Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 171 Ratings

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  • Summary: Jagged Alliance: Back in Action revives the top-selling Jagged Alliance series of mercenary-themed strategy games with significant updates to visuals and gameplay. Back in Action will showcase a fully updated experience, with modernized gameplay, state-of-the-art graphics and premium production values. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. Mar 13, 2012
    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. Feb 10, 2012
    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.
  3. Mar 8, 2012
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. Mar 31, 2012
    The Steam version of Jagged Alliance 2 Gold is two times cheaper and at least two better than JA: Back in Action.
  6. May 16, 2012
    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]
  7. Mar 2, 2012
    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.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 74
  2. Negative: 28 out of 74
  1. Feb 16, 2012
    I would ask that anyone who comes to the review section of this game to notice that there are MANY positive reviews, MANY negative reviews, and few in between. This game suffers from the "uncanny valley" of game revivals; It happened to Fallout 3 as well.

    Whenever a beloved game series is taken over by another developer and it's game mechanics are changed, the fans of the original have no way of venting their frustrations except to come to review sites and rate games badly. The problem with this is that some people use these review sites to make purchasing judgments, and there is FAR too much collective bias against games that try to revive old cult classics.

    As to the game itself, it's good. It's difficult if you don't know what you're doing, easy if you do. It's going to take you a day or two to get the hang of things. You might want to restart the game once you get the hang of it. This is one of the best RTS/RPGs in existence right now (still hoping for a worthwhile UFO remake); Please give it a chance and ignore the butthurt babies who want to rate it down out of their spite towards the choices the developers made with game direction.
  2. Feb 12, 2012
    This is a very entertaining squad-based tactical action game. It allows for strategy, planning, and management without sacrificing action and pacing. You lead your heavily-armed squad as it carves its way through heavy resistance across the detailed 3D locations of Arulco. The main strength of this game is the Plan & Go feature. This allows you to pause the game at any time and issue detailed orders to your squad. These orders range from movement commands-- stances, facings-- to combat commands-- targeting specific enemies and specific body parts, throwing grenades. These waypoints can then be linked (synced) resulting in coordinated maneuvers and take-downs. Once the mode is exited the game un-pauses and your mercenaries carry out their orders as you watch the carnage. If something changes, simply press the space-bar, go back into the P&Go mode and adjust your tactic to the new situation. This system allows the best of both worlds: Old-school turn based aficionados (like myself) don't need to fear an RTS click-fest that our arthritic fingers can't keep up with. Young-pup BF3 lovers get the pacing, action, and exploding ragdolls that they love. Everybody wins. It's like Rainbow 6 (the original), with a birds-eye view of your troops and the ability to make on-the-fly corrections to your plan. In what other tactical sim can you actually plan a detailed breach and clear and watch the AI carry it out? The tenets of squad-based warfare actually work in this game.

    If you're looking for Jagged Alliance 2; this isn't it. If that fact automatically makes the game awful, that's fine, but I didn't buy it looking for its predecessor. The fans of 2-decade-old turn based games feel that their X-Com's and JA2's are becoming extinct. They are angry with developers who can't or won't fund their (admittedly unprofitable) type of game, and some of them have taken to trashing this game ever since the announcement that it wouldn't be turn-based, and that their precious mercenary characters would have new portraits...

    The game is not without bugs, it is coming from a small production team and lacks some polish. However, I have been able to easily overlook the bugs, inconsistencies and quirks of the game because it is far better than any of the recent X-Com knock-offs, and it is fun.
  3. Feb 11, 2012
    This game is very original and interesting, it provides you with challenge and mostly with fun. The huge amount of characters, weapons, missions and enemies makes things even better. It gives you many ways of approach, either a silent sniper approach, or burst in with the assault rifle and shoot everything on sight. The Commander mode is the most fun, the tactical options are huge. Every mission rewards you with daily money or accesses to other missions. I haven't played the old Jagged Alliance games, but this game is fun indeed, and I recommend it to all tactical strategy games. Expand
  4. May 14, 2012
    Used to play XComs and original Jagged Alliance 1,2 games. This one (patched to 1.13) is not bad one. Quite entertaining in fact. I would say it keeps the level of unmodded J.A. - playable but not exceptional.
    Graphics and controls are the bright sides. Pitty you cannot jump and climb the roofs , the AI is not stellar and targettig feels sometimes unfinished (especialy with sniper rifle)

    Hoping for further improvements and mods.
  5. Feb 11, 2012
    As 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...
  6. Apr 19, 2013
    First of all, warning to the people who are planning on buying:

    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
  7. Mar 31, 2014
    JA2 was one of my favorite tactical games. This remake killed it. The cheating AI is the most annoying thing in this game. Even when operating under night conditions the enemies got xray eyes. Once you're spotted, they know where you are forever. They also took out armor repair, which renders the best armor you find, useless in a couple of battles. The store mechanic is also cumbersome, why can't they just design a drop ship from a helicopter to a specified sector instead of having to have to go to the airport every single freakin time. Oh yeah, your sector militias are useless, they always get beat unless you reinforce them with your own merc. Oh yeah, the stealth mechanic is borked. Even when the sound meter is all the way down, somehow the enemy could detect you and face you. Best of all, there is NO tactic in this game. If you don't lure the enemies to your waiting mercs then the enemy could swarm your lone gunman. Also an enemy with a pistol can beat your sniper at range, at night too, without nightscope, omg the cheating AI so OP Expand

See all 74 User Reviews