"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 (315 reviews) - 73% of the 315 user reviews for this game are positive.
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."


“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
64 of 89 people (72%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
Game does not run properly on Windows 7, 8, or 10
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21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
This game is masterpiece.
The humorous and deadly atmosphere keeps it together.
What I like about this game is that most levels can be finished by various tactics.. You can gun your way out, sneaky clear whole level or set a dangerous environment with traps. And this really suits this genre. Though the levels are really challenging, you do not need too much strategy to finish it. I will always recommend this game.
20 ish hour packed single player that you should play through at least once.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
32.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
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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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
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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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
I loved this game back in the day. Now I bought it super excited, but turns out, my i7-4790k and gtx970 arent really compatible. The game lags hard, low fps, the figures move anything but smooth.

sad. wish they'll put in some work on campatibility with modern hardware.

Game in itself - I recommend. great game

Because of the way it runs on moderna machines, cant recommend.
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