Admittedly, at my advanced age of 29, it doesn’t take much to make me feel like an idiot these days. These young ‘uns and their complex games full of buttons and icons are so damn hard to keep up with. But one game released in 2020 in particuilar made my brain hurt, made me agonize over every little chance, made me question my every move. And it was a game that was a surprise, a sequel that arrived years and years after the last entry. Yes, Desperados 3 takes hom the highly coveted, hugely sought after award for The Best Game of 2020 That Made Me Feel Stupid.
That’s because Desperados 3 is actually a cunning puzzle game trying to disguise itself by wearing a hat and twirling a revolver. Nothing in 2020 made me feel dumber than spending an hour or two on a level agonizing over every little decision only to reach the end and spot a medal that could be earned by beating the level in 10 or 15 minutes. What? WHAT!? HOW IN THE FUCK? I don’t think I ever even came close to earning one of those medals. As it was I barely managed to struggle through the levels without quickloading about a million times because each of my plans failed in spectacular fashion.
“Desperados 3 is not a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s a case of the awesome, the great and the good. There’s a few weak points here and there, but overall this is a sumptuous piece of real-time tactics. It’s rewarding and satisfying to play, doesn’t hold your hand and makes you feel like a badass when you pull off the perfect plan. And when everything goes wrong and the bullets are flying it’s always your fault. You can see where you went wrong, and so you just reload a save and tweak your plan a bit. We’ve already had some terrific tactical games this year, but this is the best of the bunch. Utterly, utterly brilliant.”
But by the stubble on Clint Eastwood’s chiseled jaw, Desperados 3 is absurdly good. The excellent level design, the different characters with their unique skills and the blend of real-time action and paused-planning are all masterfully done. You can replay levels dozen of different ways, either enjoying the mayhem of plans gone wrong or seeking absolute perfection. Either way is equally satisfying, and when you do pull off the perfect plan involving multiple characters and abilities is so, so rewarding.
If you love strategy games, westerns and running your brain through a painful obstacle course, Desperados 3 is pretty much perfect for you. And if you love just one of those things, Desperados is pretty much perfect for you. And if you love none of those things, stop your whinging and play Desperados 3 anyway.
To read the full review, CLICK HERE.