"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 (195 reviews)
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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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
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
The first time I came across this game was somewhere around 2001. I got a copy of the demo on CD from a cereal box. I was instantly hooked on the game although it was very challenging. Sometime after that a friend of mine had received the full version of the game. We spent countless hours with the darn thing and we couldn't get past level four. But at that time, fooling around with the game was enough for me, so we started over many times and took turns playing. It wasn't about victory at all.

And now, more than ten years after the first glimpse, the game has landed on Steam, and I am eager to buy it. I got the game and I was instantly fulfilled with memories from the past. This is such a great game, there is no other like it. Commandos 2 and Robin Hood are close relatives, but there's something very special about this piece of art. The game features absolutely gorgeous graphics even with today's standards and the voice acting sounds more than professional.

If there's one thing they could have altered with the re-released version, it's the aspect ratio. There is no native widescreen support for the game, so you're stuck with 4:3 ratio. This however, isn't as big of a problem as one could think. Since it's an isometric game the gameplay doesn't look too bad at all even though it's stretched out. But just a fair warning...
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 21
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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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
Still fun and classic game with engaging storyline, interesting cast of characters, and a variety of fun and exciting missions.

A classic that still plays well in today's standard.
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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
Doesnt work at all with windows 8
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
38.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
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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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
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
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 8
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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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
41.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
This game is awesome and a real classic which, however, does not work properly on pretty much any modern PC. Hence I can't recommend anyone to get it really, as epic as it is. The risk is high that you won't be able to play this game, based on what I've read. I am personally having random crashes on Windows 7 64 bit. It's annoying but the game is still playable, and I know I am lucky to be able to say that.

It is quite obvious by now that this game was released on Steam just so the publisher can make some quick money, with no real intention of making the game work properly. And that is shameful.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
I remember this game from my childhood, great and funny game. But from steam it is unplayable, it is so laggy that you really cant do anything.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
Not playable on my Win7 x64.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 16
Great game, but unfortunately is unplayable under Windows 8.1 x64, for me was very choppy and slow, the game works but you simply can't play it like this, also there is a big problem with the sound, the amount off time that I takes to load the sound in the game is very large and the sound menu is very slow also, recommended to any one with a compatible OS
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
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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117 of 126 people (93%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
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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195 of 247 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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68 of 84 people (81%) found this review helpful
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 don't think the game runs 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 these things 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).

Worth the buy.
10/10
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52 of 70 people (74%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2013
One of the best Commandos style games I ever played. I made it through all 26 chapters so many times ... and I am sure that I wont ever turn back on this game. Great story, good graphics, nice maps and little details which will make you smile. Great game from great era of game makers.
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74 of 112 people (66%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
Awesome game, unfortunately this steam release is not compatible with the recent windows software. Therefore is a waste of money and expectations.
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27 of 34 people (79%) found this review helpful
27.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 19
Probably the best in a genre. I loved it when it came out and loved it now after buying and replaying it on steam. Graphics still looks very good, sharp and clear. Controls are bit clunky at times but it doesn't break the game. The worst thing is that the game crashes sometimes. Had maybe 5 crashes in whole walkthrough. You can use different characters for different aproach doing the misson. It's really hard, especially some levels, i don't know how i completed it without any walkthroughs back then, i coudn't do this now :)
Nothing to tell more - just buy it, it's worth it :)
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