Desperados
Review By: Gringo

If I had a super-fast computer that could play video games made after the year 2004, you'd get more modern reviews. Instead, you'll have to make do with my thoughts on Desperados, a real-time strategy game set in the Wild West. Yee haw!

If you've ever played the Commandos series for the PC, you'll know what to expect. If you've never played that series, butty. The task is relatively simple: control a team of bounty hunters and Western movie stereotypes in a series of missions as they try and unmask an evil nasty criminal called El Diablo. No, really, his name is El Diablo. Sssh, keep quiet or they may find out we lost the idiot's guide to originality!

The missions are all driven by pointing and clicking, the favorite pastime of adventure game loving nerds who seem to think that putting your fingers anywhere near a keyboard is wrong, wrong, wrong. Fools! You can't type "naked Harry Potter man penis" in Google without a keyboard!

Because I love Westerns more than I would have loved that aborted son of mine, I'm a big fan of Desperados. You get to pick from six characters in deciding how you complete missions such as rescuing a big, fat Mexican from prison, hacking and shooting your way through a New Mexico town to escape from the law, and freeing one of the characters (the token black one) from a plantation. I especially like that last example, because you get to punch all the plantation workers. It's like Sim Slavery finally got made!


This is not a picture from Desperados

Of course, I'm no racist. I've seen tons of movies with black people in them! But the makers of this game embrace as many cliches as they possibly can with Sam, the former slave turned member of outlaw John Cooper's band of, uh, outlaw bounty hunter people. Whereas John, token female band member Kate, token grizzled old Doc brought back into the fold for one last adventure, token Mexican (the aforementioned incarcerated one) and token Asian small child -- these characters are all 100 percent true -- move with stealth, Sam can only move with brute black force.

Example time! John can creep up on people and kill them with a throw of his knife. Sam can blast their faces off with his shotgun. Kate can lure men toward her with a flirty routine, then beat them up. Sam can throw a rattlesnake at them. Doc can throw a wacky potion at bad guys to knock them unconscious. Sam can throw a sizzling stick of dynamite. I would write more about what the small Asian child and Mexican can do, but I'm already fulfilling the 10% minority mentions required in all the reviews on this site. Hey, at least I'm filling the quota!

All the characters have phrases they use over and over and over whenever you require them to do something, and most of them are fairly dull, if bizarre. John might say nonsensically say "We got here!"when you order him over there. Don't you know the difference between "here" and "there" John? I think Sesame Street did a skit about it, if that helps. But Sam likes to giggle "Hee hee!" every time he does something, and in the cut-scenes and other moments of dialogue, he's a big fan of phrases like "Oh boy!" and "What we gonna do, boss?". In fact, all that's missing is for Sam to start calling John "ole' massah" and the racial profile is complete.

Despite the overdone character of Sam, the game is -- and apologies for taking several paragraphs to get to this point -- very enjoyable. Unlike Commandos, which has some missions that require you to have a lot of free time because they're near impossible to beat, every level of Desperados is tough but never unbreakable. It's fine for me either way because I have no life and I'd rather play games than jerk off (it gets sore if you do it too often), but for "popular" people, you know, those ones that go to that "outdoors" place, I'd recommend this game over any other real-time game.

There's a good variety to the missions, with diverse but wonderfully familiar settings like an abandoned gold mine, a foreboding fort (see what I did there?), a dusty canyon and many more. Plus, there's one bad guy template of a very fat guy in white trousers, pink shirt and sombrero that is very satisfying to kill. Seriously, it never gets old.

In closing, thank you all for persevering this far. I'd like to thank my computer for being able to run Desperados and not shut itself down like whenever I try and play a DVD movie. I'd like to thank my fingers for being able to hit F5 during the game, ensuring that quick save removes any need to develop what some might call gaming skill. I'd like to place an order for a quarter pounder with cheese, no relish, no mustard, just the meat and cheese. Yes, Wanda, just the meat and cheese. No, I still want it in a bun, but just with the meat and cheese. Fine, I'll wait an extra five minutes. Sure, take the next person in line's order. You would have thought with all the potential lawsuits from idiots with allergies these days who might choke on the myriad of ingredients in a supposedly plain burger that a good old meat and cheese burger with nothing else would be a standard menu item. But nooooooooooooo.

Finally, I'd like to make a request or two. Spellbound, the makers of Desperados and its upcoming sequel Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge, I see from screenshots on your website of the new game that there are various 3D moments. Please delete all of this. Please retain exactly the same style as the first game and don't try and add any fantabulous graphics or first-person perspectives because you think you need to. If it ain't broke, something something.

Secondly, I notice that the sequel will feature a new character joining John's team; a Native American called Hawkeye. I was going to request you not make him speak in phrases like "Me think plenty big trouble in boom boom town," but I guess given how you tactfully handled Sam in the first game, I shouldn't even bother.


This one is from the right game I think.

Finally, I don't care who does it, but I would like a computer games company out there to make a real-time strategy game in the style of Commandos and Desperados but all about pirates. I'll even give you the name: Pirates. Or, if Sid Meier throws his rattle out the pram, how about Buccaneers? You could have levels such as the deck of a pirate ship, a stealth mission breaking into the governor's mansion, a raid on a port town, and more! MORE, I TELL YOU! And here's another free suggestion; one of the characters could have a parrot that can make noises to distract the bad guys. And you could have a stereotypical wench character to distract the horny, drunken enemies. MAKE THIS GAME! I just want to play it, I don't care about royalties or payment. I give it up for free, just credit this site somehow, okay? And fairly prominently. Thanks, princess.

And that, my friends, is why I live in a box.


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