It’s funny how the western theme kept getting ignored for so long in the shooter genre – sure, there were some attempts by developers to make exciting games, but most didn’t really live up to gamers’ expectations. Actually, the most popular western shooter of the “old days” came in the form of a freely distributed mod – but that’s a different story. Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is a fantastic attempt at breathing some fresh life in the shooter genre, and it offers a great online experience.
The game is played entirely in multiplayer, and uses a team- and class-based gameplay. After choosing your team, you’ll be presented with a selection of 4 classes, each with its own unique abilities, advantages and disadvantages. For example, you have the Gunslinger, who’s your typical front line offensive class, with a powerful revolver that can be fired both in aimed shots as well as rapid fanning, allowing you to efficiently deal with enemies at different ranges. There’s also the Deputy, who’s more of a support class, using a carbine to pick off enemies from longer distances and also possessing the ability to mark enemies so that his teammates can see them through walls, etc.
There are several modes of play, ranging from a standard team deathmatch (named “Shootout”), to more complex ones such as Conquest, which bears a great resemblance to Team Fortress 2′s 5CP Push mode – there are five points on the map, arranged consecutively, and each team starts at the opposite ends of the line with the objective of making their way through all the points. The gameplay is varied enough and each mode feels very different from the rest, though you’ll notice that some of the modes are played quite rarely and it can be difficult to find servers running them.
Graphics and System Requirements
It’s good to see the Diesel engine finally getting the attention of other developers, after a showcase of some successful titles from its creators. The game features good graphics, with a noticeable emphasis on particle effects – which is both good and bad, as it provides a lot of eye candy, but can also be quite a strain on your CPU. Other than that, you’ll notice that each team’s characters have been designed very uniquely and distinctively, and you’ll never have a hard time telling teams apart (which is quite problematic in some other team-based titles).
The system requirements for Lead and Gold are rather high, as you’ll need a Core 2 Duo running at 2.4 GHz or better, as well as a GeForce 8800 GS or Radeon HD 3870 to play the game smoothly – plus 2 GB of RAM. Performance scales nicely according to the number of players, so if you’re experiencing slowdowns, you may want to try some smaller servers with fewer people in them.
There are some techniques unique to this game which can make you feel quite uncomfortable among other players even if you’re generally experienced with shooters. Make sure you go through the game’s tutorial so that you’ve got the basics covered!
A very nice change from all the modern and futuristic titles that are dominating the shooter market nowadays, Lead and Gold definitely deserves your attention.