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Lead and Gold:
Gangs of the Wild West


Reviewed on: PC

Fatshark AB
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

One of my guiltiest pleasures over the last few years has been Valve’s Team Fortress 2. The perfect mix of online mayhem and team-work, I’ve logged many hours as both a scout and an engineer. When I’m not playing, or working three jobs – I’m usually spending some needed time with my DVD collection, specifically the Westerns. From Eastwood to the Duke – I’ve been a fan of the horse operas since grade school.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed Fatshark’s online shooter Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West.  In short, it’s Team Fortress 2 in the Wild Wild West, but it’s also so much more. Surprising even myself, Gangs of the Wild West is a very well done game.  From its accessibility to its stunningly detailed visuals, it’s hard not to love a title like this.

If you’re new to the class-based party and haven’t tried Team fortress 2 or even a game like Lord of the Rings Conquest or Star Wars Battlefront (come on, really?), you’ll choose one of four classes of fighters and try to eliminate the enemy. In the case of Lead and Gold, you’ll choose between the quick gunslinger, the sniper like trapper, the medium range shooting deputy and the balls to the wall Blaster, specializing in explosives. The key here is that each of the classes feels and plays distinctively different. It’s completely natural for you to dominate as one class, but suck as another – it just depends how you like you’re shooters. For instance, I loved the quickness of the gunslinger, but couldn’t move fast enough to get a lot of decent shots off as the Blaster.

"There are six total game modes, each with their own maps..."


Of course, if you play long enough, you’ll not only learn which class best suits you in general, but which you like better in each gameplay mode.  There are six total game modes, each with their own maps, from Conquest (you’re typical capture the flag type game) to Robbery (one team has gold, the other is out to get it), I thoroughly enjoyed each of the game modes. By far though, my favorite was the Gold Fever mode. Akin to the Horde mode of Gears of War 2, Gold Fever tasks teams with facing off with wave after wave of enemies, while still trying to secure gold. It’s one of the toughest survival modes I’ve ever played, but also one of the most rewarding.

The key in a game like this is to make it appealing to both experienced players and newcomers at the same time. With its phenomenal pacing and intuitive match making system, Lead and Gold: Gangs of the West does a great job of this – perhaps even more so than Valve’s perennial shooter.  Now don’t get me wrong, even the most accurately matched fights can turn into massacres quickly, but several key touches here make it far more user friendly than most other intellectual properties. During each match, characters will radiate an almost Halo like power-up that effects each player on the team, be it improved accuracy, or health. So with these power-ups, it’s very likely that a team that may not be the most experienced but has one good player can become dramatically better and hold their own.

Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West isn’t your average shoot first, ask questions later type of game, in fact, there’s a lot of strategy to each match. For instance, each team has a flag opponents can grab and use as a mobile spawn point – where you put it may be the difference between survival and defeat. There’s other little touches like being able to revive a downed enemy (though taking the time to do so may result in being gunned down). Each map also has its fair share of open environments and close quarters, so how each class is used is integral to your strategy.

"...everything from the character models to the environments is incredibly well done."


Perhaps the most surprising part of Lead and Gold is just how detailed the graphics engine truly is. In a wise move, the folks at Fatshark decided not try for photo realistic visuals in favor of a more cartoony approach. Don’t take that negative; the game looks sharp. The animations are superb and everything from the character models to the environments is incredibly well done. There are several touches, like being able to shoot hats off enemies that are incredibly charming and surprising.

So, everything sounds so good so far right? The only complaint I have sadly, is a major one. The server for Lead and Gold is extremely unreliable. While playing, there was a ton of lag, and several dropped games. You can guess how incredibly frustrating this can be.  When you can find a game with a good connection until the end, Lead and Gold is great title, but when it stumbles, it fails. We did notice however that our last few games before the review was done were much better, as the game gets more known we’re hopeful we’ll see a better server.

Connection issues aside, Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is a surprisingly fun and addicting online shooter. It’s not likely to persuade many players to switch from games like Team Fortress 2, but if you’re looking for a new experience in the genre, or like me, want to see more westerns; Fatshark has created one hell of a game for you. 



CHEATS USED: Trophies List

There aren’t many cheats for online shooters – and Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is no exception. The key here is to exploit several key glitches and misques that allow you to take advantage of your environment. For instance, I found several spaces in some of the levels close quarters areas where I was able to hide in a corner and ambush people as they came by.

Another trick, especially for those who aren’t as experienced is to use the Left 4 Dead system, stay close to those who are more skilled than you and wait for the power-ups to come. Before long you’ll be slaying noobs with the best of them.



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