Hood: Analysis of Outlaws and Legends

Announced last year by Focus Home Interactive and developer Sumo Newcastle, Hood: Outlaws and Legends offers an interesting spin on the traditional Robin Hood myth. This third-person action game pits two teams of four players against each other as they attempt to be the first team to escape with the treasure. Go down, steal the key from the heavily armored Sheriff, find the vault, then break free and get the treasure. With four different characters to choose from, players will have to battle not only the roaming AI in each of the five base maps, but also the other team looking to escape with the treasure. The Player vs. Player vs. Enemy aspect forms the linchpin of the entire experience and should be familiar to those with experience playing games like Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown while also mixing in a few co-op elements from Assassin’s Creed Unity. The main game mode in Hood: Outlaws and Legends is Heist, with two teams representing Robin of Locksley and Earl of Huntingdon. A training mode is also available for those who just want to fight the AI ​​State guards, either with a full team of online players or three AI opponents. The game features four unique characters all based on the classic Robin Hood story, each bringing a specific specialty to benefit the group. Robin represents the Hunter class, armed with a bow, smoke bombs, and his ultimate ability which gives him an explosive arrow. Marianne is the assassin archetype. John is the Brawler, specializing in melee attacks, opening steel gates, blocking or parrying attacks, and getting a huge damage buff. Finally, Tooke is the mystic who can heal the group and use his flail to deal massive melee damage against enemies. Unlike a game like Marvel’s Avengers, there are no restrictions on how many of the same characters players can choose. This means that teams can consist of four Robins, if desired. hunter and brawler hood outlaws and legends Upon starting the experience after running through the tutorial, players will be dropped into the Outlaw Camp. This area is the player’s personal hub where they can switch characters, practice their moves against dummy targets, and view challenges. Almost everything here has progression associated with it, upgraded by playing, earning XP, and spending gold. This, in turn, helps unlock new features, gear, and abilities while characters can unlock new perks that grant passive abilities, new cosmetic outfits, and weapons as well. Even though there are only five maps available at launch, they’re all different and large enough that players won’t walk the same path twice. The levels offer multiple routes to the objective with many optional routes such as ropes that can be shot down, capture points to provide quick respawns upon death, and even zones that are -locks when a player is detected by an enemy. Similar to Apex Legends, the game also features a thoughtful ping system that makes communication easy even if a player doesn’t want to use voice chat. Visually, the Hood looks good but probably won’t be a visual showpiece for next gen systems. However, Sumo made sure to use the updated technology by reducing load times and keeping the game close to 60 FPS with ray-tracing. For PlayStation 5 owners, they’ll get a little more next-gen bang for their buck thanks to the additional features of DualSense. The controller’s improved haptics and audio speakers help the player feel and hear the bowstring being pulled back, while depleting the stamina meter will cause the triggers to increase in resistance. Gameplay-wise, Hood: Outlaws and Legends puts a priority on stealth. The ability to eliminate enemies quickly and quietly will help get the team to the objective faster. Enemies can be killed instantly from behind, even while engaged in combat. Stealth kills have limited animations, so players will likely see the same thing over and over again. Once spotted, players will have to fight their way through the crowd and that’s where they’ll start to fall apart. Melee combat is a bit clunky, with Robin and Marianne reduced to basic light attacks, while Tooke and John get both light and heavy strikes. Even then, combat is pretty basic, with no special attacks or combos, and governed by a rapidly draining stamina meter. Once it runs out, players will need to let it refill in order to swing again or dodge. When facing an enemy team, Hood really flexes its tactical gameplay, as teams have so many options on how to approach their objectives. For example, a team can wait for the other team to do the dirty work and then strike. Although battles tend to start out slower and more methodical, things pick up quickly as various objectives are completed. Chaos usually ensues near the end, as one team tries to retrieve the gold by placing it in a basket and using a winch system to move it to safety. In this final stage, one team tries to take the gold to safety while fending off AI guards and the enemy team. The fight becomes more and more furious and tense as the meter slowly fills up, signaling the near end of the fight. The prize for the winning team is gold, which is placed on the Scales of Justice for a decision to be made. In true Robin Hood fashion, players have to decide how much they want to keep and how much they want to give back to the people. Returning awards more perks and skills, but also requires Gold to buy back to camp. When the game works as intended, there is a lot of fun to be had from it. The problem is, the game suffers from some issues that can really hinder the experience. During the early access weekend for pre-orderers, server stability was a huge issue with frequent disconnections. To make matters worse, the game’s matchmaking process is very slow in connecting players. Across multiple tests over multiple nights (even after the game’s official launch on May 10th), connecting 8 players to a lobby before starting a match took an unnecessarily long time, typically 5 minutes or longer. Ultimately, it is very inconsistent. Fortunately, crossplay is enabled by default, giving the game a larger group of players to reach. characteristic of the brawler class In addition to the server and matchmaking issues, the game has a few other problems and general quirks that hurt the overall immersion. These range from issues with AI pathfinding, where alert guards seem confused about where to go, to clipping leaves when walking on them instead of moving them around the player. There was another time when the rain and wind outside came on the roof of a castle. Hood: Outlaws and Legends offers players a fun and tense experience but is often held back by technical problems, glitches, and other minor issues. When it works as expected, Sumo Digital’s gameplay feels unique, especially compared to most online experiences. Considering there’s no narrative or single-player campaign to fall back on, the game will ultimately live and die based on its community. While many of the game’s problems aren’t game-breaking, server issues can be the Achilles heel if left unaddressed. With extensive free and premium Year 1 DLC plans already in place, Focus Home Interactive and Sumo Digital are hoping that the lure of new content and its dynamic game elements will keep players coming back. Hood: Outlaws and Legends is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Today Technology was provided the PS5 code for this review. MORE: Everything You Need to Know Before Taking Out the Hood: Outlaws and Legends

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