“…the playable characters are so well made, it is all the more painful that it is so poorly implemented. They had gold in their hands here but squandered it to bronze.” | First, a question for the reader. Do you know Appeal Studio? This Belgian studio made the legendary Outcast and a lesser-known Fort Boyart game. Gangs of Sherwood falls between the two, it is a game that is not going to grab any awards. But it is an enjoyable experience with online players by your side.
Based on Robin Hood, there aren’t many like that, it managed to grab my interest right away. Especially since Appeal put its own twist on it. I go over it in our review of Gangs of Sherwood!
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!
Robin applied to be Hawkeye on The Avengers. Unfortunately, he was not good enough so he started his own game. I don’t think it will be as successful….
Things I liked!
- Four unique characters | I ask you first to look at the image below, here you can see the four available characters. I’m sure all of you have an instant favorite? From left to right we have Little John, Maid Marian, Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. A lot of love and care went into character development, from fighting moves to voice acting and visual design to story. Tuck reminds me of Xu Zhu from Dynasty Warriors, his massive weapon wrecking every enemy on screen. Each of them have a distinct way of playing and interacting. I always prefer to play with female karaters, so my favorite was quickly chosen. Maid Marian, with her swift attacks and daggers, she makes quick work of enemies. Because the playable characters are so well made, it is all the more painful that it is so poorly implemented. They had gold in their hands here but squandered it to bronze.
- Sound | Awful writing with fantastic voice-actors. I don’t remember when I played a game with such badly timed and cheesy jokes or nonsense while exploring the levels. A huge let down for me as I played enough games to know when a cast of voice-actors is above average. That is obviously not the fault of the voices so I want to cheer them up for the work they did. I can’t say anything bad about the music and the sound effects, Appeal Studio did some good work on that, I loved the music on the menu screens and while walking around Sherwood Forest.
- Visually strong | Each level has its fun visual effects. For example, you walk around a destroyed city with fire breaking out everywhere. And you enjoy beautiful forest pieces, which are full of trees and give a claustrophobic feeling. The main hub is a dark room with beautiful crown clusters where all kinds of NPCs stand to make all kinds of upgrades or purchases. The effects during battles are beautifully rendered, so you would think the overall package is there. Still, there is one visual flaw. For example, the character are beautiful at first glance but they mostly lack realistic facial expressions during cutscenes.
Sitting in the sunshine. That’s more fun than beating the boring enemies in the game.
Neither good nor bad
- Get out and about with your friends | The intention is to play cooperatively with online players. The single player option is there, but I don’t recommend it. It will honestly be quite boring. There are four different characters to pick that play completely different. Nothing groundbreaking happens here. You have a tank, healer, ranged fighter and a damage dealer. A big gameplay problem arrives quickly, those different fighting options are hardly necessary because Gangs of Sherwood is way too easy. It gives the impression that the game is designed for younger gamers but that is not the case. It has a 13+ rating, so the creators just didn’t find answers to make the game more challenging. In 2021 another Robin Hood game was released, Hood: Outlaws & Legends but the PVPvE gameplay is nothing like Gangs of Sherwood. That other game and this one are both disappointing experiences. Still, Gangs of Sherwood manages to get by in a few areas. Finding character specific areas is a nice feat of level design, the battles lack punch but the environments are very well made. The conversations that happen thanks to the game with your friends or unknown online players is something I haven’t experienced much in other cooperative games.
That skeleton has a lot of value. Everyone is fighting for it!
Things I disliked!
- Combat is much too easy | Difficulty is broken in Gangs of Sherwood. The longer you play and balance out the characters the easier it gets. You have the different characters with all their special abilities, the option to improve gear and weapons, level-specific traps that do damage and complex fighting combo’s but all of it isn’t required because the combat is peanuts. This is a game I can complete with my eyes closed! Something went wrong here during production, so much was done right but it’s all ready for the trash because one particular aspect is so underwhelming.
- The story falls flat on its face | Inspiration for Gangs of Sherwood comes from Robin Hood. An IP developers can use without paying a licensing fee. At first I was excited to see that Appeal Studios took a spin with the characters and Robin Hood plot. This quickly vanished as I started to realise that the terrible writing and story delivery had no idea what it was trying to tell the players. The opening cutscene and first accompanying gameplay piece starts strong but soon it loses all its value. To end up with a useless story, a shame with such nice characters. Each level also has some sort of medieval puppetry piece that tells a bit more about the story. Nice detail but again too little is done with it. |
63/100 ⭐| Gangs of Sherwood has all the ingredients for a gaming feast, but somehow, it ends up feeling like a banquet of disappointment sandwiches. The four characters are like those overqualified employees stuck doing the office coffee run – well-developed but not living up to their potential. It’s visually stunning, like a movie with an amazing trailer but a snooze-worthy plot. Luckily, if you gather an online gang, it’s like turning a dull dinner into a lively potluck. But as a solo player, it’s about as thrilling as being the only one at a costume party who didn’t get the memo.
Founder | Editor-in-chief | Social Media Manager
Gaming is a passion and I wanted to share my Xbox enthusiasm. That’s why I started LifeisXbox, to make sure gamers all around the world know what games they should buy or avoid. I would like to thank you for visiting my website. Your support is very welcome and I hope you stick around!