Gangs of Sherwood Review | It’s A Mixed Money Bag

66
Story
6
Gameplay
7
Visuals
7
Audio
7
Value for Money
6
Price:
$ 50
Gangs of Sherwood is a mixed bag, where each aspect seems to conflict with itself. The story’s serious tone is accompanied with “funny” banter; the gameplay is stylish, but marred with unchallenging enemies; the world and environments are gorgeous, but the character models look unpolished with missing animations; and the voice acting performances are superb, but the music is so unremarkably bland. Gangs of Sherwood excellently executes a good half of the game, but it also very poorly executes the other notable half that doesn’t allow it to be as great as it can be.

Gangs of Sherwood is a 4-player action co-op retelling the events of Robin Hood with a sci-fi twist. Read our review to see what it does good, what it does bad, and if it’s worth getting.

Gangs of Sherwood Review Overview

Gangs of Sherwood Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Checkmark Snappy and Stylish Combat
Checkmark Rich and Beautiful Environments
Checkmark The Pre-Mission Puppet Briefings
Checkmark Combat is Nauseating at Times
Checkmark Lack of Accessibility Options

Gangs of Sherwood Overall - 66/100

Gangs of Sherwood is a mixed bag, where each aspect seems to conflict with itself. The story’s serious tone is accompanied with “funny” banter; the gameplay is stylish, but marred with unchallenging enemies; the world and environments are gorgeous, but the character models look unpolished with missing animations; and the voice acting performances are superb, but the music is so unremarkably bland. Gangs of Sherwood excellently executes a good half of the game, but it also very poorly executes the other notable half that doesn’t allow it to be as great as it can be.

Gangs of Sherwood Story - 6/10

The story of Gangs of Sherwood is told through very conflicting ways. The overall narrative has very dire themes, but the characters contrast them by poking fun at some of its seriousness, leading to mixed feelings. People are dying left and right, yet the characters still share jokes with one another as someone tearfully tries to revive their loved one after an attack. The characters are great, specially Alan-a-Dale, but the tone is all over the place, and the stakes continually fluctuate from harrowing scenes to funny lighthearted gags.

Gangs of Sherwood Gameplay - 7/10

Gangs of Sherwood has very in-depth stylish combat that makes you feel very powerful, where it encourages you to utilize your entire arsenal and string together attacks to land combos. However, as you learn more skills and get more powerful, the enemies don’t, and it all leads to boring straight-forward encounters that don’t bring about much fighting creativity. The combat also gets too hard to follow at times due to the amount of enemies, as well as a missing accessibility feature to customize controls.

Gangs of Sherwood Visuals - 7/10

The environments of Gangs of Sherwood are rich and diverse, with each corner seemingly filled to the brim with intricate details easily missable due to the combat. Indoors or outdoors, the varying sceneries are sure to be breathtaking. However, the character models are in a rough state, where normal NPCs look out of place. Furthermore, during combat, the excessive visual effects (VFX), the camera constantly switching from angle to angle, and the very generous amount of screenshake present, all dampen the visual experience.

Gangs of Sherwood Audio - 7/10

Gangs of Sherwood has a lot of voice acting, they have very good performances, feeling like actual people who have chemistry talk to each other. The jester, Alan-a-Dale, shines the most, as he provides great commentary, recaps, and mission briefings all through voicing several puppets. Though having great voice acting, not much of the music stands out, as it all seemed to just be generic fight music for the background. Meanwhile, the majority of the sound effects (SFX) are very crisp, but some volumes are unbalanced, leading to very distractingly loud SFX every now and then.

Gangs of Sherwood Value for Money - 6/10

Gangs of Sherwood costs $49.99, as it could easily pass off as a high budget AAA game. However, its current state with a conflicting story, repetitive and unchallenging fights, lack of accessibility options, unremarkable music, and often-nauseating combat all drive a hard bargain. There is potential for the game to be enjoyable with co-op, where players can execute stylish combos on hordes of enemies together. On the other hand, solo players have a low ceiling that caps the experience Gangs of Sherwood has to offer.

Gangs of Sherwood Review: It’s A Mixed Money Bag

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It’s hard to make out what Gangs of Sherwood wants to be. The most striking impression it gave me was that it wanted to be a multiplayer Devil May Cry(DMC), in terms of the combo-oriented gameplay, the wisecracking protagonists, and the overall “stylish” presentation. However, it falls short by missing what made a DMC game great. It seems like it took the elements that were popular from DMC and just mashed them together into a game.

The story felt fine, with the satirical theater puppet narration from Alan-a-dale, which actually successfully immersed me into it. However, as the game progressed, there seemed to be conflicting messages being conveyed. From within missions with tragedy after tragedy and innocent death after innocent death, it felt like the game didn’t care? It gives no moments of downtime to reflect on the disasters, as the mission objectives only encourage you to get to the fight while cracking jokes and exchanging banter. In DMC, though Dante offers corny jokes and one-liners, he still has moments to breathe, reflect, and BECOME a character, transforming those jokes as how he reassures people to not be afraid. There is little to no such thing in Gangs of Sherwood, where the four heroes are supposed to be saving people, they just… fight and fight and fight and fight.

The combat system, I don’t have much negativity to say, as it’s the most fleshed out part of the game. The problem however, is that there isn’t much enemy variety and difficulty. Becoming as powerful and skilled as you can doesn’t have much reward or incentive, as most foes can be struck down by the base skills available at the start. DMC would offer the most unique enemies and difficult bosses that forced players to adapt and utilize their entire moveset. Gangs of Sherwood lacks the proper motivation to do so.

Overall, Gangs of Sherwood borrows a lot of good things and implements them very well, but their derived product conflicts with itself and becomes less than the sum of its parts.

Pros of Gangs of Sherwood

Things Gangs of Sherwood Got Right
Checkmark Snappy and Stylish Combat
Checkmark Rich and Beautiful Environments
Checkmark The Pre-Mission Puppet Briefings


Snappy and Stylish Combat

Gangs of Sherwood has great action combat, with a great variety and amount of skills and play styles across the four playable characters. The base mechanics are good too, with responsive attacking, blocking, dodging, parrying, and overall movement abilities. The battle mechanics are bolstered by the existence of the Style Meter, graciously inspired by the Devil May Cry games.

It encourages the players to utilize their entire available arsenal to stylishly defeat enemies. Almost after each major encounter, players receive a Style Rating, and the accumulated ratings are presented at the end of missions, where depending on your score, you get bonus rewards.

Rich and Beautiful Environments

Gangs of Sherwood nails its environments with gorgeously rich aesthetics. Its forests are riddled with lush green flora, while the sunlight penetrates the thick layer of leaves and illuminates the woodland creatures and structures that hide underneath. Its cities filled with medieval wood and stone architecture, mixed with metal sci-fi elements, all seamlessly fuse together as if natural.

The interior designs are no slouches either. The main hub church ruins are intricately decorated and with crumbling walls and overgrowing plants fed by the sunlight that shines through the broken ceilings. The hallways are installed with old mossy statues, old candle chandeliers, industrial pipes, and industrial gears. The insides of technological high-tech locations seem ripped straight from the industrial era, adorned with pipes, pulleys, levers, and radiators.

Gangs of Sherwood has executed its environment art direction with no flaws, as the fusion of the medieval and the sci-fi is impeccable.

The Pre-Mission Puppet Briefings

Before every mission, the jester character, Alan-a-dale, briefs the players of the backstory behind the mission. Only with a twist: through puppet theater. He hilariously and cleverly recaps or moves the story forward through his great puppeteering and narration that breathes life into the satire he wishes to portray of the antagonist faction.

Cons of Gangs of Sherwood

Things Gangs of Sherwood Can Improve
Checkmark Combat is Nauseating at Times
Checkmark Lack of Accessibility Options


Combat is Nauseating at Times

Gangs of Sherwood might have great combat, but it’s unfortunately marred by the nausea that could come with. There isn’t only one reason why it is, but rather the combination of multiple factors that make it so. First is the overabundance of screenshake from every single action in combat, whether attacking, blocking, getting hit, or dodging. Second, is the constant changes of the camera’s focus, where quickly switching between locking onto an enemy or free-aim mode, or your own melee attacks forcing the camera to abruptly follow the character.

Lastly, sometimes the camera drifts and places the character on the right side of the screen. The default is the left, with no apparent option to switch placements. However, on certain times, it does it on its own. Once you’ve discovered that it’s switched sides in the middle of battle, you have to immediately adjust to fight and dodge using it. But then, after a few seconds, it returns to its original position unprompted. This phenomenon has caused so much confusion and nausea from having to adjust focus on the character while enemies hounded after me.

Combine all of these “features” together, and you get one dizzying combat experience that negatively impacts the core of the game.

Lack of Accessibility Options

There is a clear absence of accessibility options in Gangs of Sherwood. The most basic feature, the ability to customize control binds, is not present, forcing players to adapt to the premade controls set by the developers. This is a gigantic turn-off, as players through the years have different ways to play, and restricting players to conform to certain binds is disruptive against the players’ enjoyment and experience.

There are also no options to tone down or lessen certain features such as screen shaking or VFX. These are two of the aforementioned reasons for the often nauseating gameplay, and to simply add options for these could immediately enhance the entire gaming experience.

Is Gangs of Sherwood Worth It?

It Has Potential, But No.

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Though Gangs of Sherwood has some enjoyment in it, it’s currently still in a rough state with many great and exceptional things, but also terrible and unpolished messes. Playing solo will prove to be absolutely boring, but a great time could be had with a full party meandering through the campaign and stylishly defeating hordes of enemies.

Even as you get stronger and better at fighting, the combat gets repetitive through its enemies, and your rise in skill is barely rewarded besides “being able to do cool stuff.”

If the premise of a Robin Hood game where the best character is a jester interests you and three other friends, then by all means Gangs of Sherwood is recommended. If you’re a solo player who wants a great action-combat experience, this might not be for you.


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$39.99

Gangs of Sherwood Overview & Premise

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Rebel against the Sheriff of Nottingham and fight through its armies with your allies by your side. Follow Robin of Locksley, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, and Little John as they work together to steal and sabotage the rich to avenge and give back to the poor.

Play solo or co-op in up to 4 in a party, and take on an exhilarating campaign based on the tales of Robin Hood.

Gangs of Sherwood FAQ

Who Are the Playable Characters in Gangs of Sherwood?

The four playable characters are:
 ● Robin of Locksley, who uses a bow
 ● Maid Marian, who uses swords and daggers
 ● Friar Tuck, who uses a giant mace
 ● Little John, who uses his fists

Does Gangs of Sherwood Have Crossplay or Cross-Progression?

Unfortunately, the answer is no for both, as there are no plans to connect different platforms together, meaning friends who are looking to play together must make sure to purchase on the same platforms.

Gangs of Sherwood Product Information

_GAME_TITLE  Banner
Title GANGS OF SHERWOOD
Release Date November 30, 2023
Developer Appeal Studios
Publisher Nacon
Supported Platforms PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Action, Co-op, PvE
Number of Players Multiplayer (1-4)
ESRB Rating PEGI 16
Official Website Gangs of Sherwood Official Website
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