Gangs of Sherwood from NACON and Appeal Studios reimagines the classic tale of Robin Hood for a new generation. Find out more in our Gangs of Sherwood review!
Gangs of Sherwood from NACON and Appeal Studios reimagines the classic tale of Robin Hood for a new generation. If one were to sum things up in a few words, the elevator pitch would go as follows: What if Robin Hood, but dystopian steampunk? Just like Lies of P took the classic story of Pinocchio and gave it a new twist, Gangs of Sherwood brings us a tale we’re all familiar with while throwing us some curveballs along the way. You can take on this adventure on your own or jump online to have a full party of four to dish out some justice, one swing at a time. Are you up for the challenge?
As you’ve probably guessed, the Sheriff of Nottingham and his offspring are up to no good. The Sheriff is using the power of the Philosopher’s Stones to greatly increase the power of his army, making sure to drown the poor with taxes as high as possible. Why work hard when you can just steal from those who can’t defend themselves? It’s up to you to save the innocent and make sure they have not only your protection but also food to put in their belly.
You can play as one of four different characters: Robin of Locksley, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, or Little John. Robin of Locksley is the best bowman in the whole country and one of the biggest defenders of the oppressed. He will make the most of his bow and arrows to create a volley attack that can quickly obliterate his opponents. Maid Marian is the Sheriff of Nottingham’s daughter, but she’s nothing like her father or her rotten family. She’s a master assassin who can quickly rush into action and slash away at unsuspecting enemies before they can realize what is going on.
Friar Tuck is a massive tank of an individual who will use his strength and his huge weapon to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents as he knocks them into a pulp. His mace can certainly pack a punch, and he’ll use his charged attacks to boost overall damage dealt per hit. When he goes into Rebel Instinct, he’ll slowly heal nearby allies while receiving a boost to his defense. The last member of the gang is Little John, a hulking man who can crush enemies with his metal fist, making him a close-range brawling expert who will combo his way to victory.
You’ll control your character with the left analog stick as you aim and look around by using the right one. Light attacks are mapped to the R1 button, while heavy attacks are set to the R2 button. You can jump with the X button and can airdash by pressing the button a second time while up in the air. Block incoming attacks with the L1 button. Use the Circle button to dodge. Press the Square button to use your grapple to traverse longer distances. At some points, you’ll be able to use a finisher attack, which is activated by pressing the R1 and R2 buttons at the same time.
Once you’ve progressed further in the game’s tale, you’ll unlock Rebel Instinct. As you attack enemies and receive damage, you’ll start to fill up the Rebel Bar. Once the segments of the bar are full, you can press up on the D-Pad to activate Rebel Instinct. You can also spend some Rebel Bars to use your abilities. One of these special abilities is the Rebel Takedown, which will allow you to take down a knocked-down enemy as long as its health is below 30% – and no, you won’t be able to use this one on bosses as it only works on smaller enemies!
For example, Robin will start with two Shards: Shining Arrow and Star Arrow. Shining Arrow is a supercharged arrow that travels at the speed of light and launches Star Arrows as it moves toward its target. Star Arrow will allow you to shoot magnetic arrows that remain in place before flying toward the direction of a Shining Arrow’s hit point, which makes for some fun combo setups. As a heads-up, you should keep an eye out for battles during which you can take advantage of higher ground so that you can start to build up Star Arrows in place to unleash all of them at an unsuspecting enemy.
Some of the gold coins that you’ll loot during each mission from defeating enemies by boosting your combos and getting a better ranking – as well as from treasure chests you find along the way – will be given to those in great need under the oppression of the Sheriff. The rest will be going to the rebellion’s cause. You can spend those gold coins to unlock additional techniques to use in combat to improve your battle rank so that you can get more gold coins to keep the cycle going. You can also purchase new equipment to boost your odds of saving the day.
Other treasure chests you’ll find will reward you with artifacts that you can equip for your character. You’ll start out with a single slot to equip artifacts but will be able to unlock additional ones by completing more and more missions. The artifacts you can find include one that has a chance to add the burn status effect to your attacks or a very useful one that can revive your character when it runs out of health. Do know that this last one will break after being used, but it’s certainly a powerful one that can make a big difference during a boss fight!
The game features a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you. It’s a long list with 43 Bronze trophies, 7 Silver trophies, and 2 Gold trophies for you to work on. There are trophies for completing each of the game’s story arcs in the Normal difficulty setting, for completing all acts with all heroes, completing all missions with more than one player, and for defeating each of the game’s bosses. You can also get trophies for pushing or throwing an enemy off a ledge, firing 100 Star Arrows as Robin, performing 25 finishers, or getting an S-Rank on any combat encounter, to name some examples.
Gangs of Sherwood reimagines the classic tale of Robin Hood for a new generation. The elevator pitch for this one would be “What if Robin Hood, but dystopian steampunk?” and it’s a premise that works most of the time. The game’s story won’t take any unexpected turns but is serviceable, and the gameplay is what you’d expect from a third-person action RPG. This is a game that takes a beloved classic story and changes things to present something that does feel fresh and fun, if a bit linear at times. Gangs of Sherwood is out on PlayStation 44 with a $49.99 price tag. You can also get the Gangs of Sherwood – Lionheart Edition for $59.99, which includes:
Gangs of Sherwood PS5
Prestige Skin Set
Lionheart Skin Set
Alan-a-Dale Alternative Skin
This Gangs of Sherwood review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by NACON.