Making The Cut: Jagged Alliance Online

By Kieron Gillen on August 18th, 2010 at 10:30 am.

Their alliance is certainly looking Jagged. I suspect it will also be online.

Emerging from the jungles of Cologne is news of a classic PC series getting a reboot. Jagged Alliance is back as a browser based tactical MMO. And yes, there’s I can hear the sigh from here, even before I’ve published the story. But abstractly, this is the sort of game which could transfer interestingly across and – hey! – at least it’s turn based. There’s little details and certainly no screenshots I can find, but looking at the feature list one of the more interesting ideas is that as well as managing your own mercenary company, you can rent out your carefully trained troops to your friends to help them out. I’m going to publish the whole press release below, as there’s so few details and you’ll probably want to pick over them yourself, but if you’re really interested you can register for a chance of getting into its closed beta.

Jagged Alliance Online: a classic game returns

Hamburg, August 18, 2010 – An online version of the classic game Jagged Alliance will be released in 2011. Today bitComposer Games and gamigo announced that development of the browser-based tactical MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game) has begun. Jagged Alliance Online will follow the same basic principle as its predecessors, keeping the popular mixture of tactics, strategy, role-play and management and transferring it to a modern MMO world. The game is being developed by Cliffhanger Productions and is a cooperation between bitComposer Games and gamigo.

Jagged Alliance Online will be built around the familiar Jagged Alliance games mechanics, which are a mixture of turn-based battles and real-time action. The player takes control of a group of soldiers, commanding them from an isometric perspective to complete tasks in order to earn cash as well as renown. If a player wants to stay on top, mercenaries will need to be trained and equipped with better weapons. If that’s not quite enough, then mercenaries can be borrowed from friends or alliances can be formed with other players.

“The Jagged Alliance series is a cult classic and an online version has been on gamigo’s wishlist for a while now,” said Patrick Streppel, executive board member at gamigo. “So we’re all the more excited to have the global rights to this exciting project and will do everything in our power to live up to fans’ expectations!”

“We looked very hard for the right partner for this project and we’re confident that this partnership lays the foundation for long-lasting cooperation,” said Oliver Neupert, CEO of bitComposer Games. “gamigo has many years of experience publishing browser-based online games and thus is the ideal partner for us to ensure a successful international launch of Jagged Alliance Online.”

Visitors to this year’s gamescom will have the opportunity to register for beta testing of Jagged Alliance Online at gamigo’s booth in hall 9.2, booth C-36.

Fans can stay up-to-date on all the latest developments on the official website and the all-new Facebook page.

You can find details about bitComposer Games products as www.bit-composer.com. Information about the Jagged Alliance series can be found at www.jaggedalliance.com

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51 Comments »

  1. P7uen says:

    No sigh here, this could be superb!

    • tdev says:

      I hope they do good with this. If you need a tactical fix, this game I have found to be pretty cool, just download and try it for free all the time.

      http://www.gunrox.com/?ref=usa-seal-team

      You have 3 team members and use up to 80 different weapons against human opponents.

  2. Robin says:

    As long as it’s really Jagged Alliance, and not a Jagged Alliance-themed Mafia Wars / Evony type product (I’m looking at you, The Settlers on Facebook), then it could be great.

  3. John K. says:

    Awesome, yesterday talk of BG2, now Jagged Alliance. Awesome. I don’t know how many times I played this game but I know I spent over 2 years playing it. I’m definitely going to try it out. Oh man the characters, Shadow, Spike, Ivan, and the awesome Conrad,…. brings back tons of memories.

    Deidrianna Lives.

  4. Dominic White says:

    So long as it even has a quarter of the complexity of JA2 post-fanpatch, then this could be great. Play-by-email has long since fallen out of vogue, but play-by-browser could work excellently, and it would theoretically let you juggle several matches at any given time.

  5. Olli T. says:

    Oh hey, this could be good! There are never enough good realistic turn-based tactics games.

  6. coldwave says:

    Elliot you idiot.

    Time to reinstall JA 2 v. 13 and refresh my memory of a “Drassen Event”.

  7. radomaj says:

    “And yes, there’s I can hear the sigh from here”. Kieron typing too fast?

  8. mihor_fego says:

    The Jagged Alliance games seemed to be the next to have a sequel after the current trend of returning to older IPs. Being browser-based might result in some restrictions, but retaining the tactical turn based combat is really encouraging.

    If it features a full solo campaign with the mercenary-lending or perhaps co-op missions optional, this might really make it. The feature list on the publisher’s website sounds promising enough. With the lack of similar turn-based games today, I’m excited even if it’s a bit dumbed-down.

    But… please make it have some form of subscription or anything other than idiotic micro-transactions, meaning people get better equipment or mercenaries the more they pay, totally unbalancing the game.

    • Freud says:

      It is a shame that the first question that pops into my head is “how will they monetize this” instead of “what gameplay features will it include”. That said, it will be interesting to see how they will monetize this.

  9. Alexander Norris says:

    Whaaaat.

    I’m glad we’re getting more turn-based tactical combat, but there’s basically no way at all this’ll be a Jagged Alliance game – what makes JA, JA is the ridiculous amount of content and hidden features. Can’t have Jagged Alliance without NPCs to interact with, mercs with intense personal disorders and home-made Molotov cocktails – none of which are really things that can be put into a multiplayer browser game in any significant way, as they pretty much require single-player.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Actually, after reading the feature list, assuming they can pull this off, this sounds pretty good. Not as awesome as JA2, perhaps, but it sounds like it might have legs of its own to stand on.

      Just as long as they include at least a hundred different guns.

  10. Urgl says:

    Mutilating JA with the MMORPG cancer.

    Speaking of: I hope these people (“Are in perfectly good health” – Ed)

    GIEV PROPER (singleplayer!) JA 3 NAO!

    Saying an online version was on their wishlist as opposed to a true sequel is like saying that Henry bloke asked for death when he said “Give me liberty or give me death”.

    EDIT: FFS, man. This is RPS. DIGNITY.

    • coldwave says:

      Dude, stop being Angry Internet Man, single-player JA3 is in the works already by same people.

    • John K. says:

      “Big Angry Internet Man” the boogey man of the next generation.

      “Now eat all your veggies Tommy, or the Angry Internet Man will get ya, and Dislike all your facebook posts, unfollow you on twitter, and infect your iCereal so it’ll only type in CAPS!”

    • Urgl says:

      RAWR!

      Also:
      How is that going to work if it’s by the same people?
      Or is this the same folks from Sir-Tech?
      If not, then how am I supposed to be happy about JA3 from the MMORPG munks?
      It’s most likely going to be a “third” like the third Soldier Of Fortune was after the original 2.

      *goes to infect innocent childrins srls*

      As an aside, angry internet man sometimes can come out from underneath the internet and shout at sects while wearing cool masks. Ksshhhhhhh! Booooh!

    • Zyrxil says:

      Dude, stop being Angry Internet Man, single-player JA3 is in the works already by same people.

      Single player JA3 has been “in the works” at around 3 different developers in the last decade. Every single one has fucked it up so much it was taken away from them.

  11. m_s0 says:

    Time for one of my favorite games to get brutally raped, I guess. Not a single one will be spared, it seems

  12. apa says:

    I, for one, welcome our new massively online turnbased overlords!

  13. Cooper says:

    This -could- be good. Maybe. I’m not gonna take of my jaded gamer hat for this one though.

  14. myros says:

    I have to say Im slowly coming around on ‘browser based’ … mainly because the quality is improving, and the types of titles are exanding. Not going to replace my single or multi-player gaming habits anytime soon but it sure is interesting to see what’s happening in the gamers space these days.

  15. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    You know what? I’m not going to get mad. Not going to complain. Not going to moan about how this can’t possibly be any good.

    I’m just going to pretend it never happened.

    • Dominic White says:

      Or – and this may sound horribly reasonable and restrained, thus unsuitable for sensitive internet audiences – we can just remain vaguely interested but otherwise apathetic up until it launches, and then judge it on its own merits?

      Nah, nevermind. That sounds ridiculous.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Other people can do what they wish. I have no interest whatsoever in any form of browser based multiplayer online gaming, so therefore it could be the second coming of WoW, with guns, as addictive as crack covered crack with crack sprinkles and be as much polish as Bungie vs Valve cubed, and it would still have absolutely no value to me.

  16. billyblaze says:

    JA2 1.13 already has multiplayer, and it works quite well. I really don’t think it gets any better.

    http://www.ja-galaxy-forum.com/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=47&page=1

  17. Mr Ak says:

    Hmmm. Seems to be on a Zynga-style model. Also seems like it might work.

    Drat.

    I can see myself caught in a shame spiral of self-loathing here.

  18. Maxheadroom says:

    The original JA spent yeeeears on my 1st PC (a Pentium 1 with a whopping 16mb of ram).

    Kept going back to it in between other games. Was a sad day when I eventually finished and uninstalled it (who’d have thought I’d ever fill that 1gb hard drive?).

    I can still quote the Russian guy who spoke in russian whenever you clicked on him :)

  19. Reaven says:

    I don’t understand how you guys are so optimistic about this, have none of you learned anything the past few years? This is going to be a piece of shovelware crap.
    Jagged Alliance died as soon as Sir Tech closes its doors. I could have take that german developed JA3 they were making but this? The worst of all is that the next generation will remember Jagged Alliance for a shitty web based game instead of the best tactical game ever created.
    Good Night sweet prince.

  20. Clovis says:

    Yeah, I’m having a hard time being overly positive about this. At best, we might get a pretty good tactical turn-based game out of this, but it’s not going to be a real successor to JA2. Just look at the image at the top. Does that look like the group of mercs that you used in JA2? No, it’s just 5 extremely boring soldier dudes. The characters in JA2 really lifted up from a really good strategy game to something really special.

    Is it really a big deal if the franchise is never properly revived though? A game doesn’t have to have the title “Jagged Alliance” to be a great spiritual successor to it. Maybe some company will finally create the new X-COM/JA someday.

  21. Unchan says:

    Is this kinda like a new rule?

    Parallel to Rule 34, a bit like “If it used to be (great), there is a shit sequel / remake / MMORPG of it”?

    Because if so, boy, have the last handful of years been hitting it out the park increasingly well.

    I’m 100% sure they’ll manage it again this time, too.

  22. Ivan Dolvich says:

    Хорошо

  23. Philosoraptor says:

    Anything solely created to capitalize on current market fads piggybacking on revered brand names turns out shit.

    Why not just make a JA FPS while they’re at it?

  24. Garf says:

    Great. First Bethesda raped Fallout, then 2K butchers X-Com, apparently we’re getting an anime Desu EX and now this. And kudos for the people who are still retarded enough to “remain optimistic”.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      I’m optimistic enough to still be retarded.

      Do I get any kudos?

    • pipman300 says:

      lol “bethesda raped fallout”. lol fallout was selling itself on street corners sucking d for crack money and beyjesda deicded to take it off the street and give it a newer better life

    • pipman300 says:

      lol saying your favourite game got raped and it’s the most horrible thing ever. if you keep saying things were raped when they weren’t then the word will lose all it’s impact then what will happen when bethesda and 2k actually do rape someone ‘huh then what?

  25. Ayeohx says:

    I just beat JA2 1.13 again. The current 1.13 add-on is amazing! Highly recommended.

    http://www.ja-galaxy-forum.com/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=cfrm&c=11

  26. Ozzie says:

    Oh man, JA 2 is one of those games I just rediscovered recently. It’s something! It’s amazing how complex it is, how much freedom you have, and yet it’s also a canvas for your own personal story, that’s different tho anybody elses. And the characters, oh man, you will never want them to die. Okay, maybe some, and then deliberately. ;)
    But it can also be a frustrating game. I manoeuvred two of my mercenaries in a quite deadly situation, and they have the car. Hard to get out of it, and I’m playing on easy, and 1.12!
    I’m sure 1.13 will be even better, but I guess this might be a game I play over and over again anyway. :)

    I’m not sure any developer could pull off a worthy sequel to JA2. The games of Sir-Tech always had something special. You really felt that they knew what a gamer wants, that they were gamers themselves. There’s so much enthusiasm in their games, they’re so thought through well. Just as a little example, you can’t do save game cheating like in most turn based strategy games. JA2 saves the randomly generated numbers for the next round, so it will always play out the same. That forces you to think how to get through situations in the best way.
    Really, I miss Sir-Tech, more than Looking Glass. Who makes games like this nowadays, games that are definitely hardcore, but also absolutely fair. :-/

    • Indeed says:

      Most importantly, you can actually shoot people’s heads off.
      Took a while to figure out, but you actually can.
      Managed it by standing literally next to someone and then doing a crit to the head I believe.

      Oh, good times.
      More fun games with (preferably advanced and per-limb physics and detachment etc) gibbing/dismemberment required.

      Also: Guns. Tons and tons of guns. Oh JA, how do I love thee. Let me count the headshots.

    • Indeed says:

      Most importantly, you can actually shoot people’s heads off.
      Took a while to figure out, but you actually can.
      Managed it by standing literally next to someone and then doing a crit to the head I believe.

      Oh, good times.
      More fun games with (preferably advanced and per-limb physics and detachment etc) gibbing/dismemberment required.

      Also: Guns. Tons and tons of guns. Oh JA, how do I love thee. Let me count the headshots.

    • Ozzie says:

      Oh, every body part can explode in a beautiful way. ;)
      I also managed to be shot down from a roof once!

  27. Ozzie says:

    Oh, and also accessible. JA2 is surprisingly easy to get into! Okay, the different kinds of weapons and ammo can be daunting, admittedly, but otherwise the game manages to explain itself really well.

  28. pipman300 says:

    nerds commit mass suicide in response

  29. Alexander Norris says:

    Well hello, there: http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/56706/Jagged-Alliance-2-Reloaded-Announced

    This is overshadowed by the fact that there is no 1.13 for this, which means the game will be infinitely less good than JA2 is right now.

    • Ozzie says:

      Hm, doesn’t look too bad. I dunno, 1.12 is good enough for me atm, so I don’t necessarily need the advanced features. The AI should be intelligent enough to climb on roofs, though.
      And I felt JA2 was a bit limited because of the isometric view and the low resolution, so I would like some new features, like a continuous map and driving around with vehicles, maybe.

  30. Kong says:

    JA2 is the only game I replayed 4 or 5 times. Last year my Gigabyte board smoked, I reactivated my old machine and played JA2 with the enthusiasm I miss with modern releases.
    Let us hope they do it right, especially the character voices are critical. My fellow Germans never get that part right. They do not call us немецкий without reason ;)