Desperados III – Review
Follow Genre: Stealth RTS
Developer: Mimimi Games.
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: PC. PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

Desperados III – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Great graphics, sountrack and gameplay
Bad: Some levels can take too long
User Score
5.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 5.5/10 (4 votes cast)

The Desperados game series has been around for almost twenty years, with its first game releasing in 2001 and a sequel in 2006. After fourteen years, a new entry has just been released. Developed by Mimimi Games, the studio behind the phenomenal Shadow Tactics, Desperados III serves as a prequel for the series, making it suitable for old fans and newcomers.

Story

Desperados III’s story starts with young John Cooper and his father sneaking into the compound of an infamous bandit known as Frank. Saying it’s too dangerous for him to follow, John’s father goes face Frank alone, leaving John practicing his aim. While it’s never directly said, it is more than let on that this doesn’t end well for John’s father.

What follows is a story of revenge years after the prologue, with Cooper chasing after Frank. Along the way he meets the other characters of the game and gets involved in a plot surrounding the DeVitt railroad company.

Overall, even if the story takes a bit to pick up the pace, it is really well written. A special point in its favor is the chemistry between the characters. In every single mission, the controlled characters have conversations, showing more of their personalities and revealing snippets of their story.

Graphics

The graphics in Desperados III are really good with a lot of detail included. Maps also feel lived in thanks to the number of objects, characters and little things to be found in them. This is especially commendable taking into account the size of the maps, which are anything but small.

Something lacking is the enemy variety, which is comprised of the same few types all over the game. This isn’t to say their designs are bad though, but it doesn’t feel like there is enough different ones.

Sound

Desperados III’s sound department is really well covered with a great soundtrack and SFX. There are a lot of different songs in the OST, which varies per level. The game is also completely voice acted, giving the characters even more personality than they already had.

A complaint that can be had is that the soundtrack ends up being too quiet many times. Even with the volume maxed out; most of the music ends up being almost inaudible in comparison with the rest of the sounds.

Gameplay

As a stealth RTS, the gameplay is definitely the best and most important part of Desperados III. Despite not being a really popular genre in recent times, the previous experience of the developer does show in this game. Everything is really polished, and while there still are things to nitpick, it has great gameplay.

At the start of the game the player only has control of Cooper, but as it progresses they unlock the other characters. Each of them has a particular set of skills, Cooper is a classical cowboy with guns and throwing knives, McCoy is a sniper with utility tools, etc. There are not two of them that play or feel the same, each has their own weaknesses and strengths.

As previously mentioned, Desperados III is a stealth RTS, what this implies is the player controls all characters at the same time while trying to stay unseen. Every enemy has a cone of vision with two zones; in one of them characters remain unseen while crouching, while in the other they’re always seen. Keeping in mind the fields of vision of enemies, players must fulfill the objectives of the mission, though remaining unseen is just an advantage, not a necessity.

Upon being discovered, enemies will all be alerted and look for the player’s unit, those within FoV will directly start attacking. Despite this, the player can disable the alert by hiding again or killing the enemies after them. Desperados III offers a lot of ways of solving problems, even if it’s not the usually intended way a player could just choose to go in all guns blazing.

The game also features the so-called Showdown Mode, where time will pause for players to queue actions from several characters at once. This allows for more planning and not rely as much on precise timing.

Every level also has several optional challenges known as badges which require the player to fulfill certain conditions which make the level harder. These badges are revealed upon completing the level, though complete ones pop up upon completion.

As a fun mention, some enemies have special names straight out of a western movie. When these are defeated nothing particular happens, but it counts as progression towards a special achievement.

For those that look for a challenge, the game includes several difficulty settings, with the hardest being called Desperado difficulty and adding huge handicaps, such as Showdown Mode not pausing the game.

Conclusion

Desperados III is a great game which offers a lot of content, besides welcoming new and old players of the genre. The game has everything it promises, with loads of content and more to come later on.

Personal Opinion

“I’ve really enjoyed playing Desperados III, though I admit I don’t play it in an even remotely optional way, choosing to wipe every enemy in the map instead of focusing on the objective. Doing so has meant spending an hour or more per level, tiring me more than it should, but despite this I still had fun all along.

An issue I had with the game is how the optional challenges are not shown before starting. With the maps being enormous and my playstyle, replaying a level was a nuisance.

It is worth mentioning the developers happened to host an AmA on Reddit where I could ask about this; the answer of Moritz Wagner, Head of Design for Mimimi Games was:

“We don’t want players to feel judged by the badges or adjust their playthrough too much by trying to get badges. For us one of the most important pillars is “play it your way”. Which means we want to allow players to figure out things for themselves and just play how they want.

Afterwards, if they want to return to the missions for badges with new challenges, they can do so. That’s why we show it afterwards.

I know some players want to see them from the start, but I think that this isn’t worth the trade-off. It would result in many players getting wrong feelings on a mission and I think that those that want to know badges before can just google them anyway before starting a level. It’s not perfect, but the better solution imo!”

Which is a more than fair enough point, though as an individual I think there could be other ways of working around it.

It is also worth mentioning there apparently are some issues with regional pricing, so for those outside of EU and NA it might be in their best interest to wait a bit in case this may change.”

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Rating: 5.5/10 (4 votes cast)
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Desperados III - Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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  1. […] new missions for Flagstone, Mayor Higgins’ Estate, Eagle Falls, and the Casa DeVitt. We have reviewed this title and it scored very well. These […]

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