So, my favorite genre of game, and one that is sorely underused, is the tactical combat game. These games differ from a regular RTS in that they are normally turn-based, have you controlling a small squad of soldiers, and are pretty much always modern or fairly-modern.
Examples? Why thank you, I will provide some examples!
My personal favorite tactical combat series is, and will always be the Jagged Alliance
Basically you hire a group of wisecrackin' mercenaries who you hired because you need to liberate this island (and its precious trees that produce medicinal sap or something) from the evil dude that currently holds it.
The game had a lot of cool features that I still admire today, but the main thing that I appreciate about it is that every character had personality. Some were complete assholes to everyone, some of them liked each other, and others would actually kill each other if you left them alone. Also, apparently sometimes if you left a guy alone with your money he'd take off in the middle of the night with it.
You'd have to bargain with them when they wanted pay raises, as well as work hard to gain a rep so some of the more competent mercs will side with you. It's amusing seeing Ivan, who is a hardcore badass in JA2, as a relative newbie in JA1.
Following JA1 was the pseudo-sequel, Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games
Keeping the same engine, the game added a few new mercs, ditched the sector-based world in favor of a mission-based storyline, and most importantly, added a fucking multiplayer mode and map editor!
After JA: DG, there was a silence for a few years, and then the crown fucking jewel of PC tactical combat games came out. Of course, I'm speaking about Jagged Alliance 2
This iteration of the game added loads of new features - automatic weapons, different stances, many more mercenaries (including a competing mercenary agency to AIM, the only one you had in the first two games), the ability to make a custom mercenary, and just generally awesome action. Also, most of your favorite mercs are back, and the ones that aren't at least get a section on what they've been up to (hint: a lot are dead) on the AIM website.
Then came JA2: Unfinished Business
It was another standalone expansion, much like Deadly Games, right down to the box art. It didn't add multiplayer but it did add a map editor and a (relatively short, fairly disappointing) new campaign. It did have snow tiles, though, which were neat.
But the best was yet to come. A few years down the line, Sir-Tech started noticing that people were modding the game quite a bit. So with one of the last rereleases of the game, they released the source code as well. And this led to Ja2 1.13, arguably the best fan-made patch I've ever seen.
The thing adds loads of shit, from even more guns, to improved AI, to a completely revamped inventory system. Also, they externalized pretty much every item in the game into XML format, and they even include an editor with the newest patch, so you can easily make a Rapegun 5000 if you want. Also, there's like eight or nine different fucking types of ammo now - instead of just AP, HP, and regular ol' FMJ, there's AP, HP, FMJ, GLASER, Match, Depleted Uranium, AET, cold-loaded rounds, and at least one more that I'm forgetting. It's completely ridiculous but also totally awesome.
Seriously, if you can get past the admittedly dated interface and sometimes insane difficulty, the game is well worth looking for. I'm pretty sure you can find it for dirt cheap on eBay too.
Also, the 1.13 patch is located right here
But this thread isn't just about Jagged Alliance, oh no. There are other PC tactical combat games too.Fallout: Tactics
, oh how controversial you were. Well, to the rabid Fallout fans at least.
FO:T is a pretty fun game. I mean, how can tactical combat in one of the most interesting game universes not be fun? I think they stumbled a bit when they decided to include a pseudo real-time mode, but it's kind of helpful when you're trying to hunt down one wounded straggler and don't want to go into turn-based mode every time he takes a potshot at you.
It's got loads of easter eggs and a ton of shit to do, as well. Also, the death animations are deliciously gory, in true Fallout fashion.Silent Storm
is a World-War 2 tactical combat game. It's quite innovative in that nearly everything is destructible. Are there Nazis on a building that you want to kill without wasting precious bulllets? Well, why not just blow up the building and watch them come tumbling down?
The game gets a bit goofy about halfway through when they introduce giant mech-suits that every enemy ends up suited up in. Also, the leveling is gimped and the translation of character dialogue is goofy at best (and not goofy in a funny, B-movie way either). Still, it's a fun game. Oh yeah, and you can play as the Axis as well as the Allies (although they make sure to tell you that you are NOT a Nazi).Silent Storm: Sentinels
is the standalone expansion to Silent Storm. Taking place after WWII, you no longer choose a faction, and the character pool is both sides combined together. Sadly, I haven't played this, as it only came out in Europe, and the Gold edition of the game was sold out on Gogamer when I actually had money.
And then of course there's X-Com
, or Ufo: Enemy Unknown
as you dirty Euros call it.
I must ashamedly admit to very little experience with this game - it was a bit before my time, but I can at least appreciate the amount of things it brought to the genre. Also, even I'm afraid of fucking Chryssalids.
You know who knows X-Com, though? Motherfucking Fishman, and it just so happens he's doing a kick-ass LP of the first game here
X-Com was followed by two sequels:Terror From The Deep
, which is basically a underwater reskin of X-Com but also even more difficult...And X-Com Apocalypse
, which answers the question "What if X-Com was a shitty game?"
Oh, also, I guess there's some Japanese games that are also tactical too. If you're a weeaboo faggot.
I've actually been playing Disgaea on the DS and enjoying it and I did enjoy Jeanne D'Arc when I had a PSP
So let's talk tactical, guys.