From the very first moment of the trailer for Gangs of Sherwood, you can tell that something is not right; Maybe it’s not Robin Hood that you know. A guard informing the Sheriff of Nottingham is seen stealing two gold coins from a beggar’s tray. But instead of picking them up like the usual man, the coins slide to his hovering palm. He is the guardian of magic.
However, this is not the strangest thing about the Gangs of Sherwood. You can’t really tell much from the short trailer, although it does show some gameplay, apparently this Robin Hood game is set in a medieval World War 1 setting. Aside from naming two random periods of English history for some absurd quiz question, I don’t understand why anyone would mention two different eras in a single sentence. And yet, the Gangs of Sherwood is in the setting of Medieval World War 1. To reduce my confusion, I will find out what exactly this means and how this co-op action game will fit into it.
First, I looked to the gods for an explanation. “We strive to create an interesting world that is truly unique and memorable for the player,” said Andrea de Stefano, game director of Gangs of Sherwood, at the Nacon Connect livestream, where the game was announced. Well, it’s definitely unique. But it’s mostly marketing fluff. However, he also explains that the game “combines a medieval setting and World War 1 technology.” That’s more interesting.
So it’s Sherwood Forest but with a rifle, right? We’re going to hit Nottingham with a biplane, yes? The gameplay trailer doesn’t seem to match Di Stefano’s ideas. A shiny longbow, a steampunk power fist, and someone is definitely using magic, purple bolts, but I don’t see much of World War I. In fact, the only thing that resembles the beginning of the 20th century is the appearance of some ruined pylons. The camera spreads over semi-medieval battlefields. I’m not sure if they are pylons (like the first pylons were built a decade after the end of the war), but the twisted metal frames are definitely not medieval. Thank you, Andrea, you are useless.
I will now explore a broader medium for other uses of this setting. A quick Google told me that The Hundred Years War (which lasted 116 years) could be the equivalent of a medieval world war, and that a medieval fortress in Cornwall was rebuilt with artillery during World War I because Britain feared a naval attack. Mainland But as far as I can tell, the second part of the media was never set in the setting of Medieval World War 1. That said, it’s unique.
If I can’t exercise exactly What Medieval World War 1 is the setting and I don’t know How Gangs of Sherwood is going to apply both periods to his game, at least I should know Of. What’s the point? Why does Robin Hood need a gun?
Unfortunately, I’ve racked my brain and I just can’t find a good reason to create this weird mashup of the era and there’s even less reason to stick Robin Hood in it. Is Med Marian a secret time traveler? Is the 20th century German Empire a problem for medieval farmers? The price of wood is rising so much that Robin can’t afford to make any more arrows and he has to invent bullets?
You’ve already added magic to the formula, isn’t that enough? For the record, I think adding magic is a great addition – most fantasies are set in medieval or pseudo-medieval times, and it would be good to include those elements in Robin Hood’s legend. Protected by Prince John Trolls? Is Little John a particularly tall dwarf? There’s a lot to work on, especially with a smart system that means giving your party more of the poor benefits. But what does World War I technology add to this?
Maybe it’s my fault. Perhaps the appeal studio has stumbled upon a gold mine and created a new genre of medieval World War 1 game that rivals will copy for generations to come. But that doesn’t seem likely. At this point, I would have preferred Disney’s classic Robin Hood animation, Fox and all-based 90-esque side scrolling platform. But it won’t be half as different.
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