I have to admit that when our trusty editor assigned me to review Lead & Gold: Gangs of the Wild West, I never really knew too much about the game, sure I knew it was western based shooter (that much was obvious), however I was unaware that it was an online only affair and to be honest as soon as I knew this I was quite cynical about the whole thing.
We all know how many online games there are out there and due to the popularity of Modern Warfare 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and to a lesser extent games such as MAG, you have to wonder if an online only PSN game could really draw in the crowd that it needs. Let’s see.
The gameplay for Lead & Gold splits you up into two teams, the Red and the Blues. Before you start the match you are asked to choose between the classes of The Blaster, The Gunslinger, The Deputy and The Trapper. All of the classes have fairly unique attributes, The Blaster carries a double barrel shotgun and can also throw dynamite, hence the name. The Gunslinger meanwhile is all about speed, his pistol can be reloaded fast and is very accurate, while he also has the ability to fire a quick burst of bullets over a set area to help take the enemy down.
The Deputy is quite a clever fellow, able to reveal the positions of his enemy with his special and then take them down with his carbine. Finally The Trapper is more of a long range class, being great from a distance with her rifle while also having the ability to lay traps at enemy’s feet.
During my first play through where I was playing as a Gunslinger, I also noticed that I was being given boosts by the other players, this is because each class has abilities they can share. The Gunslinger gives allies a boost to accuracy while The Blaster, give a small defensive bonus to his allies. The Trapper meanwhile gives an increased critical hit chance while the Deputy gives allies increased damage. This actually comes in quite handy as you can combine all of these boosts in order to make you character a lot more lethal.
The gameplay in Lead & Gold is fairly varied. During my first game the objective was to steal a bag of gold from the enemy and then take it back to the specific area marked on your map. Here the first team to five wins the round at which point the Half Time screen comes up to inform you of the results. The second half then commences as does the first to five approach, and once one team has wins two rounds the game is then over.
Both the Robbery and Greed modes use the approach of stealing gold to earn points and they are great fun to play. If you get the tactics right you can really do well as a team here. For example in one of the matches I played my teammates flanked me while I stole the gold, this then enabled me to get it back to our base without being shot. Unfortunately you cannot shoot any enemies when you are holding the gold yourself, you must put it down first and therefore if your teammates don’t help you then you are left very vulnerable.
The Powder Keg mode is similar to Robbery and Greed in that you cannot shoot at others while carrying a keg, although you are extra vulnerable in that you are actually carrying an explosive device, therefore you need to be extra careful.
There are some fantastic additions to the gameplay which help to add to the overall experience. For example, players carry a flag which acts as a spawn point, and therefore wherever you are gunned down you can re-spawn; although this can often see you spawning into the line of fire, resulting in a quick appearance before your character sees his demise again. Players can also revive teammates, although doing so usually puts you at risk at the same time.
The six maps included in the game really suit the gameplay well. By its nature Lead & Gold is the type of game where players should stick together in order to win the day and the closed in nature of the six maps helps to promote this style of gameplay. The game may not be the most pleasing to the eye and players of other shooters will definitely notice this, however that doesn’t mean it’s not fun.
- Encourages players to work as a team
- Weapons and abilities add to the gameplay
- All of the game modes work well
- Only works when played as a team
- No customisation for players
Lead & Gold is a downloadable online only shooter and to be honest it shows. There are no fancy graphics here or much customisation to help your characters advance, gain better weapons and before stronger – however, for the price this is certainly a neat, fun game and it will most definitely fill in my need for a cowboy related shooter until Red Dead Redemption comes strolling into town.