, 2012
    2
    This game is infuriating and sub-standard for so many reasons. It's riddled with bugs and seemingly inexplicable phenomena. To name but a few:This game is infuriating and sub-standard for so many reasons. It's riddled with bugs and seemingly inexplicable phenomena. To name but a few: I've had mercs spotted through walls, enemies alerted to a mercs presence for no apparent reason (yes I understand the stealth mechanics), enemy AI is appalling (you can eliminate a building full of enemies but just running a merc around the perimeter of the building, thus alerting the enemies, and then shooting them all as they come out of the door), the game is riddled with typos (e.g. some of the mercs have a trait called 'though', which is obviously meant to be 'tough'), the voices acting is poor and annoying (who honestly wants to have their merc scream the same phrase over and over again every time you select them?), the towns are lifeless and dull (filled with aimlessly wandering NPCs who interact with nothing, they remind me of playing Ultima). There's also myriad other infuriating gameplay problems, such as when you stealth melee someone in crouch mode, you inexplicably change to run mode after the kill, which means if you move, you automatically alert everyone in the area to your presence), NPCs also have a tendency to block you into confined spaces (I've had a merc stuck in a garage for an entire mission because a child decided to sit on the floor in the only exit and refused to move). Dialogue is appalling and the sub-quests uninteresting. Combat is unfulfilling and tedious (the rag-doll bodies are about the most satisfying part) and generally consists of endlessly having to reload whilst you try and make-up for the non-sensical mechanics (e.g. tell a merc to shoot an enemy that is running towards them, and if the enemy passes out of sight for a second (e.g. to run around a tree) the order is cancelled and your merc generally ends up dying unless you continually re-tell him to shoot the target. Other problems elevate the game to the height of tedium (why, for example, when buying and selling items can you not just cycle through the various mercs, rather than having to individually move each merc to the vendor?). The game feels like an unfinished b-movie. You might overlook these things if it were £10 (but even then it'd annoy the hell out of you) but for £30 you expect a game to have proper A.I., a user-friendly interface and acceptable game mechanics. Back in Action has none of these. It is a franchise that has clearly not moved on since the last decade, which is a shame, because I really wanted to enjoy it. Full Review »
  2. Feb 11, 2012
    8
    In my opinion, this game is a rough diamond. As someone who has never played the original JA or JA2 games, I am still aware of the legendaryIn my opinion, this game is a rough diamond. As someone who has never played the original JA or JA2 games, I am still aware of the legendary reputation these games bring to the franchise. And thus the level of expectation which the community has towards this third installment.

    However, as a standalone game, not taking into account its heritage, I am immensely enjoying the experience. Gameplay reminds me a bit of the Men of War series of games. But with the added depth of a 'persistent' world map, which will feature random counterattacks from the defending forces on Arulco.
    Liberated towns or mines give you daily income, which can be spent on hiring new mercs or better equipment. Enemies drop loot, which can be sold or used to keep your mercs going. Militias can be equipped with guns from your stores to defend your holdings. All this and more makes for a very complex and satisfying game, with levels of interaction and tactical options rarely seen in games these days - mainstream RTS included. And just for trying to bring this experience to a new audience 10 or more years after the originals the developers deserve a 10.

    I do however have to subtract one point from my final rating due to sometimes flaky camera controls, which can be responsible for getting your mercs killed in tight situations. And another for samey, predictable AI, which will send all their goons out in the open and after your squad once one of them is spotted, rather than making use of their well entrenched positions.

    I can see how Fog of War would have made this game an even more intense experience, and it is a shame the devs decided to not include it in the final game. And I am sure that veterans of this series will have many more bones to pick, but JA:BiA as it stands, is head and shoulders above anything in the RTS realm that is currently on offer on the PC. And with patches already coming out 1 day after release, I am sure this game can be polished to an even brighter sheen.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 11, 2012
    5
    The biggest problem of this game is it's name. The original Jagged Alliance 2 is just such a big and popular game that it's incredibly hard toThe biggest problem of this game is it's name. The original Jagged Alliance 2 is just such a big and popular game that it's incredibly hard to compete with, especially if you make a remake and remove most of the critical gameplay elements. While not being a bad tactics game, Jagged Alliance Back in Action is a mere shadow of JA2, with lots of problems ranging from horrible controls, awful character images, removal of almost all tactial-map features and more. Full Review »