TL;DR: Rushed release with bugs and missing features you would expect from a game calling itself Jagged Alliance. This is BIA all over again.
First three hours of playing revealed several obvious bugs and simple oversights and simplifications, such as:
- Save button occasionally not visible, luckily it reappears if you go to Load menu and come back, otherwise would have lost progress
- Secondary weapons sometimes do not work, but work fine if you spend AP to put them to backpack and back again
- Drag-dropping ammo to a weapon breaks the inventory screen, ironically needing to reload the game instead of the weapon
- Re-arranging squads sometimes unpauses the game, resulting in fun times when preparing for defence.
- Total armor is not visible anywhere
- Stamina does not regenerate out of combat, you need to rest a combat turn
- Sidestepping or walking/crawling backwards is not possible
- Cover of my mercs sometimes lowers chance to hit enemies standing in the open
- No place to extend a merc contract until it expires, or even see their daily wage, let alone a total of your squad.
- No way to climb to roofs for elevation bonuses
- The whole island is visible at once, and you can magically see all enemy squad locations
- Names of mercs in a different squad appear in middle of the screen during battle in a different sector
After conquering the first small area, I started to train militia in a chokepoint sector. After training four militia, first enemy patrol comes in: 8-man squad, with long range weapons. I had my team in the same sector, prepared to defend with militia. For some reason, you first get automatic combat resolution of enemy vs. militia, and all four were easily slaughtered. After starting the actual battle, my troops were no longer in defensive positions, but spawned in the middle of the map. Defending against long range weapons with pistols and SMGs required very cheesy tactics, only possible because of the simple AI. I managed to train another four mercs before the next squad, only for them to get slaughered again. After one more cycle, with no way to repair weapons, the game will soon be uninstalled.
Enemies don't usually drop weapons, but I understand that as a design choice. I would expect to have some place to buy medkits and repair kits though, the only "store" in first town is a weird dialogue hack, where you can't even see your cash total, or stats of the weapons you are buying.
No manual, especially no information about character creation, status effects, or stats like "reaction time", and even in-game tooltips or tutorials don't cover those. IMP character creation has a random element to what perks you get and in which order, it would have been better to allow the player the option to manually select perks, instead of having to re-roll through the questionnaire. This looks like a feature that was cut short in development, like many others. It seems that the four perks you get at start are not all active until later levels, so it is weird to get locked into that choice at character creation.
Weirdly all mercs from previous games are back to Level 1, and their salaries don't seem to match their skills. I'm not sure if they will change as the game progresses, otherwise you are more or less limited to the starting squad that you train up. They have pretty weird perk choices as well: Ivan, Buzz, Lynx and Shadow all come with a Shotgun-crit-chance perk.
There are some good points, like squad inventory, a movement cursor that shows visible enemies from target square, and simple militia training (unlike having to manually haul weapons to civilians, like in JA:BIA).
This might be playable after a major bug fix and feature update, but until then, stay away. Basically, this looks like early access. Time to reinstall JA2 wildfire...