8 New Gameplay Features in Shadow Gambit You Might Have Missed So Far

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is our next Stealth Strategy game coming for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2023. Even so the core gameplay our fans love so much stays the same, we made a lot of interesting changes and introduced new gameplay features to evolve the genre.

In this video we want to introduce you to 8 new gameplay features in Shadow Gambit that work differently from Desperados 3 or Shadow Tactics.


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If you are more of a reader you can find all the new gameplay features here as well:

New Enemy Types

In Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew you fight the Inquisition of the Burning Maiden – a religious army that despises everything related to cursed soul magic. Every Inquisition soldier has different tricks up their sleeve you have to counter – let’s name a few examples here:

  • Acolyte: Standard guards as you know them from our previous games – but there a variants with a large alarm bell who can call for reinforcements
  • Commissarius: Higher rank guards who can’t be distracted as easily as common Acolytes – similar to the Ponchos in Desperados 3
  • Kindred: A pair of monks with a special mind connection – if one is killed, the other will be alarmed and revive their counterpart; they need to be taken out at the same time to avoid detection
You will encounter different types of Inquisition guards in Shadow Gambit. Some require specific actions to take them down like the pair of Kindred here.

But there are even more enemies we will introduce at a later date. You can also read more about the good guys here and learn about their personalities and abilities.

Sandbox Structure

The open sandbox structure of  Shadow Gambit allows you to approach missions more freely. Besides some mandatory destinations you can select which island to visit next as well as which mission to tackle there. You will unlock more islands as the game progresses.

Shadow Gambit offers a great variety of handcrafted islands with exotic beaches, lively towns, mysterious swamps and more waiting for you to explore them.

Multiple missions can take place on different parts of the same islands – during the day or at night. So you will revisit locations. Even so the mission objectives are different, the whole island will be accessible every time.

There is a greater variety of mission lengths than in our previous games as well. Some missions are short and only take 15 to 30 minutes of your time. This means you can easily finish them in one run. But you’ll also encounter longer missions on larger islands – some of them are as big or even bigger than the mission maps of Desperados 3. Generally speaking, there will be more missions overall, but some of them are shorter.

The open mission structure of Shadow Gambit allows for a lot of freedom. Players can decide which Island to sail to, which crewmembers to take with them and where on the island they want to start the mission.

Alarm Changes

Raising the alarm will now only alert the guards in the area. But watch out for the Acolyte with a bell on their back we mentioned before. They can call for reinforcements, so make sure to stop them when they try to activate their bell or avoid them altogether.

Building Your Own Crew

In Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew you are way more flexible when it comes to choosing your characters. You will able to select and combine all characters freely prior to missions – but you have to unlock them first. Even so they are eight playable characters in total, you start with the navigator Afia and get to choose between two predefined characters to join her. After that it’s up to you who of the cursed pirate crew you revive next.

To do so, you need a black pearl and soul energy. Both can be collected as a reward for completing certain missions. The standard number of characters you can take on mission will be three, but there are certain story related missions that will allow you to bring more.

Players can decide which characters they want to bring on mission. Every character has unique personality as well as magical abilities that can be combined to overcome challenges.

You can also interact with the characters of our game while chilling on the Hub – Your ghost ship the Red Marley. You can chat with the crew or help them with little tasks while completing Hub quests. This way you learn more about their past and motivations – as well as during dedicated character missions.

If you want to learn more about how we developed a crew of different characters with unique personalities and skills, check out our Dev Diary about the character design of Shadow Gambit.

Death Is Not The End

Cursed pirates are harder to kill than the cowboys and cowgirls from Desperados 3Killed crewmembers can be revived – that means death doesn’t have to result in reloading or game over. But revive is only possible during a certain time frame that gets shorter each time if a character dies a lot during one mission.

If the timer runs out, the character’s body has to be returned to the Marley to be revived there by her power and remains dead till the end of the mission. If all characters die or if an essential character dies during a mission, it’s game over.

Time Manipulation

Quicksave and -load are now a part of the story and linked to the time manipulation power of the Red Marley. Characters react to them and they play an important part in the story as well – but no spoilers here, of course!

The power of the Red Marley allows you to reset time and try again if something goes wrong.


The standard difficulty is more accessible than in Desperados 3 due to the higher amount of flexibility. But don’t worry, there will be different difficulty settings and gameplay strategies to make the game more challenging for Stealth Strategy veterans.

Challenges and Badges

The re-playability of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is very high because you can approach each mission again with different character combinations and entry or exit points.

Badges and challenges also return, but they are different from Desperados 3. This time, you can fulfill badges during your first playthrough, but you can only restart missions after finishing the game. Once the story is completed, you are presented with all the badges or challenges and can revisit missions to tackle them.

Of course there are even more new gameplay features and changes we want to share with you in the future. If you want to stay up to date make sure to follow our community channels:

Join Our Crew

What change or new feature are you more excited about? Tell us what you think on Discord or follow us on our social channels to chat there.

We also have a Newsletter, if you aren’t a fan of social media. You can also read about why we chose a different setting and new IP for Shadow Gambit instead of developing a sequel to our previous games.

Expect a lot more exciting stuff from us over the next few months! Stay tuned for more trailers, dev diary blogs, streams and other amazing insights on Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew.

See you soon on the high seas!