Desperados III Review
Plot Desperados III is a prequel that tells, among other things, John Cooper’s acquaintance with Kate O’Hara and Doc McCoy. At the same time, the third part shows the bounty hunter as a still completely green teenager, who does not know how to wield either a knife or a revolver. The approach is competent — there have been no new releases for a long time and for sure for many this game will be the first in the series. True, the story mainly develops in short cutscenes before and after the missions, there are not enough stars from the sky and is needed for the most part only to rationally justify the movement of the company in different regions. But there is «chemistry» between the characters, and thanks for that.
Real-time tactics, however, are not a genre where storytelling matters so much. Such games primarily rely on a well-thought-out gameplay — just with it Mimimi once again coped with a bang. Getting to a new level, the first thing you do is look at it for a few minutes. You notice points of possible penetration, patrol routes, the location of the guards, their visibility zones. Then for some time you figure out how to get to the required place. Prepared? Well, the fun begins — the implementation of the plan.
Perhaps, someone will not like the «save-check-load» cycle, even if the tutorial says that this is quite normal. But the feeling when you still pick up one of the keys to the puzzle and move a little forward cannot be compared with anything. Having solved the puzzle, I want to shout: «I outwitted everyone, aha-ha-ha!» And a second later, press F8, because someone once again «burned» the game.
Of course, nothing would work without a few important details. First of all, the competent design of locations and the location of enemies. Mimimi, showing his skills in Shadow Tactics, did not lower the quality bar too much. In terms of quality, the levels range from «good» to «gorgeous»: each of them is well thought out, often offers several options for passing, and in some places surprises with the environment. Especially in this regard, the mission was a success, where the heroes wake up after a wild drinking binge, cannot remember anything, and even more so understand how they annoyed the sheriff’s people. You look at the city — it is smashed. And at the central intersection there is a huge safe with a cannon pointed at it. Moreover, judging by the deep furrow, it was somehow pulled out of the bank at the other end of the street. At this point, there is a desire to ask yourself what, in fact, the wards were doing that night.
Another important aspect is the variety of characters. Each of the five active heroes has their own set of unique abilities that will be familiar to fans of both Desperados and Shadow Tactics. One skillfully throws a knife and throws a coin to distract attention. Another — sets a trap and calls enemies with a whistle. The third does not kill anyone, but can use a disguise, speak up or fool men, forcing them to leave their posts for a while. By the way, the trick doesn’t work on women. Although the most interesting set was received by Isabelle Moreau: with the help of voodoo magic, she is able to control the mind and even connect the destinies of two people. If, say, one is stabbed, the other will also die, which opens up a fair amount of operational space.
In addition, wards interact in different ways with defeated enemies. John and Isabelle can only carry one stunned or killed enemy while standing up to their full height. McCoy and Keith, on the contrary, drag people bent over, and the big man Hector is not only able to take a man in his hand, but he can also run with a «load».
All this must be taken into account because of the visibility of the guards. It is divided into two parts: «gray», where the heroes can crouch, but will be noticed, as soon as they get up, and the usual, where they will be seen in any case. Therefore, it is not enough to figure out how to quietly remove this or that villain. It is also necessary to decide who exactly to do this, because the body will need to be hidden — and this is no easier than getting close to someone. However, here Mimimi uses the same technique as in the previous project — it is enough to take the corpse to the nearest bushes, and the evidence will disappear from the map. The developers themselves make fun of this convention by the achievement «Man-eating bush», which drops out for a certain number of bodies «fed» with gluttonous vegetation.
In general, all the tools for the successful completion of the task are handed over, but how exactly and in what combinations to use them is already up to you. Someone likes to act quietly and carefully, someone will solve problems with a firearm. The game does not impose any one style of passing — act as you like.
If Desperados III seems too easy or difficult, then fine-tuning the parameters will allow you to tailor it for yourself. And be sure to try to knock out the medals that can be obtained for repeated completion of tasks, but with certain, usually somewhat limiting conditions. Or master the baron’s trials, which will radically change the balance of power on familiar maps. All this adds a few additional tens of hours to the triquel, allows you to look at the mechanics and levels from a completely different angle and smash your head over the search for non-standard solutions.
The game has cool tasks like the need to eliminate several influential people in the city, and the murders can be arranged as coincidences (a badly fixed bell fell on the head, with whom it does not happen). Or a level where a passing train blocks the guards from looking at the heroes, and you can do your dirty deeds with impunity for a few seconds. Yes, it’s fun and interesting thanks to good map design and gameplay.
Mimimi for the second time managed to make an excellent stealth tactic with an incredibly addictive gameplay, but it seems that the Germans seemed to be afraid to change something in the formula that worked once, limiting themselves to a minimum of edits. And even in this case, Desperados III came out very entertaining, even if it lost in some aspects to the 2016 project.