THQ Nordic announced that HandyGames’ Jagged Alliance: Rage! will launch on September 27th, 2018 at the end of this month for PC. Later in the fall you can look for the game to launch for the Xbox One and PS4 starting November 6th.
The turn-based strategy game will attempt to revive the series after years of missteps, poor handling of the intellectual property, and a lot of studio closures. As much as I love Jagged Alliance, the brand seems to ablate the integrity of any outfit that picks up the publishing rights; sadly no company has been able to top what the Canadian outfit Sir-Tech managed to do way back in the 1990s.
The newest game isn’t trying to replicate Sir-Tech’s success, though. The developers are focusing on telling a story about a small handful of mercenaries trapped behind enemy lines. Instead of recruiting a small army of mercs to storm through an exotic jungle and take down the baddies, Jagged Alliance: Rage! is about being out-numbered, out-manned, and out-gunned.
Players will have to utilize their tactical prowess and employ their TBS wits to out-maneuver the baddies and survive against seeming insurmountable odds.
Elements of the original series are still present, mostly in how you trek across the island and scavenge for loot, but the overall aesthetic and presentation has drastically changed, as depicted in the new gameplay trailer below.
As you can see, the overworld map is still there, along with the different locations you can explore and visit. However, instead of the map being broken down into the grids that the previous Jagged Alliance games are renown for, the points of interest are now highlighted as circles on the map and strung together with little white lines.
I can’t say if this is better or worse than the original setup because it all depends on how these new maps are structured and how the overall gameplay mechanics are executed.
We also briefly see the gameplay, where players can utilize stealth to take down foes, or go in guns-a-blazin’. Multi-level stages are also present, allowing for traversal up and down the vertical layers of the environment.
In addition to traditional arms such as sniper rifles, pistols, and assault rifles, there’s also throwing knives, melee attacks, and silent takedowns.
Most fans of the original Jagged Alliance 2 aren’t very pleased with the results and made it clear via the like/dislike ratio.
Others were hopeful that maybe THQ wouldn’t skimp out on an editor and allow gamers to mod the levels, characters, and gameplay much like the original two Jagged Alliance games.
Given the history of poorly received titles in the franchise over the last decade it’s hard to see this newest title breaking that trend, but we’ll see how it all goes down when it releases on PC first starting September 27th.