“Jagged Alliance 3 can be fiendishly difficult” | You are the commander of a mercenary fighting force tasked with locating and saving the president of the fictional country of Grand Chien. Can you save the president from a terrorist group led by a man known only as ‘The Major’. Jagged Alliance 3 is a turn-based tactical shooter/battler which is a growing yet still untapped genre with Xcom and Empire of Sin the largest of such to come out. The game also already has a defined set of characters that have voices and personalities. Can you stop the terrorist faction with your ragtag group of mercenaries?
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!
Things I liked!
- Graphics are super| | The graphics on the battlefield which encompasses towns, dens and the open surrounding areas (jungle to start with) are well made and the individual environments are well designed. Jagged Alliance 3 uses different elements such as watch towers, rock formations, beaches, and buildings to build its variety in gameplay and it allows you to solve a problem/take on enemies on the battlefield in many ways, the only limitations are your team and your own imagination.
- Character abilities are very important| | The game is built with the characters each having abilities that will help them on the battlefield, such as explosives expert that can disarm booby traps and medic (self-explanatory) which becomes extremely useful in Jagged Alliance 3 especially when you get deeper within the game. This also allows the player to build a bespoke team to their specifications. If they are stealthy they can build a team to go on silently and deal with any traps or alarms they may encompass, alternatively, they can build the team with the best shooters and go in guns blazing (which is my preferred tactic, I’m not very subtle).
- The world map is extensive | There is only one ‘location’ in the game and one overriding mission but the location is extensive with over 100 overworld map tiles to explore, each with its own environment, buildings, enemies, loot etc. This makes the game very extensive and it’s rewarding to explore as well.
- The story is simple but effective | The story in Jagged Alliance 3 is simple enough yet effective. The president of Grand Chien has been kidnapped by a rogue group led by someone referring to himself as ‘The Major’. His daughter hires a group of mercenaries (i.e. you and your team) to save him and prevent a terrorist coup. The story isn’t terribly original but it doesn’t have to be. It’s easy to follow and the motives are clear and obvious, less is more as they say.
Neither good nor bad
- Jagged Alliance 3 is very difficult| | Difficulty in games is very subjective to the suitability of the player, i.e. what someone will find difficult can sometimes be much easier for a different player, however, this game did have a warning at the start stating that it was build to be challenging and they weren’t wrong. Jagged Alliance 3 can be fiendishly difficult, especially with a team under-skilled in fighting ability. Also, I have put this in the between section because I like a challenge, some may not, if you don’t like challenging games this title is not for you!!
Things I disliked!
- RNG Mania | Jagged Alliance 3’s difficulty is made worse with its RNG (Random Number Generator) mechanics which would sometimes cause the player/character in question to miss dead blank shots. At first it’s comical but over time it becomes increasingly frustrating, especially if your group is on the verge of death and one good shot from close range makes the difference between doom and survival.
- The audio | Whilst the audio invokes mystery and suspense and to some degree it tries to portray the setting to which we are playing the audio, I feel the in-game music is slightly limited and I would have liked more tracks here. Also, some of the character voices are over the top (looking at you ‘Steroid’ and ‘Igor’) and it clashes with the intended seriousness of the gameplay and the story.
How long did I play the review before publishing? 29 hours
How long to beat the story? +/- 30 hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 32
How long to earn all achievements? | 75 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Xcom, Empire of Sin, Jagged Alliance 1 & 2
74/100 ⭐| Jagged Alliance 3 is a really well-put-together title with plenty of action, a really pleasing visual and a tough difficulty to keep fans of the series engaged for long periods. The difficulty may be a bit rough going for someone new to the genre of this specific series, but I would say keep at it and learn the intricacies of the gameplay as it’s rewarding for the player to keep going as the in-game map branches out and you are treated to a wide variety of areas, environments and challenges. My only issues are the luck nature of the combat with the RNG and if they had paid more attention to the audio and created a higher variety in the soundtrack this could have been an instant classic.