Desperados 3 is one of the coolest strategy games in recent years, a Wild West adventure that blends the tactics and stealth of XCOM with the real-time strategy of Commandos and developer Mimimi Games’ own excellent Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun. A prequel to the classic Desperados games, it follows a band of five unique outlaws on their travels across the Old West, getting into all manner of scrapes and shenanigans. If you missed out on Desperados 3 at the time, you’ll definitely want to snap it up quickly in this Steam sale while it’s at a bargain price.
Sitting at a 96% ‘overwhelmingly positive’ rating on Steam, it’s clear that Desperados 3 delivers on its premise of a “story driven, hardcore tactical stealth game.” It certainly draws from Shadow Tactics before it, which itself gave me a feeling I haven’t had since I was introduced to the classic Commandos games of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s as a youngster; one of my first real tastes of tactics.
With your squad of five each bringing a rather unique set of tools to the frontier, you’ll have to make smart use of their abilities to succeed. In the quickdraw world of the Wild West, after all, you’re not going to survive long if everyone sees you coming. Fortunately, this crew is more than capable, starting with sharpshooter and leader John Cooper, a master of silent but deadly takedowns.
Joining him are Hector, a burly strongman with a bear trap and axe; bounty hunter McCoy and his box of tricks including lures, poison syringes, and knockout gas; master of disguise and deception Kate, who can change outfit to fool and mislead her foes, or sneak her hidden gun into action; and the mystic Isabelle, capable of enlisting the help of wild animals or alluring enemies with her charms to do her bidding (or even walk unknowingly in front of an oncoming train, if you’re feeling particularly dastardly).
While there’s certainly a little XCOM in Desperados 3’s blood, this is a real-time strategy game – albeit one with a handy pause to let you keep on top of things and queue up your next moves if you’re not a quick thinker. That said, robust keyboard shortcuts let you pull off a lot in a short time once you get the hang of things, and if you’re feeling particularly confident, you can tackle the game’s toughest difficulty setting, where pauses are expressly forbidden.
If you love strategy games that force you to think on your feet and find clever ways to solve combat puzzles, Desperados 3 is a must-play. If you’re just a fan of the Western setting generally, it’s approachable enough that you can pick it up pretty quickly and enjoy its colorful cast, on-point atmosphere, and pitch-perfect soundtrack.
Desperados 3 is 75% off on Steam until August 17, 2023 – expect to pay $9.99 / £8.37, down from $39.99 / £33.50. If you want even more, the Digital Deluxe edition, which includes the soundtrack and season pass, is 80% off – that’s $12.42 / £10.74, down from $62.97 / £54.48.
If you’re interested, you can buy Desperados 3 on Steam.