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Jagged Alliance: Back in Action

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: bitComposer (EU), Kalypso Media (US)
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012 (US), February 2012 (EU)

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'Jagged Alliance 2: Reloaded' Details New Plan & Go System

by Rainier on Nov. 8, 2010 @ 2:45 a.m. PST

Jagged Alliance: Back in Action revives the series of mercenary-themed strategy games with significant updates to visuals and gameplay, showcasing a fully updated experience, with modernized gameplay, state-of-the-art graphics and premium production values.

Jagged Alliance 2: Reloaded will therefore have a contemporary 3D graphic style in an isometric view, the user interface will be totally redesigned and an extensive tutorial will ease the player into the complex game rules system.

The Jagged Alliance series has won numerous national and international accolades since the first title was published in 1994. The second part in particular, Jagged Alliance 2, released in 1999, received numerous awards and high ratings from the games media worldwide. Jagged Alliance 2: Reloaded takes the tried-and-trusted game principle and builds on and improves it. The new game will retain the popular combo of a turn-based strategy game with roleplay elements.

Jagged Alliance 2: Reloaded's New Plan & Go System

To ensure that Jagged Alliance 2 makes a successful transition into 2011 and that the remake is as attractive as possible to players who know the Jagged Alliance series and to those who have yet to play it, bitComposer plans on making a few changes to the existing JA2 combat system, now being called the “Plan & Go” system. It is based more on real time, and represents a departure from the original combat system in Jagged Alliance 2.

Basically, the overall strategy in the combat system remains the same! The player has to identify strategically advantageous positions on the map to minimize losses to his own side as far as possible.

In the “Plan & Go” system bitComposer omitted the “Fog of War”, which covered most of the map in JA2. Enemies positioned outside buildings are permanently visible, which enables the player to establish a strategy from the outset without having to constantly save and load. In addition, the world looks much more animated and lively as the hostile forces patrol in the meticulously detailed 3D backdrops.

The “Plan & Go” system removes the turn-based structure. If the player wants to react to an incident, he can pause the game at any time or allow the game to pause automatically by carrying out a particular activity (e.g. if a mercenary has run out of ammunition).

The real-time elements in the “Plan & Go” system also add new and exciting features such as “Timing” for example. As the enemies are patrolling all over the map, the player must time his movements very precisely to defend himself against his enemies. Here, the need to quicksave/quick load is greatly reduced, as the risks and challenges are more easily identified and the effect of the risk is reduced to a much shorter time (e.g. a character is sighted before he has reached his target, so the shooting starts earlier than anticipated).

The “Plan & Go” system also enables players to specify the conditions under which his units can attack independently; they can therefore open fire when enemies enter their range of vision. This offers players the same tactical depth in terms of decision-making, and also intensifies the combat experience, because more experienced players have to pause much less frequently and, for the most part, can let the game progress in real time. In particular, this speeds up battles with large numbers of fighters and which seemed like they would never end in the original game!

The advantages of the “Plan & Go” system opposed to the turn-based original are:

  • It is dynamic, as it allows combat in real time.
  • It introduces timing as a new element: it enables the player to spot and assess enemy movements, so he can either cleverly sneak past, or lie in wait and choose the right moment to attack.
  • It avoids the situation where you get mixed up in a battle while your mercenaries are some distance from the front. JA2 was very time-consuming in this respect, because players had to lag behind for several turns while they moved all their mercenaries to the front.
  • Combat with large numbers of enemies happen more quickly; in JA2 it took ages for the round to finish when numerous mercenaries and enemies were involved in the battle.
  • The new system also allows us to incorporate new AI functions such as cutting off and flanking enemies, that only work when actions are carried out simultaneously and not one after the other.

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