Is Desperados III, Worth Playing?
Desperados III is one of the greatest Real Time Tactics (RTT) games ever released and should be viewed as a benchmark for developers working on RTT titles for decades to come.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Real Time Tactics
Developer: Mimimi Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 16 June 2020
Supported Modes:

High Production Values.

Desperados III is an incredibly well-polished game, with every aspect of gameplay, from sound design to performance, being of exceptional quality, which is a big part of why Mimimi Games are some of the most respected developers in the genre.

Quick Save/Load.

While players are welcome to attempt blundering their way through each mission, wracking up a massive body count as they do so, veteran players and those wishing to play the game correctly will take a more tactical approach by skillfully eliminating small groups of enemies at a time and carefully disposing of their bodies before moving onto another group.

This playstyle takes split-second precision, and as such most players will find themselves saving and reloading dozens, if not hundreds, of times while they are new to the game. To facilitate this better, the developers have incorporated a quick save/load functionality that allows players to seamlessly save and reload as many times as they like, ensuring that players still learning the ropes can see Desperados III’s surprisingly good narrative through to its conclusion.


Replay Value.

Each mission has various objectives that can be approached in a manner of ways, allowing for great replayability; in addition, each mission offers a series of challenges that can make achieving victory far more difficult, which may be enjoyable for some.

That being said, I find such challenges tedious, as they often require a player to act in a sub-optimal manner or avoid using certain character skills to complete the challenge, something which I feel is a lazy way to make content more challenging instead of creating tougher encounters and puzzles for players to overcome on subsequent playthroughs.



Unlike most developers who aim to wrap up each story with a clean and happy ending, Mimimi Games is more than happy to shake things up by introducing plot twists late in the plot, making a traditional happy ending impossible.

While Desperados III’s base game narrative ends on a traditional note as our heroes walk off into the proverbial sunset after righting a longstanding wrong, the 3 part story available to season pass holders (or purchased separately) follows our cast of characters as they head out on a smaller adventure, whose ending has proven very controversial, with some feeling that the original ending was better.

Conversely, I feel like the DLC ending feels like it should have been part of the base game, unlike the standalone DLC (Shadow Tactics: Aiko’s Choice) released for Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, which took place during the events of Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, without changing the outcome of the narrative, Desperados III’s DLC missions change the party and their relationship with one another in important ways that would make the DLC a requirement to understand the lore of the series, if and when a sequel should arrive.


Similarities with Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun.

Desperados III is essentially Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun with a new coat of paint, and honestly, I am fine with that; while Desperados III has improved upon the formula somewhat, after playing both for a considerable amount of time, its easy to spot just how similar they ware, with the majority of playable characters sharing the vast majority of their abilities with their Shadow Tactics incarnation.

That being said,  Desperados III  characters are not direct copies of their Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun cousins, and most characters have access to at least one character ability that their Shadow Tactics counterpart did not, such as Hector (Desperados III) having access to traps which were only available to Yuki a stealth-based character from Shadow Tactics, and Desperados III’s stealth-based character Isabella having access to a pet ability that is functionally identical to the one used by Takuma, the sniper archetype from Shadow Tactics.

While Desperados III is a better and more balanced game than Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun due to the developer having more experience in the genre, both games are excellent and well worth playing in their own right.



Due to a dispute between the developers (Spellbound Entertainment) and publisher (Atari) of Desperados II, the Desperados would lay dormant for almost 14 years, despite attempts by the developer to continue the story of Desperados II in a standalone DLC, which for legal reasons was sold as an entirely new game called Helldorado due to the developer has been unable to secure rights to the Desperados name.

Unfortunately, due to the diminished size of Spellbound Entertainment resulting from Atari missing six months of payments while the studio worked on Desperados II, neither Desperados II nor Helldorado was all they could be. As a result, the franchise would lay dormant until revived by THQ Nordic and Mimimi Games in June 2020.


Desperados III FAQ

Desperados III is a real time tactics video game developed by Mimimi Games and published by THQ Nordic, it was released on 16 June 2020 and retails for $39.99.

Platform Availability.

Desperados III is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

How Long Does Desperados III Take to Complete?

On average Desperados III takes between 25 and 50 hours to complete.

  • Main Story: 25 Hours.
  • Main + Side Quests: 50 Hours.
  • Completionist: 50 Hours.

Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Desperados III is rated PEGI 18+ and contains the following:

  • Bad Language
  • Gore
  • Mature Themes
  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Desperados III  is a great way to introduce new players to the RTT genre due to its likeable cast of characters, easy-to-learn controls, balanced difficulty, interesting setting and above-average storytelling, and I highly recommend it to anyone with even the slightest interest in the setting or RTT games.

Is Desperados III Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Desperados III" a rating of 10/10, indicating that it is genre-defining and essentially unmissable. While it may not be 100% perfect, it comes close, and the average gamer is likely to both enjoy and recommend it to others.

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