Anyone who has been following my excited jabbering on various forums and Steam will have known this article has been coming for a while. The recent release of Jagged Alliance: Back in Action continues the trend of “remakes” and “updates” of beloved old games being unable to resist tinkering with the formula that made the original so successful. The UFO: Afterdinnermint games introduced real-time action with pauses and were widely perceived as mediocre at best; the third game in the series made the bizarre choice to remove permanent soldier death, which is something I view as being fundamental to the squad tactics format. Silent Storm retained the turn-based format and was loved as a result, right up until the panzerkleins reared their ugly heads. And now there is Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, a remake of Jagged Alliance 2 that missed the point so badly it actually removed the fog of war at one point. By all accounts it isn’t offensively bad, just remarkably unremarkable, and if it didn’t have the Jagged Alliance name attached to it it’d probably be getting a much better reception. Unfortunately when you stick the name “Jagged Alliance” on your game and you say it’s a direct remake of what is only the second-best squad tactics game ever by a razor-thin edge, you’d better make bloody sure that it lives up to its heritage. Comfortable mediocrity just isn’t going to cut it, especially when your 2012 game actually looks worse in some respects than the 1999 original.