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Jagged Alliance Online Beta Preview

Sara Lau
Feb 20,2012  01:02 by
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I was assuming how come a browser game could match a client game in terms of quality, performance, graphics rendering and gameplay. It looks like the “true” free-to-play web game with stunning visual effects is here to stay. Possibly, this is just the tip of the iceberg from what I can tell based on the short tour of Jagged Alliance Online. It is such a new turn-based-3rd-shooter developed by Gamigo, which bears no identity being compared with Gamigo’s last round of titles. In the game, there’s something about controlling over a squad of mercenaries to engage in gun battles presented in small maps. I have experienced really much fun in this game so far, so that’s why I would like to recommend this game to you.

The game requires you to download and install the Unity Web Player to play. You will be prompted to authorize the installation when starting-up the game at the first time. After launching the game, you get to choose your first mercenary ranging from 5 available classes. You may select from commander, who boasts tremendous strength and tough body and is a role of vanguard using short-ranged pistols; or a sniper, a role of silence killer who takes his enemies by surprise from camouflaged positions in distance; to a well-balanced soldier, it’s all up to your choice.

Graphics are impressive and unprecedented, by the standard of web games. Thanks to the mighty Unity Engine, the 3D rendered environment provides a rich amount of features like blood splash, shade and explosion effects. Given that this Unity-powered game might a bit much for low specification lap top, it also enables you to switch between low-end to intensive graphics mode by simply tapping numeric keys during game. Various voiceovers will be also triggered when you try to click to assign different commands to your characters. However, the camera is locked in isometric view, which means players are not even able to scroll middle mouse to zoom in and out the camera.

As you enter the battle ground, you will be presented with detailed preliminary tutorials that cover fundamentals of control. Battle ground is no longer a hex or square grids based, instead, depending on the mercenary type and character level, a certain number of “action points” will be given to use for executing different actions per turn. The AP gauge located above the weapon portrait shows how many things you can do in one turn, and it is fully refilled at the start of each turn. To mobilize your character, you can freely move your cursor around the battle ground, a line with multiple arrows will show you the path your character will take. The figure next to the cursor shows that how many APs a particular movement or action will consume. Normally the line is skyblue, when the path changes to red, it indicates that you do not have enough APs to get to the destination, and you won’t be able to execute any other actions until next turn. The combat works on sort of dice-rolling mechanism. Hovering the cursor over your foes, success percentage in hitting your target will also be shown. Changing your stance to crouch can vastly raise the hit rate, but on the other hand, more APs will be cost for moving your character. And I feel a bit weird because I would miss so many hits even though I have a hit chance around 60-70.

Strategy is not only limited in mastering the leg work in battle fields, brain work also matters. You need to pick a squad consisting of guys with unique skills in order to make you well-balanced team. Each one of them can be further customized as you can equip them with different clothes, weapons, and armors.

So far, the short time that I have with Jagged Alliance Online is very pleasant. I think I will put it on my favorite list (Command And Conquer Tiberium Alliance ), and later I’ll dive further into the game to find more fun. Meanwhile, I have two pieces of advice for Gamigo: is it possible to raise the action points in number? For the sake of newbies, could you please add a basic guide tour down to the world map at the initial stage?

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