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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 169 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 73
  2. Negative: 28 out of 73
  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: 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 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 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 »