"Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive" is the first strategy game ever to combine a movie-based and story-driven atmosphere of an adventure game with the intellectual challenge of a real time tactic game.In this western-style title, discover a game of strategy and tactics played out in exceptional real time.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (345 reviews) - 71% of the 345 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 23, 2001

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Packages that include this game

Buy Desperados Collection

Includes 2 items: Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge, Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive

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“An incredibly fun and stylish game.”
8.1/10 – IGN

“An engaging storyline, high-quality cut-scenes, a cast of unique heroes and a whole stampede of missions make Desperados a shining silver star.”
83 % – GameSpy

“More than twenty missions guarantee nice and long fun.”
8.9/10 – ActionTrip

About This Game

"Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive" is the first strategy game ever to combine a movie-based and story-driven atmosphere of an adventure game with the intellectual challenge of a real time tactic game.

In this western-style title, discover a game of strategy and tactics played out in exceptional real time. You're in charge of a team of 6 mercenaries and must find a way to complete your missions, be it infiltrating an enemy fortress, saving a team member or escaping an ambush... Combine the different skills of your 6 heroes to lead them to victory.

The Story

El Paso, a typical Wild West town in the southwestern United States near the Mexican border. It is the year 1881. For the last few months, the trains belonging to the famous railroad company, Twinnings & Co have been the target of a whole series of hold-ups and ambushes. The management of the company has decided enough is enough and they have to put an end to the raids. It has offered a reward of $15,000 for anyone who captures the leader of the gang responsible.

But no one in and around El Paso has the courage to take on the might of the bandidos, so the outlaws just keep on robbing train after train. Even the local Marshal is keeping well out of it.

It’s only when a stranger rides into town that things start to change. Bounty hunter John Cooper pays a visit to the local Twinnings & Co manager offering to end the railroad company’s problems once and for all. He gathers together a gang of his old partners and declares war on the bandidos. But during his pursuit, which will take him through half of the southwestern United States, Cooper soon discovers that on this mission nothing is quite what it seems...

Key Features

  • More than 20 enemies with different profiles, from the lazy and cowardly bandit, to the fearsome mercenary.
  • A team of 6 characters, each with their own very distinct characteristics, to manage in real time.
  • 25 different levels provide nail-biting intrigue, with cinematic transition scenes and landscapes that will take your breath away. Amazing artificial intelligence!
  • Each enemy is ranked on 10 different criteria, including intelligence, courage, marksmanship, resistance to alcohol, etc.
  • An array of different settings: day-time, night-time, storms, dusk, villages, ghost towns, fortresses, gold mines, saloons, prisons, boats 6 training levels to allow the player to really get into the story

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/7
    • Processor: 1 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7.1
    • OS: Windows XP/7
    • Processor: 1.4 GHz recommended
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9
Helpful customer reviews
92 of 136 people (68%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2015
Game does not run properly on Windows 7, 8, or 10
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
32.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2015
Short version: 89%
Desperados is a squad-oriented stealth/action game following the footsteps of Commandos, but with a Western setting. It may be a copycat, but a copycat with great levels, good mechanics, and memorable characters, easily earning its rightful place among all real-time tactical game fans.

Long version:
Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive is the proof that you can create a copycat that can be on par with the original. In our case, it is a clone of Commandos: a series of WWII real-time squad-based tactical/strategy games, where you control a group of highly trained specialist through a set of mostly stealth-oriented levels.

The core mechanics are the same: your task is to clear each level from enemy guards and bandits to reach your current mission mark. To do so, you take control of a colourful cast of Western stereotypes, all with their unique abilities. They are maybe a little too unique, as even mundane tasks as tying a knot or saddling a horse need their own specialists.
Another similarity is that diversion tactics are the bread and butter of gameplay. This is where Desperados outdid Commandos: you can pre-record a set of commands for all characters to execute a complex plan with the push of a button. Thanks to the devilish enemy placements, this feature is almost essential after a while.
The setting makes one big difference though: we cannot have a Western without some shoot-outs, so Desperados puts a smaller emphasis on sneaking to give way for some old-fashioned gunplay instead.

The story is built from spaghetti Western tropes: a mysterious bandit leader pulls a few high-profile robberies, which attracts the attention of a veteran bounty hunter, who then collects a few outlaw buddies to get to the bottom of the events. After this, the plot runs into a few dead ends on purpose, which may be a little tiresome, but eventually it reaches its typical adventure-oriented Western movie conclusion.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2015
This game is a gem, at least what I remember of it back in the day.

But I couldn't get it to work on either my laptop or desktop. yes I know there's a workaround guide around here, but that involves downlading files from not official sources and I don't want to do that.

So here's the thing, this developer put this game for sale, knowing that in [current year] most users are running Windows 7+, and didn't bother to make it compatible, so why would I?
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
So much pressure in my recent daily life and I found that video games couldn't offer me much relief as they did in the past.Talking about most games in my steam library,some of them I play for burdening purposes like achievement and most of them I play for reasons of nothing,I just have to play them because I bought them with stupid meaningless sense of ownership so I must play them to pay up the debt.And all of these,boring.

But This Game! I play this game for fun,for a long-lost feeling of self satisfaction and I just can't have enough of it,even though it has offered a huge storyline of 25 delicately designed levels.I gave it my first try back in the days of 2001 and I just finished my 4th playing through yesterday,and I must say this game still doesn't seem to be out of date even after all these years,still has tons of new tactics to be tried out and still holds so many excellent funny little details to be discovered then grin my face.What I like most is,this game has a large variaty of enemy types,and diffrences among them result in diffrent tactics(Just compare all these with those copy-paste nazi soldiers in Commandos series,you will see what revolution in enemy system Desperados Wanted Dead or Alive has brought in 2001.Even Commandos II Men of Courage wouldn't surpass it in this aspect )

All in all,this game offers me great enjoyment from which I've been away for so long.I own it my gratitude.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2015
Wild west themed, top down, isometric view, commandos style action game. In Desperados you control group of characters with their own strengths, abilities and uses. Game has rather enjoyable art style, with great, detailed environments. Characters have different abilities, weapons, items they can use to accomplish mission goals. Most of the time you have to use multiple characters to complete mission. There is a stealth element in this game, and in most missions you can complete it by silently knocking out, killing enemies, sneaking around undetected. Or you can raise hell and shoot everything that moves, but doing that you have low chances of survival. Game has some humor here and there, voice acting is decent. Game may not work on newer computers, running windows 7 and 8. Other than that it's fun game. If you enjoyed Commandos series, then you might like this.
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