Review: Desperados III

Posted on August 29, 2020 by David Rodriguez

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  • 8.1/10
    Total Score - 8.1/10


Desperados III builds off Mimimi Games recent history, and breathes new life into a classic series.

Developer – Mimimi Games

Publisher – THQ Nordic

Release Date – June 16th, 2020

Platforms – Xbox One, PS4, PC

Desperados is back, and this time it takes the classic tactical gameplay into new territory. One part Commandos, one part Shadow Tactics, and the refined western flair from the Desperados series itself.

Desperados III takes before the events of the first, in the 1870’s around Colorado and Mexico.

Series regular John Cooper gets his origins explored, and also flashes forward into a new adventure in the wild wild west. To say anything more than that would betray a fun story.

The relationship you will create with your party members, comprised of outlaws. sheriffs and natives provide a huge range of stories and gameplay styles.

The core structure powering this narrative is pretty mechanically similar to Mimimi Games previous title, Shadow Tactics. For those that didn’t play that title, a handful of characters engage in tactical stealth gameplay from an isometric perspective. Think squad based Hitman, and you get a vague idea of what to expect.

Combat and stealth, the meat of the Desperados series is in excellent balance. Each character in the party feels unique, and the levels allow for some creativity in how you approach the challenge they present.

Despite all the quality of life improvements and changes to the genre, not much feels too different from older games in the series. That’s not a bad thing, but those expecting huge leaps forward in the genre might be left wanting for more.

Bringing all of these elements to life are the production values. After years since part 2, Desperados III comes to life visually like never before.

The games fantastic visuals keep pace with the gorgeous animated cut-scenes. The game’s cast is also brought to life by a solid voice ensemble. Even minor characters have a lot to say, and the journey every character takes is really brought to life by each characters lines and visual design.

However, the game isn’t perfect. Playing the game on hard, is far easier than previous titles. On my normal campaign, the only time I ever lost a character was because I wanted to see what would happen if I was being completely careless.

It’s been an issue plaguing games like this as quality of life changes have smoothed over much of the jank and flaws in the game engine. It’s a weird notion, but the more polished a great stealth game is, the less difficult it becomes. The fear of losing a party member, deciding on when the best time to take out a unit or risk getting caught never feels present.

Despite that issue, it didn’t end up taking away from the great campaign and my investment with all of the characters. The combat losing it’d edge also didn’t stop my overall enjoyment of the gameplay, and my appreciation all of the great level.

Desperados III makes some big changes, but in re-inventing itself has found a way to create something new and fresh.

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David Rodriguez is a former writer at Rectify Gaming.