Tom McKeating On May - 18 - 2010

Now there is a small part of me that clings to the dream that a man can get places in the world by having a steady gun hand and the ability to lasso a maverick from 20 yards whilst paralytic due to sinking a bottle of whisky in the saloon. Maybe I’ve watched too many western films in my time, but for those who fantasise about trying their look with a six shooter; Lead & Gold may offer a reprieve.

Set in the ‘Wild West’, Lead & Gold is a third person, multiplayer only shooter published by Paradox Interactive available for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. (For the PC review check https://bit.ly/b947yg ) You play on either the red or blue team, choosing from 4 different classes, each having their own special abilities and synergies which reward your team mates for staying together in battle. The classes offer a good variety and you can choose classes tactically to suit the map choice and the type of game being played. Classes such as the Blaster will perform better in maps that are smaller in which their Double barrelled shotgun will be more effective, or the Gunslinger whose fast rate of fire and reload times make them ideal for close encounters. Larger maps will be suited to the deputy, whose repeater carbine is accurate for mid-range and long attacks or the trapper, whose sniper is deadly accurate over the larger distances. The classes also have a signature move; the Blaster’ has dynamite which can be used to devastating effect on a group of close packed enemies, the Deputy can tag enemies for team mates to spot and the Trapper can lay a bear trap to snare enemies and grab an easy headshot. However, I have found that the traditionally shorter ranged weapons such as the shotgun can be used to hit targets over a larger distance which you would expect them to be ineffective.

There are 6 game types available; shootout – a basic team death match affair, Conquest is a capture the waypoints game and Powderkeg will have you running back and forth across the map trying to carry powder kegs to locations and blowing up objectives whilst trying to avoid being shot. Gold fever is a one or two player co-operative mode where you try to obtain as many gold bags as possible whilst defending against the waves of attacking AI enemies and Greed pits the two teams against each other fighting for the randomly spawning gold bags which they need to bring back to their base.

There are only small number of maps available, some are excellent such as ‘Deadwater Ranch’, whilst others do not offer the same balance and overall fun feeling. All maps however allow let the game flow- and the fast, frenetic gameplay is allowed to take to the fore and shine. The online set-up is good with quick and simple access to a game and throughout my time playing L&G my only niggles with the online play is the annoyance of getting kicked from a game as the ‘host has been lost’ - although this only occurs very rarely- and the other being the hit detection can sometimes be a bit sporradic with shots not registering on the enemies.From my experience no lag was witnessed and the controls are sharp and responsive and again which adds to the cohesive gameplay. Players are allotted XP for certain kills and achieving objectives; this levels up the character and adds to the ranking board at the end of the game leading to competition between team members to attain the best ranking. The respawn system is a double-edged sword; a member of the team takes a portable respawn point with them in the form of a flag, this again allows the gameplay to flow as the player can be dropped back into the action immediately. The player has the choice of being spawned at this portable respawn point (if available) or back at the base, if they choose to return to the base there is a good chance an enemy will be camping near this point and the player will be killed as soon as they have spawned.

LeadandGold Fatshark Paradox event 2 Lead & Gold PS3 Review

Aesthetically the game is brilliant. It never sets itself out to be too realistic and this only adds to the overall experience - it reflects the fun and quirky nature of a game that benefits from not taking itself too seriously. The character design is cartoonesque and plays on the stereotypes of the time such as the trapper wearing a ‘Coon skin hat and the level design is fairly detailed with additions such as the gallows that take residence in the town square.

Lead & Gold is a fantastic multiplayer experience; it offers a very enjoyable experience at a very low price that satisfies my insatiable lust for the west. It does have its bugs, but these are few and can be easily overlooked and are outweighed by the many positives that the game gives. For any Western fans or even online shooter fanatics this is a must buy, although its longevity may hinge upon future updates and content.

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