It's late on a Saturday night, I am sitting here wearing a strange hat, green tights and posturing round the room like Lord Flash Heart from Blackadder, nope this is not a strange fetish of mine, but I am pretending to be Robin Hood. Join me as I play through the classic PC game Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood.
This title dates back to 2002 and was released on PC and Mac OS X computers, designed by Spellbound Studios / Strategy First, it will be to no surprise that it has a lot in common with the Desperados and Commando’s series, with Desperados also being developed by Spellbound Studios.
Robin Hood: The Legend Of Sherwood, is an isometric strategy game that was a very popular format/genre in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, this consists moving you characters or group of characters around a pre-rendered background from an isometric viewpoint, 90% of the gameplay consists of eliminating guards whilst remaining undetected and reaching the end of the level from a start point. Occasionally you will be tasked with finding an item along the way, or talking to a specific character to get some information.
What makes Robin Hood stand out in comparison with other similar titles is the story line. The basic premise is the Robin returning from the Crusades, arrives in Lincoln to find his inheritance has been stolen by the Sherriff of Nottingham, across the rest of the game Robin must gather together his merry men and find £100,000 to pay the ransom of the King and defeat the Sherriff of Nottingham. This all takes places across the difference levels of the game, each level depicting different scenes of the story, from sneaking into a castle to talk with a trusted advisor to trying to free your merry men from execution, rescuing Maid Marian, and all the time picking up gold and loot.
As stated previously the basic premise of the game is to lead Robin Hood and his men around a map and stealthily kill enemy guards and avoid detection whilst completing a specified task. Now, this is not as easy as it sounds, the guards can be alerted to your presence by sight or by coming across the bodies of a fallen comrade that you have dispatched. The AI is very unforgiving and can spot you from a mile away, you often find yourself being outnumbered by the guards and dying frequently, so saving often is a necessity. You can give gold to beggars in return for information on guard’s locations and general tips on how to complete your mission. There is also villagers littered throughout the map going about their daily business, some of these will offer to help you, or go running to the nearest guard to alert them of your presence.
The graphics in Robin Hood a very impressive I must admit, the background and scenery is wonderfully detailed and the character animations are well animated, from fighting scenes to climbing up vine walls. What I found most impressive is when you enter a building and the walls are removed, everything seems painstaking drawn from flickering candles, roaring fires, leftover food on tables and armour on racks, it all looks stunning.
Robin Hood: The Legend Of Sherwood (Gameplay Video)
In general Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood is a well-designed isometric strategy game, with great graphics and a good story line to back it up. Enemy AI can be merciless at times, and you may find the difficulty level frustrating at times, but there is always something there that wants you to perceiver and see the next level and progress the story.
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