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Other games getting a JA2 style spin-off


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For the past 20-ish years many of us have looked for games like JA2, but didn't find anything quite like it. There were times when I played a title and thought "wouldn't this game be amazing if it borrowed some things from JA2?". Even if is seemingly entirely different.

Something similar happened to Gears of War. I never owned or even tried xbox and I'm not that familiar, but it looked like they published a tactics game similar to xcom in the universe of a 3rd person shooter. That's what made it clear that it's not impossible for triple A titles to explore this less popular genre. My ideas weren't as unlikely.

One is Rainbow Six: Siege, a game I enjoyed immensely for the first 6 months of its release and played for 4 years before leaving it to enjoy other titles with my now limited gaming time. If you are not familiar with it, it's a first person 5 vs 5 shooter with characters to pick from for each round. It was exactly what I imagined Counter-Strike (5 vs 5 tournament rules, not 20 vs 20 massacre) should have evolved to, as a kid. 

Initially it was very slow, tense, required a lot of strategy and team communication. Outsmarting enemies to try and flank them was the way to go. Later it mutated with its player base to become a very fast rush and win or die, twitch movement, shooting face to face and see who's faster kind of game.

Each character was one of 3 types (1 speed/3 armor, 2 speed/ 2 armor or 3 speed/ 1 armor) and had a unique gadget. They managed to keep them distinct for quite a bit, before more operators of the same type needed to be introduced. The game started with 16, but devs were planning to release no less than 100 in the span of 10 years. They are still doing quite well and the roster...

Is starting to look a LOT like AIM. Ubisoft started going more and more towards expanding the lore and biography of each character and their relationships to each other (irrelevant to game-play, but pretty solid foundation if you wanted to build something a little more story drive. And they did. They announced Rainbow Six Quarantine (renamed to Extraction, cuz of covid), which is not what I'm talking about here, but shows they are open to spin-offs. They have also been sharing a universe (mostly realistic, maybe like Sci-Fi in JA2) with other Tom Clancy franchises (Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon) and even a Mission Impossible movie.

So I can't help, but think a R6 Siege game in the JA style could be awesome. Especially after Full Control's failure with Ubi being a stable (even if not a great one) developer.

The other one is a Ghost Recon game. I enjoyed Wildlands enough to give the sequel's (Breakpoint) beta a try. It somehow manage to result in a poorer game compared to Wildlands in every way possible. Naturally, when I take part in a bad beta I then stop by the forum to complain about it. To the question "How can we improve the game?" I wrote that they should copy EVERYTHING apart from genre from JA2. When you think about it, it must have been right there in their brief - make a game, about a squad of spec ops dudes crash-landing on an island controlled by a hostile fraction. Start with lame handguns and loot your way up to rifles and attachments. Put some towns, rebel forces, quests, NPCs, weather, night ops, crafting, stat progression, keep guns and attachments realistic, make both stealth and loud approach rewarding...

I realized JA2 set a high standard not only for its genre. It is a great game first in all its layers and then it is (probably) the best turn based tactics game. The quality of its features outranks most of the games designed 20+ years later.

I was really excited when THQ Nordic got the rights to the franchise, but all the excitement died with the reveal of JA Rage. I don't like or haven't played anything from THQ, before, but it does have the much needed stability, Full Control lacked.

Anyway, have you ever thought, "wow this game needs some JA features" OR "man, I wish these guys would make a tactics game"?

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The Gears of War game you refer to is Gears of War: Tactics. It is also available on Steam and personally it is a lot of fun! A bit short but great graphics, gore galore and a 3-point movement system. Based on XCOM (what else), but much slicker presentation and the execution moves never get old!  Customisation of everyone except the story characters.

Never played RS:Siege as it really didn't appeal to me. Small map and the action is all too fast for my liking. I rather stick to turn-based games as my reaction speed is not that of Younglings nowadays. The only shooters I play are coop ones against the AI (see next point).

Wildlands was, and is, light years ahead of Breaking Point. You could draw parallels with JA2, be it squad based and overthrowing a ruler (with a lot of minion rulers). The game really shined in multiplayer with helicopter antics and more fun stuff!

JA:Rage was just a simple cash grab using the name. I bought it in the sale for a few euros, but even then it was not worth it. Didn't return it though, I like having a Steam Library with a lot of games starting with Jagged Alliance 😄


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On 9/26/2021 at 8:17 AM, SWi74 said:

"What about ordering some new
stuff, huh... Like Titanik, or Bad Jill
Humping, or As Sore as it Gets..."

What a great post! I really have to dig deep inside, because since the announcement of Rage, I had pretty much put Jagged Alliance in the completely "dead IP's" section of my brain.

I never got into Rainbow Six Siege. I was already out of the multiplayer scene by then. I used to play a good amount of Rainbow Six 3 though. It was my 3D version wet dream of gun porn next to JA2 when growing up. Rainbow Six is the original IP that I discovered a few years before Jagged Alliance 2. It had clicked that fascination with guns.. but I knew so little apart from MP5 versions, the Sig P226 and the FN Five-seveN.. Then when I discovered JA2 and I could take my time... it has stuck to me until this day!

Rainbow Six 1-3 we're those slower games the way I enjoyed games. Battlefield 1942 and 2 had also become staples of my gaming diet.

Naturally, many games had given me that desire for many features of JA2. Not only did most Turn-Based games make me wish for more of JA, but I also really wish some other IP's would marry and make children.

I was always a fan of Star Trek when growing up, until present. The Original Series was good, but maybe a little dated, but I really enjoyed The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise.. enough to have watched ALL those series a good 3 times each (minimum), without counting the amount of times I've watched individual episodes that aired on TV.

One Star Trek game I always felt could have been MUCH MUCH more is Star Trek: Away Team. It had so much good.. but I never got a good hang of the gameplay. Star Trek has that personality of characters (and plenty of characters) that would fit right into JA and it wouldn't be too hard to adapt weapons, setting and missions. Not only that, but Star Trek games we're always extremely well voiced by either original cast for their own characters, but also pretty good production values even if the games were "small".

JA2 meets Star Trek is kind of a fantasy for myself.

But I will require slightly more time to dig through my brain, because I haven't thought of this for many many years...

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10 hours ago, Low_K said:

The only shooters I play are coop ones against the AI

That's what the new rainbow six spin-off is about. PvE. Don't know if it's going to be good, it doesn't look too interesting. They did a timed event a while ago and people must have liked it a lot if there is going to be an entire game on it.

10 hours ago, Low_K said:

Wildlands was, and is, light years ahead of Breaking Point

Now that I think about it, Ubi must have killed more beloved classics than anyone. Because Wildlands was decent, but I heard lots of bitter disappointment from older Ghost Recon fans. Same goes for Rainbow 6 - I quite liked it, but it's a whole other game, little to do with older R6 games. Heroes of Might and Magic... let's not even go there.

4 hours ago, GODSPEED said:

Alliance in the completely "dead IP's" section of my brain

Yeah, I had let it go. I just assumed that the kind of game quality is a thing of the past, not popular enough to be profitable today. Each attempt is sadder than the last just as it is with 90s action movie sequels. You can't make a Duke Nukem game now either.

4 hours ago, GODSPEED said:

Battlefield 1942

What a gem this was. Younger dudes telling me about vehicles in combat on Hell Let Loose, while I was destroying carriers with a sub decades ago.

The JA franchise didn't just produce gun fans, but also game designers and entire new franchises.

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28 minutes ago, SWi74 said:

Battlefield 1942
What a gem this was. Younger dudes telling me about vehicles in combat on Hell Let Loose, while I was destroying carriers with a sub decades ago.

You know.. there was a time where it felt PC gaming was going upwards in terms of quality.

Let me try and be brief; As an example, we'll take a few games I really liked, but also feel we're well liked by many.

Rainbow Six -> Rainbow Six 3
Battlefield 1942 -> Battlefield 2
Jagged Alliance -> Jagged Alliance 2
Baldur's gate -> Baldur's Gate 2
Age of Empires -> Age of Empires 2
Half-Life -> Half-Life 2

I could go on okay... But there seem to be a time where the second game was building on the first. It was trying to fix shortcomings of the first, while focusing on things that worked well with the first.

JA2 had deeper strategy layers, characters, world, etc..
Battlefield 2 focused on a slightly less "arcade" feeling, also introducing Commander and squads.. helping really make the game standout by creating the basis for teamwork vs CoD style of every man for himself.
Baldur's Gate 2 had better, more mature storytelling and really good character interactions..

I know these are all small examples, and there are SOO many more. But my idea is the second became a better game... not by changing the core mechanics, but by building on them.

But then there seem to be a time where everything just "changed". I really started noticing this shift in PC gaming when I got into Battlefield 3, where they really stripped all the more complex teamwork elements for a faster style like CoD. Around this time in gaming, I had also started noticing this in many games.

Then when new Xcom came along, it really hit me hard! As much as I did enjoy playing Xcom, because of the setting and it feeling fresh... it didn't take long for me to notice things were not really going back the way they were. Companies would start streamlining things and games started being more like copies of other games. Less creative design, concepts and styles... more of "more of the same as that game"... Just look at how Ubisoft makes their games; pretty much every game they make is the same. They change a few textures, change a few settings for the theme and type of weapons used.. but they have pretty much the same game mechanics for ALL their games, from Farcry to Assassins Creed. DICE making pretty much every shooter feel the same, just a different skin on top. Star Wars and Battelfield feel like a copy/paste.

Gaming has gone from creative nerds coming up with ideas to a business prioritizing ease-of-production in exchange of big monetary income.

This is how I unfortunately feel JA3 is going to be. It will not rely on BUILDING what made JA 2 better than JA 1... but it wills simply rely on what is common today.. so, unfortunately, i feel it will be a very generic game with some elements stolen from JA because it's a name that goes back a long time.

Sorry, this post has really gotten off your original post....

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15 minutes ago, GODSPEED said:

gaming was going upwards in terms of quality

tell me about it...

Did you play Commandos 2? The work on that game... from the music to sheer scale of the levels... how could these people be replaced by Fortnite designers? What happened?

I noticed there was a remastered version even ported to consoles. People hate the remaster, I've yet to try it and see for myself.

22 minutes ago, GODSPEED said:

But then there seem to be a time where everything just "changed"

The transition from gorgeous 2D drawn classics to hideous 3D sequels was an extremely heavy hit. They've only recently started to draw in 3D better than the 2D originals. Look at the Diablo II Remaster. Compare it to WarCraft 3 models. It took them 20 years...

30 minutes ago, GODSPEED said:

pretty much every game they make is the same.

Exactly. The differences between Wildlands, The Division, FarCry even AC (which should be impossible) are non existent. But they do sell, well.

38 minutes ago, GODSPEED said:

This is how I unfortunately feel JA3 is going to be

I have a bit of hope, because in most things in our country we are about 20 years late to the party. It is technically possible that the dev has not yet evolved to the worldwide level of money grabbing.

44 minutes ago, GODSPEED said:

Sorry, this post has really gotten off your original post....

No worries, we're in the Off-Topic section for a reason 😄

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