Cowboy action from the comfort of your sofa.
Well, Lead & Gold: Gangs of the Wild West has made its way onto the PS3. It has been around for a couple of weeks now on the Steam network and has been previewed and reviewed by GGUK. But how will this, the first entry into the console market from publishers Paradox Interactive, fare on the Sony console?
Developed by Fatshark, Lead & Gold is a third-person shooter, based in the Wild West. In a similar manner to games like Battlefield 1943 and M.A.G., this is only playable online, with no single player campaign. The ultimate party game for people by themselves.
Players get to choose from four different characters and then get to join others online in a variety of gameplay modes across a collection of maps. The four different characters offer something for everyone, with the Blaster and Gunslinger offering decent close up damage with their shotgun and revolver respectively. Players preferring to get their hands dirty from a distance are catered for with the Deputy and his rifle, and the Trapper wielding a hunting rifle. Each class also has their own special abilities, including throwing dynamite for the Blaster and setting mantraps for the Trapper.
What makes Lead & Gold a bit different from other similar games are the synergy effects. These are range limited bonuses that apply to allies and can offer both defensive and offensive boosts to players who stick together and play as a team.
The visuals of Lead & Gold are by no means ground breaking, yet they fit quite well into the western theme, or at least a theme based on the older cowboy movies. Each of the four classes are easily recognisable for what they are and fit well with the stereotypical characters that they represent.
The maps, of which there are six, also feel as though they have been pulled from classic western movies. Although reasonably varied, the maps currently on offer do tend to favour close quarters combat, with very little open space for the Sniper-esque Trapper to take advantage of. This is no biggie however, as this type of game is likely to be updated with new maps that offer a more balanced challenge.
Of the different modes on offer, the majority are variations on the standard modes found in any shooter, such as the team deathmatch style Shootout and Conquest. They will all be familiar to players of online shooters, just with Western themes. Most interestingly is the L4D survival mode styled Gold Fever. Players work in co-op to fend off bots whilst gathering bags of gold for experience.
The gameplay itself is a bit hit and miss. I am not a huge fan of the over-the-shoulder third-person view point and the weapons don’t seem as precise as I would like, taking far too many shots to kill an opponent (or maybe it is just that I am a bad shot?). Yet I do like the ability to take a final shot at the enemy after being taken down and the synergy system certainly encourages team work, which is always a good thing.
This style of game is already in abundance on the Steam Network, and for good reason. With it’s massive community, these games work really well. However, on the consoles it is a different kettle of fish. Console gamers have still not made that transition fully to online play, and offering no offline mode will certainly put off a lot of these gamers. As it stands, there is not the huge community of players waiting for a game that would be hoped for, and that is not a good thing for an online only game.
That being said, Lead & Gold is only Â£11.99. Gamers who ignore the story in games such as Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Modern Warfare 2 and go straight for the multiplayer experience, could certainly get a lot of fun from this game. It is not going to be as deep and engrossing as the aforementioned games, but then it is only a fraction of the price. Given time and enough interest, this could be a very popular game on the PS3 and it is a great market entry for Paradox Interactive.