Jagged Alliance 3 – GameTopic Review

Jagged Alliance 3 - GameTopic Review

Jagged Alliance 3: A Symphony of Destruction

I believe it was Socrates who said, “I love it when a plan comes together!” Well, get ready to experience that satisfaction on every mission in Jagged Alliance 3. This game’s deep yet approachable tactical combat will have you orchestrating a beautiful symphony of destruction. And trust me, the occasional missed easy shot that brings everything crashing down will definitely make you chuckle.

The basic plot of Jagged Alliance 3 is simple but not without its moral complexity. The president of Grand Chien has been kidnapped by the enigmatic villain known as The Major, and it’s up to your team of international mercenaries to rescue him. Set in the early 2000s, this game loves to play up the cliches of pre-9/11 action movies while presenting a conflict that feels ripped from the headlines. Sure, the humor might not always hit the mark, but it’s mostly harmless and you can just GameTopicore it.

Now, let’s talk about the real star of the show: the turn-based tactical combat. It’s seriously among the best I’ve seen in years. You get to manage a custom squad of up to six mercs, each specializing in their own deadly expertise. Whether you prefer heavy weapons, sniper rifles, or demolitions, there’s a playstyle for everyone. Personally, I went for a team of five marksmen and one medic who was surprisingly good with a gun. My strategy? Stay unseen and snipe enemies one by one. And what’s great is that the game doesn’t punish you for not conforming to traditional roles. You have the freedom to play your way, as long as you can handle the consequences.

One thing that sets Jagged Alliance apart from other tactics games like XCOM is its roster of pre-written characters. Each merc has their own personality and visual style, making them more memorable than your average grunts. Take my Canadian medic, Michael “M.D.” Dawson, for example. He’s timid and self-conscious, but when he makes a tough shot and surprises himself, the whole squad gets inspired. Then there’s Livewire, my hacker, who’s written as the snarky college student stereotype. Her practicality occasionally opened up new options in quest dialogue. It’s these little character traits that add depth to the game.

But let’s talk about something that bugged me a bit: suppression. It’s hard to have a dedicated machine gunner because ammo is a scarce resource. Automatic weapons chew through your supply like a kid with a bag of candy. Even burst-fire weapons won’t suppress enemies effectively, which made it difficult to rely on conventional move-and-fire tactics. It’s not exactly how a modern firefight works, but hey, we make do with what we’ve got.

Now, let’s talk about the impressive world map of Jagged Alliance 3. With over 100 accessible tiles, each with its own custom 3D battle map, there’s always something new to explore. From dense urban areas to hostile wildlife-infested savannahs, the variety is impressive. And even when there are no enemies or campaGameTopic objectives, these locations are worth visiting for resources and hidden supply caches. The maps themselves are attractive and readable, with vibrant colors and great lighting.

Playing on the permadeath setting is where the real tension kicks in. It’s nail-bitingly stressful, but oh so rewarding. The sparse cover in some maps may force you into open ground, but that’s all part of the challenge. Carelessness with your team’s lives comes with consequences, adding an extra layer of excitement.

In addition to the intense combat, there’s plenty to do on the Grand Chien map. You can secure critical diamond mines to keep paying your mercs and prevent desertion. Training local militias helps protect your settlements during enemy raids. And who can resist some R&R to keep morale high? Almost every town has interesting side quests that reward you with loyalty and income. My personal favorite involved getting a group of homicidal old lady gang members back together. It required hiring someone with the Psychopath trait, just to relate to their most reluctant former member. It’s these unique quests that make the game even more enjoyable.

As for merc progression, there are plenty of options to keep your team evolving. Dismantling items allows you to craft weapon mods that give you bonuses. Armor can be upgraded with ceramic plates to absorb hits to specific body parts. Leveling up grants perks based on your stats, although there aren’t enough options that cater to specific playstyles. But even with the same perks, the satisfaction of clearing enemy encampments never gets old. Each map throws a wrench into your plans, ensuring that no two firefights are exactly the same.

With over 40 hours of gameplay, Jagged Alliance 3 offers a substantial experience. The economics side of the game eventually becomes manageable, but I found myself wishing for more ways to spend my money. Buying new gear ends up being a one-time transaction in select places. Ordering crates of bullets or advanced body armor is sadly not an option. However, there’s plenty of merc variety to explore, with the potential for fresh experiences each time.

In conclusion, Jagged Alliance 3 is a game that combines tactical combat, engaging characters, and an impressive world map. It’s a symphony of destruction that will keep you entertained for hours on end. So gear up, assemble your team, and get ready to unleash havoc in the name of justice. Just don’t forget to chuckle when everything comes crashing down because of a missed shot.