Jagged Alliance 3 Review: A Pioneering Leap in Tactical RPGs
From the celebrated creators of the Tropico series, Haemimont Games, comes an undeniable gem in the realm of tactical RPGs – Jagged Alliance 3. The game brilliantly recaptures the essence of its predecessors while simultaneously venturing into uncharted territories, resulting in an immersive gaming experience that is as captivating as it is challenging.
Set in the enigmatic region of Grand Chien, Jagged Alliance 3 is not your everyday tactical RPG. While it gracefully maintains its roots in the genre, the game weaves a dynamic tapestry of strategic decision-making, global resource management, and narrative depth, elevating it to new heights. Its setting, seemingly inspired by African landscapes, is governed by a notorious military dictator, The Major, who kidnaps the nation’s leader, pushing the country into chaos. As a mercenary for hire, your mission is to rescue the President, dismantle The Major’s hold, neutralize his force known as The Legion, and reinstate peace.
Jagged Alliance 3 doesn’t shy away from an off-beat humor that lightens the game’s grim situations, reminiscent of the comedic strokes in Wasteland 3. The visuals are mesmerizing; whether you are trudging through lush jungles or patrolling tranquil coastal towns, the maps are intricately designed, enhancing the game’s atmosphere and influencing gameplay with dynamic weather conditions.
Unlike most tactical games, Jagged Alliance 3 outdoes itself with an impressively choice-driven narrative. Your decisions can shape the game’s direction, ranging from the selection of mercenaries to handling diplomatic scenarios, creating a vastly different gameplay experience with each run. The variety of characters, each with their unique attributes, not only adds depth to your squad but also enriches the overall game dynamics. The musical score deserves a special mention for its versatile composition oscillating between peaceful exploration tunes and adrenaline-inducing combat tracks, effectively setting the game’s pace.
However, Jagged Alliance 3 isn’t for the faint-hearted. The game’s default difficulty is set to “normal,” but several harder options test your strategic prowess. While the game does provide a “Forgiving Mode” for those who wish to enjoy the narrative without frequent bloodbaths, the challenges are relentless. The game beautifully marries strategic planning with on-ground combat through its SAT and Tactical views. As a commander, you need to micromanage operations, like healing your team or training local militias, while also leading your mercenaries in engaging turn-based combats.
While Jagged Alliance 3 excels in many aspects, it has its share of challenges that might deter some players. The game has a steep learning curve, with harsh penalties for wrong moves that could force you to rethink your strategies. Combat can sometimes feel like a roll of dice, with uncertainties leading to frustrating situations. However, these elements collectively contribute to a sense of urgency and tension that is synonymous with the real-life uncertainties of warfare.
Jagged Alliance 3 is a compelling blend of deep strategic gameplay, immersive storytelling, and memorable characters. Its engaging visuals, impactful choices, and captivating setting make it a must-play for tactical RPG fans and newcomers alike. Despite its punishing nature and steep learning curve, Jagged Alliance 3 offers a rewarding experience that keeps you coming back for more. From its satirical undertones to the breathtaking vistas of Grand Chien, it is an exceptional game that far exceeds its predecessors and sets a high bar for future tactical RPGs.
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
Jagged Alliance 3 is now available on PC.