First some caveats about my review. First this is based on an initial read-through and not a detailed playtest as yet. When that changes I will probably come back to modify the review. Second, I am a huge fan of the original Alternity RPG. I fell in love with it when I got a preview quick start packet (similar to this one in fact) bundled with a copy of Dragon magazine about a year before the system was released. It is the one RPG I have a complete collection of and every one of my longest campaigns was run using the alternity rules... at least initially.
With that background out of the way, I have to say this version of Alternity is... very different. It seems to get as much of it's game DNA from Strands of Fate as from the game it is named after. The new durability system, armor and talents all seem to be pulled almost completely from the crunchier of the fate variants available. The initiative system is very interesting, I like the idea of what you decide to actually do in a turn influencing how quickly you get to do it, but I'm afraid it might wind up being a little clunky to keep track of in practice, though the using the provided initiative tracker may help with that in actual play. The skill system also feels a little clunkier than I would like after being switched from a roll under to a roll over system...
Ultimately this isn't the old Alternity, but then that isn't really what the intent was... this is the child of Alternity and the many systems that have been developed since its release. Is it close enough to the originial Alternity to really scratch the itch that many of us have for that fondly remembered system? No, but taken on it's own merits and ignoring the name it definitely holds some promise. Unfortunately I am afraid that Using the name Alternity is likely to cause a bit of backlash similar to what D&D 4th edition experienced, because it just changes far more than some will be comfortable with while using the same name. Admittedly I am disappointed to see that "my" alternity isn't really here any more, but this new system seems like a strong one and one I will definitely take out for a spin soon.
[4 of 5 Stars!]