Jagged Alliance: Reloaded Alpha Footage

By Quintin Smith on April 14th, 2011 at 1:10 pm.

Are they turn-based, or are they in fact simply good at standing very still?

My inside man over at french strategy gaming site Cyberstratège has sent us a link to some alpha footage of the 3D remake of Jagged Alliance 2, previously known as Jagged Alliance: Reloaded and now calling itself Jagged Alliance: Back In Action. You can watch the previously turn-based men with guns do their slightly more real-time thing here and check out the game’s official site here. Thanks, inside man! But you must consider coming outside one of these days. You’ll get a vitamin D deficiency.

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75 Comments »

  1. NikRichards says:

    It’s not really turn based, it’s another one of those pauseable realtime jobs from the looks of it.

    Also, those guys need some serious training sessions in aiming.

    • RaytraceRat says:

      do you think its easy to hit someone that stands 10m away with a machine gun? I once tried to do that with a snowball, its not easy at all!

    • NikRichards says:

      Yellow snow would proberbly be a more effective weapon.

      Infact at the ranges these guys seem to be missing, skip the snow part and just let spray.

  2. drewski says:

    What if I take a Vitamin D supplement?

    Don’t know how I feel about this. Love JA2…not sure it’s translating like they think. Kinda wish someone would just do an “inspired by” rather than a 3D port.

    • jti says:

      What I want is Silent Storm 2.

    • Baboonanza says:

      Seconded. Without the Sci-Fi bollocks please, I still can’t believe they added Panzerkleins to the expansion. Why didn’t they realise they were the shittest bit of the game?

    • Maltose says:

      YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

  3. N says:

    Shadow Company did it right.

    • Olero says:

      They did the combat somewhat right, and playing co-op was very refreshing, but what lacked where:
      - A non-linear game
      - Characters you start to care for
      - Great maps
      - Better sounds in general (guns and explosions were very meh)

      But what I did like was all the camera options, the driving, the sniper rifle and the stealth element. And being actually able to play the levels in co-op allowed for very nice, synchonized tactics

  4. Nameless1 says:

    This is NOT turn based.
    These are their shitty “development plans”, enjoy: http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=829001&sid=47d457bce1b23a3ab8f3ba6665d7c4ba
    If you love JA, don’t buy this game.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Hmm… at first thought, I’m all not that shocked with the possibility of playing it in Real-Time with a Pause button. I certainly would prefer a true TBT game. But this “Plan & Go” thingy isn’t something I would be annoyed at (conversely, turning X-Com into an action RPG, would).

      What worries me more is if all the tactical elements of the game are still there. And if I can still feel like I’m playing a strong squad-based tactical game, or just a glorified RPG combat system the likes of DA:O. That would be a disappointment. Not that there’s anything wrong with DA:O. But that’s an RPG; the system works there. This is a tactical combat game. I expect more.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      You’re linking to NMA.

      Nah, not going there.

    • karry says:

      Ad hominem is a common fallacy many stupid people use to win arguments over other, equally stupid people. Are you sure you want to be in their camp ?

    • Nameless1 says:

      O_o
      I don’t know what’s so scary in that forum, but it’s simply the first google link I got (the link I had of the the main forum isn’t accessible anymore)
      Trust me or read their own words, they’re going to make a game that won’t have 5% of the greatness of the original. An umpteenth example of a game that will unaptly use a name it not deserves.

    • psyk says:

      http://boards.jaggedalliance.com/

      What that link that works fine.

  5. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Isn’t Jagged Alliance “being developed” for the past, oh I don’t know, 11 years?

    I’d be eager to get my hands on a modern tactical combat system — especially now that we know we can’t count on X-Com for that — and Jagged Alliance was one of my favorites. But this has been vaporware for far too long, for me to easily trust any anonymous “inside man”.

    How did the Nintend DS sales fare? When they released for the DS some 2 years ago, I hoped that good sales would spur the IP holder with an interest in finally making a sequel for the PC…

    • drewski says:

      I think it sold about as well as you’d expect from a lazy port of a 15 year old game.

      Badly.

    • d32 says:

      This one is real. But they are doing all the bad desing decisions for bad reasons; raging fans even forced them to change the name.

  6. Sorbicol says:

    What I want to know is why your playing with 4 Bruce Campbells? I hope they all have shotguns for arms. Give me some sugar baby!

    • subedii says:

      IIRC That’s Igor’s portrait. But it’s been a while.

    • JFS says:

      Sure is Igor Dolvich. Why four of him? Because he’s the best :D

    • jti says:

      I guess Alpha Footage means that the character faces aren’t done yet.

    • subedii says:

      Igor usually was one of my starting team. One of the cheapest but he had a really good Wis score and good core skills, and that made him a real powerhouse once you developed him.

    • RadioactiveMan says:

      Four Igors! I agree subedii- Igor was one of my faves too. My JA2 teams always seem to end up with a heavily eastern-european bias, with the likes of Igor, Grunty, Buns, and Barry early on. I always try to get Ivan eventually, just so I can put him in the same squad as Igor and hear them talk.

      Also, this Igor-oriented discussion made me want to find quotes from the Jagged Alliance series that describe my feelings about this new game. Igor Dolvich does not disappoint!

      “Yes, I see clearly now, it says CRAP on label!”

      If the gunplay at 1:35 is any indication, this new game will blow. I did, however, quite enjoy the bit where the guy threw a grenade at a palm tree and blew himself up.

    • Sassenach says:

      Upon returning to a recent battleground and finding ravens feeding:

      “Barbaric. As Tolstoy wrote: War, what is it good for?”

    • sinister agent says:

      I was just thinking “bloody hell, four Igors? Those redshirts are so screwed.”

      Really must get round to finishing my JA2 campaign sometime. It’s a marvellous game, but the logistics can be exhausting (although I actually like that they’re in there and it makes sense, but it could do with some kind of postal service setup to save you having to micromanage your pack mule characters every few battles).

  7. coldvvvave says:

    Jagged Alliance 2: Igor Dolvichs’ War

    • sinister agent says:

      I would actually consider buying it if they made a clone army of Igors the driving plot point.

  8. Shadowcat says:

    “HD is off”? “Facebook”?! “Twitter”?! What in the fucking fuck?

    • Lukey__b says:

      Don’t panic! Don’t Panic! They don’t like it up ‘em.

      I think that’s just a screen grab from a video client.

  9. Javier-de-Ass says:

    looks good

  10. Olero says:

    Attempt x at recreating Jagged Alliance. No thanks, the earlier attempts already crushed my hope in one actually showing up, let alone being a good game. I’ll stick to the very faithful 1.13 “mod” from the great JA2 modding community at the Bear’s Pit.

    IF, and that’s quite a big if, BitComposer pulls this one off AND allows it’s code to be modded to turn in into full TBS, then I might give them some of my money.

  11. Tuco says:

    My interest in this game is dead in the very moment they announced that switch to real time with pause.

    I don’t care if there are good real time tactics out here (Commandos?). That’s simply not what I want from a new Jagged Alliance.

    • Jad says:

      Thoroughly agreed.

      I don’t understand why people think that these kind of changes are okay. Turn-based vs. real-time I think is one of the most fundamental mechanical divides in gaming. Do you have as much time as you would like to make your decision, or are you constrained in your actions by timing? Do reactions matter, or is it entirely tactical/strategic thinking? Even pause-and-play requires some amount of reaction-time, and it absolutely destroys that kind of clock-work exactness that turn-based systems provide. When you’re playing chess, there’s no chance that your knight might wander one square further into enemy territory if you don’t slam the spacebar fast enough.

      No one would accept this kind of change the other way for, say, Starcraft II. SC2 as a turn-based game might be interesting, but in no way would it be a Starcraft game. Nor would pause-and-give-commands be acceptable in that game, because the defining feature of Starcraft is its speed and the multitasking required. Can you successfully micro your Protoss attack while keeping your economy running? Sure, just pause! Wait, what? No, that would provoke outrage and bile.

      So here’s my outrage and bile: In the way that Starcraft with turns would not be Starcraft, Jagged Alliance without turns is not Jagged Alliance.

    • Lukey__b says:

      Well put Jed.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Jad: I fully agree with you.

      I also absolutely hate it when turn-based is called out-dated when it completely changes the focus of a game entirely. The abandonment of turn-based RPGs is one of the saddest things to happen to gaming, in my view.

    • Jad says:

      The thing is, I like action games. I love reation-testing games; I recently finished Super Meat Boy, it was fantastic. I like mindless games like Painkiller and the split-second-timing multiplayer of Quake.

      But I also love turn-based games. I love being able to plan out my every move, weigh my every action in exacting, quantifiable ways. To know precisely how many steps I can take, how far away my enemy’s head is, and how many bullets I have left. I love to be able to take my time to engineer the perfect, optimal strategy — and then have that supreme tension when I press the “next turn” button that everything might go wrong. I know that when then alien eats my team it’s not because I didn’t press a button quick enough, but because I messed up my tactics.

      Again, I feel that turn-based and real-time is one of the fundamental, bed-rock division in gaming. Look at how up in arms people got when it seemed that Crysis 2 was a little less open, a little more linear than Crysis 1. But hey, it’s still a first-person-shooter. It’s still in real-time. You still directly control the gun on the screen and when you press a button, it immediately fires. You cannot pause the action and set-up your next move. You do not take a turn, and then the aliens take a turn.

      Crysis 2, less open then the first game? Uproar! Outrage! It was better back in the day! Modern game design sucks! But Jagged Alliance, a turn-based game, is now a real-time game? Yeah, sure that’s okay. Get with the times. Outdated mechanics, the new way is better. It’s basically the same with the new system, anyway. Right?

  12. rivalin says:

    Vere is die TAKTIK SHPEGEL?

  13. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Ok… I saw the video and my mouth literally opened and couldn’t close right into the last demonstration. I don’t think i’ve seen something as bad as this in a long time. All few of those who care to read what I have to say about games on my posts here at RPS, probably know me as someone whose rarely happy and whose always bitching about games you like. But this one takes the cake! All of those games are pearls compared to the utter rubbish I just saw.

    - AI willingly runs into live fire.
    - With your characters in its line of sight, AI will face you, fire a couple of rounds and then face away.
    - You can face the AI 5 meters away, without cover for any of you, and you both will exchange fire for several seconds without anyone dying or getting injured. Worse, you can lob a grenade at him at this distance while he keeps firing at you without any perceived damage to you, both from his semi-automatic weapon and from the grenade.

    Before we go watch the video again, let me just put a checkmark here on another cult IP down the drain. Marvelous!

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      It’s still nine months away, and this is alpha footage.

      Not that I’m getting my hopes up that this will be a great game considering the lack of information on bitComposer as developer, but you have to give them a break here.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I suppose I could do that. But they didn’t give me a break with their video either. You know the type of, “Let’s spare people and not release a shitty video at this point before we get a better AI in a game that depends entirely of a good AI”.

    • mollemannen says:

      it is a german developer as well. not looking good.

  14. mollemannen says:

    looks commandosesque.

  15. Fadobo says:

    Translating some of the german voice-over:

    -UI, Chracter Portraits, Map, everything just placeholders.
    -AI + World-Map not integrated yet
    -Real-Time + Pause
    -You can configure the game to go into pause automatically on different events (i.e. spot an enemy)
    -Later enemies will not be visible unless your mercs see them
    -There will be an “action-timeline” which can be used to plan and coordinate multiple mercs
    -Still 9 Month development

    I think it looks pretty rough around the edges, but promising enough. I know a lot of people would prefer a turn-based game, but putting that out for full-price nowadays, you will never make enough money to survive (=you dont have to do it at all). Still looking forward to this, kind of a fresh take on the game. Still better than converting it to a completely different genre (looking at you xcom)

    Also I’m looking forward to the browsergame JA:Online. Turn-based + Online, hell yeah. Hope that’s turning out good.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Also I’m looking forward to the browsergame JA:Online. Turn-based + Online, hell yeah. Hope that’s turning out good.

      Certainly do too. It will be the first MMORPG that I will be willing to play, for sure.

  16. Cinnamon says:

    Their plan & go system looks very poor. Looks significantly less exciting and realistic than the turn based mode in JA2. Oh well, what can you do though.

  17. Berious says:

    Like many previous commentators I’d have preferred a proper turn based remake. But if they get the campaign mechanics, relationships between your mercs and story right then I’d happily accept a compromise. Hopes aren’t exactly up but I’m keeping an open mind.

  18. Nick says:

    Why recreate the bastion of turn based strategy and then take away the turn based part and some of the other mechanics that made the combat work so well? I mean, who are they targeting here? The original fanbase can’t all be super happy about that.

    Their reasons for doing it are stupid as well, the usual ‘must be realtime in 2011′ nonsense, followed by one of the devs saying ‘if it was turn based you could pop out and assasinate someone with 5 snipers watching you and they couldn’t do anything’. Well.. thats what interrupts/overwatch mechanics are for, but apparently that passed them by.

    Bottom line it looks pretty awful from the video and everything they have said about it sounds fairly crap.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Jesus! One of their developers said that? And they call themselves a game development company, when they don’t have a software development culture.

      What their developer should be thinking was: “if it was turn based you could pop out and assasinate someone with 5 snipers watching you and they couldn’t do anything.So what can I do to solve this?

      That’s how a software programmer thinks; facing and solving challenges. But in retrospect, as you well point out the mechanics for this already exist for a long time. It’s clearl these people have no idea of the concept of TBS (or TBT, if you will). It’s no wonder they are not doing a turn-based tactical combat engine. They couldn’t come up with one if it came from their own ass.

    • Wizardry says:

      That’s why I always say that the best game designers are/were also programmers. No doubt I’ll get yelled at for saying this.

      The beauty of turn-based combat is that you can actually come up with solid mechanics to overcome problems. With real-time combat the problems are often hidden behind the action. A real-time game might just feel wrong, yet it’s often hard to pinpoint why.

    • Nick says:

      They also said that they could have done a graphical update and rereleased that and made money but ‘Jagged alliance deservses better’.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      That’s why I always say that the best game designers are/were also programmers.

      I think there’s an interesting study to be done here.

      Programmers (at some point) – Sid Meier, Richard Garriott, Julian Gollop

      Not Programmers – Warren Spector, Roberta Williams, Lori Cole, Arnold Hendrick, Chris Beatrice, Todd Howard, Bill Roper

      I dunno. While I agree with the general idea that a designer in any field should have at least some experience in practical implementation (the girlfriend tells stories about proposed handbag designs that are physically impossible to make with leather), it doesn’t necessarily work that way in reality. At least insofar as the people who’ve designed some of my favorite games were not programmers.

    • Wizardry says:

      Not Programmers – Warren Spector, Roberta Williams, Lori Cole, Arnold Hendrick, Chris Beatrice, Todd Howard, Bill Roper

      Warren Spector – He designed what game exactly? He’s more of a producer than a designer.
      Todd Howard – One of the worst designers in the industry. A hack. Daggerfall was not his creation.
      Bill Roper – I don’t think he’s actually a good designer.

      The others? Yeah. Roberta Williams and Lori Cole were both designers for adventure games. Games that are less reliant on mechanics but more reliant on content such as writing. It’s also interesting how both had programming husbands in the industry too. Perhaps that had an influence. Arnold Hendrick and Chris Beatrice are also good picks. I didn’t say that all non-programming designers are bad or anything.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      I’m sure I’m going to get yelled at for saying this, but white guys can’t dance.

      Let’s list all the white guys that can or can’t dance, then I will judge them by my own criteria and in favor of my original assumption.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Malawi: No one is saying that all designers who can’t program are crap designers. I stated that I believe that on average, designers who can program can design better games than designers who can’t program. Then, upon someone handing me a list of designers (which, to be truthful, was a really silly thing to do), I summed up my opinions of them.

      Out of all the opinionated comment on RPS, why did you have to pick mine in order to tell the world that you hate opinions? I’m also guessing that you only read news articles on this site and not any of the opinion pieces. Am I right?

  19. Caddrel says:

    At last! A movie tie-in for The Naked Gun.

  20. Dirtyboy says:

    Would be nice if they kept it turn-based, but added a video recording feature where you can replay the battle in real-time.

  21. saabas says:

    I actually like the pausable realtime combat more than the old turn based one. Turnbased combat as in Fallout, SS, JA, UFO is really fun at first but once you get the hang of it, youll never get shot or even get into a serious firefight, since its possible to kill enemies without them getting a shot at you (g11, dragunov in Ja, pretty much any low AP wep in SS- up to 4 enemies killed per char in 1 turn) The newer version of that is realtime with pause, used in great games Brigade E5: New Jagged Union and 7,62 and it makes for great and exciting combat. Also it puts even more emphasis on tactics, cover and teamwork. And its lot of fun to see bullets flying over (through) you in realtime among other things.

    About the video- i know its early but have to say im not impressed at all. 7.62 did all of the same things and looked lot better doing it. Also the style looks very much SS like, which is fine but id like a less cartoonish look and perhaps more realistic one. Not even gonna talk about the duel from 5 meters. The promised 3 man syncronized action looks promising but would have to actually see it in action.

    Overall- they better not screw this up. Ja is a great series and deserves an updated modern version, thats equally as awesome as the old ones were. God knows how many ppl have already tried making it and failed. Lets hope this dev actually finishes something.

  22. sinister agent says:

    Lordy, it’s fallout nerd rage all over again. This simply does not look anywhere near as bad as some people are making it out to be. They seem to have terrible aim and the AI is obviously not done, but aside from that it looks fine, it could easily go either way.

    • bhlaab says:

      Boo nerds! I hate nerds! Let’s get those nerds! Neeerrrrdss!

    • Nick says:

      Up yours, mate.

    • sinister agent says:

      Gosh, however could I hope to overcome such an effective counter-argument?

    • Nick says:

      You didn’t present an argument to counter, so I just responded in kind.

    • Caddrel says:

      Actually, he did:

      “This simply does not look anywhere near as bad as some people are making it out to be. They seem to have terrible aim and the AI is obviously not done, but aside from that it looks fine, it could easily go either way.”

      To which you replied:

      “Up yours, mate.”

      Maybe you made a mistake, and will apologise. But perhaps I’m expecting too much of you.

    • drewski says:

      OK, let me “counter his arguments”.

      No, it doesn’t
      No, it doesn’t

      Gosh, what an entertaining discussion!

    • mwoody says:

      To be fair, Fallout was real-time with turn-based combat. Fallout 3 is real-time with (mostly) turn-based combat. It was a genre hop, but mostly in terms of visuals and interaction with the world, and less about a fundamental alteration of the underlying mechanics.

      Oh, and, uh, to fit the theme of the thread: your mom is a classy lady.

  23. oatish says:

    I’m just going to play my GoG copy of JA2

  24. Nikolaj says:

    How come so many people think that adding a pause function to a real-time game, makes it somehow related to a turn-based game? I’m amazed that people even bother to mention the pause function, as if RTS doesn’t adequately describe it.

    I guess I’ll check out the demo, if they release one.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Depends how it works though really. It could be a turn based game underneath that’s pseudo real time. But this does look quite pants.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Technically Fallout 3 and New Vegas had a pause button. Perhaps they are turn based.

    • drewski says:

      I actually don’t really care all *that* much about turn based. I’m a huge JA fan, but the TBS is only a part of what makes the games so great. I’d love a faithful reboot, sure, but obviously I’m not getting that.

      I’d take a JA inspired real time game if it’s done well…but this just doesn’t look very promising.

    • Lukey__b says:

      Fallout 3 even had Action Points. A true TBS game if ever there was one.

      Thanks for reminding me that I need to borrow NV for that Microsoft box thingy from by brother.

  25. Jad says:

    Hey guys, did you know that there was this game where you could like build something in your city and attack another city and move some units about all at the same time, gameplay wise? And then your opponent took a “turn” doing the same thing? It was this old shitty game, I think it was called Civilization or something. It’s really outdated, they’re not making them any more.

    They certainly also don’t make any games with that crazy “turn-based” mechanic on Japanese handheld consoles either. That would be crazy. What a dead genre.

  26. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Well, it made me dig out my JA2 discs, anyway.