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Game Info:

Lead and Gold
Developer: Fatshark
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Release date: 9 April 2010
Genre: Third-person shooter
Mode: Multiplayer
Price: $15.00

Thank you Paradox Interactive for giving us this game to review!

Lead and Gold is an online 3rd person western shooter. There\'s no background story, no singleplayer plot, you just pick a character and start shooting. You can rob a bank, go on a shooting spree or blow things up with powder kegs. There’s an offline practice mode that offers a tutorial and introduces you to the four character types and their abilities. This game reminds me of Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead in many ways. Like Left 4 Dead you can see the outlines of the other players through the buildings and walls. Teamwork is encouraged through boosts to your damage output, critical hits, accuracy and armor that are gained by remaining near your teammates.

Many of the game modes are similar to those found in Team Fortress 2. You have your typical death match mode which is called Shoot Out. The Conquest mode is like Control Point mode where you have to capture areas in sequence and each team is trying to control all of the points. Powder Keg mode is where you have to defend or blow up points of interest using powder kegs. Robbery is another attack and defend scenario where you have to defend the gold in the bank safe. Gold Fever is a single or co-op mode where you have to collect sacks of gold while fending off waves of AI bots. The last game mode is called Greed where you have to collect and drop off sacks of gold to earn points.

Highlights:

Strengths: Good graphics, Good price.
Weaknesses: 3rd person view only.
Moral Warnings: Blood and violence. Can’t disable blood.

Everyone starts the game with a clean slate. As you complete objectives or kill enemies you will earn experience points and level up. As of now levelling up doesn\'t do anything gameplay wise. Unfinished feature perhaps? I don\'t know, but maybe they\'ll patch it later. Like many games these days, there are achievements that you can earn. The developers occasionally play the game and if you shoot them, you’ll get a “Feedback” achievement. When you die you can change your re-spawn point and the type of character you are. If a teammate is downed you can revive them. You can also carry the spawn flag with you which alleviates spawn camping.

Each character type offers a different firing range, team boosting synergy effect and has a special ability. The Gun Slinger is super fast and can fire his gun quickly by fanning the hammer. He radiates the accuracy synergy effect and is good for firing at close to medium range. The Trapper is the only female character. She uses a long range high-powered rifle but also carries a weak pistol. She can lay down bear claw traps and radiates a critical synergy effect. She’s good at doing lots of damage from a distance.
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score: 80%
Game Play: 16/20
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 6/10
Controls/Interface: 4/5
Stability: 5/5

Appropriateness: 83%
Violence: 3.5/10
Sexuality: 10/10
Occult/Supernatural: 10/10
Language: 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 8/10

The Deputy is good for medium to long range attacks with a repeater carbine rifle and a pistol. He has lots of ammo and can tag enemies. His synergy effect is a damage boost. The Blaster is good at doing a lot of close up damage. They can throw dynamite and radiate armor synergy.

Lead and Gold is powered by the Diesel engine and the graphics look great. It definitely has a western feel to it. I don’t like how you’re forced into a 3rd person view, though. It seems awkward looking over a shoulder while playing a death match game. Other than that gripe, the maps are nicely detailed and the characters look fairly lifelike. I love the jump and roll animation when you jump or fall from buildings…I wish I could do that.

The sound to be quite honest is mediocre and forgettable. The gunfire and weapon sound effects are good but there is no memorable background music or taunts. The game menu has western music and when you’re playing the game there’s ambient noises like wind and church bells. The background music consists of random guitar strums and the occasional harmonica... or maybe it was a flute... like I said, it isn\'t very memorable. Unfortunately there is no voice chat support at this time.
From the appropriateness standpoint - it isn\'t very, as there’s killing and blood. The blood cannot be disabled. Like many online games you chat with others so some people can be nice and others not so much. On a lighter note, you can shoot people’s cowboy hats off.

With a price point of $15 this game is definitely reasonable, unlike certain PC games that are still at $59.99 after being out for months... There are not a whole lot of servers to choose from, but maybe that will change if they release a dedicated server package. But at least there are quite a few players right now. When I started my own server it got a few people on within seconds. There’s definitely some potential here, especially with it being available on the PS3 and Xbox360 as well. If you like westerns or team-based shooters in general, check out Lead and Gold.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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