When you think of Robin Hood, you’re probably more likely to imagine Mel Brooks and a group of merry men than Dark Fantasy or Game of Thrones. But Hood: Outlaws and Legends seeks to redefine that classic tale by marrying multiplayer heist action with a dark and bloody aesthetic, a combination that deeply impressed me during my hands-on session with the game. It’s unique, it’s deep, and it just might be one of the intriguing multiplayer releases of 2021. In Hood: Outlaws and Legends, you take on the role of Robin Hood and his group as they attempt to steal from the rich and give from the poor. Over the course of three PvPvE sentences, you infiltrate a dungeon, enter the vault, and attempt to escape with the treasure inside. If you’re lucky, you’ll escape without ever alerting the guards. If you are unlucky, you will have to fight to escape with your freshly stolen gold chest.
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Opposing you is not just a dungeon filled with knights, soldiers and archers, but another group of thieves trying to steal the gold for themselves. This makes the Heist an exciting race as the two teams battle the guards and each other as they try to escape with the treasure, with a combination of stealth, communication, and smart card management being the key to victory.
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This creates a new and exciting multiplayer experience, with elements like medieval melee combat not often seen in competitive multiplayer games. It clicks almost immediately as you rush with your teammates into the courtyard, stealthily assassinating opposing guards as you search for the Sheriff – a towering knight holding the key to the vault. Anyone who has played a third-person action game over the past decade will immediately feel at home in these opening moments, making Hood: Outlaws and Legends more accessible than expected given its large number of moving parts. .
Matches go very quickly, sometimes going smoothly as one team quickly and silently grabs the sheriff’s key, opens the safe, and drives the treasure away, but more often than not descending into chaos as the two teams reach out. several times along the way. at the point of extraction. Once the chest is attached to the winch, the team controlling the chest will earn gold with each successive turn of the crank until the treasure is finally removed from the battlefield. The close quarters battles raging around the extraction point make for a fierce and thrilling finale to the match, with the Sheriff stepping in to smash the heads of any hapless player who gets too close.
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It all might seem messy and complicated in theory, but in practice it turns out pretty well. Items such as opening and closing doors, controlling spawn points, and using the various shortcuts scattered around the map serve to further deepen the strategy. Once the match is over, the money earned from the Heist can be invested in purchasing new costumes and unique character perks, or building your hideout. Developer Sumo Digital promises a continuous stream of new content throughout the coming year, including a battle pass, with all gameplay-related additions, including new maps available for free. Next-gen console owners, meanwhile, will be able to take advantage of real-time ray tracing and 60 fps frame rates.
High-quality multiplayer games based on medieval combat are very rare, not least because it is extremely difficult to balance melee fighters with ranged attackers. Sumo Digital has clearly worked hard to find this balance and so far the results are extremely promising. Hood: Outlaws and Legends has the makings of a fast-paced, fun, and deep experience that perfectly blends gameplay from popular third-person action games like Assassin’s Creed with team-based multiplayer games like Payday. If it succeeds, it won’t just be the coolest Robin Hood game to date – it will be one of the best multiplayer games of 2021. We can see for ourselves when it hits PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X , PlayStation 4 and PC on May 10.
Kat Bailey is a games media veteran, most recently as the editor of USgamer. Talk games with her on Twitter at @The_Katbot and don’t miss his RPG podcast, The Ax of the Blood God.