Desperados 3, releasing June 16th, is a story driven RTT and is a prequel to the original Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive from 2001. Now, admittedly the game doesn’t have much competition on the PS4 as far as Cowboy Themed RTT’s, but that doesn’t mean Mimimi Games hasn’t taken this game seriously.
On his epic journey through the USA and Mexico in the 1870’s, John Cooper will have to face the demons of his past. During that quest for revenge, Cooper joins forces with a runaway Bride Kate O’Hara, shady Arthur “Doc” McCoy, a giant trapper, Hector Mendoza and Isabelle Moreau, a mysterious woman from New Orleans.
John Cooper is a Bounty Hunter with a heart of gold, but has a score to settle with a ruthless Gunslinger named Frank. It is your job to guide your little band of people through the levels as best as possible in order to escape unscathed.
Viewed in the usual manner that RTT games are, from an elevated position, each character you do meet along the way will have a unique set of skills (queue the Liam Neeson in Taken memes and jokes) and it is your job to utilize them in the best way possible.
Stealth is your friend in the game and is set out quite quickly from the start. The game eases you into everything really well in an opening tutorial as you play, but the difficulty ramps up pretty fast. The game introduces us to quite a few mechanics at the start including cone vision for the enemies which will give you an insight into what they can see. A lot of the time there will be some form of scenery you can hide behind and obscure their vision which all adds to the tactics you employ. You can also use the scenery not just to shield you but to also arrange accidents to happen to the enemies in order to avoid any suspicion.
It does feel that the game is built around repetition however. Pretty much all of the missions play out in the same manner. Start, die, try something different, move on, die, try again, get caught, finally try something different, succeed and move on.. rinse, repeat is the order of the day here. It doesn’t feel like the game wants to allow you to experiment or give you numerous ways to advance. It wants you to do it the way the game wants you to and that can become very frustrating.
Quick save is mapped into the PS4 controller however and it is recommended that you use it frequently with the ease of the touchpad. The game does remind you what feels like constantly to use it, especially if you haven’t saved in a while. The only issue with this is that although it does mean that you wont have to start the level over again, you can find yourself repeating the same things over and over until you find a way to advance. This is another thing that adds to that annoying repetition within the game.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
If you can move past the irritating repetitiveness of the game there are some good moments which do make up for it. The Showdown system is one of these things. It allows you to pause the action and stack up your moves between the characters then you can sit back and marvel at all your team working in unison to kill multiple enemies.
Characters are well balanced bringing their own skills and talents to the game. By far the best one being Isabelle. As a Voodoo Priestess, she brings a great supernatural spin on the stock traditional stealth tactics you need to employ. Firing a dart into two enemies to link them together as walking voodoo dolls is really fun. What fate lies for one will also project upon the other and does make it possible to create some great ways of thinning a heard of bad guys.
Using Doc to snipe enemies from a distance is great fun as well but can also knock out multiple enemies with his swamp gas leaving the enemies wondering what is going on, but they soon realise and start to come after you. You do need to plan ahead in most cases and more often than not, you will fail and either be caught or killed.
Cooper can use a throwing knife or dual wield pistols to deal with 2 enemies at once. Kate is your stereotypical female who can use disguises to lure men away and kill them in secret. Hector has a bear trap he can use on enemies and is the only character who can take on longtail enemies in hand to hand combat. They all play well when using them to work together.
If you are looking for a fast game full of excitement and action this game probably wont be for you. The length of time taken to get through the 16 missions is similar to Django Unchained or The Hateful Eight. Tarantino is the master at making seriously long dragged out movies, and this game is the same. Its no easy feat thats for sure and I feel that this won’t appeal to a lot of gamers, but if you do give it a chance you will be rewarded for your time and effort.
The controls at first seem a little confusing, but really do become second nature and intuitive. As far as the graphics are concerned, they may not be spectacular in the grand scheme of things, but are perfect for the game at hand. There were no issues with frame rate drops and I didn’t encounter any bugs or glitches which I was really happy with given some of the titles I have reviewed recently.
Desperados 3 is a seriously challenging Real Time Tactics game. It will test the patience of most people throughout, but there will be some hardcore fans of this rebirth to a classic title. The wild west setting adds a certain charm to the game, something I have not come across before with other RTT titles. I do get a feeling that a lot of people who try the game out and cant get to grips with it will just do the usual of calling it ‘trash’ on social media but they need to stick with it.
**PLEASE NOTE** AIR Entertainment were supplied with a review copy of the game. This has in no way influenced our views on this game as per our Review Policy**