Jagged Alliance was a classic turn-based tactical RPG from 1995. There was also a spin-off in 1996, Deadly Games, and Jagged Alliance 2 in 1999, followed by a long limbo for the franchise, aside from a few expansions and a lot of fan support. It was resurrected in 2012 with Jagged Alliance Online and the remake of Jagged Alliance 2, Jagged Alliance: Back in Action. There was also a crowdfunded Jagged Alliance Flashback, released in 2014. None of these recent titles ever matched the success or critical acclaim of the original classics.
Jagged Alliance: Rage! is the latest attempt to revive the franchise, developed by Cliffhanger Productions, who also developed the Reloaded version of Jagged Alliance Online, available on Steam. Other titles in their curriculum include Shadowrun Chronicles - Boston Lockdown and Shadowrun Chronicles: INFECTED. It will be published by HandyGames, a division of THQ Nordic. It will be available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The PC release will cost $19,99, while the console versions will require an extra $10 at $29,99.
Set 20 years after the original game, Jagged Alliance: Rage! promises a new take on turn-based tactics and adventure elements. It is a spin-off rather than a direct sequel, and it takes place in a jungle island ruled by a drug overlord and his army. Featuring a 2-player online co-op mode as well as single-player, it will include a variety of tactics ranging from stealth to brute force. The focus on adventure elements will allow for characters to be more developed, with their own unique skills, desires, and personal conflicts. It will also include "Rage skills," which the characters can use in battle, growing more powerful the longer it builds up.
The trailer presents an interesting and gritty narrative setup for the most part. It reminds me of that "Saigon... shit; I'm still only in Saigon" atmosphere from Apocalypse Now that might make for a great story. The ten-second glimpse of gameplay shows a stealth takedown and an enemy gunned down from a top-down perspective, which isn't much to go on with, but hopefully, there will be a more detailed gameplay trailer in the coming months.
More information is available on the game's official website.
Are you a fan of the classic Jagged Alliance games? Do you think there's a reason why it seems so hard to revive the franchise in a way that does justice to the originals? Let us know in the comments below!