The year is 1988. On the Caribbean island of San Hermanos, a ruthless dictator has finally arrested the leader of the rebels. All seems lost…until you and your rag-tag band of mercenaries arrive. That sounds like as familiar and standard an entry as any in the Jagged Alliance series. You could apply that same description almost word-for-word to the fight against Santino (JA1) or Deidranna (JA2) and nobody would bat an eye. That’s a good sign for developers Full Control, who are aiming to take Jagged Alliance back to its roots with a prequel to JA1 entitled Jagged Alliance: Flashback.
Full Control come to this project by way of Kickstarter, having successfully raised enough funds to purchase the rights to the game and attract former JA2 designer Chris Camfield. They’ll need Camfield’s help, too, as there will no doubt be some serious expectations from the JA fans who put more than $350,000 in the hands of the Danish developers. Thankfully, Full Control have some experience in the realm of pleasing strict turn-based strategy fans – they were the team behind Space Hulk, a game I was generally positive on. If nothing else, Full Control’s work on Space Hulk proved they can handle the pressure of taking a licensed product and recreating it faithfully. That’s a key skill to have wading into the eel-infested waters of Jagged Alliance. Back in September, the team made the trek to Gamescom and showed off an alpha build. I was lucky enough to get a chance to fool around with that alpha build through Steam’s Early Access. Here are my first impressions in convenient video form (click above).