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A small scoop of new Arulco

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#1 silencer_pl

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:36 PM

All right gents. I have 'finished' demo version of Jagged Alliance Back in Action and I must say that the game is sweet. It runs perfectly smooth on my rig. No hiccups no gliches, etc.

I will post later screens of my action, though this game is best viewed as movie - but well...

On to the point. The demo is hard at first, but after few trials and errors it was damn easy - specialy because the they give you excellent merc such as Magic and he is god like, and Lynx as your sniper. The demo makes place in Orta research lab entrance - it is a night mission. All enemies are visible - maybe this option will be disable on full retail - because you know it is a demo afterall. There are few things that you will shout WTF blasphemy... some I agree.

The AI right now uses rush tactic - but no all of  the soldiers - some stay behind cover but you know how this things are - a noise - someone must check out - if you are spotted mates come to help - and trust me in standard shootout you are in a dire situation - this game probably will encourage more tactical approach.

There are few options that I think are missing - like for example shoot to kill like it was in E5 - I point a target and order merc to shoot until enemy is dead or not in the LoS. Also when aiming any terrain obstacle makes you mad because it blocks the pointer and you realy have to have enemy visible by rotating the map. That makes hard for sniping enemies through windows because only part of the body is 'visible' and you don't see building interior until your merc is close enough to the window to see what is inside.

Healing - is done like you saw on the picture - but mercs after getting to much hit can't regain full health through normal healing. Medkits have 'charges' and in order to use certain medkit merc must have high enough medical skill - so no more 10 med skill merc using doctors bag. Forces you to have a good medic in team.

Repairing  is also done is same way as healing. Of course there is a chance of failing an action.

Map is very big, and sometimes action with assault rifles can take 1.5 of my screen in 1920x1080 res. With sniping I could snipe at very long distances with Lynx.

That is it for now - if you have more questions if I can I will answer them.
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#2 FullAuto

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:11 AM

Sounds better than I was hoping.   :clapping:

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#3 Space Voyager

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:48 AM

Thanks for the info, Silencer!

#4 silencer_pl

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:26 AM

So here we go. This is our standing position - plenty of tangos on the map - our starting position has little to offer in case of cover. It is night  and we have 4 mercs.

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Let's get closer look on them.

First one of my favs from JA2 - Magic and trust me he does do magic. His equipment is kevalr helmet with night vision goggles, kevlar vest + normal shirt, spectra trousers. He is equiped with Stery Assault Rifle and it is better than in JA2 where I didn't like this gun because of 3 bullet auto-shot. Secondary sidearm is a .357 pistol. Other equipment is smoke and stun grenade and lockpicks. As you can see grenades have 3 'charges' so I can throw each one 3 times. Here smoke grenade dosen't make huge clowd of smoke and when it explodes enemies tend to rush there - so I think it is meh thing for sneaky attack - rather in battle use.
On the right side you can see standard JA skills - I think they are different than in original and below you can see mercs special abilities - in case of Magic it is expert assault rifles, Chameleon - gives better camouflage and Athletic - uses less energy when running. Speaking of camouflage - on the left side you can see 4 different types of camouflage. Each one represent different type of terrain.

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Next merc is Fidel - never liked him much although he is  a good merc. In my playthorugh I didn't use him much.
He is demo expert, melee expert and a loner - better when working alone. His equipment is meh for current play - a sub machine gun and explosives.

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Next one - Lynx - I like him he was my fav and he is very good merc though normally I stopped taking him in JA2 series after a while.  He isn't equipped well in case of armour, but being a sniper he will be very far in battle line.
His equipment is Dragunov sniper rifle with 4x scope and M-14 assault rifle, 2 medical syringes - the very basic healing kit. He is expert sniper, Night Ops - better morale at night and Macho - description says - better when teaming with some women - I guess that isn't Buzz :clapping:

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And last is Danny. I played with him once - a good merc not my fav but I can recommend him. His equipment is baisc - pistol and shotgun. Because he is a medic and a good one he has large medikit. He's skill is Athletic and Scout.

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So ok. Now that we are introduced - let's get into action....

Oh wait... I got just creamed...

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Enemy soldiers are very beefed up I guess and they can kill very easly from far position. Also they were many  but still their ACC is very high.

Ok so I try something else. Lynx you try with a head shot - his chance is good one judging by words.

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Just to show you how much range this game has now. This is the position the enemy is shooting

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This is the positio my mercs are standing - almost 2 screens away and they were hit. So it shows that the difficulty is high enough to make you careful.

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So I won this shootout barely - Fidel and Lynx where almost killed - lucky Danny is here to save the day - not that after being knocked down you can't heal mercs completely.

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I gathered team in front of the guardhouse.

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Also you can change the behaviour of pause system as you like.

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After few trials of error I change the position of my mercs. Dany went to the guardhouse from the left side. Lynx  went back and to the right to get better sniping position. Magic will support Lynx in case enemy decides to charge in.

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Also notice how far I can shoot and have perfect aim from Lynx. That is 3-5 screens.

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Next I move Magic forward and using this new feature I surprise the unaware enemy with hot spray of lead. Please not that I wouldn't be able to do it from starting position even if I was standing.

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Lynx continued to snipe enemies at distance and some decided to charge so with help from Magic they were disposed of quickly.

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After having some pause at fighting I scavenge some loot. I have found SPAS, M79 and 66mm rocket - SPAS I gave to Danny. Unfortunately I wasn't given any 40mm grenades and the rockets I guess are for LAW. Also there was some other junk like apple, pineapple, smokes, spiders etc.

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After a while some patrol guys stormed this position - seeing their buddies lying they went to check what has happened. Of course they found out the hard way.

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First area cleared. So I moved to the less guarded fence of some field hospital.

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I crawl inside and found first annoying glitch. Although Magic is hidden behind this bed his hands are clipping through it. Making him strangely visible to the enemy who is able to hit him.

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So doing it much better second time. I move Lynx to shoot through window and Magic pops out and peppers with his Steyr - it was very effective.

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#5 silencer_pl

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:38 AM

At this point enemies were charging at Magic - only one patrol man went from the flank because it was his patrol route. Danny was guarding it with his SPAS but the enemy was able to lob a nade which hurt Lynx a bit. Also note that when you are hit - your aiming time is either reset or delayed - just like in Brigade E5. But although Danny was shooting like mad at the guy he managed to throw that nade.

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Killing lots of bad guys I scavenged the room finding small medkit. You can see on the left side that this item requires 50 medicine skill to use.

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Crap. More eniemis - Danny scram. Magic and Lynx on automatic fire suppressed them and Danny then could use his SPAS.

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And Magic gained a level. As you have probably noticed some + signs in previous images now you can see what they are meant for. No more self skill upgrading - this time you decide what skills merc should gain. I guess some of you may be offended by this - me I think it is good approach - no more free skill training. I would guess that number of skill points earned is through the intelligence of a merc. I can't compare since only Magic gained a level - maybe on another go or in full version i will see the difference.

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There was a last enemy that got stuck using the doors. The game has a flaw when using such things and ladders. In training section my guys were 'battling' against who will use ladder. So you must keep order who will use it first.

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That was the last enemy and of course the end of demo mission. The last thing to show is the shopping screen.

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There is also one more thing that I didn't show. While doing the Plan&Go you can synchronise mercs actions. So for example if merc 1 will get faster to firing position you can synch him with other merc so they can shoot him at exact same time.

Don't know if I missed some other things - but if there is something you want I might be able to answer - don't forget to check the forum where I posted the demo link to check for bug list and other people opinion.
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#6 silencer_pl

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:23 AM

Few more things. Take a look on the merc portraits. There are 4 bars.
First two are HP (green) energy (red). There is also white and blue. White shows how visible is the merc and blue how much noise merc does.

Also probably you noticed - there is only 1 slot for gun attachment. If it is true you can't have fully pimped weapon with scope, silencer, under barrel grenade luncher. Might want to check on the forums if it is true. If so then this is huge oversight and a big minus for game.

The voices of mercs are OK in case these 4 men. They speech is based on original version mostly.

For example. Lynx doing head shot kill always says that he saw it too many times on his friends. Magic has his snapperhead text. Actualy the voice for Magic is done by someone I think I've heard in the games before and his voice is pretty good one. Fidel has his 'I busy' when he is suppressed, same with Danny has his testicles in a (something I can't remember).

There is no special room for keys and in order to open door with key you must equip key in special use-item slot.
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#7 Thorondor

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:29 PM

Pretty thorough rundown of things there, silencer. Nice job! :clapping:

It's not going to be pretty running into enemy sniper fire given how weapon ranges are being implemented. But I guess it's not all that bad seeing as you know when one of your mercs is spotted and there are the pausing triggers.

::

p.s.: are you sure your spiders aren't roaches? :P

#8 silencer_pl

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:48 PM

Well when it comes to AI they have FoW. The player FoW was dumped because they (devs) thought it will be not fun. There is a major riot in forums to bring back FoW back as a standard or an option. Right now only enemy AI must be worried of rampart player snipers.

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p.s.: are you sure your spiders aren't roaches? wink.gif

There are spiders and roaches as eatable items. Eating roaches makes merc sick - that is what I've read on the forums.

Also there is no IMP for now. QA said that IMP's make game unbalanced (that is official statement). Same thing I've read about weapon slots. Well at least they might have given 2 slots for weapon attachments.
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#9 NoXTheRoXStaR

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:34 AM

I think they should of used a Silent Storm/C&C3/HOMM5/COH/ etc view. The fact that they didn't use the most of the mouse is an issue for me. Left click and twirl....and the mini map is crap. BTW great screen shots silencer! :clapping:
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#10 silencer_pl

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:56 AM

Yeah I always through habit used right-click to rotate the map. But no, only alt.

I hope guys from bitComposer will improve camera and other annoying things.
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#11 NKF

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:10 AM

I haven't played the game in a bit, so my JA lingo's a bit rusty, but when you say there's no IMP, is that referring to the custom merc generator?

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#12 silencer_pl

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:52 AM

Yep. Institute for Mercenary Profiling
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#13 FireWarrior

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:27 PM

Played the demo for a while, but simply could not get into it. The pauses between giving orders and having them carried out is ridiculous and pretty much a game breaker for me. Without an accurate way of estimating when your merc will fire at an enemy, you either shoot walls alot, or end up getting shot to pieces when your merc sits around staring at his target for 5 seconds.

I tried a quick experiment, an enemy was walking through a doorway, Magic was sitting next to the door in cover (hiding), ready to burst-fire his enemy into the floor the instant he crossed the threshold. If I clicked when the enemy actually made it into range, the enemy could stop, look around and get off several shots at Magic before he had even fired one burst. If you do not, an click when the enemy has not crossed the corner, it becomes a matter of randomly guessing how long it will take for your merc to fire (in order to time it with the opponent getting into LoS), or even if the target will actually move through the doorway at all.

No way to easily see weapon type that I saw either. The stats, or even names, are only available in the inventory screen and a mouse-over of the weapon only provides a rather useless tool-tip that repeats itself all over the interface.

The thing is that with a switch into this type of real-time mode, info HAS to be readily available and it simply is not there, combined with the silly delay between giving orders and having them carried out, this is looking like a no-go for me.

Also, can someone please tell the devs to turn down the number of replies? After hearing Magics "lets make some magic" line 15+ times over a few minutes while setting and cancelling orders, I just ended up muting all voice entirely.

Beyond those 3 points however, the game works fairly well and is a decently solid JA-remake. Tactical games of this type are ALWAYS hard to pull off really well in a real-time setting, so I'm not surprised that I find it a bit lacking.

Based entirely on a rather brief session with the demo, I'd give the game 6/10. It's slightly above average atm, but with a bit more work, could be a very good game, in my opinion anyways.

#14 NoXTheRoXStaR

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:47 PM

I agree with Fire Warrior on several key points, namelythe excessive replies (btw, is it just me or does Lynx sound nothing like theLynx in JA2?) and that delayed order response. Keep in the mind that this gamehas just about two weeks to be shipped worldwide, ergo anything that will (andshould) be fixed will be done so via patches. I just hope this doesn't turn outto be a Heroes of Might & Magic 6 disaster. If anyone one out there had that game from the day it was released up untill now you'll know exactly what I mean, here's hoping for the best.
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#15 silencer_pl

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:07 AM

Well you have to predict your movement :clapping:

If you look close enough you can see enemy weapon. But you know in JA2 you couldn't know if the enemy has big gun like LAW until you saw it so I guess bitching around  about it is meh for me.

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Beyond those 3 points however, the game works fairly well and is a decently solid JA-remake. Tactical games of this type are ALWAYS hard to pull off really well in a real-time setting, so I'm not surprised that I find it a bit lacking.

Then let us see you having a heart attack after  you read this:

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1.  No Turn Based combat
  2.  No Fog of War
  3.  No more custom mercs with I.M.P
  4.  Climbing on buildings only on predefined spots
  5.  Explosives only on predefined spots
  6.  No more weekly or daily salary for your mercs
  7.  No learn-by-doing, training or practicing
  8.  Unrealistic portraits (You can only recognize mercs by name)
  9.  Simple Interface (Watch the Screenshots)
10.  There is no longer a Map Inventory. (You have to drop/change/repair/share items in the tactical view) 11.   No more usable vehicles like Skyrider or the Icecreamtruck
12.    No bloodcats
13.    No mortars
14.    Only 1 attachment for each weapon.
15.    Les weapons as in the original
16.    No more decomposition and no more ravens
17.    Only one difficultly level

This list was pointed out on the official forums as bad things. Though TB mode is a funny note that it was already stated it isn't TB game. FoW I think they will make it optional since many people complain about it and makes snipers less OP.

Some points I don't mind realy - others might be a bit of nuisance. About the no sector inventory. Pretty dumb idea. The bitComposer guy was pointing some stupid stuff about it and everyone just pointed that he is so wrong on many levels with this.
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#16 FireWarrior

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:41 AM

Well, barring major upgrades on the response delay and the general feel of the game, I won't be buying it anyway. That list just makes that a certainty. FoW and turn-based I can understand, it's a design decision.

Most of that list though just smells of lazy. No accurate portraits, limited roof access and limited explosives? Sector Inventory is a JA2 staple, but is not a necessity IMO. A game like UFO Aftermath did just fine without for example.

I do find it hard to believe that they will make anything that even feels close to Jagged Alliance with that many features removed though... As with so many other titles, I will simply wait and see for now :clapping:

#17 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:42 PM

Hahah - created new game on released today full version. I check the mercs and I see Fox has trait NUDIST. Likes to not have any cloths :clapping:.  You start with 40k$ which means you will not be able to buy the best mercs. Some ladies for exmaple Spider (and buzz but that is not surprise) has Amazon skill that means her morale is better when in all women team... This is strange since in JA2 Spider was close friend to Static and nothing showed she is a feminist.
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#18 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:35 PM

I've made small progress in game. The lack of FoW makes this game soooooo easy.

In order to take full enjoyment of it you must forget that it was meant to be successor for original JA2. If you do that I guarantee at least some point of fun. Hope that they will come to senses and add again FoW. Also the map inventory would be nice I don't want to run around whole map picking stuff to sell. And as I can see everywhere I can sell. For example at Drassen airport waldo is your men and in Drassen itself that bartender Heran or whatever he is called.

Ofcourse there are other things that should be in this game but I try to enjoy my playthrough.
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#19 silencer_pl

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:20 AM

[cires]Why does the E3 trailer looks far better than what the game is now. They had everything ;( [/cries]

http://www.gametrail...yer/715885.html
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#20 silencer_pl

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:43 AM

I've been playing this game for quite a while and I must say that the longer I play the better the game is (and harder). Sure it has it's flaws - but what game doesn't have it.
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