|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Fatshark||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Paradox Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 8, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-20||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
One of the best aspects of Lead and Gold are the varied map types. From frontier army forts and active gold claim operations to abandoned towns and pioneer camps, Lead and Gold offers players a lot of unique settings within which they can play. Every map was carefully crafted to provide gamers with nooks and crannies, open sections, high ground, cover, etc. Each map is definitely tailored to specific game types, so the developers went ahead and limited the map selection depending on which game type you enter. While this may dismay some people who don't like to have their choices curtailed, I've got a feeling the devs know best in this case, as the map selections they have made are appropriate, facilitating the fun.
The game is still in its infancy, however. As such, during off hours, expect only a handful of people in games. This is unfortunate, because the game is certainly at its best when there are a lot of different classes running about, supporting each other. Even so, teams of two still translates into a lot of fun, as the run-and-gun, frantic action and smart game types keep things entertaining despite the lack of participants. Also, we never experienced any lag or connection drops whatsoever; although, we never got into a fully populated game, so, as Lead and Gold becomes more popular, such issues could crop up.
Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is surprisingly sharp in terms of presentation. The graphics are clean, the animations are smooth, and the environments are detailed. Also, the background menu music themes are appropriate for the setting, and the sound effects set off the fire fights really well - I particularly enjoyed the sounds of the firearms. Finally, running through the environments with WASD and taking out fools with left and right mouse clicks is second nature for any PC gamer. Despite the quality control scheme, if you are more of a console gamer, you might want to hold off awhile, as Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West is set for release on the PS3 and Xbox 360 later this year.
Without a doubt, the game's $14.99 price tag is its best feature. In other words, there's an overwhelming chance you already own a PC shooter with a multiplayer component that is more rewarding. However, the varied game types, excellent maps, straightforward game mechanics, and fun setting mean you shouldn't hesitate in picking this one up.
CCC Editor / News Director