Jagged Alliance 2 is the 1999 sequel to Sir-Tech Canada's original cult hit, Jagged Alliance. The story of the game begins with Enrico Chivaldori, a former political leader of the fictitious tropical nation of Arulco, hiring you to form a team to overtake the country and remove the totalitarian leader Deidranna from power by any means necessary.
Like the original game, Jagged Alliance 2 focuses on controlling a squad of characters. For the most part, these characters are mercenaries with varying skills and attributes hired out on a contractual basis, although later in the game citizens and former enemies may be available to join your team. The game shares many similarities to other isometric turn-based strategy games like X-Com. While the game moves in real-time outside of combat, control of your characters becomes turn-based upon enemy contact. At this point, each character has a limited supply of action points (the amount is based upon aspects such as an individual's skill and health) that can be spent in any desired form to tactically succeed against your A.I. opponent. The number of action points spent on every action varies depending on how that action takes place. For instance, quick shots from a shotgun takes fewer action points than aiming a rifle at a long distance, and walking takes fewer action points than traveling while in a prone position or trying to walk stealthily. Upon a player finishing his or her turn, the enemy characters then make their decisions as determined by the A.I., but follow similar logic.
The game contains an overview map of the entire country, separated into a grid. While the game contains one specific objective (to kill Deidranna), it is somewhat non-linear as you are free to lead your team to whatever adjacent regions you wish to, overtaking the country in whatever order you feel is preferable. The majority of enemy encounters are randomized. Overtaking regions and training citizens is essential to success. This is because the enemy can overtake previously liberated regions if they are poorly guarded, and the amount of regions under your control determines the amount of funds and resources available to you, which is needed for paying the contracts for your mercenaries and purchasing new weapons, ammunition and equipment. While a team can only consist of six squad members, you can control up to three seperate teams, resulting in a total of eighteen mercenaries under your control at any given time.
Where the Jagged Alliance series differs from several other turn-based squad games like X-Com is it's implementation of traditional RPG elements. All characters have attributes (strength, wisdom, dexterity, agility, etc.) and skills (e.g. explosives, medical, marksmanship, mechanical etc.). These skill levels can increase upon regular usage (e.g. firing guns, fixing equipment, picking locks) or through training. Conversely, an injury can lower a skill level. In additional to these characteristics, all mercenaries have individual personalities. Unlike a typical strategy game, your characters can refuse orders based on disagreements, argue with other teammates or refuse to work with ones they dislike, demand raises to their current contract due to dangerous conditions, and other similar scenarios. Some mercenaries will even refuse to join your team to begin with until later in the game when you prove your worth to them. Characters that die under your command cannot be revived and are permanently removed from your play through.
There are also many side quests. These are all optional but add much to the atmosphere and story of the game. They are not randomized but requirements for some vary from game to game. Some will net you new team members (e.g. busting out Jake and Dynamo from prison.
The game takes place in modern day and contains a large variety of mostly realistic weaponry including pistols, SMGs, assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, and shotguns. All weapons and equipment contain their own individual characteristics such as rate of fire, accuracy, damage, burst/full-auto/semi-auto capability, weight, available accessories, etc. Weapons deteriorate over time, especially when swimming and during extensive full-auto fire. They can become completely unusable if not repaired, another potential skill.
Each character can equip up to 2 one-handed (e.g. pistol, knife, or small SMG like MP5K) or 1 two-handed (e.g. an assault rifle, rocket launcher, sniper rifle, etc.) weapons as well as face equipment (sun glasses, NVG, extended-ear), helmet, body armor, and leg armor. Each character has a limited number of item slots to carry ammo, med kits, grenades, other firearms, or other items. Most weapons and armor can also take attachments, thereby augmenting their performance and characteristics. For example, adding a suppressor will allow you to clandestinely neutralize your enemies but will also weaken the weapon's damage rating and effective range. Adding a scope to a rifle greatly increases its sight range but will hamper the merc's peripheral vision.
When Strategy First released Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire, the complete source code for the original JA2 was included on the CD-ROM. Based on this source code, community members at the Bear's Pit JA Forums continue to develop a patch for JA2 called version 1.13. v1.13 is not a mod or total conversion since it does not modify the original map, storyline or quests, but is an update to the underlying engine. The last official patch for Jagged Alliance 2 was version 1.12.
v1.13 adds many features including:
- Many Interface tweaks (chance-to-hit indicator, highly-detailed previously hidden weapon data, inventory management), new keyboard shortcuts
- Externalized data and new options
- New weapons, weapon attachments, armour types, and other items
- Higher resolution (up to 1024x768)
- Weather effects like light and heavy rain
- Improvements from Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business
- New inventory system with load balancing equipment, vehicle inventory
- Improved AI (improved flanking, tactical retreats, aggressiveness)
- Map editor
- Many bug fixes (deadlock bugs, crashes, etc.)
- New combat gameplay mechanics (line-of-sight, suppression fire, ready-able firearms, enemy reinforcements, trainable roaming militia, cost-to-operate bolt action firearms, tracer-rounds, etc.)
Many of these new gameplay mechanics allow for new tactics. In vanilla JA2, engagements were typically limited to the range limit of the guns: 300-400 meters (30-40 tiles). Enemies would charge head-first into a group of mercs who could view angles up to 180 degrees with guns readied. Conversely in v1.13, the effective engagement range is greatly increased (60 tiles) since sniper rifles can now accurately hit targets at 1000m ranges, allowing players to place a well hidden, camouflaged scout to identify targets while snipers to engage. However, sniper scopes greatly limit the operator's field of view so spotters or team-security are required to defend the sniper from flanking maneuvers from the updated AI. The AI can also reinforce an attacked sector, thus adding more enemies into the fray, often unexpectedly flanking from the sides, in force.
Note that a base version of Jagged Alliance 2 is still required to play v1.13 (either the original release, the re-released Gold version, or the Steam version).
These are extremely modest; basically anything you have can probably run this game.
- Operating System: Windows 95 or later , Linux or Mac
- Processor: Pentium 133 (Pentium 166 recommended)
- RAM Memory: 32 MB of RAM
- Video Card: 1 MB of Video Memory (!)
- HDD Space: 400MB