Jagged Alliance is a fond childhood memory of mine. A game I spent way too many hours playing over and over again. One that I never thought I would get to see again.
However, when I heard THQ Nordic had picked up the licence I was a tad bit happy. Although there are many times a company’s taken a pre-existing IP and fallen short.
So with hope in my heart and an overwhelming feeling of dread, I jumped in. Or out of the helicopter.
Jagged Alliance Rage Review
Jagged Alliance Rage is set 20-years after Jagged Alliance 2. There are some Easter Eggs like the names of mercs from previous games and grand gestures to the fallen. Jagged Alliance Rage is a little different from the previous game, wherein you don’t have as many mercs to choose from.
In saying this though, each merc has a quirky backstory that directly manipulates the way you play.
There’s the grieving Russian that needs to be drunk to operate at peak performance, the medic who’s gifted with his hands and melee combat but a bit off with a gun and many, many more.
You pick two of six mercs to begin, so weigh the pros and cons well. Otherwise, your team ain’t going gonna far.
Mercs with Mouths
The island map in Jagged Alliance Rage is impressive in size for a game that’s described as a small spin-off of the series. After progressing through a level you extract to the island map and you can manage your mercs here.
You’re able to heal, fix gear or make mods for your weapons. However, if you spend too much time doing this stuff, enemy patrols that move around the map will find you, resulting in an unprepared firefight.
You also have access to a camp stash here and managing your inventory is a major player in your survivability.
Actions have Consequences
Jagged Alliance Rage plays a lot like the previous games in the series. All actions cost action points and planning your turn is made so much easier thanks to the grid-based map.
You can spend additional action points to aim your shots for extra accuracy and going prone, using meds or even throwing rocks to distract enemies will all chew into this valuable asset.
After of all your mercs have used their action points you end your turn and the enemies will do the same. If you haven’t been seen by the enemies yet it will normally be a set patrol and you can plan around this.
New to the characters in Jagged Alliance Rage is the Rage system where your Mercs gain access to powerful abilities. Chi heals restore a little bit of health without a medkit and Shadow Step is a move that is not viewable to enemy troops for example.
A new game mechanic added to Jagged Alliance Rage is stealth. Long grass adds a much more sneaky element and if you can get to enemy mercs without raising suspicion you can execute them with a melee attack.
Some enemies will resist this and you will only knock them down or slightly damage them. If you save some action points for a finishing blow though, you will be sweet.
Mate, Feed, Kill Repeat
Another new thing that will keep you on your toes is that your mercs will get dehydrated. You will need to keep a supply of water (or alcohol for one) for them to rehydrate.
Be careful of dirty water though. It will rehydrate your mercs but it may also cause infection which will hinder you until you can camp and use meds to remove it. You are able to take control of a reservoir that will give you unlimited access to clean water which is a godsend.
Brought to the table in Jagged Alliance Rage is a two-player online co-op mode which is just like the main campaign but with a friend. Take control of a merc each and do your best to liberate the island from evil.
Although Jagged Alliance Rage is missing a few important features that would make it Jagged Alliance 3. It is a damn good game that is a perfect stepping stone for another in the franchise.
Jagged Alliance Rage was reviewed on PC using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game Title: Jagged Alliance Rage
Feels like the original games - 9.8/10
Great small changes - 8.8/10
Not Jagged Alliance 3 - 6/10
Stealth is super fun - 8/10