This is a competitive multiplayer focused experience that’s considered a PVPVE setup. That means you’ll be in a squad of players facing off against another while a group of NPCs is caught in the middle. It’s a fairly straight forward concept when it comes to your goals. You’re aiming to find the sheriff; steal his key, take your loot and then exfiltrate.
That’s the entirety of what the game offers, and you’re either enjoying that loop or this won’t be for you. I myself found it to be rather fun, or at least I was into that core gameplay loop. With that, I did find the content to be somewhat minimal. As mentioned this is very focused in what it’s providing, which does make sense since multiplayer only games tend to get a bit bloated at launch in what they try to offer.
This is just the single mode of combat, with the side options to play as a team against the AI if you don’t want to take on others quite yet. You do also get a bit of a headquarters area to practice your skills, get better cosmetics and to equip perks. I do want to note that I didn’t see any sort of microtransactions, the cosmetics were earned by improving your home base and then purchasing them with coins from your purse.
See, at the end of each match you’ve earned gold that can either go towards base improvement or getting some fancier stuff to use. It’s an interesting system, giving you something to work towards. That really summarizes the general experience though as you’re going in, fighting and then leaving to improve stuff so you can repeat the cycle. Like I said, it’ll either be something you enjoy or not really for you I suppose.
There are four classes available to play including The Ranger; Hunter, Brawler or Mystic. Each has their own special weapon, and abilies. They balance each other out decently well, depending on the mix on teams. I found myself using the Ranger which was great for distance but any sort of close based combat usually didn’t end well.
There are situations where a team of the same might really cause some brawling madness, but matches I played seemed to have a fine enough balance setup to them which was appreciated. During matches you’ll start by spawning together on the outskirts of the area. That may be marshes or perhaps a small town. The levels typically feature a large scale castle, with a pile of NPC knights and archers surrounding the area.
You can dispose of them fairly simple using stealth, or distance shots if you happen to be the archer class like I am. You’ll work your way through the area searching for the sheriff and you’ll need to grab his key. It’ll take some real stealth though to do so, as this sheriff cannot be killed and only downed. This is where the fun PVE element comes in as you can use the guards to your advantage. Being hunted by an enemy foe? Perhaps try running by guards and throwing them into the mix.
There are also many situations where I’ve baited enemies towards the sheriff since that character instakills them which is satisfying. If you do manage to get the key you’ll need to find the vault and then grab that loot. This is where things take a Hunt Showdown inspired setup since you’ll need to escape with that treasure which takes time. Once you’ve reached an exit you also need to winch the loot out and the enemy team could take over to win at any point.
It really is a wild time once you get to the point of escaping as it could go in any direction from there. When it comes to the visual elements I enjoyed the murky gritty aesthetic. On Xbox Series X it featured ray tracing which was subtle in implementation yet appreciated. It wasn’t necessarily the most groundbreaking game in terms of the environment, but they were really great to look at. Some rather insane looking castles and smaller towns.
It had a satisfying style that I enjoyed and it always felt large in scale. You might even find some hidden secrets if you continue looking around. With that, there were only five maps present but they feel spacious enough for replay value. There’s also a planned set of seasons to support the game which is a good sign for future content. I did also want to mention that this has crossplay support, making matches fairly easy to come by for matchmaking. I didn’t notice any skill gap in that regard, and you can also join in progress as well.
Hood: Outlaws & Legends has a fairly enjoy core gameplay loop that kept me entertained as I fought for loot and glory, but the scope is limited and the premise won’t be for everyone. I did find this to be a rather entertaining experience and I could see a lot of strategy being deployed over time as everyone familiarizes themselves with the mechanics.
It seems somewhat minimal in terms of content, but that may also be a smart tactic since so many smaller multiplayer only games attempt to do too much. If they can provide a well set loop of gameplay then that may be attractive to plays. Take Rainbow Six Siege for example, the core multiplayer battle there is what continues to entice players to enjoy the experience.
I think this is a decently well polished mid tier sort of multiplayer game. I’m actually quite surprised it didn’t launch on Xbox Game Pass, would have been well received on that service I imagine. Whatever the case, I enjoyed what this had to offer as it’s a very distinct multiplayer experience.
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Hood: Outlaws & Legends Review on Xbox Series X
Review Code Provided by Sandbox Strat