The Wild West: a time in American history when gangs roamed the streets, when the law was as good as the deputies who backed it, and when women were filthy whores. It was a time and place where you could claim a piece of land, and if anyone tried to take it from you, you could shoot him on the spot.
Yes sir, those were the good ole days. Actually, on second thought, that sounds a lot like Los Angeles today.
Anyhow, Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is a third-person shooter that combines multiplayer strategy with fast-paced gameplay to deliver a rich and exciting game. Therefore, I reckon y’all oughtta read on for a hog-killin’ time. Yee-haw! (Proceed to throw ten-gallon hat in the air)
Right from the start, players will immediately notice the historical backdrop. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Lead and Gold is set during the 1800s when Americans began settling in the West.
The time period gives precedence to the game’s four main characters: the Gunslinger, the Trapper, the Deputy, and the Blaster. Each of the characters has one main weapon and a secondary skill that greatly enhances their class.
For example, the Gunslinger’s main weapon is a six shot revolver; it may not seem like much, but when the player utilizes his skill, he can rapidly fire off all six shots in under a second. While he is pretty much cannon fodder in long range situations, he’s by far a very deadly opponent in medium to close combat.
Similarly, rather than going with the “Rock, Paper, Scissor” format, the developers (Paradox Interactive and Fatshark) opted for the “understanding and using range to your advantage” design. While its concept is fairly basic, having to take into consideration range, number of shots, power of hit, rate of reload, etc. can turn a simple idea into a complex project.
After thoroughly testing each of the classes, I have to admit that each of the characters are very well balanced. I know that some will disagree, but you really can pick a class that tailors to your style of play and not feel underpowered throughout.
If that isn’t enough, each of the four characters has one particular synergy that the player can share with the rest of the team. For example, the Blaster radiates the Armor buff that will diminish an opponent’s damage. The effect of the synergy is determined by the player’s current rank in the current game.
If the player’s overall effort is for the good of the team, his rank will quickly go up. The higher the rank, the greater the impact the synergies will have on the player. It’s a clever design and promotes variation and team play over selfish intent.
While the game is skillfully designed and is as addicting as any other multiplayer shooter on the market, it does have its faults. In its current state, the game lacks dedicated server capability. Since the focus is solely based on multiplayer, having to connect directly with other players is like playing darts. Finding a good server with minimal lag is hit or miss. Similarly, when the host drops, the game drops. Therefore, finding a decent game can be a bit of a chore when you really just want to kill some baddies.
Likewise, some of the actions in the game have a bit of a delay. For example, when picking up a powder keg, cash bag, or reviving a teammate, it’ll take a second for the character to begin his animation. It’s a bit annoying having to pound the key two or three times when you’re extremely vulnerable to enemies.
Also, being able to roll while scrambling in close quarter combat is a great move to have, but the irritating thing about it is that the character will roll when jumping down from high perches. In events where you have to stick narrow landings, you’ll often roll off the map to your doom.
As well, when you’re dropping down onto foes, being forced to automatically roll means more time not shooting. I would have liked it more if the player was allowed to press the jump + roll key if that’s what he intended to do rather than being forced into the move. Those split seconds definitely mean the difference between life and death in the game.
As mentioned before, Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is definitely a well designed game. Hell, I’d go as far as to say that it has the ground work and potential to someday replace Team Fortress 2. But as it currently stands, the game is a bit thin on content.
You have your standard multiplayer scenarios: i.e. team death match, capture the point, blowing up specific targets, collecting as many cash bags as possible, etc. While all of that is great, it has been done a zillion times over. Figuring out a way to implement a permanent leveling system, allowing players to unlock various items, or just finding something unique that will give the players something to strive for is essential to the life stream of the game.
As stated earlier, there are many unique concepts to Lead and Gold, and I hope Fat Shark and Paradox Interactive continue to support and release new content periodically – I’m not going to lie, I’m absolutely infatuated with this game right now. But as it currently stands, it’s missing that “it” factor that keeps players interested for a lifetime. Until that happens, don’t expect a large community to pop-up like what you see in TF2. Until then, I’ll see you on the range… Cowboy. Yee-haw!
The design and time period gives the game a unique feel, but the absence of dedicated servers makes it hard for players to find consistent and lag-free games.
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Each of the characters specialize in a specific range, which will highly dictate your style of play. Similarly, the game focuses strongly in team play due to the inclusion of synergies and healing.
The inclusion of unique character voices would have thrown the game over the top, but the sound effects and music do the game justice.
The game is fairly thin on content, and it's missing that motivating factor that gives players something to strive for.
Lead and Gold has the ground work and potential to be a game that people never forget about, but until the developers implement that characteristic that keeps players motivated, the interest will always be minimal.