If there was a particular genre or theme underrepresented in videogames in general it's that of the western. Which is surprising because cinematically speaking, the palette of the western in films is as rich as any other, if not more so. A good western flick will usually trump a sci fi one almost every time. I think its because, to me, the characters portrayed in them are typically more approachable. You can usually relate to the scruffy vagabond or the heroic rogue more. So it kinda boggles my mind that western games have not caught on more. I know there have been a few western games here and there but their quality has been, shall we say, not up to snuff. If one were to agree with the plethora of gaming tea leaf readers out in the blog-o-sphere, the upcoming Red Ded Redemption
may very change that perception. Yet I'm here not to talk about Rockstar's latest foray, that game doesn't need anymore people to chime in and trumpet its virtues, instead I'm here to shine the spotlight at a downloadable game that will probably go unnoticed by the lot of you by the name of Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West
Before I begin this preview of sorts I gotta confess that prior to downloading this game, I wasn't really expecting much. Maybe because I didn't really hear too much of the game and it wasn't hyped to the gills. What greeted me when I started playing was more than a pleasant surprise, it was a bit of a shocker. I'm going to cut to the chase here and proclaim this game is kickass. As in it's a whole LOT of fun. It's strictly a multiplayer affair here with four different classes ( or professions as the game calls them ) to choose from and a fantastic reliance on teamwork that if adhered to, will reward team centric players with plenty of victories over their opponents. Lets run through the professions real quick.
1. The Blaster
The Blaster profession wields devastating short range firepower with his double barreled shotgun but is ineffective at long range. Since he carries that shotgun he's extremely effective up close and personal. You see a Blaster in the distance you shoot that cur before he gets closer or you are going down with one shot to the face. Every class has a special attack and his is throwing a pack of lit dynamite sticks, the western version of the hand grenade. Throw some dynamite on some unsuspecting cowboys in a group and watch them go boom. Last but not least, The Blaster radiates the Armor synergy effect. Translation: if he is next to you or other teammates they get a boost in the armor department and can take more hits.
2. The Deputy
An expert at delivering high volumes of accurate fire, the deputy is deadliest at medium to long range where he can make good use of his repeater carbine.- Since he carries that repeater carbine, he's extremely effective at medium to long range. He's a beast at picking people off in that sweet medium spot range of not too close not to far. My personal favorite class. His special is a Tagging trait where he can tag enemies as targets, providing valuable recon and support for his posse. The Deputy radiates the Damage synergy. Translation: if he is next to you or other teammates they get a boost in the damage department and inflict more pain to their chosen foes.
3. The Gunslinger
The Gunslinger’s speed loading large caliber revolver is most effective at close to medium range. He is proficient in fanning, a shooting technique that increases rate of fire at the cost of reduced accuracy. If you ever saw any Sergio Leone spaghetti western you know what this is all about. Hitting the hammer of your revolver in a bad ass fast motion. Trust me the effect in the game emulates that in true glorious fashion. Like the Blaster profession, The Gunslinger is dangerous up close due to the unloading of many bullets in your vicinity. Hell he's dangerous in medium range too. With his a versatile heavy revolver, remarkable rate of fire due to his fanning technique and overall badassness ( is that a word? ) he seemed like a personal favorite of many online. The Gunslinger radiates the Accuracy synergy effect. Translation: if he is next to you or other teammates they get a boost in the Accuracy department and find that their shots hit closer to home than ever before.
4. The Trapper
Last but not least is The Trapper. Armed with a powerful hunting rifle, the Trapper is a master of long range sniping. Like picking fools from faraway? Look no further than this here profession. Being the class with the longest range and highest damage in the game is pretty damn cool. Combine that with her specialty, that of setting bear traps to immobilize enemies and you have a one two punch combination that is rewarding. Example: before you there is a trail that you know your enemies will traverse to get their destination. You politely place some bear traps, which don't kill people, merely holds them in place for a bit, wait for them to get snared and them politely, always politely, aim on their noggin and blow their brains out. The Trapper radiates the Criticals synergy effect. Translation: if he is next to you or other teammates they get a boost in the Critical shots department and find that their critical shots become plentiful.
I've mentioned the professions/classes and if you have seen the screen shots of the game you'll notice that the game is pretty cool looking. You'll also notice that it bears a striking resemblance to Team Fortress 2.
Guess what? It pretty much plays like it too. This game IS Team Fortress 2
, just with cowboys folks. And guess what? I LOVE it. The online is superb with zero lag. It has six huge friggin' maps to choose from built for getting your tussle on. Example of the map Prospector's Peak below.
The six game modes ( as well as a practice mode ) in the game are:
Which is what it sounds like. A race to conquer control zones in sequence. One gang advances through zones A to E while the other gang advances in reverse order, from E to A. Conquering a zone unlocks the next zone in sequence. To conquer a zone, clear it of enemy presence and stay in the zone until your gang flag is completely raised. Next up is...
The objective in greed is to carry as many gold sacks to your team drop off zone as possible. A gold sack is spawned on the map and both teams struggle to bring the sack to their respective drop off zone. If a team is successful in bringing the gold to their zone they are rewarded a point and a new sack spawns at the sack spawn zone. Up next is...
The attacking team must blow up the objective/objectives using powderkegs which can be found throughout the map. The defending team tries to stop them. Be careful while carrying a keg, as it can easily blow up in your face – when the sparks start to fly, get rid of the keg as soon as you can! Powder keg is played in two rounds with each side alternating as attacker and defender. Then its ...
In robbery the players are divided into an attacking gang and a defending gang. The attackers are out to steal sacks of gold from the defenders. The defending gang must protect their gold at all costs. To reach the gold, the attacking gang is required to blow their way through using powder kegs. A Robbery match is played in two turns with each side alternating as attacker and defender.
It also has Shootout
which is basic deathmatch mode and one of my favorite the co op mode where two players will play a match of Greed
getting sacks of gold with each other against waves upon waves of enemy AI that gets increasingly more and more insane in difficulty. With only one life, so its all about covering each others asses. I played this mode with a certain Dtoider practically for hours.
You get all this for $14.99. For the PS3, 360 and PC via Steam. Seriously ya'll, this is a no brainer purchase. Get this shit now. Oh and get this, on the PS3 side of things the voice chat is flawless. Say what? ( Capcom pay attention to that ) Seriously surprising fun game and if you couldn't guess by my excitement of this game, it will be featured on the next PS3 Friday Night Fights
. Any tough hombres out there want to throw down with me? Or are you going to stand there and bleed?
Almost forgot to mention, yes you can shoot the hats off of people's heads. Hell YES.