Edit: the fog of war info is conflicting and murky. Clarity is being sought.
If you read my earlier impressions of Jagged Alliance: Back In Action, you may have noticed that there was no release date listed. February 9th is the day the game will unlock on Steam and today, news comes that February 14th will see a US retail launch, with information on boxed versions in other territories to follow. Games in boxes! How quaint. Don't leave though, because release dates are as nothing next to the news that fog of war may be present in the game.
Its lack was the biggest issue I had during my hands-on, diminishing the tension and exposing the artificial unintelligence quite horribly. Having been in a previous build, I'd been told that it may be re-inserted once more due to a strong community response, a move which I salute, while remaining slightly bemused as to why it was taken out in the first place. I'll try to verify this as soon as possible and I'll have more on how well it all works once the full version is in my grubby mitts.
Fog of war really could help to improve the game significantly. As I've said before, even if it is a form of smoke and mirrors to disguise the fact that enemies are simply waiting to be engaged, that can be enough of a distraction to make me believe in a wizard. Thankfully, I'm also small enough of brain to happily forget what was behind the curtain, even after I've seen a little chappie back there, cranking levers furiously to keep everything running.