Feb 13, 20123I need to preface this by saying that a lot of the stuff in this review won't resonate with people who have never played the Jagged Alliance series before. I myself have played JA2 since release in 1999 and have enjoyed it immensely; it is one of the few games I wouldn't hesitate to score as a 10/10. Its mix of combat, strategic depth and humor have created a lasting appeal that few other games possess (tl;dr I'm a JA2 fanboy). Unfortunately, Back in Action is a poor man's version of JA2, inferior in nearly every way that made JA2 awesome. Let's start with what BiA did right. The towns and scenery look good, and a 3d environment is something the series has desperately needed. The movable camera is generally an asset (though it still has some kinks to work out). Traveling on the overland map has also been modified so that you can choose a 'faster' path and can bypass enemy patrols easier. The major change/feature 'Plan and Go' is not as bad as people had been worrying, and in certain aspects it actually does better than a turn-based system,.. though, I still wish there had been an option for turn based mode. The outfitting of a mercenary with clothing and camo schemes is a pretty nice touch. Now for the bad. Probably the most major complaint I have is the removal of the Fog of War. When you enter an enemy controlled sector, you can immediately see every single enemy and determine what they are armed with, even in the dead of night or if they're hiding in a building. Needless to say, this makes scouting, spotting and guarding vulnerable mercs completely unnecessary. It's the equivalent of being able to see an enemy base and units in an RTS, or having a form of wallhack in an FPS. It literally ruins the game, ratchets the difficulty down several notches, and absolutely. must. go. Another major complaint: the AI is as dumb as a box of rocks. They rarely react to gunfire, and if they do, there is an odd prevalence of melee enemies who charge straight into your gunsights while swinging axes. This might make for an interesting zombie themed mod, but as a tactical shooter it's kind of silly. To make things worse, While you are struggling against braindead axe murderers, you are also fighting a battle against the interface, which makes a chore out of trying to do anything that doesn't directly involve shooting. Trading items between mercenaries is difficult, weapons autounload when placed in your backpack, weapons can only have ONE attachment, and effective inventory management is nearly impossible with no sector inventory. Additionally, the changes they've made to certain systems remove many layers of strategy. The levelling up system has been completely revamped - you get enough XP, you level up and spend points on whatever you want. No more practicing a skill to level it up, shoot enough guys and you can become the best medic ever. "Training" militia is literally finding a gun and giving it to someone standing around, which is far more expensive, time-consuming, and ultimately ineffective than you might initially believe. Medkits and repair kits are now essentially "health potions" for mercs and guns. Rather than a merc getting seriously wounded and spending a few days in the care of your teams doctor, you use a health kit and they are immediately good as new. Keep in mind however that while repair kits repair weapons, they do NOT repair armor, because that would be "too unbalanced". IMP, the creat-a-merc feature from JA2 is noticibly absent, again because of "balancing issues". The mercenary portraits are pretty ugly and there is a lot less humor this time around. There are no more vehicles. I actually miss the old Ira. Anyway, I suspect I'm ranting a bit so I'll try to draw this to a close. BiA at its core is a literal copy and paste of JA2 (seriously, all the descriptions and text are lifted straight from it) yet it still manages to fail because it is lacking what made people love JA2 - the immersive aspects, deep strategy and black humor. Despite this, I hold a small sliver of hope for this game due to the modding community. Already people are working on IMP mods and trying to figure out how to re-implement FoW. My recommendation, currently, is to give BiA a pass. If you must play it, wait until BiA lands on the bargain bin then immediately search for mods that might appeal to you - don't bother with the vanilla version.… Expand
Jul 31, 20123Duno if they were out of money, out of time, or just out of skills, but this 2012 edition falls badly compared to the 1999 original one, also the ja2 got one of the biggest and most impressive mod out there (1.13, there are also some others very good btw) which makes the comparison even more bashing this new one.
This Back in actions is half finished, its bugged, and mostly its ridded by terrible developer choices.
The camera controls are awful, in some maps the point of view is so low that i was wondering if they ever tested it.
The line of sight/cover system is full of bugs and also when it works it goes against common sense in many cases, like covering behind a tree results in having half los blocked by the tree itself.
For some reason they stripped out half content which was in the original, there are less mercs, less traits, no training, no cars, no chopper, less npcs, less quests, and they changed the story in a manner that make no sense.
To mention also the very sub par voice acting, which is instead superb in the original one.… Expand
Feb 13, 20123A mediocre clone of the JA. There have been many others, and just like others, this game does not deliver some of the features that made the JA and JA2 such great games: -No ability to train militia -No custom merc to play as, you can only recruit -No ability to repair equipment -No doctor/patient or training Very dumb AI The game is much smaller than the original. The current game would've been a nice standalone tactical shooter. But putting a name of Jagged Alliance on this and charging 40$ for it is a rip off. Maybe for 15$ I would play that. Right now I feel very ripped off.… Expand
Apr 19, 20120The difference between 1999 and 2012 in video games. 2012 releases a half-finished game that lacks any kind of creativity, but has 3D environment.
The UI of this game is terrible and a whole lot inferior to Frozen Synapse. The gameplay is okay for about 2 or 3 hours, but after that you start to notice the AI issues (either rush or camp) and the lack of ... everything.
No destructible environment.
No throwing weapons.
No Fog of War.
No Stealth kills.
No cash management.
No (global) inventory screen.
No merc friendships or personality.
It's a depressing piece of low-budget junk.
0.5 points to the guy who designed the engine. Because the 3D environment sort of works alright.… Expand
Apr 19, 20133First of all, warning to the people who are planning on buying: YOU CANNOT MAKE YOUR OWN MERC AS OF PATCH 133(E) Apart from the graphics, everything from game mechanism to scenario looks like a downgrade. There's a lot of limitations that comes with BIA compared to JA2. You cannot plant bombs anywhere you want You cannot DIY your makeshift traps with landmines You cannot bash enemies with a crowbar
You cannot unlock a door with a shotgun
And the list goes on, there's a lot of things you could do in JA2 that is totally missing in BIA, playing BIA is more of a chore than fun. Ten minutes into the game and you can tell that the developers have not really played Jagged Alliance 2.
It's not that exciting. Another example of failed resurrection by developers who wants to make easy dollars… Expand
Feb 23, 20123This is the Duke Nukem forever of the JA series. This game disappoints on so many levels, The extremely poor quality AI, the idiotic pathing, the bugs. The game has the look and feel of JA without the quality or fun factor. such a shame as I was looking forward to this game, they really didn't need to do much to the orginals to make this game a hit, just about every step they took in this release was a backwards one.… Expand
Feb 16, 20123Kalypso needs to stop making crappy games. They take a big name like Jagged Alliance and proceed to take a dump on it, sort of like they did with Dungeons. They played it into being in the spirit of Dungeon Keeper, and it was nothing like it. This game is crap too, rather buy JA2 on Steam for way less, and get the community patch.
Jul 9, 20121I have been a big fan of JA2 back in the days. I've read some reviews before buying this one and got the demo. The reviews were bad, but the demo was sort of okay so I gave it a shot by buying it on Steam.
Well I don't see anything fun about this game, which is the reason you play games in the first place. It's not that it's not like JA2: it's not and it's fine. It's just not fun, period. The AI will spot you out of nowhere even if you're crawling behind them and make no noise at all. Your squad member will take 2 seconds to aim a gun even if he/she has 90 Marksmanship skill. If your character gets hit, it resets the counter too. That basically means that a guy running over 200 meters with an axe will kill you even if you have a shotgun and is facing him, because of the weird randomization of the game (in this case, the aiming speed).
The auto-save is horrible, it basically saves you "just" before you start combat. Most of the time loading an auto-save means getting blown to smithereens because for some reason, loading a save will not pause the game for you (even with all the auto-pause events activated). Enemies are clearly overpowered. I was used to overpowered enemies in JA2 but this is even worse, because of the counter-reset thing. Enemies will just blast your squad in seconds even if you play very tactical.
There's no strafing possible in the game, which means everytime you go around a corner you get shot if someone's there, because your character will not "spot" them until you face them (line of sight). The controls are poor: they give you tips during loading screens about aiming manually yet give you no clue about how to do it. Hell, I even get most tips in German for some reason.
I have really no idea why this game passed QA. If you liked JA2, don't buy this game. If you hated JA2, don't buy this game. If you don't care about JA2, well don't buy this game. It's not a game at all anyway.… Collapse
Feb 13, 20124The interface is inconvenient, the AI sucks, and it's got some of the most abrasive action music I've ever had the displeasure of muting. That said, it has a few features that'll make it worth a spin once you can get it for under $15. This game is built to cater to the X-Com/Fallout 1 & 2 crowd, and it has exactly as much content as that demographic would expect from a top-down tactical strategy game, without any real innovation or clever additions.… Expand
Feb 17, 20122I can't really give this above a 5 right now. The User Interface is awkward and counter-intuitive. Moving the camera around involves holding down the alt-key. Cameras are a semi-standardized part of gaming- I'm not sure why they chose to go with something that didn't work over something established that does work. I haven't seen a way to click on an enemy and have my character move towards it and fire. It seems like you have to first move your character into range, and when it's just right, they'll start firing. There may be a way to do this, but even if there is, it isn't adequately explained. There are also a number of bugs and little annoyances. Like when you recruit people, you have to wait for this sequence of a sound of a modem connecting to finish before actually recruiting someone. Even when you first start the game there are a ton of logos you have to click escape from, etc. I bought this game because I like the concept, and some people gave it positive reviews- so I had hoped the main version would be better than the demo. I knowingly took a risk, and, so far anyway, it wasn't worth taking. In fact, if I can return this game (bought it less than 24 hours ago), then I intend to. Somebody said this was a rough diamond, and I agree, but I would emphasize the word rough. Until there is a patch out to *really* fix all the bugs and annoyances, my rating will be at a 2, because for $40.00 I expect a hell of a lot better than what I got.… Expand
Feb 13, 20122How someone can screw up a remake of such a great game is beyond me. They had everything. The story, the maps, the weapons etc. They could have just COPIED everything with better graphics, and most fans would have bought this game outright.
The AI is very erratic. Most of the times it just seems stuck. It ignores weapon ranges and tries to hit you with a shotgun, 120 yards away. Other times it moves in loops without actually doing something useful.
There is no fog of war. You enter a map, and you can see where everyone is. No surprises, no suspense. The plan&Go is an ok mechanic but in no way as good as the round based system in the original.
The management aspect has been botched extremely. You don't have to pay your soldiers regularly, you just "buy" them. An illogical and unnecessary streamlining. On the other hand you have to arm militia by hand like in XCOM. But the militia can be so numerous, that you have to arm 30 people by hand. Why?
Even the story presentation is bad. How can someone make cutscenes which look WORSE and more ugly than in the 13 year old original, with its minimalistic graphics?
Sorry, how someone can fail so badly in doing a remake with had nearly perfect mechanics is beyond me. Please don't buy this game, or we have to endure comparable **** games in the future!… Expand
Aug 24, 20123What a pity. I played all the XCOM, fallout, jagged alliance etc games, and I must say I really enjoyed them. Especially the xcom series, with that mix of tactics and strategy, economic management and R&D, so freaking awesome. And JA2, I discovered this game quite "late", and wow what a gem! Fun, difficult, nice humor, very immersive. Jagged Alliance Back in Action has some very serious flaws, for a tactical squad level game. 1. No fog of war. Are you kidding? no, really. No fog of war. Try to understand the deep meaning of this statement. Try thinking xcom without fow. Try to imagine a tactical engagement where you are aware of EVERY single enemy position right from the start. Magic! Telepathy! Just..why? 2. Inventory management. What inventory management? to sell items, you have to select every single merc and talk individually with the merchant. If I want to SWAP items between my mercs, I can't do it from the strategic map. You must load a tactical map and do it from there in real time. Try thinking when you have I dunno, 8 mercs, ten maps full of items, and you have to manage this mess. Of course, no sector inventory, so you have to load maps and run around fetching stuff left over from that time when you were too loaded to carry other suff away. For the first time in my life, I disregarded drops from enemies in pure frustration, since if you don't pick up something as soon as you kill an enemy, well good luck running around the whole map. Not fun.
3. Militia: now this is really ridiculous. Apply all that was said for inventory management, and now imagine that you must equip EVERY SINGLE militia (auto generated guys that fight to defend your territories when you are not there) manually, by giving them weapons and armor. Tedious is an euphemism. It literally takes hours. But don't worry, militia is useless in any case, you're much better off just selling your stuff to equip your mercs.
I don't know, instead of going forward in terms of innovation, immersion, gameplay, in one word FUN, this game is a huge step back if compared to JA2. And since it's called "Jagged Alliance back in action" well..you are gonna get comparisons. JA2 is what, 10 years old?? shame shame shame..can't give a higher score to a TACTICAL game with no fow, sorry. Yeah graphics are ok.
So they destroyed the fallout series, crippled heroes of might and magic, utterly smashed to pulp that miracle of a game that was civilization, and really did a bad job with Jagged Alliance.. now what? oh right, xcom! i would not be surprised if it was a spaghetti western in a post atomic world where you must hunt down dinosaurs. BUT...hey it's 3D!… Expand
Feb 12, 20122If you liked jagged alliance, chances are you won't like this game. Whilst the developers have supposedly innovated with a plan and go system, they have clearly cut corners everywhere else and also while they are at it, robbed your grandma. The game feels like jagged alliance interpreted through creative ballet. Without fog of war the game is severely broken. It was in the early dev version supposedly but became "too hard" to play. A sheer remake on a new graphical platform and fixing and improving would have been awesome. I get the distinct feeling the developers drank all day instead of coding, scratched this together in a week and are laughing all the way to the bank knowing the nostalgic steam users will grab it and give it a run, without trusting the overwhelmingly negative reviews.… Expand
Feb 13, 20122JA: Back in Action is an unfinished mess, with loads of bugs, such as sometimes not being able to target prone enemies, some pieces of terrain not blocking line of sight for the enemy soldiers and so on. It also contains questionable game-play decisions, such as no FOW, no tactical overlays, no difficulty setting (the game is way to easy), no way to change squad formation. If compared to the old Jagged Alliance 2, the game is also lacking in content and strategic gameplay. Gone is the need to train militia, now the militia pop up when you capture a place, unarmed though so you need to collect weapons and run around handing them to every single militia soldier in the area, and if you want to upgrade their weapons you have to do the whole thing again. This is dreadfully boring and time consuming. Gone is also the doctor/patient healing system in which you only could bandage your soldiers in tactical view, and then had to use a doctor to heal them up in strategic view. Instead you now fully heal your soldiers in 5 secs when using heal kits in tactical view, without any kind of debuff. And as your characters donÂ´t die instantly when getting to 0 hp (the fall down, and you have a good amount of time to heal them before the die) you can often just run straight at the enemy using no tactics whatsoever. This takes away all the realism that helped make Jagged Alliance 2 so good, and makes for a really boring game.
If you want to play a tactical squad based game, go play Jagged Alliance 2 or good old X-com (or wait for the remake from Fireaxis). Or if you do not like turn-based games, go play Fallout Tactics, which lets you chose if you want to play real time or turn-based. Do not buy Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, you will be disappointed!… Expand
Feb 11, 20122Reading the reviews further helps lock in that they spent more on advertising than they did on the actual game.
AI is atrocious. Often times you will give orders and sit and curse while your soldiers decide not to shoot. They badly needed testers to play through the game a few times before publishing. You can immediately see all enemy soldiers every mission. This makes stealth completely ridiculous as you can simply wait for the enemy soldier to randomly look the other way before having your character round the corner and knife them in the back. This game rips off Jagged Alliance 2, but strips down all the flavor that makes the game fun. Lets hope fans can try to crack the game and mod it to make it playable.
If this game weren't in any way related to the Jagged Alliance franchise I think I would not have the issues I have. The graphical engine isn't terrible and I think that with a another year and some passion about the original game they could have made this into something fun. I also question the amount of money that went into advertising this release and into the good reviews I've been reading that appear to be out of touch with the individuals who actually played the game.
Before buying this game, go buy Silent Storm. It's graphics are still superior and they actually took the time to flesh the game out. Oh it's also 8 years old.… Expand
Feb 25, 20124Frustration. This is the first thing that comes to mind while playing this game. Especially when you fight in buildings (try throwing grenades in buildings). The enemy's are hitting you from impossible angles (for example i got hit with a shotgun which was fired four times out of weapon range), they spot you no matter what you do and they charge right up front. Only thing you need to do is clicking at them repeatedly so your mercs shoot em down while they charge (without taking any cover). If you like this kind of game play (not turn based,etc.) try frozen synapse, its cheaper and way better.… Expand
Feb 19, 20120This game should have been a great game. However, they decided to sell "cheat codes" or extra gear as DLC. This is unacceptable for any modern game. I don't want anyone's success in a game based off of how much they paid to play a game. The game would have been great had they not based your starting situation off how much you were going to pay to play. I hope the company that made this goes bankrupt simply based on how they chose to market it.… Expand
Feb 17, 20124My previous rating stands, although I would like to make a couple more comments. I think this game does have potential, but i wish they would have created a new game and not slapped JA on it. Alone (and in a different country), it would have had it's own room to grow. The errors in this though, are pretty terrible. I hope the full version is not as terrible as the demo version, but if it is, I see no joy in playing it. I had only 4 mercs, and it was terrible trying to micromanage the four during a firefight. If you give me a game where I can change formations (line, wedge, column, etc) while at the same time the mercs act like PROFESSIONALs and cover their sector for 360 degree security, that would be pretty neat. Of course, something would need to be done for engaging, like a button to select for fire at will, or only fire when engaged, etc would be even better. In short, they should be able to defend themselves if I'm not looking directly at them. As I mentioned earlier, I would totally buy another JA if they took JA2 and placed it in a different country and just improved some of the key problem areas that have been identified. Why completely revamp the entire game process, when JA2 was such a success? Every attempt to make the game "3D" has not lived up to the hype...Brigade E5 was enjoyable, but it became so monotonous. The missions weren't even worth doing (take this package here, blah blah). I ended up going around the country killing everyone for the combat, and not caring about the end of the game. Just bring back the original JA2 (something like Unfinished Business will work), so I can spend my hard earned money on a quality game. Take BIA back to the shop, fix it, call it something else, and I will buy that as well.… Expand
Feb 16, 20120If you're considering on buying this, DONT. This is exactly the kind of product that just tries to abuse a known franchise by making a half-assed sequel.
What you will find, is nothing like jagged alliance. You can't even call it "modernized" turn-based strategy. For a free game it might be ok, but it's nowhere near the quality any commercial product should been.
Verdict: Not Fun At All.
Feb 11, 20124As a successor to JA2 I find this game to be a total fail not worth the name of the franchise. Game lacks of many, reaaally many features that made the game enjoyable ( check for this list on developers forum ). The game mechanics are dumbed down so hard that every single fight looks the same. Game is released with no thought about later gameplay ( imagine u have to micromanage every item by running your character to pick it up, run around again to deliver it somewhere - yup no convenient sector inventory, after capturing 4 or 5 locations ( about 20 of them in a game) and having 4 or more ( becouse the militia is hopeless and even with best kevlars/rifles they get wiped out by a smaller force of axe armed AI to capture and hold more locations you will need at least 8 ) mercs it becomes a serious issue, last time it took time 30 mins JUST to manage items in captured territory - barracks ), hell u cant even manage inventory of your mercs during they journey on world map - thats totally ignorant and bad. NO FOW - you can see every enemy on the map from the beginning, no comment on this one...
To be honest the list goes on and on, check this out on developers forum or steam platform... For me the game is only a quick cash grab , after many hours ( got 20 hours already) Iam really fed up with this. The only cure for the game is the modding scene but the devs clearly state they won't help at any means...… Expand
Feb 11, 20122This 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 Â£10 (but even then it'd annoy the hell out of you) but for Â£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.… Expand
Feb 11, 20124I don't mind converting turn based game into rts based one. But result which i can see in this game is pretty ... lame. First this game is just remake of Jagged Alliance - laptop menus, plot, even mercenaries names. That is ok for me (yep - that is NOT why i am given this game 4/10). Developers team made a few mistakes:
1. No fog of war (not even in options) - so you ALWAYS know where is your enemy. You can't be ambushed.
2. Destruct-able environment - you can place c4 only on walls who marked by developers - that is irritating. You can destroy some concrete walls but unable to even scratch some wall buildings.
3. Weapon modifiers - you have some gun and want attach silencer and optical scope? You can't - you have to choose 1 modifier.
4. No penalty for wounds. As long as doctor can revive him(her) - your mercenary can be good as new in no time.
5. Sometimes you merc "can't make the shot" ... without reason.
Those "mistakes" i can remember right away, maybe there is couple more in long run. But even this amount is enough for me.
Maybe developers tried - but i don't believe in it. For me it seems as they trying just to get some easy cash. Game lack too much of detail which made game of this genre enjoyable. Hell, i can remember X-COM apocalypse (you can use similar real-time based control mode instead of turn based one), but at least in 1997 i had fully destructible environment and buildings with multiple floors.
This game should be heavily reworked or modded to make it worth buying. In result i recommend you buy JA2 and get 1.13 patch for example - you get much more (yep that is not 2012 graphic and it is turn based, but it cost less and it is better). I did.… Expand
Feb 16, 20122a shadow of its former self .The game lacks alot of things 1)F.O.W 2)stealth (when you are outside a building the enemies always looking at your position) 3)ambidexterity (no merc can use 2 pistols at once or 2 knives 4)no action button (open,close door etc)
4)items cannot be seing (you must be very carefully where the items drop) 5)cabinets and such are only fixed (you cant use any drawer or any cabinet) 6)weapon attachments are out of reality (i managed to attach a 10x telescope to a machinegun !!!!!? + tha only 1 attachment can be attach) 7)only the medics can heal you cant even try to do it 8)the positions of your mercs are fixed and many many more
result = Its a good try BUT there is no connection to the REAL jagged alliance 2 ...too bad i had many hopes !!!!… Expand
Apr 27, 20120omg what a **** retarded game, I wonder if the creators of this **** ever tested their own game'?! Graphic sux, sound is weak, even in simple mode its imba as hell, all the good stuff of the original version is out and the gaylordstuff they keep. Steam give me my money back!!! All players should get payed before they get it!!! -,-
May 16, 201255Ignore 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]
Apr 10, 201267As 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.