I never was Commandos fan. Didn't like the setting, didn't like the gameplay, still I've finished Commanods 1 and 2. And it was all because I wanted to play a game even half as good as Desperados. My first contact with such tactical games was with Commandos 1 but I didn't like it and quickly resigned from playing. That's why I was reserved and rather skeptic when I first played Desperados, I doubted it would be much better but because of a more appealing setting I gave it a chance. I needed only few seconds with it to change my mind. To my surprise, I was hooked from the get go and liked everything in it! The setting (it was always more sunny here and overall the game was more optimistic than Commandos), the music (it had one of the best music background I've ever heard in a game), actor's dubbing... EVERYTHING. But the best was the gameplay. It was constructed so that even beginners could easily grasp how to play it and at the same time it was interesting. Each time new playable character appeared we've had a chance to see their abilities in a way that continued the story flow.
And the story is truly great. Unlike in Commandos, where you've had some missions practically not connected with each other, in Desperados everything fitted very well. As a result we've received a grasping tale about bounty hunters who were honorable and interesting. What's more it was constructed so well that you could finish most missions using various methods.
The easiest way was to kill everyone and using that method you could race with other players and set a record for finishing the game (there is a timer in game which is another great thing and advantage over Commandos). But the trick was to kill as few as possible and when you could do that, victory was even more enjoyable.
That's not all however. The next step was to finish the game without killing anyone with a gun (not firing at all was very hard since otherwise it was difficult to lure someone unless it was night and they were more sensible/sensitive to sounds and running or Cooper's watch worked great). Using a knife, snake, dynamite, etc. And you could have finish whole game using this strategy (besides last mission).
But there was another step - to not kill anyone ! I've managed to do that for 23 missions and only in the last one (obviously) and one before that I had to use it ! This makes me very proud because it was very, very hard and time consuming to do that :D. If anyone would like some tips PM me. Although I have to admit that at some places I had to use dynamite and throw it in a way to not kill anyone. I think the hardest mission using this kind of play was retaking Sanchez's hideout (taking out first guards was the hardest but not impossible). Anyways, Desperados >> Commandos, it offers many more options, has better gameplay, great story (and in comparison to Commandos which has no story at all it's a HUGE difference), offers multiple solutions to finish missions (for example you can blow your way out by making a hole in a wall or you can snipe some enemies and cross the bridge and there are many missions like that), has really great, colorful characters, characters who aren't indifferent to you (you end up cheering up for them and sometimes you're sad when a tragedy happens), etc. etc. It's one of the few perfect games (besides it there is Sacrifice and Fallout 1).
I always wished the developers of games like Desperades and Commandos would take their glorious 2D art and do something more multi-faceted, original and even adventurous with it - why not an RPG, adventure game or even a trade sim? - instead of merely focusing on trial-and-error puzzles. The gameplay works on a strictly mechanical level, but it all just feels so spectacularly unambitious and narrow-minded compared with the obvious labor of love that is the visual presentation in these games.
This game is much more complex than you think. You're being an ignorant saying that while not playing the game yourself (or not playing it enough because it's too difficult for you). There is no mechanic structure here, you have to think before doing anything. Much more so than in most RPGs (even old ones). It's one of the few games where you actually have to use your brain to advance and killing some random dude or a squirrel won't give you exp and let you level up for being a mindless gamer.
And to anyone wishing it was different - it's like wishing CoD was more like Fallout and had VATS. Completely pointless. Desperados is a great game. If you don't have the brain power for it, look elsewhere.
Fallout with VATS =/= real Fallout. Fallout 3 is crap and FNV, although much better than F3 is still nowhere near real Fallouts. It hurts me when someone thinks that Fallout with VATS is Fallout, especially here, where Good Old Games are supposed to be in the center of attention.
Anyway, Desperados >> any Commandos title > Robin Hood