Desperados III is a game that doesn’t really fit into a single genre. It’s a stealth action game set in the wild west but you can go guns blazing if you plan ahead carefully.
The combat feels like a mix between a real time strategy game and turn based. It’s very similar to the combat system in Dragon Age Origins, where actions happen in real time with the option to pause the game in order to issue orders to be executed simultaneously (except in the hardest difficulty, where things are always in real time). The thing that stands out the most is how smooth and responsive the controls are. It honestly gave me the same feeling as controlling units in Starcraft.
The game is very challenging and saving often is encouraged as one mistake can cause a cascade of failure that will end the level. Despite the challenge, it is also incredibly satisfying when you manage to pull off the perfect combo and wipe out all of the enemies at once.
In addition to the high level of challenge is a high level of replayability. The smooth controls, fast paced action, and bonus objectives encourage players to replay levels over and over again until you gain a mastery of them. The game offers a lot of freedom in how players achieve the objectives, often leaving some environmental interactions to help solve them in unique ways. At the end of the run is an informative replay which shows the route and actions that you took for that session.
The pacing and development of the narrative is competent as well. Backing this is a relatively high production value for the cinematic storytelling aspect of a game in this genre. The animation work is incredibly detailed compared to other games in the genre where they usually opt for written dialogue combined with static images.
Overall, the combination of Desperados III’s responsive and smooth combat, combined with the smart level design, and high replay value makes it a game worth checking out.