Jagged Alliance 3 will have mod support and co-op, thank goodness

Jagged Alliance 3 keyart
(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

The latest dev diary for upcoming turn-based merc-manager Jagged Alliance 3 outlines a couple of interesting features. The first is mod support, which is particularly relevant given the way modders kept Jagged Alliance 2 alive. Here's our own Evan Lahti singing the praises of the 1.13 mod, which "enhances what's there, upping the maximum resolution, adding hundreds of new weapons—including gratifying super-items like Ghillie suits and depleted-uranium bullets—reorganizing hotkeys and altering the AI so that enemies flank better, take cover more often, climb onto roofs, and utilize suppressive fire."

Jagged Alliance 3 will receive mod support as part of a post-launch update, the dev diary explains: "Modders will have access to the tools we use internally to create content such as mercs, weapons, items, quests, voice responses, and can even add support for new languages."

Modders will be able to use JA3's appearance editor tool to make new mercs or NPCs with existing assets, or by exporting new models and animations they make in Blender. "To create a fully fleshed out merc modders will also want to upload 2D portraits (big and small) and create voice responses for their mercs. We look forward to seeing what kind of mercs the community comes up with!" A map editor and a quest editor will follow in another update.

The other feature detailed in the post is co-op multiplayer. Two players will be able to experience the campaign together, either starting fresh or by having one join the other's existing singleplayer campaign. As Haemimont Games explains, "there is no functional difference between a save made in a co-op and single player, and the host can continue the game in single player if their buddy drops out. Both players can also load any of the saves (auto-saves or manual saves) created during co-op gameplay and continue them in singleplayer."

Players will share the same pool of mercs and have to stay in the same sector, and dialogue with NPCs will be controlled by whichever player started the conversation, although the other can suggest dialogue choices in the UI. 

My own first exposure to Jagged Alliance came via the multiplayer mode of Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games, which also had a scenario and campaign editor. It's nice to see similar features will live on in this sequel, which looks a lot more promising than some of the other Jagged Alliance games we've had in recent years.

Jagged Alliance 3 is scheduled for release via Steam and GOG on July 14. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.