Desperados III review friv game - Stealth in the Wild West
On June 16, Desperados III from Friv2Online Games Studio will be released, which was earlier marked by highly appreciated Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun. We managed to get acquainted with the novelty before its release, and now we are ready to share our impressions.
The Desperados series is quite popular among fans of tactical strategies. The two numbered parts, as well as Helldorado, which is often unofficially called a threequel, were remembered for their deep gameplay, diverse characters and spaghetti western atmosphere. After the release of the aforementioned Helldorado (and if you don't count it - even earlier), the line went on a long break, to triumphantly return in 2020.
The German studio Mimimi was responsible for the creation of the new part. It is interesting not only for the sound name, but also for the work on the excellent stealth tactics Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, released in 2016. Curiously, when developing Shadow Tactics, the friv game makers were inspired by the Desperados series, among others.
Plotwise Desperados III is a prequel to the entire lineup. In the main role - again the shooter John Cooper, who only has to meet Doc McCoy and Kate O'Hara: the game will show the first meeting of the characters in the ironic manner peculiar to the franchise. Add to this trio the giant Hector and the mysterious Isabelle and you get a motley but united gang, with whom you will spend 15 hours in pursuit of villains, of which there are many in the Wild West.
In the best traditions of the series, each of the heroes of the friv game has unique characteristics and skills. One of them can swim, another is able to stand on equal footing against powerful enemies, the third shoots through half a map... however, it is worth to dwell on the abilities of the characters in more detail, because without their use the friv game simply can not pass.
Take Cooper, for example: he doesn't part with his knife, which is so convenient to cut the throats of enemies, keeps an inexhaustible supply of coins to distract patrols, and in case of an open fight he can shoot Macedonian-style from revolvers. But it's better not to go to the last one: open combat in Desperados III is a last resort, and very rarely it ends with the player's victory.
Hector is armed with an axe, sets a bear trap (which he affectionately calls Bianca - did you learn it from Varrick?) on the way of enemies, does not slow down when carrying bodies (of course - with such strength!) and carries a shotgun just in case: due to the large radius of impact with its help you can kill a good crowd at a time.
Doc, justifying his nickname, uses an arsenal of healing and maiming means. Thus, a syringe with poison will help knock out the enemy, flasks with soporific gas will disorient opponents, and bandages will allow you to heal your partners. McCoy can also bait guards with his trap bag, and his telescopic sighted revolver can shoot at a great distance.
The charming Kate is not shy about using her beauty against men. Flirting, she draws the victim away from her, and breaking a bottle of perfume will temporarily blind her. If you find a change of clothes, Kate will disguise herself and walk around under the noses of her opponents, and in case of danger, she can knock out her foe non-lethally or shoot him quite fatally.
Finally, Isabel seems the most interesting. A practicing voodoo sorceress can make the enemy do her bidding, and "binding" the two characters by an invisible thread connects their fates: if you kill one of them, the other will die. The girl also has a cat to distract enemies and a crooked knife for stealthy kills.
The gameplay design is built in such a way that you can't last a couple of minutes without actively using all this variety. Desperados III makes you think, analyze and plan, stay out of the way and often, very often save - quick save and download will have to use a lot, and without unfortunate failures will not do without any of the 16 missions.
The developers have arranged the enemies so that they almost always see each other (you can find out the field of view by right-clicking on the enemy), so you need to act inventively: for example, while one character distracts a guard, the second one shoots his comrade, and then you can deal with the fighter who has returned to his post. Or conduct a synchronized assassination: the friv game allows you to pause the gameplay (unless you play on high difficulty), set the heroes a sequence of actions and put the plan into action.
In general, Desperados III often requires you to control two or three (or even all five) characters simultaneously - it's not easy, but it challenges the player's attention and reaction. Sometimes it turns out that, for example, Cooper sneaks into a restricted area in one corner of the map, and Isabelle, meanwhile, is dealing with enemies in another, while Hector rushes to her aid from the third. Given that everything takes place in real time, I managed to forget about the hero lurking in the bushes at times.
Due to the large maps, not the weakest AI of the enemies (they are very suspicious, react to every sneeze and call for reinforcements at every opportunity) and their numerical superiority, each mission in the friv game takes from half an hour to infinity. If you find loopholes, you can complete missions quickly - and get a badge if you manage to fit in a certain "deadline" - but in general you should be prepared for the fact that passing the location can take a long time.
However, it doesn't get boring. Firstly, in many missions the authors put interesting additional conditions, like the presence of mud, on which the characters leave their footprints, or a wagon, which must be pushed past the vigilant guards. Secondly, you can find a lot of non-obvious possibilities on the maps: somewhere you can drop a boulder on the enemy, and somewhere - lure him directly to the railroad tracks, where the poor guy will be killed by a train. Finally, it's just interesting to watch the actions of peaceful and hostile NPCs, eavesdrop on dialogs (sometimes very funny), and look for new ways to solve stealth puzzles. The friv game encourages exploration, and always contains at least two (and often - much more) variants of passing.
Desperados III's numerous advantages do not pale in front of its disadvantages. However, it is worth mentioning them as well. For example, many mechanics and abilities will seem familiar to you if you've played Shadow Tactics - the developers clearly copied their own ideas. The Russian voice acting is not bad, but the actors sometimes overplay, and the plot is rather bland: you often want to skip the cut-scenes and move on to new challenges. And the graphics can not be called very beautiful.
However, the genre is appreciated not for the picture, and the other shortcomings are not very serious. And if you do not pay attention to them, in front of us is a great stealth tactics, which simply has no competitors among the contemporaries.