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Strategy First Signs 'Robin Hood - The Legend Of Sherwood'

by Rainier on July 23, 2002 @ 6:16 p.m. PDT

Robin Hood, a new game of tactics and action, thrusts players into an amazing and realistic medieval environment where they are hauled from the depths of Sherwood Forest to the ramparts of Nottingham Castle.
The legend of Sherwood.

England, late 12th century. King Richard the Lionhearted, is back from the Crusades, and has been taken prisoner at Durensteien Castle in Austria. His chances of escaping are slim; his ransom, exorbitant. In his absence, his brother, Prince John, has taken over the throne with the help of some powerful Norman barons. Extortion, racketeering, taxation of all sorts, and the proclamation of unjust laws have become par for the course. The people of England are bending to the will of these unscrupulous individuals. But North of Nottingham, in the heart of Sherwood Forest, one man refuses to give in to the Normans. This rebel, an outstanding archer, calls himself Robin Hood.

In one of the most exciting PC games of the year, players are immersed into the magical world of Robin Hood. As Robin Hood, players are sworn to return the throne to King Richard. To do this, they must collect enough gold to pay the King’s ransom and chase Prince John from the Kingdom.

There are over 40 separate missions of three different types;

  • Robbery and Infiltration: here players must find their way into enemy castles in order to seize riches amassed by the Normans on the backs of the poor; free hostages; attend secret meetings; or prevent the marriage of Marian to the despicable Guy of Guisbourne.
  • Castle Attack: here players must help the Saxons to conquer an enemy-occupied castle. They must weaken strategic Norman posts in order to make an invasion by the Saxon army possible.
  • Ambush: a smaller mission in Sherwood in which players must stop the tax collector’s convoy by trapping and attacking its escort or weaken enemy troops on their way to sieges.

Before every mission, players select five team members on the basis of their individual abilities. To successfully complete the operation, players must rely on their skill as tacticians and utilize the competencies of each of their companions, without getting them captured or killed.

The simple and highly intuitive interface enables players to easily coordinate the actions of all five of the characters. For example, while Friar Tuck is taking down a guard, Stutely is putting the final touches on the trap he is setting, and Robin is crawling between two bushes, positioning himself for the arrival of the tax collector’s carriage.

At any point, players may choose to turn on the "view cone" or "detection cone" displayed for only one enemy at a time that enables them to determine their field of vision. The system is coupled with a set of small icons that are displayed above the heads of all enemies appearing in a scene and symbolizes their mood: exclamation points for alarm, question marks for worry, storm cloud for annoyance, etc. In addition, the color of the symbols represents the intensity of the emotion: a red exclamation point indicates a maximum state of alarm.

There is no imposed linear order for the missions. Players have a choice of several missions of different kinds. They can proceed as they wish, even favoring certain types of missions over others if they so desire.

Scenarios involve all of the most memorable faces of the Robin Hood legend: Maid Marian, Little John, Friar Tuck, and others. As players move through the story line, they recruit new companions, each with their own special talents. For example, when a player has saved Maid Marian, she joins the ranks of the rebels.

More than nine places have been modeled: Sherwood Forest, Nottingham Castle, Lincoln, York, Leicester, Derby and 3 forest intersections. Each of them offers one or several different atmospheres: day, night or fog. The ability to interact with the environment is also highly advanced. Players can open doors, enter buildings, go upstairs, leap onto ramparts, cling to vines, set off traps, lower drawbridges, and so on.

From castle dungeons to York Cathedral, all decors have been extensively researched in order to recreate an authentic medieval atmosphere and ensure an impressive level of detail and an unparalleled feeling of realism.

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