Robin Hood The Legend of Sherwood
I would like to start off by saying that I really enjoyed playing and reviewing this game. It’s always fun to see what gamedevellopers can come up with, given the fact that they have a certain ‘frame’ to work within. Because Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood takes us back to the well known fairy-tale from our childhood, and we’ve all made different mental pictures the figure ‘Robin Hood’. And I know some of you have always pictured him as a handsome guy in … thights :-).
It’s nice to see that the devellopers stick quite close to the original storyline: Robin of Locksly returns from the Crusades and finds the country ruled by the malicious Prince John Lackland. With the help of the equally evil Sheriff of Nottingham, Prince John wants to avoid a ransom of 100 000 gold coins being raised for the release of his captured brother King Richard. On top of that all, Robins inheritance is confiscated by the Prince. So Robin is … well… pretty pissed off 🙂
Robin sets out for help and comes across some peasants and farmers who are being tortured by soldiers. He succeeds in freeing them and calling themselves “merry men”, they set out to steal from the rich and give to the poor whilst trying to stop Prince John from becoming King. To succeed in all this, Robin and his helpers need to succesfully complete different missions (ambushes, robbery, infiltration,…). The adventure begins !
The thing that immediately strikes you is the amazingly beautiful artwork ! A lot of work has gone into the drawing and colouring of the medieval towns, pastures and castles. And you don’t even need a state-of-the-art grapics card to enjoy the game. Some missions are played in the darkness of nighttime (complete with eerie sounds ;-), some in the typical British foggy weather and even there, the artwork is extreemly enjoyable.
One of the nice features of the gameplay is that you have the choice of killing an enemy or just “punching his lights out”. The good thing about restricting your kills is that Robin gets even more popular which means that more ‘merry men’ will join his rebellion. And that is important because, during missions, you can have those extra men working in the different so-called “work-shops” in your dwellingplace: Sherwood Forest. They manufacture the much needed arrows, collect stones and apples for diversions, train to become better swordsmen etc etc…
It’s important to carefully choose which men you take along on a mission, different characters mean different capabilities or ‘actions’ and different attributes they can use. The bowmen can tie knocked out enemies hands together so they can’t raise the alarm when they come to. A very nice touch to the gameplay are the ‘combat moves’ you can let the characters make… for instance, drawing a horizontal 8 while a character is in combat, will make him swing and swirl his weapon in all directions, striking everyone around him… including friendlies !!!. On other levels, the gameplay is pretty much a standard no-nonse ‘Real Time Strategy’ game … great fun 🙂
The sounds are nice, not excellent or out-of-the-ordinary, but they do the trick. Every character and every action has its own sounds and every mission or map has typical background noises (nighttime sounds for nighttime maps – duh ! :-). I’m afraid I did miss some good music in the background. To my disappointement I have to admit that I turned on my television and switched to a MTV clone for background music. So there is some room for improvement on that level.
In conclusion I would like to say that Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood is a very enjoyable game which will keep you amused for hours on end ! As I said, the colouring and the artwork is simply amazing, it’s a feast to look at !! I’m glad I had the chance to play (and review 🙂 this game. Perhaps you should rewrite that letter to Santa Claus 🙂