Somewhere in the great archive that catalogues all games releases, there is a hard-working drone with a clipboard and a marker pen trying to keep track of the King's Bounty series. It's been a mess of expansions, expandalones and DLC for those expandalones since Legend revitalised the tactical resource-based RPG genre way back in 2008 - but as far as I can tell we've not been treated to a proper sequel yet. The just-announced Dark Side isn't that mythical follow-up, but it is another standalone campaign, and one that lets you customise your hero's race for the first time. Will you be a fighty Orc, a crusading Demoness or a spellflinging Vampire? Look, I can't make these decisions for you.
Scary thought: We almost lived in a world where a tactical wizard-on-wizard RPG from the creator of X-COM would never have been. Julian Gollop's Chaos RebornKickstarter campaign teetered between nabbing the public's monetary thumbs-up or the eldritch maw of oblivion as it entered its final week of funding earlier this month, with Gollop himself tweeting the "nail-biting conclusion" of the drive's dwindling hours. At the 34-hour mark, the campaign's Summon Moneydollars spell finally reached the $180,000 goal, climbing over $210,000 in funding by the timer's end.
Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, we roll into tactical RPG history with our soldiers of fortune in Jagged Alliance 2.
The Hamburglar has fatally misjudged the blast range of TNT. Wayne Gretzky is dead, too—his blood all leaked out on an airport runway through a sniper hole between the lungs. I can’t keep my team of fantasy mercenaries alive.
Naming a party of characters is one of the game-given rights of X-COM-like turn-based tactical RPGs. It’s instantly gratifying to take a commando named after your cat into combat. And when permanent death is a possibility, it’s a way of emotionally investing yourself in the animated sprites you’re sending into harm’s way.