While you consider Robin Hood, you’re in all probability extra prone to think about Mel Brooks and a band of merry males than darkish fantasy or Recreation of Thrones. However Hood: Outlaws and Legends seeks to redefine this traditional story by marrying multiplayer heist motion with a grim and bloody aesthetic, a mixture that totally impressed me over the course of my hands-on session with the sport. It’s distinctive, it’s deep, and it might properly be one of many intriguing multiplayer releases of 2021.
In Hood: Outlaws and Legends, you tackle the position of Robin Hood and his band as they try to rob from the wealthy and provides to the poor. Over the course of three PvPvE phrases you infiltrate a preserve, break into the vault, and try to flee with the treasure inside. If you happen to’re fortunate, you’ll escape with out ever alerting the guards. If you happen to’re unfortunate, you’ll have to battle to flee together with your freshly stolen chest of gold.
Opposing you isn’t just a preserve stuffed with knights, troopers, and archers, however one other group of thieves attempting to steal the gold for themselves. This makes the heist an thrilling race as the 2 groups battle the guards and one another in the midst of attempting to make off with the treasure, with a mixture of stealth, communication, and good map administration being the important thing to victory.
Opposing you isn’t just a preserve stuffed with knights, troopers, and archers, however one other group of thieves attempting to steal the gold for themselves.
It makes for a recent and thrilling multiplayer expertise, one that includes components like medieval melee fight that aren’t usually seen in aggressive multiplayer video games. It clicks nearly instantly as you scurry together with your teammates by way of the courtyard, stealthily assassinating opposing guards as you seek for The Sheriff – a hulking knight holding the important thing to the vault. Anybody who has performed a third-person motion sport prior to now decade will instantly really feel at residence in these opening moments, making Hood: Outlaws and Legends extra accessible than you’d anticipate given its giant variety of shifting components.
Matches transfer in a short time, generally working easily as one staff shortly and quietly grabs the important thing from the Sheriff, opens the vault, and winches away the treasure, however as a rule devolving into chaos as the 2 groups repeatedly ambush each other on the way in which to the extraction level. As soon as the chest is connected to the winch, the staff accountable for the chest will earn gold with every successive flip of the crank till the treasure is ultimately lifted away from the battlefield. The close-quarters battles that rage across the extraction level makes for a ferocious and thrilling finale to the match, with The Sheriff popping in to smash the pinnacle of any unlucky participant who will get too shut.
If it succeeds, it will not simply be the best Robin Hood sport to this point – it is going to be among the finest multiplayer video games of 2021.
All of this may occasionally sound messy and sophisticated in idea, however in follow all of it comes collectively fairly properly. Parts like opening and shutting gates, controlling spawn factors, and using the varied shortcuts scattered all through the map serve to additional deepen the technique. When the match is over, cash earned from the heist will be invested in shopping for new costumes and distinctive character perks, or in constructing out your hideout. Developer Sumo Digital is promising a steady circulation of latest content material all through the approaching 12 months, together with a battle go, with all gameplay-related additions together with new maps being out there free of charge. Subsequent-gen console homeowners, in the meantime, will be capable of take pleasure in real-time ray tracing and 60fps framerates.
Excessive-quality multiplayer video games primarily based on medieval fight are very uncommon, not the least as a result of it’s extraordinarily laborious to steadiness melee fighters with ranged attackers. Sumo Digital has clearly labored laborious to strike that steadiness, and thus far the outcomes are extraordinarily promising. Hood: Outlaws and Legends has the makings of a quick, enjoyable and deep expertise that neatly melds the gameplay of fashionable third-person motion video games like Murderer’s Creed with team-based multiplayer video games like Payday. If it succeeds, it received’t simply be the best Robin Hood sport to this point – it is going to be among the finest multiplayer video games of 2021. We’ll be capable of see for ourselves when it arrives on PlayStation 5, Xbox Sequence X, PlayStation 4, and PC on Could 10th.
Kat Bailey is a video games media veteran, most not too long ago because the editor-in-chief of USgamer. Speak video games together with her on Twitter at @The_Katbot and do not miss her RPG podcast, The Axe of the Blood God.