Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive released in 2001, it features gunslinger John Cooper and his five bounty-hunter pals pursuing a bandit leader known only as the infamous El Diablo, throughout New Mexico in 1881. John Cooper is offered a $15,000 reward if he can catch or kill the bandit and his crew. However, he soon realizes that it won’t be possible by himself and that the task at hand is a lot more troubling than he had originally anticipated.
John Cooper, therefore, seeks out the aid of five other companions that all possess different kinds of skills, weapons, and tools in order to defeat and possibly kill their enemies. All characters have besides their weapons, four additional items that can help them through each level. Be it dynamite to blow someone up, vials filled with knockout gas, or even tequila to attract enemy guards and make them inebriated there are lots of options to help dispose of enemies. All skills and items get put to good use throughout the game. However, depending on how skilled you are it’s possible to beat a level using only one or two characters by using sneakily laid out traps and ambushes.
The game features 24 levels, all varying in size, difficulty, and tactics. For instance, in one level, you cannot kill any enemies at all, only knock them out and tie them up. In another level, you cannot make any loud noises, because as soon as the enemy hears you, they’ll sound the alarm and then you’re a goner. All the levels are beautifully designed and feature so many small details that make them aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. In fact, I cannot think of any other game that has such rich environments that at the same is so easy on the eyes.The enemies in this game have been known to have had some of the most advanced AI of its time. Some enemies will investigate any ruckus immediately heading towards the destination of a loud noise (i.e., explosions or gunfire), while some enemies prefer to keep stationary and send other, more willing guards towards the sound instead. This makes the game more challenging, but you can always tell which guards are the more cowardly type, and which will sprint towards the danger to investigate.
Not only that, but some enemies shoot faster than others and with increased accuracy. Some enemies also hear better than others so that if you travel across wood, gravel, or water, some enemies will hear it if you’re close enough. There are even enemies that have more health points than others making them harder to kill. Enemy variety seems to have been well thought out.
This game is truly a masterpiece. I played the hell out of it when I was a youngster, and I recommend it to anyone if you like real-time tactics games because this is probably one of the best games of all time that define the genre. The voice acting, beautiful environments, sound, and music, it’s near perfection.