Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West Review
By Michael Richter |
My friends always try to get me into Team Fortress 2, but there's a slight problem: they're all mad good and I'm hella stupid at first-person shooters. So when Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West came out, I was excited to switch over to that and be on a more level playing field. It's a fun game (that I don't suck at), but I don't think I'll be able to convince my friends to switch over for more than a couple days.
Lead and Gold is a third-person shooter set in the gold rush era (that's the mid 1800s, kids). You play as one of four different gun-wielding badasses out to get rich and mow down anyone else in their way. The characters are pretty standard in terms of gameplay. There's the pistol-packing cowboy, the sniper rifle hunter chick, the shotgun-miner, and the all around rifle wielding lawman.
I love the Old West aesthetic of Lead and Gold. The characters ooze style. The Deputy wears garters and a bowler hat, so I'm pretty much in love with him. And the Trapper is Davy Crockett, reincarnated as a sexy chick. Of course, style doesn't mean the game looks great, because it doesn't. It looks OK, especially for a downloadable title, but it's not pretty.
Six gun weighin' a ton, 10 paces and turn just for fun, son.The game looks and feels a lot like Team Fortress 2, with a bit of Counterstrike mixed in. Each character has his or her own special moves as well as these inherent abilities called Synergies. The characters radiate a positive effect to nearby teammates, rewarding teams for sticking together and acting like a team. As players rank up (by earning EXP through killing enemies and whatnot), the Synergies get stronger.
The six different game modes mostly focus around getting or defending large sacks of gold. There are Capture the Flag type events, mad dash "grab it all" events, and even more classic deathmatch style modes. All of this takes place in small old west towns, mine shafts, rural farmer homes, etc.
I like the team dynamic of the game. Teammates can revive you if you get shot down, provided your opponent doesn't come up and blow your face off while you're down (of course you can keep shooting at him too). And the ammo is unlimited, so you never have to stop playing to run around and look for that elusive shotgun ammo spot.
Everything looks and plays well in Lead and Gold, but it feels like only half a game. Granted, it's only $14.99, but even for that price I feel like I'm not getting my money's worth completely. With only four characters and six maps, I saw and experienced everything within my first couple hours -- which is not a bad thing because a lot of multiplayer only games are slim -- but I wish I had more options. Why can't I customize my character a bit more, like have a couple different weapon choices? Why am I always limited to 5vs5 matches?
As far as which version to get, it's really a tossup. There are more people playing on the PC servers, but that's probably because the game has been out for a while on Steam. I saw no major differences between the PC and console versions.