Desperados III Review (PS4)
Slow and steady wins the race.
Desperados III is a real time tactical stealth game developed by Mimimi Games and published by THQ Nordic. It's the third game in the franchise,but with it also being a prequel to the original game from 2001,Desperados III follows the main character John Cooper in the 1870s wild west as he ventures through both the United States and Mexico in order to seek his revenge on those that have wronged him. Is this game your huckleberry or is it just another lonely lunger? Let's find out.
Having been wronged by a man named Frank, our character John Cooper makes it his mission to get revenge,no matter the cost. John's journey takes him to all parts of the United States,as well as Mexico, as you make it through harsh terrain and even more nasty villains. Along the way you'll meet a slew of new characters that will aid you in your endeavor and move you one step closer to achieving your goal.
Desperados III is a real time tactical stealth game and there's no exaggeration on my part when I say this game is 100% tactical and stealth to the fullest. If you do not play the game the way the developers meant for it to be played, you will have a tough time getting far in the game. I learned this the hard way my first night of playing, I tried to take matters into my own hands,I tried to force action when patience and waiting was the key, I got obliterated. But as soon as I stopped being aggressive, paid attention to enemy movements and began to strategize, I finally began to make progress.
The game operates with an over the head top view with the full map and enemy placement that can be seen by using the right stick to move around the terrain so that you may plan accordingly. Left stick allows you to freely move your character around the map and maneuver accordingly. With those basics out of the way, you're finally set to show all of these bandits and villains that they ain't no daisy, they ain't no daisy at all.
Throughout your play through you will gain access to multiple characters and each individual character has their own set of skills at their ready. Each skill can be combined with someone else's skill or used as a solo skill depending what your situation calls for. For instance your character John Cooper has three skills at his disposal, a knife,a coin and two pistols,each one of them having a different consequence when used. If you can not get past enemies because they're in your way, use your coin skin to toss it near them to make them get distracted by it as you run past or throw a knife for a mid distance kill. But hold up, you can't just kill and run, that would be too easy.
Upon knocking out or killing an enemy, do not sit around or move on until you hide their body. The enemy AI will search their surroundings and if they find the body, they will alert all other nearby villains,which spells trouble cause now instead of dealing with 1 or 2 enemies, you're now facing 7 or 8,which makes it a guarantee that you have just lost the battle,good job,dummy! Having said that, I'm sorry for calling you a dummy, but sometimes the situation can still be salvaged if you act quickly enough using another partners abilities.
If you are overwhelmed, you may dip into your other partners abilities to try to squeak out a miracle win. It all depends on who is in your party, such as having Doc in your party will allow you to pick off enemies at long distance with a sniper rifle or allow you to throw a booby trapped medical bag,that when opened by enemies, will blind them for a short period of time so you can either run past them and hide or take them out. This is also a scenario where Isabelle can come in handy with her skills of Mind Control and Connect. Both of which allows her to control and use an enemy as a puppet and controls their movements. It all depends on how you play and how well you use each of the 5 characters given to you in the game, strategize wisely.
If you find yourself still struggling with completing missions, then its best to use Showdown Mode. In this mode it allows you to slow down time and nearly pause the game. This allows you to get a better fix for the situation and plan accordingly with multiple characters at a time,which will allow you to use their abilities to their fullest potential. When slowed down in showdown mode, you're able to highlight multiple enemies and set actions to knock out,kill or use a skill from one of your characters,but you're also able to combine attacks together by selecting each character in your party individually and selecting multiple targets. If you see two people, but don't want to kill one by one, use showdown mode and select stealth kill with both your party characters and in unison they will act together to take out the foes.
I will admit It took me about a half an hour to get used to the controls. The game works on a mouse wheel where you hold R1 to pick an attack or just pressing the button once cycles through your abilities/attacks 1 by 1, but when you're in a stressful situation and trying to react fast, it can feel a bit jumbled. There was also an issue of climbing and jumping not being as responsive as I would have liked, in a game where if you get caught by an enemy, its critical to run and hide. When jumping below to a platform or climbing up a ladder or vine doesn't work as fast as it should, it can get a bit frustrating, but not enough to ruin the overall experience.
The game will run you around 20-23 hrs depending on how much you die or how long you spend per section of a level thinking about what to do and taking your time. Some levels I came across took me anywhere from 1-2 hrs to complete due my own personal play style I was going for and based off how many times I died like the varmint I am.
Once you have completed the main story though, your adventure is not over just yet, as there is a challenge mode called Barron's Challanges. These are twists and objectives based off already completed levels, only this time you have new ways to complete them, with also a new direction to approach each level with,something you didn't have before. They're not the same level, they have a new set of rules and objectives for you to do. More of these will be out in the future with free updates to the game, so that is awesome, definitely looking forward to that!
On the graphic level,it will not blow you away, but it is still appeasing to the eye. The color pallet and the art style are some of it strengths, giving off a true authentic wild west feel and everything about the environment melding together well. Animation overall is also very fluid with a lot of attention to detail such as hats falling off or someone getting shot in the stomach,slowly falling over, then slumping down because of it. While it's a small detail, I really appreciate stuff like that.
At the end of the day after beating Desperados III, I've felt like I've cheated myself. Having never played the previous two games, I felt like I've been doing myself a disservice all these years. Being a newcomer to the franchise, I felt the game hit on all the strengths of the genre it's listed as being in. Stealth mode,use of abilities,character choice,strategy, everything was accomplished to me that the developers set out to do.
My only real gripe was climbing and jumping up and down ledges sometimes got unresponsive or a little laggy. Overall though, i can not recommend this game enough to long time fans of strategy games or new comers.
So I recommend you buy this game, you'll be a daisy if you do.
Desperados III is out now on Playstation 4,Xbox One,Windows PC
*Review code provided by THQ Nordic/Mimimi Games
Why are you still reading down here? Hmph the review is over silly.