Lead and Gold; Gangs of the Wild West is an online Third-Person Shooter game in a multi-player format available for the PC . Developed as a part of the Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West franchise (also available on Xbox and PS3), the PC version allows players to log onto a server and select rootin’ tootin’ wild west maps and scenarios. Working as an individual, or as a part of a team, your character is faced with the task of trying to get as much gold and shooting as many foes as possible.
As a gamer who only gets around to playing when the world is at peace and the stars align, I really enjoyed playing Lead and Gold. The developers did a good job of pulling together the feel of a Wild West filled with gruff cowboys, deserted gold mines and an untold amount of greed and lack of courtesy. There aren’t a wide variety of characters to choose from, but the four that are offered have unique shooting styles and special skills that keeps play interesting.
When trying to figure out just how the game works, Lead and Gold’s practice mode gives you a great tour of the games simple functions. Learning to move around the map with the familiar WASD keys and mouse is a snap, and the added functions of using the special skills and picking up barrels of explosives are easy to learn and remember. Because the game controls are so simple, Lead and Gold is a game that practically anyone who has played a first-person or third-person shooter can figure out in a matter of minutes. The difficulty of figuring out the Lead and Gold controls is greatly reduced by the set gun types (nope, no switching firearms here) and the game’s auto-reload feature. Players have an unlimited supply of ammunition and special skills, so really the only gauge there is for you to manage during play is your health, which displays as a large red ball that is easy to monitor even when focusing on your objectives.
Once ready to play in the multi-player arena, I was surprised at the lack of Lead and Gold’s available maps/scenarios available. With only six to choose from, the variety of play is strongly dictated by the number of players online at any given time. I did my initial game test in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday, and luckily there were enough players logged onto the server to have a variety of 25 or so games to choose from.
When the map loads and the game begins, it becomes very important for you to get your bearings and decide the best way to use the character that you have selected as opponents greet you with the end of their gun barrel. Happily, in one of the Gangs of the Wild West updates released recently, you have the option to switch character types any time you find yourself gunned down by an opponent without having to quit and re-load the map.
Lead and Gold has integrated in-game chat features that are easy to use without being overly intrusive, although it took me some time to get used to the scrolling chat text on the right side of the screen instead of on the left as the trend has been set by big name-games like World of Warcraft and Left 4 Dead.
All in all, I found Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West to be an entertaining way to spend an afternoon, although I can’t see it becoming an ongoing favorite to play for long stretches. The $14.99 price tag makes Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West accessible to players who are just looking for something to kill some time with, and is a great buy for people just trying out this style of game for the first time. It is currently available at www.steampowered.com for download and is worth checking out for yourself – particularly if you have a friend to gift it to when you’re done.