With the release of Jagged Alliance: Rage!, the long-running tactical strategy/RPG series is once again beckoning us to take control of a group of mercenaries, head into the jungle, and utilize guerrilla tactics to get the job done. But did Cliffhanger and HandyGames deliver a sequel with the depth and level of polish we've been hoping for? Here's a sampling from our three-page critique:
Despite its limited squad size, the tactical options you get in JAR are actually pretty impressive when compared to other contemporary games in the genre. Sure, the ubiquitous these days abstract cover shields are still present, but at the very least, instead of the stifling two action system, you get proper variable action points modified by a plethora of factors, such as your mercs' adrenaline or hydration stats.
The game's weapon variety is also quite decent, further improved by the fact that each gun has its own AP costs, attack modes, and a set of stats that include durability, stability, effective range, and armor penetration. Weapons can also be modified through a series of attachments that you can either find in the field or craft yourself. However, it's important to note that the game's crafting system is not exactly deep and boils down to exchanging weapon parts for random attachments while camping.