Lead and Gold: review

  • Format: PSN (version reviewed), XBLA, PC
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Paradox Interactive
  • Developer: Fatshark
  • Players: 1 – 10 (online)
  • Site: www.leadandgold.com

The Wild West is often perceived as a fairly barren place when the bandits have rolled into town, full of fastest finger shootouts and indiscriminate, guilt free murder. This feeling has been rather accurately transferred over into Fatshark’s western inspired online shooter, Lead and Gold.

Following the eternal battle that sees the red team versus the blue team, players get to choose a class from a selection of four and then battle it out in a variety of game modes which are variations on classics such as team deathmatch and capture the flag, but given a distinctive western flavour.

As a drop in and out shooter, it works surprisingly well. There are no unlocks, no persistent ranks, and nothing that transfers between matches. You just pick up and play, fresh as anything each time you logon, meaning that it is always a level playing field as far as game mechanics are concerned. It means that you can play this completely at your leisure and not feel any kind of grind chasing after a dangling carrot that will give you an edge over other players.

Is running with a gun any safer than running with scissors?

The four playable classes seem to be balanced and fine tuned against each other to be effective at different ranges, rather than focusing on general combat effectiveness. There’s the sniper – like trapper, the medium to long range rifle wielding deputy, the shotgun shooting close range blaster, and the short to medium specialist the revolver wielding gunslinger.

On top of having a unique weapon, each class also has a special ability. The trapper can set bear traps for snagging foes, the blaster chucks dynamite, the deputy can tag enemies and the gunslinger has possibly the most fun of all with his ability to fan the gun, giving a short burst of submachine gun – like fire. They are all very distinctive but some are much better than others, with the deputy’s tagging ability feeling quite lacklustre when compared to the other classes’ more damage orientated specialities.

Team work is rather neatly encouraged through a synergy system, where each class spits out a buff to all nearby team mates that boosts their damage, accuracy, critical hit rate or strength. The effects do not stack which means you need class diversity if you want to get all the buffs and maintain a strong advantage. It’s a bit of a double edged sword as it rewards you for staying together, but playing online with random people often means that some might not have grasped this mechanic (which isn’t immediately obvious), and so they could run off leaving you at a disadvantage.

This proves that shooting a man to death really is a valuable experience

Graphically, the game looks good, especially from the viewpoint that there is a stigma around the visual quality of downloadable games. Fatshark has done a great job recreating the old west with several environments picked straight from the big book of western clichés. You can also see how much damage you are doing to the other team, with MMO style visual damage counters appearing above enemy heads with every successful shot you land on them.

Lead and Gold is a fun western romp that certainly won’t leave you disappointed, but at the same time, it won’t have you wetting yourself with muscle loosening excitement either. It is a great drop in and out shooter that you can use to fill the odd 20 minute break that comes your way, but it won’t keep you engaged for much more. Still, if you have a western gunslinger fetish and are patient when it comes to finding a full server, this is definitely worth a look.


3/5

http://www.testfreaks.co.uk/pc-games/lead-and-gold-gangs-of-the-wild-west/Lead and Gold Gangs of the Wild West @ testfreaks.co.uk
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Written by Anthony H

Anthony has been playing games for far too much of his life, starting with the MS-DOS classic Mario is Missing. Since then his tastes have evolved to include just about anything, but his soft spot lies with shooters and the odd strategy game. Anthony will inspire you with his prose, uplift you with his wit and lie to you in his biography.

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