Desperados 3 Articles RSS Feed | Desperados 3 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Desperados 3 Review: A High-Tension Hootenanny Fri, 12 Jun 2020 11:05:28 -0400 Jordan Baranowski

It's been many a moon since we saw a Desperados game. The second game in the real-time tactics series released in 2006, with the Helldorado spinoff coming out the next year. It's been all quiet on the western front until now.

This time, Mimimi Games is at the helm of Desperados 3, a great tactical title that carries on the legacy of the genre that included other greats like Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines.

Desperados 3 isn't perfect; it's still haunted by some of the same issues it had in its early build. However, it's a lovely little puzzle box that rewards creative thinking, eliciting more than a few "a-ha!" moments along the way, especially in particularly devious situations.

Desperados 3 Review: A High-Tension Hootenanny

If you've ever played a squad-based real-time tactics game, like other Desperados games, Commandos, or Mimimi's Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, you'll feel right at home in Desperados 3.

If you haven't, the gameplay style might need a little explaining. Each mission puts you in control of up to five characters. Each of those characters has special abilities at their disposal, and each mission consists of a series of objectives.

You must then utilize the characters at your disposal to achieve those goals, and there are usually dozens of enemies in your way. After analyzing patrol paths and learning the tendencies of nearby guards, you'll start picking off baddies one by one, opening up new paths while working your way through level toward the objectives.

When you first start out, things aren't terribly difficult; for example, luring an enemy into the jaws of a giant bear trap is pretty easy to figure out. As you start ramping up to greater difficulties in later missions, however, you'll have to combine several different abilities at once, each with a specific timing and a unique cooldown to make it through unscathed. It's tricky but oh-so-satisfying once you make it through a section that has been giving you fits.

Tactics and abilities start very simply. Protagonist John Cooper can flip a coin to draw an enemy's attention, and he has a couple of loud pistols that get instant kills but attract a big crowd. Later on, characters gain more complex abilities, and you can even press a specific key to queue up separate abilities from every character all at once.

One button press will unleash a symphony of destruction that requires distinct timing, and it's possible to mess up that timing on more than a few times in a playthrough. When it works, though, it's a sight to behold.

The Wild Bunch

Desperados 3 is a reasonably standard cowboy story, and its characters are relatively archetypal. There's a fun-loving giant, the brooding assassin, the rough-around-the-edges country gal, and so on. Rather than being put off by characters that have been done time and again, it's helpful for the tactical nature of the game.

There are limits and restrictions beyond just each characters' special abilities, but they won't surprise you. You'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect based on a particular character archetype.

Even though the characters themselves are pretty stereotypical, it is fun to watch how they banter and play-fight during missions. There's near-constant back and forth between them, and there's enough of it that it won't get too stale. It's a system that lends quite a bit of personality to the game that I wasn't expecting, and it helps make you care more about them than you might otherwise.

The game also gives you a surprising amount of choice beyond just, "How can I kill that enemy this time?" Desperados 3 allows you to play with little bits of the story, such as an early mission that has two characters competing for a bottle of whiskey by seeing who can take out the most enemies.

Though it doesn't change much in the grand scheme of things, it does let the player have more control over the story, and it also gives you a reason to play through Desperadoes 3 multiple times.

Fistful of Dollars

When you first scan through a new mission, it may seem nearly impossible. As you progress, you may think you have things figured out before noticing something you hadn't before, which then throws a wrench into your entire plan, forcing you to start from square one.

Perhaps nothing is more video gaming than a game encouraging you to save scum, but that's precisely what Desperados 3 does. Most missions reward you for limiting your use of or refraining entirely from quicksaving, but the very first mission informs you that "failing and trying again" is part of the game. Desperadoes 3 even warns you if you play for longer than a minute without a quick save.

This might turn some people off. However, it contributes to the feeling of triumph when finally get past a difficult section. This genre is also the king of making you realize that your approach is failing because it's the entirely wrong approach; sometimes shutting the game down, stepping away and coming back with a fresh set of eyes is the key to success.

Once Upon a Time

There is a lot to like about Desperados 3, but not everything is perfect out West. It isn't quite as noticeable as it was in the earlier build that we played, but the game just ain't that pretty. You can tell what's going on and who everyone is but, if you zoom in on the action, you'll see some terrible clipping and undetailed model work throughout.

It isn't a huge deal  you won't see most of the little hiccups in the game's standard view  — but it's a bummer seeing the butts of Cooper's guns clipping through his coat in every cutscene.

Desperados 3 is also an extremely finicky game, and it's prone to make all but the most patient players tilt on occasion. Sometimes, after killing an enemy and trying to grab their body to hide in a bush, my character would walk in circles around them until spotted by the patrolling guard.

If you haven't quicksaved, these little misses can be extremely frustrating, as Desperados 3 is a game that doesn't afford screwups when putting your plans into action.

By and large, this entire genre is built on patience. If you demand immediate results or "mastery" of a game means never dying, then you're probably looking in the wrong place. That dog won't hunt here.

Desperados 3 Review — The Bottom Line

  • Extremely satisfying puzzle box missions
  • Lots of ways to approach and succeed
  • Players can shape elements of the story
  • Good callbacks to original games
  • Can be overly frustrating
  • Graphics need some polishing

Neither Desperados 3 nor the real-time tactics genre are for everyone. Both can be frustrating and overly "video game-y." However, if this is your style of game, it's executed really well here. At the same time, the stereotypical cowboy setting is a lot of fun to play around in, even if it can be a bit overly familiar.

It's a welcome return for the series. Mimimi Games has proven once again that they know the genre, as both Desperados 3 and Shadow Tactics demonstrate. Lock and load your (quicksave) trigger finger  — somebody's poisoned the water hole!

[Note: A copy of Desperados 3 was provided by THQ Nordic for the purpose of this review.]

The Gang's All Here in Desperados 3 Gameplay Trailer Wed, 20 May 2020 11:42:58 -0400 Josh Broadwell

THQ Nordic's Desperados 3 is out on June 16 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. And it just got a lengthy new gameplay trailer introducing the gang and highlighting the many and varied ways they can take out opponents — or not if you want the non-violent route.

First up is John Cooper, the stealthy gunslinger. He can attack enemies at close range with a knife or take some shots from afar. Then there's Hector Mendoza, who can trap enemies with a massive bear trap (ow...) or get in close and start swinging with an equally massive axe.

Gang members three and four are Doc McCoy, useful for luring enemies with concoctions or knocking them out, and Kate O'Hara, who can charm with the right outfit, before dealing the final blow with her hidden gun.

Finally is Isabel Moreau, who stalks her prey and manipulates their minds with special darts.

The trailer goes into detail about how the stealth system works, but here's the rundown. You'll need to plan each operation because getting overwhelmed carefully is easy and happens fast. That means staying out of your enemies' cone of vision — or using the environment to your advantage. Don't forget to hide the body after you're finished too, lest their friends realize something's going on.

Or you can use tie-up options and stealth to incapacitate your foes without actually doing any lasting damage. Completing the game without ever being violent is possible.

There's also Showdown mode, where you can pause time to either give orders to the entire gang, plan a specific shot, or try to figure out why your plan went wrong. Should things get too out of hand, Desperados 3 has a quick save and load option so you can experiment and retry without any hassle.

When we got our hands on Desperados 3 earlier in the year, we described it as "a fun puzzle game with a steely-gazed cowboy costume on top... And that's just fine by us." Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Desperadoes 3 news as it moseys through the tumbleweeds.

Desperados 3 Release Date Confirmed for PC, PS4, and Xbox One Tue, 21 Apr 2020 17:17:16 -0400 GS_Staff

Fans have been waiting 13 years for another entry in the Desperados series. However, they won't have to wait much longer to play Desperados 3. The game is set to release for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on June 16. 

The news comes from developer Mimimi Games and developer THQ Nordic (via IGN). It's the first official news we've gotten on the game since the Desperados 3 collector's edition was announced last week. Before that, both Mimimi Games and THQ Nordic had been relatively silent about the Wild West tactics game since mid-February. 

Indeed, we still don't know a whole lot about Desperados 3. The game was first revealed way back in 2018, and it made our most anticipated strategy games of 2019 list, though it failed to appear that year.

However, we do know that Doc McCoy makes a return and that the game is the prequel to the first game in the franchise, Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive. According to Jonathan Riedler, the game's producer, it is also somewhat of a reboot for the series, though it's not entirely clear to what extent. 

Earlier this year, we were able to go hands-on with a preview build of Desperados 3, saying "Desperados 3 is shaping up to be a great entry in an underrepresented genre."

Desperados 3 is currently up for pre-order at various retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy. The Standard Edition for PS4 and Xbox One is currently $59.99, while the Standard Edition for PC via Steam is $49.99.

Those who pick the game up through Steam can also upgrade to the Digital Deluxe Edition for free. That edition of Desperados 3 includes the season pass and three DLCs, as well as the game's original soundtrack. 

The $119 Collector's Edition is only available on the PS4 and Xbox One. It includes five, 6-inch Desperados 3 gold figures, the season pass + three DLCs, an official artbook, and much more. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Desperados 3, including our review. 

Desperados 3 Hands-On Preview — Six-Shooter Strategy Thu, 27 Feb 2020 03:00:04 -0500 Jordan Baranowski

Desperados 3 has been a long time coming. The last game in the series  the amazingly titled Helldarado  came out in 2007. Even though the series has switched to a new developer, Desperados 3 is a direct sequel, featuring characters, gameplay, and plot mechanics that will be familiar to longtime fans of the series.

Real time tactics is an underrepresented genre, but there was a time when Desperados and Commandos were big names in PC gaming. So it's nice to see this, and Commandos, making a comeback.

We got our hands on an early build of Desperados 3, which is due out sometime this summer for PC (the version we played), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Saddle up and read on to find out how things are coming along with this cowboy tactics game.

Desperados 3 Hands-On Preview — Six-Shooter Strategy

If you're unfamiliar with the genre, here's how a typical level works in Desperados 3.

You'll be put in control of a few different characters and given your mission objectives: steal something, killing someone, or simply making an escape. Then you'll be let loose in a carefully-designed level full of enemies, hiding places, and random bystanders. From there, how you achieve your objective is up to you.

You're vastly outnumbered, so you'll have to use each character's special abilities to thin out the pack or sneak around patrol patterns to get what you need. Using the environment to your advantage is key.

As you slowly make your way through levels and eliminate hostiles, you'll need to hide the evidence to create new pathways, eventually peeling back enough layers to achieve success. Early on, this is fairly simple. As you progress further, you'll have to think of ways to chain abilities together to achieve the intended result. 

Desperados 3 might look similar to a turn-based tactics game, but it's much more akin to a puzzle game. One of the hints early on is that quicksaving and quickloading is a huge part of this genre; you're supposed to try several things (and fail several times) in order to put together a solution.

In My Prime

This is not nearly as tedious as it might sound. We're talking extremely quick turnarounds in your quicksaving — I basically started doing it every time I progressed in the slightest — and it all comes together into achieving a very satisfying conclusion. When everything works out in Desperados 3, you feel like a right clever cowboy.

I played the Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines series religiously in my younger years, so fitting back into the intricacies of the genre wasn't too hard. There's still a great deal of challenge here; the preview build had a few levels from later in the campaign, and they were extremely tough to crack if you cranked up the difficulty. It could be a tough world to slide into if you're unfamiliar, but there is a lot of fun to be had here if you want something a bit different.

It isn't all sneaking about and hiding bodies in closets in Desperados 3, either. You have a few options if things go sideways and you have to shoot your way past a few guards — just make sure you have an escape route ready if you decide to do that. Everyone within a country mile is about to come bearing down on you, and it only takes a few shots to put you down.

You're No Daisy

It also helps that Desperados 3 has a delightfully campy little cowboy story to go with it. Your ragtag team of Western cliches has revenge on the brain, and they all are drawn together under various coincidences to take on similar baddies.

Everyone is basically Doc Holiday from Tombstone. Trenchcoats, ridiculous weapons, and over-the-top slang are in the name of the game. The story seems aware that this is not a quiet meditation on a dying breed of gunslinger or a man's struggle between his bloodthirsty past and hope for redemption before he dies. This is white hats and black hats, twirling their six-shooters and making spittoons ring before blasting everyone at the OK Corral.

It's a different kind of cowboy tale than something like Red Dead Redemption 2. Luckily, this town is big enough for the both of those styles.

Room Service

This self-aware attitude isn't just part of the story, either. It filters through into elements of the gameplay as well. This is an extremely "video game" genre of video games — some of the things you'll be doing don't make a lot of sense if you scrutinize them too much.

One of your characters carries a bear trap on his back that is literally big enough to cut a man in half. He can also set it up and lure guards into it. How do they not notice it? Well, Desperados 3 addresses that, claiming the weapon is "surprisingly stealthy." That's... it.

Another example is that most enemies are easily distracted or lured off their posts, but not the ones wearing ponchos. When a character speaks this warning aloud in an early mission, another character asks, "Why?" The only response is this: "Just trust me, I know."

In a game that took itself totally seriously, these details would break the immersion. Instead, these little things just kind of keep you keyed in on the matter at hand — that you're playing a fun puzzle game with a steely-gazed cowboy costume on top. It's your chance to create mayhem in a little spaghetti western sandbox, and that's just fine by us.

Speaking of sandboxes, you can also mess with a whole bunch of settings until you fix Desperados 3 to the perfect level of insidious difficulty. Each mission has several alternate goals to help you achieve "perfect" runs. Straightforward ones, like beating a certain time or limiting the amount of quicksaves are, again, "video game" goals, but there are also more interesting tactics, like making certain deaths look like accidents.

These goals, along with the nasty difficulty at the highest setting, are sure to appease anyone who thinks they're the fastest draw in the West.

Very Cosmopolitan


The build I played was an early one, and certain aspects of it showed. Hopefully, the final game has a bit more style in its presentation.

I generally needed to stay zoomed out pretty far so I could keep track of all the moving pieces on screen. As such, it's hard for Desperados 3 to make things personal. The story seems like a continuation of the previous games in the series as well, something I was not familiar with going in.

Graphically, things are still a little sloppy, too. There's a lot of clipping in some of the models, and the camera controls could be a little more elegant. Maybe they'll get better when the full game hits retail, but it isn't a major problem with this genre.

Overall, Desperados 3 is shaping up to be a great entry in an underrepresented genre. It's set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in summer 2020, but an exact date has yet to be revealed.

We'll have more on the game, including a full review, as its release date approaches. Until then, shine your spurs and practice your shooting.

[Note: An early build of Desperados 3 was provided by THQ Nordic for the purpose of this preview.]

Desperados 3 Gameplay Trailer Teases Tactical Wild West Combat Wed, 19 Feb 2020 11:46:12 -0500 Ty Arthur

It's official pardner: Desperados 3 is coming back for another round of real-time tactics later this year. THQ Nordic just released a character trailer for Doc McCoy, a gun-slinging alchemist returning from the previous title, Desperados 2. The sequel was announced way back in 2018. 

The newest trailer for the Wild West strategy game shows off a good bit of gameplay, highlighting what we can expect from McCoy and the game in general. Developer Mimimi Games says the Civil War veteran isn't someone to mess around with. 

He fought and worked as a doctor alike, but could not stand the horror and the futility of the war, so he deserted after a year of service and became a gun for hire. Nowadays he's known in certain circles as someone who gets the job done and doesn't ask too many questions.

The good, ol' Doc is just one of five desperados you can control in Desperados 3, who all approach scenarios from different angles and have both lethal and non-lethal solutions for any given level. The three other desperados haven't yet been revealed, but their reveals should be on the horizon — if we had to guess.

While a firm release date hasn't been announced yet, Desperados 3 is expected to launch this summer for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on Desperados 3 as it exits the badlands.

Top 10 Strategy Games We're Looking Forward to in 2019 Thu, 22 Nov 2018 08:00:01 -0500 Fox Doucette


Age of Wonders: Planetfall


Triumph Studios returns to a classic franchise they helped to codify as they have partnered with publisher Paradox Interactive to release Age of Wonders: Planetfall next year.


This time, though, they've left their fantasy universe behind to get on a rocket and blast off into space, with a new sci-fi setting.


The same tactical combat and empire building you know and love now comes with hulking giant war machines, laser-shooting bad guys, and other stuff that suggests that Triumph's taking a page from Warhammer and creating its own sort of Age of Wonders 40K.


And hey, some people are into that sort of thing. Others prefer orcs to space marines.


But if you like the idea of Age of Wonders IN SPACE!, you'll get your fix in 2019.




See anything you like? Let us know which of these and other strategy game you're most looking forward to in 2019 in the comments below!


Desperados 3


Love a game with spaghetti-Western gameplay but maybe the action-RPG elements of Red Dead Redemption 2 aren't up your alley?


For you, there's Desperados 3, the latest entry in THQ Nordic's strategy series.


From Mimimi Productions, creators of Shadow Tactics, they've taken their expertise out of feudal Japan and into the Wild West for a squad-based tactics game where the emphasis seems to be on using the titular desperados to lay elaborate traps, draw in the enemy, then give them a delicious lead sandwich for dinner.


The game even seems to have learned a few lessons from Red Dead, insofar as reputation matters. In the game, you'll have to make decisions between causing mayhem and keeping the peace, and townsfolk will react differently to your characters as a result.


This is a departure from the classic XCOM-style game that tends to have a much heavier emphasis on linear progression through a series of field combats.


Best-case scenario, what we'll get is a rich world and branching story. Mimimi has certainly set their sights high.


Desperados 3 is expected to release in Summer 2019.


The Settlers


From developer Blue Byte and publisher Ubisoft comes a second game to go along with Anno 1800, mentioned earlier on this list.


The Settlers, continuing a tradition where reboots this decade are simply given a self-title for the franchise they're in (see Doom and Hitman for other examples), returns the series to its roots as a classic build-and-bash city builder slash RTS.


In recent years, city-builders have shied away from using heavy combat elements because as often as not, that combat feels tacked on and counter to the spirit of the game it's in—the real spiritual successor to the original series, 2014's Banished, completely eschews combat in favor of making the environment the source of the game's challenge.


The Settlers is leaning heavily into it instead, betting that there is a certain breed of player who is nostalgic for the old-school build-and-basher.


The release date is still TBA, but it is expected out next year.


Fire Emblem Three Houses


Love Fire Emblem? Got a Nintendo Switch?


If the answer to both questions is "yes", Nintendo's got what you want.


As the technology has improved on Nintendo's consoles, the depth of Intelligent Systems' fantasy franchise has improved with it, with ever-deeper gameplay, and recent iterations of the series have even come with a few anti-frustration features to minimize the game's notorious controller-breaking difficulty.


Furthermore, the trailer hints at an open world of some sort, possibly blending in more traditional RPG elements to go with the strategy gaming that is the series' hallmark.


How much of that will be in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, we haven't seen yet, but when this game hits the Nintendo Switch in Spring 2019, all will be revealed.


Phoenix Point


What happens when developer Julian Gollop, whose works include UFO: Enemy Unknown, the game that launched the XCOM series, tries his hand at a new sci-fi IP?


Well, the answer might just be Phoenix Point, developed by Snapshot Games, the studio behind the Kickstarter-funded Chaos Reborn.


The story is your classic "scientist finds alien tech underneath ice sheet, which then nearly wipes out humanity" (this time it's a virus, but it could be a Borg drone or a dimensional-portal-opener-upper, the details never seem to matter in these sorts of games...)


Anyway, cue the XCOM-esque gameplay, where you'll engage in strategic thinking, diplomacy, and good old-fashioned killing, all in a world that's less Enemy Unknown and more journey into the heart of a Lovecraft-inspired world of eldritch horrors.


Will stirring Lovecraftian horror into a classic sci-fi trope from a classic sci-fi developer be the road to glory, or will the whole thing be a giant mess?


C'mon, it's Julian Gollop. When Phoenix Point drops, it will instantly end up on every strategy gamer's must-play list.


Anno 1800


The Anno series, at its heart, has always been about historical seafaring during the Age of Exploration and, in a couple of its titles, the Age of Colonization. The two tend to get blurred anyway (thanks largely to Sid Meier, who set most of the genre conventions with Sid Meier's Colonization way back in 1994), so this might just be a case of Anno needing to find a new century prefix.


This time, however, developer Blue Byte seems to be leaning into the Industrial Revolution timeline that the game's title implies, and the combination of exploration and city building looks to have just a little hint of steampunk in it to differentiate the game from the more "early New World" feel of games like Anno 1503.


Anno 1800 is scheduled for a PC release on February 26, 2019.


Narcos: Rise of the Cartels


Not much is known about this video game tie-in to the Netflix series of the same name, but early indications are that it's going to be a turn-based strategy game pitting Pablo Escobar's Medellin cartel against the US Drug Enforcement Agency in a game of move and counter-move.


The Netflix show is renowned for its gritty brutality, and no doubt that vibe is going to translate to the game as well, with players right at the head of all of it.


Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is slated for a PC and console release in the third quarter of 2019, just in time for it to have some press before the hot holiday season releases.


Imperator: Rome


Paradox Interactive has ventured into Roman history before, but the result was the uneven, disappointing Europa Universalis: Rome in 2008.


They've dispensed with trying to make this a Europa Universalis game this time, choosing instead to allow the game some room to breathe in its own right, in hopes that they'll create something that will stand alongside their other historical strategy titles and possibly launch a franchise in its own right to go with EU, Crusader KingsVictoria, and Hearts of Iron.


This doesn't excuse you from making Victoria 3, Paradox. Get on that.


Imperator: Rome will stretch across the known Classical world sometime in early 2019.


Tropico 6


Taking gameplay beyond the confines of a single island for the first time in the Tropico series, Tropico 6 builds on the gameplay of its immediate predecessor to create a series of interconnected island economies across an archipelago, opening up new strategic avenues for the player who's been with this series either in recent iterations or since the very first one hit way back in 2001.


We covered the game with our impressions of the preview build, so why not give that a read while you get yourself hyped up for the game's launch?


Tropico 6 lands on PC January 25, 2019.


Total War: Three Kingdoms


Creative Assembly's venerable strategy series ventures into truly new historical territory for the first time since 2009's Empire: Total War. As they try to knock off Koei from their perch atop the throne of Romance of the Three Kingdoms-inspired storytelling through play, they'll be bringing to bear the classic Total War formula that's been working for them since 2000.


On a detailed map of China featuring all the historical locations from the second and third centuries A.D., the early look and feel of the combat seems vaguely reminiscent of the old Rise of the Samurai campaign in Shogun 2: Total War from 2011.


Total War: Three Kingdoms drops on Steam on March 7, 2019.


2019 is looking like a great year for gaming overall, and the strategy genre is no different.


From historical wargames to a classic fantasy franchise getting a new coat of sci-fi paint to city builders right out of the '90s, there's something for everyone out there.


So check out our list of the top 10 most anticipated strategy games of 2019. Who knows, you may see something you'll like.