With Jagged Alliance: Back in Action and Jagged Alliance 3 having been announced, the third new entry into the series, Jagged Alliance Online, has gone relatively unnoticed. While the idea of a browser-based tactical strategy MMO version of Jagged Alliance may seem like an attempt to jump onto the FTP bandwagon, the game itself is deep and well thought-out.
Jagged Alliance Online will allow players for the first time to exercise their skills against other players as well as AI, as PvP is being introduced in a new update for the current closed beta being run.
The update adds three multiplayer modes and six arenas, which must be unlocked by gaining enough honor levels in the main game against AI. Each PvP arena has its own lobby and rankings, which uses an internal ranking system specifically created for the matchmaking system to determine a player's strength. The ranking is based on a variety of factors such as the mercenaries' level and position in the rankings.
The PvP modes include:
* Deathmatch: Direct battle, mercenary versus mercenary. The player who is still standing at the end is the winner. * Bounty Hunter: Who can sneak around the target's guards or take them down best to be the first to eliminate the NPC at the end? * Search and Destroy: Both players have three objects in this arena. The aim is the destroy the opponent's object while protecting your own.
* Bounty Hunter: Who can sneak around the target's guards or take them down best to be the first to eliminate the NPC at the end?
* Search and Destroy: Both players have three objects in this arena. The aim is the destroy the opponent's object while protecting your own.
Each of the game modes have two arenas to play in. Deathmatch features a North African warehouse with narrow alleys and a Central American missile base with long corridors and narrow passages. One Bounty Hunter arena has players hunting for a drug baron in a South American shanty town, while the other has a hunt for an Italian general in a villa. The Search and Destroy areas include a windy Moroccan canyon with a single bridge and two abandoned military camps in the Midwestern United States.
While battles in Jagged Alliance Online are turn-based, players are rewarded for the speed at which they accomplish their objectives, which forces players into being more aggressive, while at the same time making sure they're not sitting ducks.
Gamers who'd like to try out the beta can sign up at the official site.