Guest Author - James Shea
An inoffensive third-person shooter, "Lead and Gold" takes some good fundamentals but doesn't really go anywhere with them.
Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is a multiplayer-only class-based third-person shooter set, naturally, in the Old West. Game modes tend to be traditional concepts (grab something and bring it back to your base, defend this point, etc) but Western-themed: grab the gold, or defend the mine, or something similar.
There are four classes in the game. Each class has two weapons (a primary and a backup), a special ability, and a "synergy buff" to some stat. The first two things are self-explanatory, but the buff system is kind of an interesting touch. Basically, each class provides a buff to a stat (not cumulative), and hence the best group is one that consists of one member of each class for the full set of bonuses. It's kind of a neat way of making sure people spread their classes out, but the games are so small it hardly seems to matter.
The first class is "Gunslinger". This is a basic, straightforward combat class: he only has a six-shooter, but he can "fan the hammer" to increase his rate of fire. His synergy bonus is "accuracy". The "Deputy" wields a repeater carbine and has the ability to tag enemies (dealing more damage). His synergy bonus is "damage". The "Blaster" wields a double-barrel shotgun, can throw dynamite, and radiates a "defensive" bonus. Finally, the "Trapper" is equipped with a sniper rifle, can set bear traps, and radiates a "critical" bonus.
The gameplay is pretty solid, with a tight third-person camera and simple controls. There's not much to interact with other than "what your class can do", but the basics are good and it handles well. It's simplistic, but that's kind of effective in its own way. It's easy to get into, but doesn't have much of a learning curve - it is what it is, and either you're good at it or you're not. One minor quibble is that there's different "emotes" (context-sensitive messages), but instead of being audio-based, they show up in the upper-right corner and thus are basically useless. This is weird considering that they bothered to make context-sensitive responses to, say, spotting a trapper.
The graphics and animations are surprisingly good for such a limited-content game. The way the characters move is especially nice, but the representation of items and materials is pretty good too. It feels overwrought for such a simple game, as though it was meant to be used for a larger game but they ran out of time. That basically sums up how I feel about the game: It's good, but there's nowhere near enough content. It's okay to pick up as a sale or something, but it's just sort of limited on its own.
Purchased through Steam with our own funds.