Lead and Gold Review

Written by Joe Martin

April 20, 2010 | 08:26

Tags: #budget #cowboy #lead-and-gold #multiplayer #third-person-shooter #western #wild-west

Companies: #fatshark #paradox-interactive

Cowboys, Synergise!

The weird thing about Lead and Gold is that there are times when it almost seems like there’s more to the game than meets the eye – like there are features you aren’t aware of or which weren’t finally implemented in the full game.

The best example of this is the Rank system, which sees you level up and gain XP as you take down enemies. Every time you kill someone then an old-fashioned number indicator floats off of them telling you how much damage you hit them for, while another tells you how much XP you got for that kill. Collect enough experience and, Presto! Level up!

Nothing wrong there, of course; lots of multiplayer shooters have levelling systems, except in Lead and Gold you can’t actually do anything with that information. Rising in rank just means that your Synergy power gets better by an unspecified amount, while even the HP numbers that float off your victims are fairly useless because Lead and Gold does represent health as a number in the UI.

Lead and Gold Review Lead and Gold: Cowboys, Synergise!
I think he's dead, Jim

The number 130 appears in red when you score a sniper leg-shot, for example, but you don’t know if it’s 130 out of 200 or 2000. It becomes a firm policy to disregard this superfluous information and instead just keep shooting until they fall over – at which point you usually have to carry on firing because that’s not the end. All players automatically slip into a Last Stand mode, where they topple over and pull out a shoddy derringer for a few more shots.

Death carries some peculiarities of its own too, thanks to mobile checkpoints that can be carried by one player on each team and which allow dead allies to spawn in around him. There’s the obvious problem there though that, if the person carrying the checkpoint dies, then you’re just going to spawn in and be killed in the same way more often and not. Thankfully, you have the option to choose to be reincarnated back at your base, if you want.

More of an issue than these oddities though is the massive amount of lag that Lead and Gold suffers from – pings are usually in the high hundreds and every match we tried had someone complaining in it. Fatshark is reportedly working on dedicated server support and promises that it’ll be on the way soon, but for now Lead and Gold badly suffers for the lack of it. Online games are often totally unplayable, while the only offline mode is a brief tutorial map.

Lead and Gold Review Lead and Gold: Cowboys, Synergise!
Another one bites the dustbowl

Online games are rarely plentiful either, which is both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, there’s not that much choice when it comes to servers, but at the same time Lead and Gold does well for having a smaller and very cheerful community. Fatshark has included a ‘Most Wanted’ highscore table in the game to build a sense of competition and there’s frequent movement among the most dedicated players, while the size of the player base as a whole means that there’s little trash-talking and more helpful banter. That’s not something you can say of most AAA titles.
Lead and Gold Review Lead and Gold: Cowboys, Synergise!
Really though, that only counts for so much and while it’s all well and good to have a small and talkative community, the fact is that Lead and Gold has some clear problems. The classes are all too shallow and there’s very little variation in the gameplay – you can see everything on offer in the first few minutes, to be honest. The gamemodes cover the usual bases, but fail to offer anything unique. The levels are small and far too few. The lag frequently makes games unplayable.

There are good things too, admittedly. The cartoony visuals are splendid and little touches like being able to shoot someone’s hat off always bring a smile to our faces. The budget price makes the lack of depth less of an issue too, as you’re pretty much getting what you pay for. At the end of the day though, there’s just not enough content on offer and what there is is neither new nor amazingly done. Lead and Gold is fun enough and it’ll be a lot more fun when the dedicated servers become available, but there are still far better ways to spend a tenner.

Score Guide
Discuss this in the forums
YouTube logo
MSI MPG Velox 100R Chassis Review

October 14 2021 | 15:04