With games like Assassin’s Creed showing off how fun it can be to take down guards and traverse the treetops, it was only a matter of time before a game like Hood: Outlaws & Legends came around. Casting a dark and gritty vibe over the legendary characters, Hood: Outlaws & Legends succeeds at implementing a unique style of multiplayer that has plenty of room to grow. The issue comes with how limited the base game is, raising the question of Hood‘s ability to sustain in the long run.
Hood: Outlaws & Legends offers four playable characters, each one a rough translation of Robin Hood and his usual companions. Marian is a crossbow-wielding hunter alongside a hooded Robin, John swings a sledgehammer and lifts gates, and Tooke converts prayers into healing magic and a fiery mace. Oddly, the game doesn’t restrict players from picking more than one of each hero, meaning that an online game can have four Robins face off against three Johns and a Marian. This is a disappointing choice, as it makes the character-specific abilities less meaningful in the long run. John is the only character that can open certain doorways, but there’s always another way around since there’s no guarantee that a team will have him in the mix.
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Hood‘s only mode at launch has two teams sneaking through five different maps to secure a treasure chest. Each round plays out fairly similarly, with only the random placement of The Sheriff changing things up. This villain is one of Hood‘s best features, a towering armored figure that feels straight out of Dead by Daylight. He destroys any player who dares to cross his path, the controller vibrates whenever he approaches, and he’s fond of dropping profanity if a player gets away. Luring the Sherriff into the path of the entire opposing team and watching them scatter can be both a great strategic move and a hilarious way to add chaos to the proceedings.
The Sheriff is the leader of The State, a third-party group of castle guardsmen that also cause trouble. Teams who fail to sneak around the map can gather a large group of soldiers tailing them as they run towards the objective, but they offer little resistance. Hood: Outlaws & Legends really feels like it could have used more factors to change up the gameplay like The Sheriff, as the loop isn’t variable enough on its own. The in-game progression, which is solely devoted to unlocking barely noticeable cosmetic rewards, doesn’t do much to solve this problem either. There’s just not enough in Outlaws & Legends to entice players in the same way as many other multiplayer staples.
If Hood: Outlaws & Legends does get expanded upon in some way, the base gameplay is solid enough to support it. Combat with each character feels swift and deadly, and ranged characters are appropriately outclassed when facing anyone with a melee specialty. Each character gets a single grenade-style item that can get them out of trouble in sticky situations. It would have been great to see more variance here as well, as adding deployable traps or noisemakers could have added more strategy to the proceedings. There is a lot of fun to be had while learning all the mechanics and maps that are here, even if it doesn’t last long enough.
The biggest problem for Hood: Outlaws & Legends is its meager content offering. There’s a solid proof of concept here, but not much else. Whether it be the character roster, the lineup of maps, or gameplay options throughout each round, there’s not enough here to capture the imagination. As it is, Hood feels like a forgotten multiplayer mode bolted onto a memorable single-player campaign. People remember Bioshock 2 and Dead Space 2 to this day, but few remember the included deathmatch suites. Without a big upgrade in the very near future, players will forget about Hood‘s similar offerings just as quickly.
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Hood: Outlaws & Legends is available now on PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4. Screen Rant was provided an Xbox Series X code for the purposes of this review.
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