Lead and Gold: Gangs of the West Review
Lead and Gold is a fun game but does have its flaws
When I was told that I was going to be playing and reviewing Lead and Gold: Gangs of the West only a couple words came into my head, what the hell is Lead and Gold? I never heard of the game before and now I wish I would have.
Lead and Gold is a third person straight up multiplayer game set in n the gold rush era. Every class sports a unique weapon, a sidearm revolver, and a special ability with a cool down period. The gruff, tin-helmeted Blaster carries a double-barreled shotgun and slings dynamite, while the coonskin-capped Trapper has a high-powered scoped rifle and can lay bear traps to ensnare her foes. The masked Gunslinger packs a heavy revolver and has the ability to fire rapidly while sacrificing some accuracy, and the dapper Deputy wields a repeater rifle while boasting the ability to tag an opponent, placing a skull mark over him that the Deputy’s entire team can see no matter where the tagged enemy goes.
All characters have unlimited ammunition, so your only concerns when firing on a foe are your gun’s effective range and how long it takes you to reload. When you hit an opponent, there’s a satisfying thwack, and a number pops up registering the damage you did. If you land enough shots, your target falls down and pulls out his sidearm in a desperate last stand. Nearby teammates can pick up their downed comrade if you don’t finish him off, and if you’re close enough, the fallen cowboy might even get lucky and take you out. But if you do enough damage the first time through, he won’t even get a second chance.
When the action begins to heat up, Lead and Gold can be pretty darn exciting.
Killing enemies and accomplishing objectives earns you experience points, which in turn gain you ranks. Ranks are tracked only within matches and are reset once a new match begins, but while they last they earn you a slight boost to your synergy effect . Each character radiates a synergy effect to nearby teammates that gives them buffs to damage, armor, accuracy, or critical hits. These effects register with a pleasing “ding!” and reward teams that stick together as well as teams with diverse character choices You can switch your character every time you spawn, though there is no way to know what your teammates’ initial spawn choices are, which can hamper your starting strategy. Lead and Gold does not support voice chat, so communicating with your cowboys-in-arms is a bit of a hassle. You have to use the in-game text chat window if you want to taunt your opponents or whisper some strategy to your team.
The game modes are fairly standard, though the maps offer a good amount of variety. There are variations on standard Team Deathmatch, Territory Control, Capture the Flag, and Destroy the Objective. The latter two require you to carry bulky sacks of gold and kegs of gunpowder respectively, slowing you down and making you vulnerable. Keg-heavy matches feature yellow-colored destructible objects, including bridges and doors that can be destroyed to help your team or hinder the enemy, and sheds that, once blown open, create a new source of the powerful explosives. These strategic wrinkles add some welcome variety to your gameplay objectives, which are otherwise very straightforward. The different map locations include a mine, a homestead, and a wagon camp and they are generally complex enough to support a few different strategies. The bright colors and realistically styled environments make attractive locations for shoot-outs, and the sharp character models animate smoothly and look great.
When the action begins to heat up, Lead and Gold can be pretty darn exciting. Deputies cover alleys and streets, giving gunslingers a chance to advance while trappers pick out perches with long sightlines. The six-shooters light up at the first encounter and the defenders hold their line until a flanking blaster scatters their ranks with some well-thrown dynamite. Having blown open the forward keg spawn, the attackers harry the defenders with explosives until finally the safe is cracked. The first prospective gold stealers are rudely met with bear traps and quickly dispatched, but the trapper gives long-range cover as the team begins the slow, gruesome trek back to their base with their illicit gains. All the while teams are targeting the one individual who carries their enemies’ mobile spawn point, hoping to kill him and send it back to their base, temporarily staunching the flow of enemies. Bullets fly and blood spills in these hectic struggles, and to the victor goes the glory.
Unfortunately, it can be tough to find games that play out satisfactorily. There are rarely more than a handful of servers to join because the player population is low. Perhaps because the tutorial is listed as “practice,” many players seem to lack a good understanding of how the game works, so expect Lead and Gold to have some teammates cruise right by you instead of reviving you, or to find yourself alone in pursuing the actual objective.
Lead and Gold is an enjoyable game when you can find people to play with. The classes are fun to mess around with and the game modes are really fun. Right now you can pick this game up for a really cheap price I recommend it to everyone.