"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 (228 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 23, 2001

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Buy Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive

Packages that include this game

Buy Desperados Collection

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

 

Recommended By Curators

"Cowboys. Isometric RTS. Stealth?! A seamless amalgam of three seemingly-disparate concepts, and one of the greatest PC stealth games ever made."

Reviews

“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

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/7
    • Processor: 1 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7.1
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP/7
    • Processor: 1.4 GHz recommended
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9
Helpful customer reviews
33 of 33 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
WARNING! The game uses DirectDraw technology. That means that if you run anything newer then Windows XP you will encouter problems with this game. I have Windows 7 x64 and managed to bring the game to mostly playable level (the game slows for a second down everytime I change a character or choose a skill to use.

That said the game itself is quite excellent. The artstyle still looks just fine even though it is an old game. The 6 characters you will play as have variad skills, which you can use in creative way. There are no easy or scripted way through enemis and you will have to make your own way using tools given to you. The game is hard and you will have to use quicksave a lot on your first playthrough. Still, it is a great game in a long forgotten genre of games. It was fun back in 2001 and hold up really well to this day.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
ENGLISH and Italian Review
Recensione Inglese ed ITALIANA

WARNING, if you run Windows Vista or newer you'll have to tweak the hell out of this game to make it work!

ATTENZIONE, se il tuo sistema operativo è più nuovo di XP dovrai fare un casino per far funzionare il gioco!


English:

Let's forget compatibility problems and talk about this game like we were still in 2001. It's a WONDERFUL game. Good story, great characters, great graphics, Far West Cowboy scenario, isometric visual, great gameplay, challenging parts.. A strategy game where if you don't think at what you're doing, you're dead, with no exeptions. You'll have to think on which character use where, how and when. Challenging and fun cowboy game. In the Far West. 10/10


Italiano:

Tralasciamo i problemi di compatibilità e parliamo di questo gioco come se fossimo ancora nel 2001. E' un gioco STUPENDO. Storia decente, personaggi da urlo, ottima grafica, ambientazione nel Far West, visuale isometrica, ottimo gameplay, e pezzi difficili. Un gioco di strategia in cui se non ragioni sei morto, senza scappatoie. Dovrai ragionare su quale personaggio usare dove ed in quale momento per andare avanti. Gioco divertente ed impegnativo. Nel far West. 10/10
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
43.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
This game is Ausgezeichnet!
Works perfectly well, just use the performance fix from the sticky in the steam forum section of this game.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
43.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
This game is realy good for wasting time
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
38.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
This game is so awesome :) its the third time I've completed it (first on steam), and I've forgotten how good it is.
Great story, heroes, Npc's, level design and abilities.
Works quite fine on Windows 7, but sometimes it crashes, seem to be random, and not once did it crash twice on the same place.
So my advice is save at least every 20 min.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
One of the best games ever made in my opinion. The voice acting is great, controls are smooth, and it offers a real challenge. Only problem is it doesn't run on windows 8, and crashes quite a lot running in win 7, but the game itself is amazing.
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
Amazing game, however does run on windows 8 or 8.1
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
One of the best games of all time, in my opinion. It's a shame more people didn't know about it at the time. I recommend anyone give this game a try. It's certainly a game I've been re-visting for years, and a game I'll certainly continue to play for years to come.

Bought the original on disc, bought it on GoG, and now I've finally also bought it on Steam. The extra cost is just a small price to pay for a game that I've always enjoyed so much.

Unfortunately it doesn't always run well on Windows 7 or 8 - but if you visit the Steam forums page for the game you'll find two pinned topics detailing a simple fix.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 1, 2014
good game but something needs to be done about the lag in win 8 it runs better wen the program is run in xp mode and as administrator but still get sum lag but id still recomend it :)
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2014
love this game :)

i used to play it about 10 years ago and its kinda fun to play it again here and there. good startegy game else you are going to run and shoot freely which will pretty much ruin all the startegy part.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
If you are running windows 8.1 64 bit then the frame rate is so bad that you cant even play the game. I've tried many things to improve the frame rate but no success. AMD 3.9 ghz 12 gig ram nvidia gtx650 1 gig on windows 8.1 64 bit
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
I love the game but the technical problems make it currently unplayable for me. Too bad, I can't recommend it to anyone as long as there is no guarantee that the game actually works stable
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
A great game really, while Desperados 2 failed with the 3D camera. If it works on your PC/Operating System then you should give this a try!
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12 of 24 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Doesnt work at all with windows 8
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6 of 12 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
I wanted to give this game a good review but unfortunately it has serious issues on modern operating systems. There are many fixes around but none of them remedy the problem 100%. The best fix I've seen is to use a customized DDraw.dll which causes an annoying graphics glitch in the menus where your mouse pointer leaves a trail. I don't think you should be selling a game that doesn't work properly.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
----EDIT----
I got the game to work by going to where the .exe file is saved, right clicking on it and then clicking run as administrator.

---EDIT-------

This game doesn't work because I have windows 7.
(the rest of this review was more like a bug report of the problem that insues).


----Original------
This game looked promising, however I may never know because this game in incompatible with my hardware or drivers
I have a Intel i7-3770 @ 3.40GHz
and a Nvidia geforce 680.
My graphics drivers are the latest 2.2.2
however I havn't upgraded my CPU drivers since unpacking (I tried but found or thought that I couldn't)

The game did not crash so I can't give crash report...
The game's menu played without flaw as well as the cutscene, however when it came to the actual game everything froze apart from a very very very small area around the mouse cursor and with 3 fps, then the whole screen goes black for 10 seconds to be replaced with floating AI (3fps still).

When I don't move my mouse the game runs fine with no problems, however when I try to move my mouse it freezes and (3fps) allows me to move the mouse 2cm, before freezeing completely then turning black.
II thought it might be incompatible with my mouse, so I tried a different mouse unfortunatly leading to the same conclusion and now when I go into the ingame menu the fps is far whiilst moving the mouse around there too, however not as bad as ingame

This major bug prevented me from playing this game :(
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 17
I fell asleep several times during the tutorial waiting for the characters to move around and do their thing. Pretty much unplayable. It's funny because Baldur's Gate is older and has almost the same graphic style, but it works just fine! I'm glad I got this one super cheap.
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120 of 131 people (92%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 24, 2014
This game is epic but DON'T BUY IT if you have WIN 7/8 x64. The game uses directdraw which dissapeared when Direct X 8 came out. Unless you have an old PC running windows XP I don't reccomend you to buy it. Apart from the compatibility issue the game it's simply epic, very long story line and hard missions that will keep you busy for a long long time. Have fun.
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200 of 253 people (79%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2013
This game is from my childhood, and I loved it back then, and I still do. However with latest hardware, and operating systems, it has rendered this epic game completely unplayable (laggy mouse, low resolution, and crash to desktop every 5 minutes). This should have been re-worked, and re-patched, before being allowed on to Steam.

As mentioned on even the positive reviews, Desperados does not work on Windows 7/8. At least, not very well. I have reported this to the developers, but my thread(s) were completely ignored, and we have never received any acknowledgement that these compatibility issues even exist, even though they clearly DO. My current issue is a complete freeze up of the game after 5 minutes, followed either by a crash to desktop, or a BSOD.

It's a BRILLIANT game, but you will likely be put off of it by the performance issues before you have a chance to appreciate it's brilliance. Save your money, and just pray that the developers fix the issues with W7 and W8.

Update 1st Dec 2013: There is a "directdraw" fix available in the forums which fixes mouse lag, however the crashing is still ongoing. It seems that patching has stopped for this game already.

Update 25th Feb 2014: There appears to be an unofficial work around for the crashing issues available in a stickied forum thread. This is not developer supplied, and edging on the side of caution, I would prefer NOT to download random ".dll" files off of the internet - especially those hosted on rapidshare. I am unlikely to ever try the fix for myself, and the "Negative" review stands, as long as the developers fail to patch these aweful compatibility problems.
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70 of 86 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2013
This is not a game. This is THE game. I've played at least 100 hours at this game when I was younger, and I'm happy to know it's on Steam now. This is on my personal top 3 of the best games I ever played. Good story, good gameplay with a mix of action and stealth, good atmosphere, good locations and the characters have a nice voices (In Italian).

Btw, if you have Windows 7/8, I suggest to DON'T BUY this game, because it doesn't run pretty well. Most users say the game is unplayable for who have the newest operating systems, because there's a drop of FPS + laggy mouse and multiple crashes during the game, but there are some ways for fix some of these problems if you read the threads in the community hub. I use Windows XP and the game works fine except for some crashes (2 in 16 hours of gameplay, for me).

You should play it.
10/10
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