Jagged Alliance: Back to Action

I have to admit, I have been playing Diablo 3 religiously for the past week since it came out.  However before that happened I was glued to the tactical strategy game that is Jagged Alliance: Back to Action.  Often I find tactical strategy games to be lacking anything really tactical about them.  However this game with it's recent patches is now a perfect blend between tactical strategy, resource management and grand strategy.  You run a mercenary group set on killing the evil queen of a small island nation.  This queen exploits the people and resources of the nation for her own monetary gain while deploying squads of brutal warriors with machetes and machine guns to gun you down.

The story is actually pretty good and the game really puts you in control of the situation to try and take back the island as you see fit.  You start off by taking over a small airport at the northeastern side of island.  From then on you literally walk your squad on a grand map to various locations to take them over or in some cases, intercepted by roaming troops searching for your band of misfits.  As you go through and find diamonds to sell to make money, you can hire more mercenaries.  Mercenaries have various skills such as explosives, lockpicking, weapon specialties, gun repair, medical and all sorts of fun stuff.  Eventually you will find yourself setting up multiple squads to defend the territory you have already gained.  Maneuvering them on the grand map and placing them in defensive positions will be key.

However the real fun is in the fighting.  You are able to pause the game and make split second decisions including lining up moves so they are done at the same time.  One person could be kicking in a door while the other is getting in a flanking position.  You can tell your units to perform headshots, throw grenades or give medical assistance to other characters.  However it's really best to just see how great the game really is.  The user interface is the nicest I have seen for a tactical game like this.  And user interface is extremely important in tactical games and makes it a really smooth experience so you can simply focus on playing the game instead of figuring out how it is played.  jefmajor got me into this game.  This is his second video in his Let's Play Jagged Alliance series.  The entire playlist can be found here.

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