It’s a true pleasure to see an underdog come from behind.  There are a lot of games in the world, and many of them aren’t that great.  Those ones are pretty easy to dismiss.  But occasionally one shows up that has so much potential and only misses the mark on a couple of fronts, but that’s enough to rob it of success.  It aches a bit when that happens, and all you can do is hope that they can patch the game up to where it needs to be, or fix the problems in an expansion or sequel.  Usually they don’t, of course, but when they do, it’s that much sweeter for the unlikeliness of the success.

Lead & Gold: Gangs of the Wild West was one such game, when it came out on Steam back in April.  A great theme, well handled; solid gameplay; an excellent aesthetic; some really creative ideas in terms of promoting teamwork.  But it launched without dedicated servers, and the P2P netcode was shaky enough and the community small enough that it seemed to kill all chance of its success.  To read the forums after launch was to hear the laments of many unhappy customers about how they wanted to love the game, but just couldn’t when it was so hard to find a reliable match to play.

But I wouldn’t be posting this if it didn’t have a happy ending, and indeed, in this case developer Fatshark seems to have come from behind.  Dedicated servers have been patched into the game, the recent Steam sale seems to have bolstered the community, and I had a really great time getting back into the game and playing some (very stable) matches on the much-expanded server list.

If a Western-themed team-based third person shooter sounds like your thing, you’re going to want to listen to the latest Indiecast and hear more.  If you like what you hear, $15 will get you a copy – or, of course, you can wait for another Steam sale, which there will inevitably be.  There always is.

Want to talk about it?  Come join the discussion over at Colony of Gamers.