Reviews - Updated on April 7, 2022

+45.8

Gender: husband

Age: 122

Online: from 10/13/2011

Comments: 291

February 27, 2020

11K

The phrase “game about the Wild West” now evokes quite unambiguous associations associated with the famous Red Dead Redemption series. One cannot but agree – RDR deservedly secured the title of the most famous western among video games. There were other contenders: Call of Juarez and GUN can be mentioned, but the older generation, of course, should also remember one of the founders of the stealth tactics genre – Desperados, released almost two decades ago.

Personally, I have a special relationship with Desperados – this is my first game on PC. I went through it countless times in every possible way, and even after so much time, I still have warm feelings in my heart for the creation of the long-bankrupt company Spellbound Entertainment. Of course, I could not refuse the offer to write a preview of the third part, which should be released this year thanks to the efforts of Mimimi Productions. The six missions available in the press version were completed literally in one evening – looking ahead, I’ll say that it’s definitely worth waiting for the continuation of Desperados. Do you want to know why? I’ll explain now.

Return to the Wild West

Spellbound Entertainment closed down in 2012, but the stealth tactics genre itself died even earlier. Commandos, the same Desperados, Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood – it must be admitted that these were very good games, even by the most modest estimates. But when developing sequels, their authors began to experiment with the form and content of the original, which, as a rule, only led to a worse result. Therefore, probably, the genre died, barely having time to acquire well-established principles and features.

A little over three years ago, at the end of 2016, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun was released, marking the rebirth of stealth tactics, which, perhaps, few people expected. It turned out surprisingly well – the German developers got their “raisin”. Well, who, if not them, should be entrusted with the development of the third Desperados?

Desperados III game preview

Cones of enemy vision, which must be avoided, are one of the hallmarks of such games.

The continuation covers the events that took place before the adventures of the six main characters of the first part, so it is not surprising that the composition of John Cooper’s squad is presented in a slightly different form. In addition to John himself, we will have both old acquaintances – Doc McCoy and Keith O’Hara, and newcomers – Hector and Isabelle. An excellent opportunity to find out exactly how the members of this motley company met each other. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the only intrigue of the plot, which looks very standard: shootouts, gatherings in saloons, smoothly flowing into fights, train robberies, beautiful women and brave men seeking fame, money and justice – in a word, nothing special. Perhaps some twists and turns were left out of the version that fell into my hands, but the likelihood of this is extremely small. However, the devil is with him, with the plot: much more important in such games is the gameplay, with which everything is in order in Desperados III.

The Fab Five

The gameplay is not far removed from the recent Blades of the Shogun, which in turn was very close to the original Commandos and Desperados. Each level is a kind of puzzle that can be solved in various ways: kill all enemies in a fair fight, silently eliminate opponents, or even complete the mission goal without killing and without attracting too much attention. Nothing prevents you from combining these methods, trying to find new options and exploring the location in order to clear the level in some particularly perverted way (for example, using only one hero).

Actually, this is the beauty of this genre – in the first place is variability and replayability. And if this was true even for the first part, then in the sequel the range of possibilities for passing is as wide as it is generally possible.

Desperados III game preview

Bushes allow you to both hide the bodies of enemies, and hide yourself.

This is achieved primarily through the truly unique skills of each character. Cooper and Hector prefer to solve problems head-on – in this they are helped by a knife with pistols at the first and a sawn-off ax at the second. But John also has a coin, the throw of which will distract the enemy, and Hector, as a born hunter, knows how to set a hefty trap that kills anyone who is not lucky enough to fall into it. Kate and McCoy’s skill set remains roughly the same as it was in the first part, but even this is enough for each piece of the huge puzzle that each location is to have many uses. But there is also Isabelle, who has supernatural abilities: she is subject to voodoo magic, thanks to which you can take control of some enemies or bind the fate of two enemies – what happens to one, it will happen to his brother.

The levels themselves are no less important: the location of sentries and patrols, the routes of their movements, the reaction to the raised alarm and, most importantly, the division of opponents into classes. In addition to ordinary shooters, who are a fairly easy target, there are guys much more dangerous – elite fighters, for example, are not so easy to fool, and only thug Hector can kill some of them without outside help.

The harder the better

Since the conversation turned to locations, it is impossible not to mention their appearance. Everything is in perfect order here – both in terms of beauty and in terms of diversity. Typical for the Wild West, small towns, ranches, bandit camps, jungles, swamps, railroads and trains (where would you be without them in a western?) are drawn with love and attention to detail, and a free camera allows you to choose the most convenient and beautiful angle. With voice acting, unfortunately, things are worse – I remember that in the original the voices of the characters were more expressive (Cooper’s lines now sound especially faded). Therefore, I advise you to try Russian localization – it is done quite well and will help you not to pay attention to the differences in the voices of the main characters from the original.Desperados III game preview

The use of non-standard approaches to solving problems is only encouraged. Sometimes you can disguise the elimination of a target as an accident – why is Cooper worse than Agent 47?

However, these are all trifles – the most important thing is that in terms of freedom of action and replayability, Desperados III is far ahead of all previous parts. I deliberately tried to act in different ways at each level, and I always managed to find several options, both the most obvious and the most subtle.

I recommend immediately setting the difficulty level higher – otherwise it’s too easy to lead unlucky enemies by the nose, and here is the case when lightness can spoil the impression of the game. To plan the moves of several characters at once, calculating the necessary actions with an accuracy of up to a second, and then skillfully carry out the plan, never stumbling – the satisfaction from such success is worth a lot.

For those who do not like to exercise in the speed of pressing the keys, there is a “Battle Mode” – the game pauses, during which you can give one order to each character, and then execute them simultaneously. Great for both “meat” skirmishes with a large number of enemies, and for the execution of such ideas, where ingenious combinations of skills of several heroes come first.

Isabelle’s spellbinding skill in action.

***

As an old fan of the original Desperados, the third part felt like a duck to water. But, in all honesty, we have to admit that we have before us rather “Shadow Tactics about cowboys” than the ideological continuation of “Desperados” – the too new tactics of Mimimi Productions resemble the studio’s last project, both in terms of plot and gameplay. But here’s what’s interesting – the games are different, and the sensations from them are very similar, despite the two decades difference. Desperados III promises to be a great tactic, and I’m looking forward to the summer release so that I can play the rest of the levels that didn’t make it into the press release – as usual, having done it more than once.

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