"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 (243 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
19 of 20 people (95%) 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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10 of 11 people (91%) 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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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 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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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
43.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
This game is realy good for wasting time
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 18
I have so many great memories of this game from when I was young, so when I saw that this was on steam I just had to buy it!
Sure, it has a few bugs and can be a little clunky at times but once you get these things sorted it can be great fun!
Still as good as I remember it, and glad to be able to play this just like old times :)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
My childhood game, i will never forget this game. I played hours and hours ! I really want a remake of this game, but I don't belive if someone would do that...
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
One of the first PC games I played. Found its demo version in a cereal box and since its a love story.

- Mindblowing STR/RPG/Action/Stealth concept
- Great 2D
- World design and western atmosphere greatly rendered
- 25 missions
- Challenging AI
- Pretty good voice acting

It surely surpasses many actual games, in its creativity, difficulty, and generosity.

12/10 on my top 10 games of all time
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
Aside the compability problems, that can be solved with a little tweaking, the game is great. Simple as that.

The environments are well designed, the graphics are beauty, the voice acting is good, the music feels right, the history is nice, the interface is easy to use and the levels have the right amount of challenge to make you explore different ways of playing.

This game has everything it takes to be awesome.

I think it gets a little repetitive, but not to the point of boring.

One of the best strategy games I ever played.

8/10
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121 of 132 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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203 of 259 people (78%) 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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72 of 88 people (82%) 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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36 of 36 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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53 of 71 people (75%) 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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77 of 117 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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28 of 38 people (74%) found this review helpful
27.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 19, 2014
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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32 of 46 people (70%) found this review helpful
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
One of the most fun and difficult hero-RTS ever created. Really hard game, only for those with lots of patience.
Don't expect shooting everyone in your path without consequences. This game is reallistic and kills your heroes fairly easy!
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21 of 29 people (72%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 9, 2014
Simply a Gem.
The best of the trilogy.
a Good old Game.

Il migliore della trilogia. Lingua italiana presente.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
A real gem from the Germany-based Spellbound from 2001! It plays exactly like the Commandos series except this time we find ourselves in the Wild West! You can control 6 characters throughout the 25 missions the game offers. Some are pretty hard (again, a similarity with Commandos) and quite long. The characters of course are not present in all missions - the game gives you a different variety all the time.

This was one of my favourite games more than 10 years ago! The game still looks decent as the levels are quite detailed and I'm sure there are a lot of people who can appreciate 2D graphics these days. If you liked Commandos and instead of replaying it you want something new feel free to pick this one up. It's only 1,24 EUR at the moment.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2014
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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42 of 70 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 28, 2014
Runs so poorly & slowly under Windows 8.1 x64 that it is unplayable.
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