Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses
You’ve been out ridin’ fences for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one
I know that you’ve got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow
Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. Old school PC gamers will no doubt have a soft spot for the original Desperados from 2001. Real time tactics games are a great genre and work brilliantly on the PC. Less so on console. So with Mimimi Games picking up the franchise from Spellbound Entertainment we see Desperados 3 make its first appearance on console. Let’s mosey on down to the saloon, have a Sarsaparilla or two, and see how things stack up.
The Magnificent Five.
Right off the bat things look great in Desperados 3. The perspective, camera rotation, and attention to detail in the environments really make to visuals pop. Initially I thought we had a fixed viewing angle, but moving through the tutorial and finding the camera could be spun made my day. No longer worried about losing sight of objectives I jumped in to the boots of John Cooper and went about rounding up my posse.
The first few missions will have you joining forces with a group of diversely skill hombres. Doc McCoy, a particularly crack shot for a doctor. Hector, a big man with a big bear trap. Kate, a blushing bride, in a rush. And to round out the team, Isabelle from New Orleans.
The Good, The Bad, and The Handy.
So often games that have their roots in the keyboard and mouse control scheme really suffer in translation to a controller. Thankfully not this time. With a slight variation to what you would expect and only a small learning curve you will quickly be moving around the terrain and accessing skills. Colour me impressed. The one minor problem I found was the context use if two actions were close together. For example trying to pick up a dead body by a ladder and climbing the ladder accidentally. This can be a problem when trying to carry out actions before a guard returns. Just remember to save frequently, the game even has a reminder that you can set to make sure you do save. A nice touch.
The Quick and The Silent.
I love the fact the timing is crucial but you are not rushed to carry out these actions. Avoiding guards becomes more of a puzzle and you can always try and shoot your way out. But unless you have successfully lowered the numbers of enemies in the area then you will quickly be overwhelmed when the shooting starts. Stealth will get you much further, as is shown by the skills available to you. And being able to preassign actions to your team and then initiating them all at the same time is very satisfying. This allows for some awesomely complex operations. The ability to switch between characters and create diversions is not to be overlooked
I grew up playing games of this ilk. And loved them. Moving to console meant losing the great selection of real time tactics games available to PC players. Hopefully this will change as developers see that controllers can be used in a fluid manner to play these games. Games like Commandos, Sudden Strike, and even the old Total War series may yet make it to console. I hope so, because not only are they great games but will make great co-op games too.
If you haven’t tried a real time tactics game before Desperados 3 is a stellar place to start. And with a bit of luck there will be more to come.