PSN Review – Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West

May 4, 2010 Written by Ryan

The 19th century was an interesting time for the United States. Stuck somewhere between the Civil War and the turn of the 20th century, this period in American history is littered with legends of outlaws, law men and everyone in between. While Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption delves into the depths of Western narrative, Fatshark’s Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West distills the American Old West down to its core — finding gold and shooting people in the face.

Lead and Gold is an interesting amalgam of classic team-based shooters like Team Fortress 2 and the American Old West. There are no space marines here, no high tech gadgets and no crazy sci-fi weapons. Who needs a laser rifle with a nuclear missile attachment when you have a double barrelled shotgun with infinite ammo and a bunch of dynamite? But while Lead and Gold’s checklist of Old Western clichés is… well, a bunch of clichés… it works.

If you are looking for a single player experience, then Lead and Gold is not your game. There is a Practice mode, where you are introduced to the mechanics of the game and are then set upon by AI controlled enemies to give you a chance to hone your face shooting skills before you are dropped into a lobby of professionals. It felt to me like it could have used at least one mode that you could play offline, either by yourself or split-screen with a friend. And with only four character classes and six maps at launch, it feels rather thin. But with a price of only $14.99, if all you are looking for is some fast-paced online multiplayer gameplay then you won’t be disappointed. Be aware though, with only a handful of game modes and maps, don’t expect it to have the longevity of a bigger retail game.

As the title says, most of the gameplay revolves around either filling your enemies full of Lead, or getting your hands on all of their Gold. Each of the game modes follow the usual shooter formula, but with an awesome Wild West twist. My favorite mode, Robbery pits one gang as the defenders, trying to keep their gold from falling into the attacking gang’s hands. But before the attackers can get to the gold, they have to blast their way in with powder kegs that the defending gang can just as easily shoot to blow the attackers up before they can get near the loot.

To encourage team-based play, each of the four character classes has an area-of-effect “Synergy” ability that helps boost nearby teammates’ abilities. The hunting rifle toting Trapper chick radiates a “Criticals” synergy effect that increases nearby gamers chances of critical hits. The Deputy, with his repeater carbine, radiates a “Damage” synergy to boost his team’s damage. Unlike some shooters where you either have to find health drops, or you have a dedicated healing class that can heal teammates, Lead and Gold characters all radiate a healing effect to nearby players. Lone wolves won’t last long on their own.

At its core Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild won’t really give you a totally out-of-this-world PlayStation Network title, and especially considering how much you’re paying for the game, there really isn’t much included for your money’s worth with just a few playable characters and maps. However, all that aside, what this wild shooter will give to a player is a fun, colorful and decent game experience for the multiplayer gamers out there.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Fun and stylish multiplayer experience

Variety of maps and characters are lacking

Lack of online matches to pick from and constant lag issues

7 out of 10