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Jagged Alliance: Rage rumbles in the jungle today

Jagged Alliance: Rage, direct sequel to Sir-Tech’s tactical classic Jagged Alliance 2, has launched. Originally due out in September, it just kinda disappeared into the fog one day before launch. Now it’s back, a bit more wild-eyed than before. Maybe it’s seen things out there. Maybe Cliffhanger Productions wanted to polish it up – we’ll probably never know. Anyway, JA: Rage is set twenty years after the original, and stars many of the original, now-aged mercenaries, pulled out of retirement for one last, potentially suicidal job. It’s out now at budget price, with a launch trailer below.

There’s been a few attempts to reboot the Jagged Alliance series so far, but thusfar none have turned out well. I’ve not had a chance to try it myself, but Alec got to take an early poke around this latest attempt back in August, and came back pleasantly surprised. While it perhaps leans more towards the XCom side of things as opposed to Jagged Alliance 2’s hyper-detailed granular systems, he didn’t hate it, which is a major step up, honestly. Rather than try to go toe-to-toe with Firaxis and the genre juggernaut that is XCom 2, JA: Rage is a smaller, budget-priced game, too.

A bunch of Jagged Alliance 2’s original oddball mercenary crew return, perhaps a little more Rambo: First Blood than the A-Team now. Each character has an anger gauge, and when it’s maxed out they can use special Rage Skills. Ivan Dolvich on a knife rampage probably looks a bit like Brock Samson on a bad day. The campaign structure sounds interesting, too. It’s no longer JA2’s totally open sandbox of missions, but you do have to rest, heal and explore the island through a map of interconnected nodes in-between combat encounters. Chris Bratt is deep in the jungle working on a review, so hold position and you’ll find out Wot He Thunk before long.

Jagged Alliance: Rage is out now on Steam for £16.19/€17.99/$17.99 and published by HandyGames.

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Dominic Tarason

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