Urban Chaos is a first-rate mod for Jagged Alliance 2--and if you like that game and have played it through, what's not to like about essentially getting a whole new campaign to play for free?
Jagged Alliance 2 is perhaps the single finest turn-based strategy game ever published, even though it dates from 1999.
What made it so great? Take the turn-based squad combat characteristic of XCom (but with a system that allows realtime movement to get you quickly past areas where there are no opponents). Set it in the modern world with realistic weapons, accurate line-of-sight rules, and a level of physics that allows things like shooting through obstacles bullets can actually penetrate (with reduced damage).
Add a character system in which every mercenary you can control has his or her own personality, verbal expressions, and so on, so that welding them into an effective team requires people management. Throw in a world with innumerable NPCs who also have their own personalities and tasks for you to accomplish. Make that world "adult" in the true sense of the word--the game is set in a third-world dictatorship, replete with torture cells and sweatshop labor and opponents who have no compunction about killing civilians. Have the campaign be quite open-ended, so that you are not on a linear track of missions as in so many other games--your ultimate objective to liberate the country of Arulco, but you can choose which areas to liberate first. And layer on an interface that allows you to use your "laptop" to hire mercenaries and keep in contact with your financial sponsors.
The ultimate sum of these elements is a game that's not only a fine, difficult squad-based strategy game that requires careful planning rather than twitch reflexes to win--but an emotionally compelling (and sometimes disturbing) story with a high level of replay value.
Jagged Alliance 2 was something of a last hurrah for Sir Tech, one of the greatest PC game developers in our field's early history, which closed up shop shortly after the game's release (at least partially because they struggled to achieve distribution for this game despite virtually universally glowing reviews--the conventional industry sucks, but we've said that before). Sir Tech had a glorious history going back into the early 80s with the Wizardry series, which were among the best of the early Western-style RPGs. The company is sorely missed.
Playing Urban Chaos
You need to have JA 2 installed already on your machine, so if you want this and don't have a copy, go buy one first.
Then download the mod installer by clicking the "Download" link above.
Be careful to follow these instructions (taken from The Bear Pit, where you can find a lot of information about JA2 and mods for it.):
Jagged Alliance 2 Urban Chaos Install guide
By Eisenhower (edited for our users by costik)
Follow these steps and you have Urban Chaos installed in no time [Wink]
1. Make sure you have a full clean install of the English Jagged Alliance V1.03. Clean meaning installing JA2 into a new, separate folder. Like C:/JA2_UC. Note: If you buy a new version of the game, you might want to install that into one directory, and install a second copy into another directory, which you can do by starting the installer a second time and just selecting another place for installation. When installation is complete, use this second copy of the game for the Urban Chaos installation.
2. Download all the files of Urban Chaos in one map onto your Hard Disk (just click on the download link above to do this). Extract the files into a directory.
3. Run UC_setup from this directory. Follow the instructions on the screen. It will ask you to locate your copy of ja2.exe--navigate to the folder where you installed the game fresh (not to the one that contains your original copy of Jagged Alliance 2, unless you don't plan to play the original version of the game ever again). Ignore the text that says that you will be able to run the game from a desktop shortcut (don't do that).
4. After installing you will have to install QuickFix 2. (If you don't do this, the mod will crash your machine after the opening cinematics!) Get QuickFix 2 here.
Unpack it with an unpacking program like winzip or something similar. Place the Prof.dat file in your /Data/Binarydata folder. Overwrite the old file.
5. Launching Urban Chaos:
A) Go to Start -> Programs. And find the JAModsquad group. A screen will appear and take you to to a menu where you can choose between:
Play Urban Chaos
Exit Urban Chaos
B. If the above Play Urban Chaos option returns you to desktop instead of running the game, go to your Jagged Alliance 2 folder and double-click on JA2_UC.EXE . This will also start Jagged Alliance 2 Urban Chaos. NEVER CLICK on JA2.EXE or use its desktop shortcut (you can make yourself a new one pointing to the good exe if you like).