As I sit down in front of the PlayStation, I see my reflection in a load screen. I realise I am missing something. I run off and come back, much to the dismay of my concerned partner. I’m wearing an Akubra, boots and chaps. I feel like a real cowboy.
Its been sometime since I played a Desperados game so I’m walking in pretty blind, as the fourth entry into the series I hope they have learnt from some prior little mistakes that have been made over the years. Chewing Tobacco in hand a smile crosses my face. By now for anyone who hasn’t realized, it’s a cowboy style game set in 1870’s, but unlike most entries into the shoot and blast style sagas, this is more of a real time stealth tactical style gameplay set in the wild west. You need to look further into your actions as one mistake can cause a squad wipe.
The original was released in the early 2000’s, followed by a sequel some 5+ years later, a DLC was announced which then expanded into the third entry, nearly 20 years on from the original you find yourself in a prequel to the original.
You start off as child John Cooper, following your father as he slaughters his way through towns , showing you the ropes of the deadly western world, you live in. As a child you beg your father for a gun. After a cut scene showing a failed throwing knife attempt, your request is denied and promised to be filled with iron glory when you can hit a tree at 20 paces. Time skips forward and instead of a tree it’s a train robbers throat that gets kissed by your throwing knife.
At first, I feel swamped with a steep learning curve in the gameplay. Moving of camera in a certain style, to hold down a button to move the camera in a different way, with out locking a camera to follow you can accidently walk into a gun scene and get killed. You know when a game has a timer on screen of when the last time you saved, your going to die a lot.
In my opinion with this game, think Divinity 2 but cowboy style, there’s aspects to the game that I love and some that I dislike ( hate is probably not the right word for a style of game that I don’t normally focus on, which I will explain further soon.) the speed of the game is probably the only downfall of the game, I’m a lot more of a shoot and spray kind of gamer. I have sat down with a spare 30 minutes up my sleeve, by the end of this I have learnt how to finally operate the camera and climb a ladder…. I walk away in dismay, I have the hat, I have the boots I have the chaps. Why am I not a good cowboy? I question. As the day drags on, I have an itch that needs to be scratched, a stage that I died on earlier is stuck in my mind. As the team progresses you get 5 in your party, I have just met my second, a doctor who can throw a gas filled brief case who utilises a sniper rifle. Abit different than my dual revolvers and throwing knife ( keep in mind when you throw that knife you have to go retrieve it before using it again) but I guess its better than the coin my dad has me throwing in the earlier scenes.
Earlier there were 3 distinct guards, a cool option of the game lets you enter all the steps your characters can perform then you push play. My main character shoots his revolvers and the doctor snipes the last guard, SUCCESS! or so I thought. The gunshots ring through the map drawing more guards, I am quickly discovered, and my squad is wiped.
I know what the itch is, I am a massive fan of playing fire emblem with permadeath activated, I love the challenge of knowing one mistake can cost you big time, and what I originally complained about a steep learning curve is now a distant memory of me trying to outwit the enemy but dire results if a simple mistake is made. The best way to explain is never save during a game of chess, you may think you are safe right now but 5 moves later your squad is wiped, save when advised and safe to do so. Take it from me.
While the story isn’t the deepest I have played, personally I believe that’s because of the prequel setting, most games either have a lot of room to move because the original left flaws, or they rely on the original to fill more details, they don’t leave it as a complete stand alone. The game screams strategy, the team you slowly build all have different skillsets, the doctor can’t climb ladders but can snipe from a distance, your main can climb ladders but has limited range. I snicker to myself as I lob a body of an enemy off a cliff, but to the dismay of my partner once again as my smile is abit to big over something so dark.
By the time of writing I am over 10 hours deep, the man who complained about battle / camera mechanics and slow gameplay is long gone, he has been replaced with a sneaky cowboy with a hankering for lobbing bodies off a cliff face. The sounds and music for the game are perfect, the scraping of shovels, pigs snorting, even drunks arguing on the street getting ready for a shootout. The visuals are the only thing I question, not in a bad way. The game is beautiful but I question whether they need to be, a top down view like this would probably go well with a hand held console like the Nintendo switch, but that’s just purely nit-picking at what is a superb game.
While it’s the 4th entry into the series I recommend it to anyone who wants to play, new to the series or a series old timer. I guess the difficulty for a new starter is which game would you play first? it’s the same question as which Star Wars do you watch first? what was released first or timeline?
Battle Mechanics: 9
Replay Value: 8
Gamerzdownunder.com Gives the game 8.8/10
I finally hang the Akubra up with a smile on my face, Thank you desperados. You have truly helped this gamer realise there is still some good games getting released out into the wild.
I want to say thank you to Mmimimi Productions & THQNordic, For providing a stong contender for the Rreal Time Strategy game of the year!
We have also attached the trailer Enjoy!
Thanks for reading Gamerz
Just remember – It Will Never Be Game Over, & Gamerz Gotta Game