No Diamonds or Pearls: Lead & Gold

By Alec Meer on March 19th, 2010 at 10:31 pm.

Stop looking at that weird thing I’m doing with my finger and my lip in the video below, and harken to this instead. We last wrote about multiplayer cowboy shooter (a subgenre that must henceforth be known as Multiboy) Lead & Gold in October. Seeing as the rootin’, tootin’ thing’s now mere weeks from release, and that you can currently access the beta if you pre-order, let’s have another look-see.

I suspect it’s trying to be a little bit TF2, at least in the marketing – the below (meet ) The Trapper video will be followed by The Blaster, The Deputy, The Goat-Fluffer and The Gunslinger. They’re due soon, but here’s the first. SHE’S A LADY AND EVERYTHING.

The Synergy thinger is supposed to be pretty key. The idea is you work alongside your team, rather than the traditional totally ignore them and go look for someone to shoot approach, and doing so means y’all get buffed up. For instance, hanging around a Trapper will boost your chance to score critical hits.

For more on that, and the other classes, here’s Lead Programmer Joakim Wahlstrom talking through the game’s main bits. Man, I really hope Joakim is pronounced ‘Whacking’. That always pleases me.

Looks like there’s a spot of Enemy Territory in there too, given what appears to be a per-match unlock system.

So yeah, Lead & Gold. A quick squint at the RPS inbox reveals we’ve been invited onto the beta, so it’s quite possible we’ll have some first-hand thoughts before launch. But if your interest in this Multiboy (it’ll catch on) is sufficiently piqued already, you can preorder it on Steam for a 10% discount and immediate beta access. Otherwise, the game launches on April 8.

It’s very cheap – £10/$15 – even before the discount, so I dunno if that’s to reflect the low number of maps (6) and classes (4), cos it’s a wee bit low-budget or just cos Paradox are nice. Anyone playing? Let us know what it’s like.

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59 Comments »

  1. DMcCool says:

    Looks rather..third person to me. I can’t really get behind third person action games unless they are something really quite special, sadly.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      I feel the same. I think it is because you can see just how bad the player character animation is.

    • Vinraith says:

      I’ve never understood what taking up a sizable chunk of my viewing space with the back of my character was supposed to accomplish. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but I can’t think of a single instance where I was glad a shooter was in “follow-cam” third person instead of first.

    • Thants says:

      You never played Max Payne?

    • DMcCool says:

      You never played Max Payne?

      That’d be the “really something quite special” disclaimer coming in. Third person is good for watching cool shit happen, but when it comes to competitive actiony gaming I like to feel I’m playing as me, not watching someone..kill some other people.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Thants

      Fair point, but it’s kind of the exception that proves the rule. Max Payne was at least as much about movement as shooting, and obviously something that involves a lot of jumping, diving, and dodging benefits from a third person perspective so you can get a clear sense of where your character is, physically. It seems like, in a lot of third person shooters, that advantage of the perspective is not utilized, and in those cases I can’t understand what the loss of a portion of the screen and better FOV is gaining me.

    • noom says:

      My current replaing of Wizardry 8 leaves me saddened that there are not more games played from the first-person perspective of 8 people. I like looking through the eyes of 8 people :(

    • JuJuCam says:

      When Third Person is done right, you see more, not less. I find it impossible to play driving games in cockpit view for this reason. Granted, the whole aiming and shooting thing is easier in first person, but I’ve often been glad to have third person mode.

      I think there’s also a psychological element for me, where I like to see my player character perform the things I ask of them. Ironically, I sometimes feel alienated from the PC when I see through their eyes, particularly when long sequences of gameplay cut away to cutscenes shown in cinematic third person, and I’m thinking “oh here comes the stand-in actor to deliver some lines”.

    • Vandelay says:

      Max Payne is the game I always bring up when people bad mouth third person games, or say third person is only for consoles. It is also the game I raise as a perfect example of how you should do third person.

      This game doesn’t seem to do so well on the rules that everyone should have learned playing Max Payne. Firstly, they just completely ignore the “keep the character in the centre of the screen” rule. I just can’t figure out why games insist on keeping the character to the side of the screen nowadays, when it is clearly quite disorienting. I expect it has something to do with obscuring the view of the player, but if you position the camera correctly in the first place it isn’t a problem.

      The other rule set out by Max Payne often ignored by games is “the player controls the character NOT the camera.” In the vast majority of third person games, turning the mouse turns the camera, whilst the on-screen character remains facing the original direction. It is not until you make the character move forward does he turn to face the direction the camera is now in, which is usually accompanied by the even more infuriating run round to the direction, rather than the more straightforward and simple turn on the spot. This just leads to things getting disorienting and the character generally ends up running into things and just not going where you want him to go (currently playing GTA4 and finding it fails in pretty much every regard when it comes to this, along with a camera that won’t stay where I want it too whilst driving and a cover system that only pins you to the surface you want to hide behind 50% of the time.)

      The gameplay video made it look like this last problem is present, but would have to play it to see how much it actually effects the game. At the same time, I don’t really see why this game is in third person to begin with. It looks like it would play much better in a first person view.

      Bar that minor quibble, I think this looks like it could be good fun and the price tag is certainly nice. I really like the idea of giving each class a buffing ability, which will hopefully really encourage teamwork. Then again, I’m not too sure whether teamwork seems that important. It seems to be more of the sticking close together variety, rather than actually coordinating an attack and using classes unique abilities in particular circumstances. Can’t really tell this from just the single character video though, so hopefully there will be more unique abilities still to come.

    • DMcCool says:

      I actually dislike third-person games on, um, philosophical grounds to be honest. Third person can indeed make it much easier to play, but so would making all the walls see-through or taking away the enemys’ guns. First person is definately more awkard and has its own problems but the two viewpoints fundementally change how the game is percieved (for me anyway). “Immersion” in a sense is only possible in one. The paranoid times I’ve spent as the last man on my team stalking around a counterstrike map just would’ve have been the same if I was just watching my character stalk about those corridors in fear of his life. Max Payne, is, effectively, about doing the stunts you just saw in The Matrix. Max is like a toy that can do all the fun stunts we’ve seen in action films, the combat different beast altogether (I fucking love Max Payne btw).

      Not that any of this is really relevant to the quality of THIS game, if it was I’d be complaining this game wasn’t in the genre I like. Which is silly. I was just using the third-personyness of this game as an excuse to talk about perspectives themselves.

    • Toeofdoom says:

      There’s definitely an advantage to being third person: You’ll never forget what team you’re on. Ever. If you’ve played much of TF2 at all, you’ll know how much of a problem that can be. A lesser point is remembering what class you are, which is more of a problem in left 4 dead versus (smoker hands vs hunter hands… look pretty similar)

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Interestingly, I was having this conversation the other day. I tend to find any game which requires you to identify with your character, particularly RPGs like mass effect or dragon age, work so much better in 3D, as you develop a bond with the person you play onscreen. In FPSeses I don’t find I actually care about my character so much as all I really see of him is the black deathcock I’m carrying. I really get that with HL2 and portal, I just don’t give much of a shit about my mute. Not that that stops me loving them as good games, just not as stories in the same way.

      There are, of course, exceptions, but the only one I can think of is JC Denton.

    • Thants says:

      I thought it worked well in Dead Space.

    • Vinraith says:

      @DMcCool

      I agree completely. 3rd person games, to me, invariably come off as distant and impersonal. I’m watching a character on a screen do stuff, I’m not that character and I’m not in that world. First person games are fundamentally immersive in a way a third person game can simply never be, as a result. That doesn’t mean third person games can’t be fun, as you say, but it does limit my level of investment and involvement in them.

    • Tei says:

      Is a fad. and is what the console kids like. First Person looks dated.

    • Chris says:

      3rd person? MDK FTW! (yes I am that old). The music and comedy are still pretty much unsurpassed, even if the gfx are a little chunky – plus, it still runs under XP.

    • JuJuCam says:

      I think my issue is that there’s always a level of disconnect for me when I’m playing a character that invariably amounts to a gun-toting mass-murderer. In general I prefer to think to myself “now I’ll send my guy round the corner and have him shoot the next guy in the head” rather than “now I’m gonna go round the corner and shoot the next guy in the head”.

      In any case it’s not a big deal and if a game has an option either way (which is sadly rare) my choice is fairly inconsistent. I play Mount and Blade almost exclusively in first person just because I find targeting is much easier (and, yes, there’s a certain sadistic joy in charging a line of infantry and thinking you can see the terror in their eyes as they look up at you). And I’d agree that multiplayer competitive shooters should be in first person and I’m actually interested in how this particular game goes come review time in regards to that. Otherwise it’s like the inverted Y axis issue for me – I know what setting works for me when I play with it and it feels right.

  2. Shalrath says:

    Hot damn, this looks really interesting…

  3. Stupid Fat Hobbit says:

    Well, I just went from “never heard of it” to “preordered” in the space of about five minutes. I probably wouldn’t have if it had been any more expensive; what with BFBC2 and (as always) TF2, I don’t really need another team-based shooter. But it looks interesting, and at that price, hard to say no.

  4. haircute says:

    Well Hole-eeee SHIT if this don’t look like a fine piece of computerized entertainment! Hop along little doggy etc etc etc

  5. cw says:

    I like the looks of it, except the super bright red blood.

  6. Miker says:

    Is it just me or is the crosshair absolutely GINORMOUS? I understand a dynamic crosshair, but that’s just ridculous.

  7. Poltergeist says:

    It looks so nice and slick!

  8. Feste says:

    You mean don’t like watching Frodo’s but in The Hobbit?

    “Go West”

    “As you go to Bag End, Frodo’s tight little pantaloons grip his muscular body in a lovingly soft touch”

    I always wondered why in the film they removed Sam and Frodo’s first night together in Rivendell. That was the official version right?

  9. Spectre-7 says:

    Oh man, I have a completely irrational love of cowboys… pulling down the beta now.

  10. jameskond says:

    I might say it looks like Fistfull of Frags but in third person.

  11. Voskernus says:

    XP popups.
    Am I really the only one wondering why every single online game developer thinks I’m burning with excitement to waste my time and effort in a tedious mmo experience grind to keep up in their game?
    It’s nothing but a sign of contempt and a lack of faith in the intrinsic entertainment value of their work, but they’re all doing it now and players just lap it up.

    internet videogame anger

    • Voskernus says:

      Ok, apparently it’s just a per-match thing in this one (reading the whole post helps) but the point still stands for most other games coming out.

  12. Jochen Scheisse says:

    The Trapper looks positively gorgeous for a wilderness dweller who tends to avoid civilisation. Nice to see that forest people still have the time for body hygiene.
    On a less light note, I find it somewhat telling that the Miner isn’t a pre-op transvestite black person and the Cowboy isn’t an Arab hermaphrodite. Typical immersion&background-uber-alles-fascism.

  13. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    Thanks for standing still, wanker varmint?

  14. KillahMate says:

    Isn’t “multiboy”, like, a flock of Gameboys?

  15. Niggles says:

    Is it cross-platform?

  16. bleeters says:

    I’m secretly hoping it features a reload system that takes several minutes whilst you painstakingly pour gunpowder down the barrel and then force down another round, or however it worked.

  17. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    I just played it for a bit, and so far it seems quite enjoyable. Might be just the thrill of the new as everyone is running around confused, not quite grasping the mechanics yet. I don’t know. The shooting feels right, and even this third-person thing with its narrow field of view is something I think I might get used to in time.

  18. Jesse says:

    What the hell?

  19. Shadowcat says:

    multiplayer cowboy shooter (a subgenre that must henceforth be known as Multiboy)

    or “Cow Player”

  20. Mistabashi says:

    The first video was pretty awful to be honest – it didn’t show anything meaningful about the game and made it look pretty bad (graphically) to boot.

    The second video got my interest though – it kind of reminds me of a third-person version of Timesplitters (although that may be down to the setting) but with some team dynamics thrown-in.

    It looks like it could be a lot of fun, a third-person team/class based action shooter could well be the game I’m missing, if it’s mechanics are deep enough and the developers are willing to do ‘the Valve thing’ for a while (eg. keep balancing/updating it as necessary) it may well go on my ‘random Steam buys’ list.

    I would like to see the devs put more ‘polish’ into the movement/animation system though, I think this game would work best if the movement system was very fluid and organic, allowing you to dodge and roll organically rather than the slightly stilted movements we see in the vid.

  21. Winterborn says:

    Not interested in the Sigourney Metallic Black Ankle Boots Jesse? (This Spam has beeen on the last few posts)

  22. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    Oh, there’s one thing that might be important to people. Currently there is no verbal in-game communication whatsoever. No chat, no voice. I don’t think it’s going to stay that way forever, but you can shoot Morse code in the meantime, right?

  23. Thants says:

    I could do without the consoley giant-circle-instead-of-crosshairs.

    • Dominic White says:

      Funny, when I saw the solid-colour circular crosshair, I thought of Quake 3, that stupid console-fad game.

      This whole comments thread is a retarded clusterfuck of trying to blame consoles for everything that PC gamers dislike, *especialy* if those things actually came from PC gaming.

  24. Evanb says:

    If it wasnt 3rd person i would be buying it right now, what is the point of covering half the screen with something you dont want to see. I await a proper competitive FPS still. Its been many years since a decent one came out, mod warefare 1 probably the most recent decent attempt.

  25. Niteowl says:

    Bought it, played it. Looks great, feel of the guns is aces, love the sound as well. Game modes are varied and interesting. Some BUTS. It’s laggy as heck online, likely due to everyone hosting listen servers. Also the lack of voice comm is kinda painful.

  26. mbp says:

    Forget multiboy and cowplayer It has to be Cow Shooter.

  27. Thormo says:

    I totally agree with you. The chat will be patched in monday or tuesday.

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/42100/

  28. Nero says:

    I wasn’t aware that is was gonna be this cheap so I bought it and after crashing at startup I found a solution (removing the gamepad :/ ) and have played a few hours now. I haven’t noticed a lot of lag (I still hate matchmaking, but server support is incoming I think) and while it feels very much like a console game (no graphical options except resolution/refresh rate and the mouse movement being a bit off) it’s still kind of enjoyable. But it aint no TF2 that’s for sure.

  29. HALF says:

    Really hard to get excited about this one because it does nothing original. Not sure if it was rushed or this was always the plan but 5vs5 with 6 maps seems abit lightweight. Sure its cheap but there is also alot better out there to spend your cash on.

    They really should have tried to innovate and bring something new to the table rather than imitate.

  30. J. Edgar Hoover says:

    They chose the third person perspective because if it were first person, you could see how horribly awful the weapon models and skins look.

    They figure if they change the perspective to third person, add motion blur and a bunch of neat lighting effects, the weapons will look top notch.

  31. heartlessgamer says:

    Looks interesting and at a price point that is enticing to give it a try. Maybe a Steam sale will convince me :P

  32. Schaulustiger says:

    Played it for a while and when you find a server without horrible lag, it’s definitely alot of fun. Player count is a bit low right now, but I guess that will change after release.

  33. Tei says:

    I don’t like it. Must try something original… and make a better port to the PC. Looks sexy, play generic. I have more fun playing QuakeWorld, and QW is free.

  34. Egon says:

    I hate the word ‘synergy’ so much. Everything is synergy this, synergy that. Overused.

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