DESPERADOS III [Review] [ENG]

Title: Desperados III
Genre: Real-Time-Tactic.
Developer: Mimimi Games.
Publisher: THQ Nordic.
Launch Date: 16/06/2020.
Price: $44,99 USD.
Platform: PC, Playstation 4 y Xbox One.
Buy on: Steam.
Review: Made in PC version with a press copy provided by THQ Nordic.

In mid-2016, Mimimi Games debuted with Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun, a great real-time tactical game set in the golden age of feudal Japan. So, with this great promise, the German studio sought to vindicate that abandoned genre that gave so many glories in the past with the emblematic works of Pyro Studios, Commandos. The result? Well, it was extremely satisfying because they managed to create an immersive and highly compelling game with an addictive and challenging gameplay. Now four years later they return to the charge to do what they know best; a tactical game, but not just any game, but we are talking about something special. Mimimi Games welcomes Spellbound’s iconic western series Desperados under its wing, to adapt it to the modern days with an absolutely fantastic prequel.

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Desperados III is the long-awaited return that we have been waiting for, a pure and hard tactical game like the old days, which keeps its spirit intact, but with slight tweaks. Definitely, the series fell into good hands, it is impossible to imagine a better result than that achieved by the Germans. Everything, absolutely everything is calculated to be perfectly executed like a fine Swiss watch, that is, you can see the love and care that the studio has invested all this time to make an authentic work of art faithful to its roots, that should not disappoint anyone.

Desperados III arrives as a prequel, so that way it goes back to the past to tell the beginnings of the legendary bounty hunter band, and of course, to the dramatic birth of John Cooper, the fastest cowboy in the west who suffered hands of Frank, (the villain on duty), when he was just a kid. Therefore, this adventure seeks to satisfy the desire of the most purists to live an authentic western of the wild west with a traditional plot driven by an irremediable desire for anger and revenge in the dusty corners of USA and New Mexico, but it would not be a true western without a singular group of characters, and…. Mimimi Games has given a lot of merit to their five magnificent, they feel like a real family, and not simply as a simple group of bounty hunters, since they have a special bond. In fact, each of them counts with unique and very well defined features, they also enjoy a good dose of humor with inspired dialogues that keep the immaculate charisma.

In any case, the story is no wonder, it is a one-way trip down a steep path of revenge and death, but … as it is a classic western, well, we can’t ask too much of it either. Despite this, it will not leave anyone indifferent and will keep players glued to the screen for a good number of hours in order to perfect their challenges due to its balanced and exciting gameplay. Variety is the taste and Mmimi Games is aware of it, therefore, introduces a stellar group of characters with whom it is possible to connect and identify, as happens with Cooper, the main protagonist and leader of the group, but also He is accompanied by some familiar faces such as Kate and McCoy, while others are new allies such as Héctor and Isabelle, the really brilliant thing about this is seeing the birth in real time of that bounty hunting gang that gave so many smiles and joys in the past. In turn, each of them is very well tanned with unique traits, which is, properties, set of weapons, very well differentiated special abilities that continually alter the gaming experience in each of its scenarios.

Regarding gameplay, we find another great real-time tactical proposal with a good dose of stealth, so that it closely follows the steps of the previous installments by keeping alive the spirit that has characterized it so much. Therefore, Desperados III is a game that rewards patients and cautious, those who carefully analyze the scenario to moderate their actions and attack accordingly, as a team to execute the perfect plan and avoid jumping enemy alarms to be attacked by a wild wave of outlaws. However, for this to work properly we will have to make fair use of each character, since they all play an important role in the adventure. That way, the group is made up of John Cooper; the gunman and leader, equipped by two Colts and a throwing knife for the most hectic moments, while on the passive side he has a coin to mislead enemies and go unnoticed. Hector Mendoza, the heavyweight characterized mainly by his brutal strength, is equipped with an ax for close encounters and his beloved bear trap, Bianca for surprise enemies in the darkest recesses, although we can also direct them from whistles , but we will have to be careful not to alert the enemy patrols, in any case, in the most compromising situations we will be able to dismantle the double-barreled shotgun to finish off anyone who crosses in front of even the LongCoats, who generally need to a more elaborate plan, but it is something that we will discuss later. For now we will stick to his characters being Doc McCoy next, a war veteran who has become a hired mercenary equipped by his colt modified as a sniper, a briefcase which mislead or attract the attention of enemies to sneak up on them or throw sleeping potions to temporarily put outlaws to sleep.

The group would not be composed without some women and now we find two protagonists, the young Kate’O Hara, damsel in distress and spy with whom to distract enemies through her charm to follow us closely or through dialogues to compromise the field of vision and prepare ambushes with its perfumes, although it also carries a revolver to get out of trouble. Finally and as a great novelty comes Isabelle Moreau, a mysterious witch who has mastered the hidden techniques of voodoo to get into the minds of enemies and control them from the distance, another of her great qualities is to establish a dark link between two enemies from poisonous darts to share the same fate, that is, if we attack one of them, the other will suffer the same fate, although the use of these skills has a high price and that is exactly Isabelle’s health. As a distraction we can send a small cat to temporarily keep the enemy on duty to pass without being detected or attack him from the shadows.

So Desperados III does not have a single character that is useless, since due to their nature they all play a primary role in solving their missions, what’s more, even the stage itself has an intricate design when playing with scales and the sense of verticality. Based on this, it determines the mobility of each character, that is, each of them has a series of unique passive abilities. For example, Cooper can climb on vines or ropes to access rooftops, just like Isabelle, but Hector, Kate or McCoy do not have such benefits and need a ladder to reach elevated surfaces. Therefore, Mimimi Games seeks to alternate game patterns by having players make immediate use of each character to fully exploit the meticulous design of their environments and use it to their advantage, as if it were just another ally. However, we will never be totally at ease, as each mission evolves with more tangled challenges. Each one of them introduces new challenges, which will melt our brains for a good handful of hours if we want to achieve perfection and avoid being detected, in the same way, we will always be in numerical superiority.

The outlaws are mill-metrically positioned at strategic points on the map to give the impression of being in front of a huge chess board with pieces in constant movement, and the same applies for the characteristics of each enemy. There is no standard model for gunslingers, but there are some variants such as redcoats that will not be easily fooled and will maintain its position at all times, but can be distracted by Kate and her seductive woman charm. However, this will not work at all with longcoats, who are a real challenge due to their considerable size, so they will not die from a single blow, moreover, we will need to knock him down with a frontal attack through a weapon or surprise them from behind with Hector and his Ax. With this curious bunch of bandits, Mimimi Games manages to create demanding mental challenges with which to keep the player busy, hiding and blending in with the environment to fulfill the objective. Use the civil zones and the crowd to go unnoticed or use disguises to mislead the enemy and attack him alone.

Another of the great benefits, is the impact of the stage on the gameplay, that is, they have a very well-kept decoration and this can be used as if it were an extra limb, such as being hidden in cabinets or interiors, which by the way , allow access to new platforms and surfaces to analyze the situation from above. Take down the light bulbs and turn off lamps to attack from the shadows without major problems, and thus avoid the terrible enemy cone of vision. But not everything is distraction, we can also use the immaculate decoration to our advantage to set traps, such as statues, stacks of boxes, rocks or wild animals. The options are enormous and the freedom that Mimimi Games offers when facing its missions is simply amazing.

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Not much to reproach him for, everything he does he does really well, perhaps the peaks of difficulty are too high for newcomers, but once again, controlling five totally different characters with unique abilities, equals the balance. Although if we want we can use the duel camera to pause in real time all the action and carefully calculate each movement to perform an attack in tune that allows cleaning an entire area in the blink of an eye. Anyway, we must be careful, since a single error will raise the alarm, and the enemies will not stop arriving, which will significantly increase the difficulty, and these will not disappear, not at all, they will stay on patrol for the surroundings. In addition they will remain pending of each movement and sound, since at the minimum noise of our footsteps they will jump for us.

It’s just great what Mimimi Games has done with the sound section, since each footstep carries the character’s own weight and can be used against it when moving on wet surfaces such as the Mississippi swamps, although it can also be used in favor of through Hector’s whistles. Another of the great qualities comes visually with traces of footprints in the sand or mud, a detail that will quickly alert enemies and will make them follow us closely until the last nook where we hid, and if we decide to go to the closest bush, then, will not hesitate to attack us. Desperados III difficulty curve gradually increases until it is perfected in its final stages. Although if we want to simplify our journey a bit, we can modify the difficulty settings in real time, which fortunately are fully customizable or use the intuitive and fast loading and saving systems to learn from mistakes. Much of the game takes place around trial and error, but once we manage to hit the right key with a good plan, there is nothing that will stop us and we will see enemies fall like simple dominoes pieces.

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I must admit that I have spent these last two weeks glued to the screen trying to successfully overcome the sickly challenges that Mimimi Games has created in this great real-time tactical game. Desperados III is an exciting western that will not leave anyone indifferent and dares to look closely at its ancestors without any problem. Maybe aesthetically it does not finish closing completely, but in the strictly playable is where it shines the most, and it is simply a fucking wonder. Everything has been calculated mill-metrically to function as if it were a fine Swiss watch, in addition, it has an absurd attention to detail with absolute freedom when facing each of its scenarios, which by the way, feel totally alive with great dynamics.

Anyway, there is absolutely nothing to reproach him for, Desperados III, it is an authentic wonder, the tactical game that we have waited for so long and should not go unnoticed.

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FINAL NOTE: 9.5 / 10

Positive points:

  • Five iconic characters very well design and with great charisma.
  • A true Wild West adventure.
  • The scale and the sick attention to detail in each of its levels.
  • A well-made western setting.
  • The gameplay it is a fucking wonder with infinite possibilities.
  • Well balanced difficulty.
  • The loading times during the mission are ridiculously fast.

Bad points:

  • Non-existent support for ultrawide resolutions.

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