Flawed but intriguing Western adventure
The original Desperados is a fine example of the comparatively rare Western genre, with plenty of cowboys, duelling and a fairly epic plot, all mixed up with real-time strategy and tactics elements, similar to X-Com and Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines. However, while this sequel retains much of the first game's appeal a few niggles stand in the way of it being a vital experience. As the subtitle suggests, John Cooper, the hero of the first game returns for the sequel, so if you haven't played the original, you might want to start there, otherwise a certain degree of confusion is likely. This time round, he is on a classic quest for vengeance after his brother is killed by a criminal and what follows is a fairly twisty slice of Western action, with an interesting cast of characters. Gameplay wise, Cooper's Revenge is fairly similar to the original, with players in control of up to six characters and who participate in a series of stealth-oriented missions, and with each character offering their own particular skills. There is a pretty impressive array of environments on display here and which create a strong and authentic Old West atmosphere, and which is supported by the well detailed and smoothly animated character models. The enemy AI is also very strong and puts up a good challenge without ever being unfair, while the number of actions available to players adds in some nice tactical variety. However, the plot is less than compelling, while there are also plenty of bugs to get in the way of your enjoyment. If you are after something a little different, this is worth a look but is by no means a must play.