My current home town of Leicester isn't exactly the most obvious setting for a computer game, but thanks to Desperados developers Spellbound it will soon be making its debut appearance on the PC, thanks to its proximity to a certain Sherwood Forest. Yes, Robin Hood is about to grace our beige boxes with his presence once again, this time in Robin Hood: Legend Of Sherwood.
I Shot The Sheriff
Taking on the role of the legendary English thief and rebel, players will get to swashbuckle their way around the Midlands, with settings including the towns of Leicester, Lincoln and Derby, as well as the inevitable Nottingham Castle and a field trip up to York Cathedral in the north.
It's not just a simple case of robbing the rich and giving to the poor though - Robin's aim is to gather a King's ransom (literally) to free King Richard from imprisonment in Austria, after he was snatched on his way home from the crusades. In your way stands the devious Prince John and his minions, but luckily you can count on the aid of famous figures such as Little John and Friar Tuck. As you work your way through the game's storyline, more of these merry men will join you, as well as the odd merry woman. Maid Marian, for example, will be swayed to your cause once you have rescued her (in your own particular idiom) from imminent marriage to Guy of Guisbourne.
The game should feature around 40 missions in all, and as players always have several possible excursions to choose from you won't have to wade through them all in any particular set order. Objectives vary from ambushing tax collectors and soldiers in the woodland of Sherwood to robbing the homes of nobles, freeing hostages or even carrying out full scale assaults on Norman castles to open the way for King Richard's return. The result should be a mixture of stealth, tactics and action, with players able to skulk in the bushes and sneak up on their quarry, set traps to catch out unwary guards, and pick off enemy troops from a safe distance with a bow and arrows.
It all looks more like a case of "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen" than "Robin, the hooded man", but with nicely detailed settings, promising gameplay and a classic storyline backing it all up, this is one we'll be keeping an eye on. Legend of Sherwood is due to hit shelves around the world towards the end of this year, with Wanadoo publishing the game in Europe and Strategy First handling the US market. Related Features -