Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive

aka: Death Valley, Desperados: Poszukiwany Żywy lub Martwy, Desperados: The Shadow of El Diablo
Moby ID: 4726
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
$4.99 new on Steam

Description official descriptions

Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive is a top-down isometric real-time tactics video game that takes place in a Wild West setting. The main protagonist is John Cooper, a lone rider skillful with his gun as much as his knife, who is hired as a bounty hunter to stop a series of train robberies perpetrated by a mysterious bandit known as El Diablo, but soon discovers his mission is far from being as simple as it seems.

During his journey across the Wild West and its 25 levels in pre-rendered 3D - from a Mexican village to gold mines and rocky canyons - John will gather a team of partners old and new to aid him in his mission, including Sam Williams the expert in explosives, Kate O'Hara the seductress, Doc McCoy the safecracker and sniper, or Sanchez the Mexican outlaw. While the gameplay is largely similar to titles from the Commandos series, even including similar features like the spyglass to see the enemies' field of vision, Desperados doesn't emphasize stealth as much, allowing shootouts to happen in many situations if planned carefully.


  • Desperados: Взять живым или мертвым - Russian spelling
  • 赏金奇兵:西部通缉令 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

145 People (123 developers, 22 thanks) · View all

Creative Director
Lead Programmer
Game engine
Geometry engine
AI engine
Script engine
Sound engine
Game tools
Game Designer
Artist Coordinator
3D models and animations
2D scenery
Additional artwork
Level design Coordinator
Level Designer
[ full credits ]



Average score: 83% (based on 31 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 43 ratings with 2 reviews)

Still somewhat better than Commandos II

The Good
The game is a story-based Commandos, that takes place in a western concept. You control John Cooper and his buddies, who are blamed of a crime not of their own. You both escape from the law and try to find who's beneath this crime.

The first thing that I was amazed about this game has been the atmosphere. The battle settings of every level, are quite puzzle-like but, the acting of enemy bandits, your friend and civilians; and other atmospheric graphics, make the game look like a theather scene. You not only solve the game, but also watch a cartoon movie in it. Every enemy behaves differently as they have their own personality. Some act cowardly, some are angry or curious.

The game almost never gets boring.

The Bad
Although the game has some original concepts, it still looks quite like Commandos.

The thing I personally disliked is, you can't control all six characters at once in any level.

The Bottom Line
The game has cute graphics and pretty good voice effects that captures you. The levels are not stories apart from each other but part of the main plot which makes you wonder what's coming after.

*For those who don't know commandos, this is a real time strategy game in which you try to solve some difficult situations by using different special talents of your characters. (eg. One of your characters can distract the enemies, while another can get them throwing a knife.)

Windows · by gecimen (20) · 2003

One step ahead of its successors

The Good
First I have played Robin Hood Legend of Sherwood and Chicago 1930 before this game. Both were fair games if not true classics. And However I played Commandos series I never truely liked them.

The strongest point of this game is its story and atmosphere. The story is backed up with a movie cutscene after every mission. The musics and sounds are just correct for the setting. Each of your party members have unique skills and actions which certainly makes this game better than its successors.

The gameplay is also quite balanced. Mostly you have more than a few ways to overcome obstacles. Mission lengths are not too long and never short. The enemies are not colored in difficulty order(Robin Hood). The gun battles are never boring or unbalanced(Chicago 1930). Most character has different HPs and different reactions. Some of them would run away at the first sight of trouble, some would not care at all and some will investigate the disturbance. This makes the enemies quite interesting indeed.

With the good combination of atmosphere and gameplay the game never lets you to leave it until its finished.

The Bad
One noticeable thing was, you can only have one quick action per character which at times limited the strategic side of the game. Some AI errors are in the game also. For example after an alarm sometimes enemies just return to their buildings. However overall nothing great or too important...

The Bottom Line
This is certainly the best of Spellbound games. It is a must have for the Action Strategy players. It will also interest anyone that likes Westerns. Overall the game is good.

Windows · by Zolansilverspear (449) · 2006


Subject By Date
promo art for the game? Rola (8486) Jul 16, 2011


Cancelled add-on

Spellbound worked on add-on levels (mostly leftover levels from development) which were supposed to be released periodically as so-called "Webisodes". However, those were never release because of Infrogrames' new guideline "PC is dead".


The demo version is an exclusive level which is not included in the full game. More information can be found in its game entry.


The game was originally signed to the small German publisher Blackstar Interactive GmbH and had a completely different scenario inspired by the movie Wild Wild West (1999) with various supernatural elements like zombies.


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Related Games

Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge
Released 2006 on Windows
Söldner: Secret Wars
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Bounty Game
Released 2022 on Windows
Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter
Released 2003 on Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Shadow of Death
Released 2017 on Android, iPhone, iPad
Wanted: A Wild Western Adventure
Released 2003 on Windows, 2010 on Wii
Wanted Dead or Alive
Released 2003 on Windows

Related Sites +

  • Official Home Page
    Infogrames official site containing english, german, french, american and international sites and all the info needed for this game.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 4726
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Linux added by Cavalary. Macintosh added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Rantanplan, POMAH, Xoleras, Stratege, leilei, Patrick Bregger.

Game added August 7, 2001. Last modified January 27, 2024.