Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge

Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge

Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge

Deadwood, or fresh growth?

Videogame westerns... hey, look at that tumbleweed. The few that do come trotting out of the creative desert really don't do much to break the drought. Recently we suffered Gun, which was a peculiar misfire of ideas that failed to inspire and ended up being slung out of the saloon doors by a disgruntled Eurogamer posse. It's easy to see why that particular mixture of ambitions was frustrated, but Desperados 2 could have been, should have been, more straightforward.

The sequel to 2001's Commandos-alike, set in the dust-caked, sun-cracked West of the late 1800s. We know these games, and we know how they work. Sneak about in various isometric environments and take down hawk-eyed hostiles using the mixture of talents provided by your team. It's real-time strategy as puzzle solving, with memorable characters and none of that silly resource-management. Desperados itself worked this out and delivered a game that wasn't quite as muscular or satisfying as Commandos, but was nevertheless a well-placed blow to the back of the imagination.

As before, Desperados 2 sees you able to command a half-dozen heroes, including the grizzled doc, the square-jawed gunfighter, the beefy Mexican, the wily Apache and the delectable young lady. As in Desperados each of these well-meaning miscreants can be applied in their own way, but they can all shoot, brawl and generally sneak about in the shadows. It's a comfortable formula.

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Desperados 2 demo

Commandos and Indians.

Atari's released a playable demo of Spellbound's second Desperados game, Cooper's Revenge. You can get it off the internet.