Hood: Outlaws & Legends, the tactical heist shooter from Sumo Digital, launches tonight. There will be a lot to learn as players get their footing in this highly unusual PvPvE game. To help flatten the learning curve, this guide will walk you through the basic gameplay principles of Hood: Outlaws & Legends.
Naturally, stealth is key to pulling off a successful heist. Moving silently and staying out of enemy field of view allows you to quickly reach and capture objectives, and to pull off instant executions on AI guards standing in your way. Getting spotted by the guards puts the area you are in on lockdown, with portcullis gates closing and guards going on high alert. Worse yet, it also marks you to everyone on the enemy team, and lets them track you until you regain stealth again.
In some situations, it’s worth it to alert the guards to trap an enemy player, separate them from their squad, or draw attention to yourself and give your team some breathing room.
The big E in Hood’s PvE is the Sheriff. This imposing AI enemy is very dangerous, but players need to interact with him if they want to win. At the start of the match, he moves continuously on a fixed route marked on the map. Players who approach the Sheriff undetected can steal the vault key from him. This will notify the enemy team that the key has been taken, but it won’t automatically reveal the player who took it.
The Sheriff moves slowly, but he is completely indestructible, and instantly executes players who get too close.
Cooperating with your fellow thieves is how matches in Hood: Outlaws & Legends are won. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean moving together as one big happy family. In fact, in almost all situations, it’s best to split into two or three separate units to cover more ground quickly. This is where the game’s tagging system comes into play. Whenever any player tags a map object – like a supply box or a closed gate – their teammates see it too. This includes tagging enemy players and the Sheriff. When Robin tags anyone, their team keeps vision of the target for longer, which offers a great way to keep track of enemy players without alerting them.
If you decide to play as one of Hood: Outlaws & Legends’ tank-slash-support characters, understand that this pick comes with some responsibilities. Tooke and John are the literal carries of their team: they can carry the chest faster than other characters, so the dubious honor of extracting the win condition falls on them. John is also the only character who can open closed portcullis gates.
Hood: Outlaws & Legends has you fight other players and the guards with both ranged and melee means. Ranged combat is straightforward: make sure to keep restocked on arrows and keep clicking on heads. Melee combat uses a stamina resource and requires a more cerebral approach. If you use up your stamina without getting a kill or a knockdown, you will be in trouble.
Every character in the game can either parry or dodge – not both. Dodging lets you get out of the way and avoid melee attacks quickly, but it does not protect you from ranged attacks. Parrying can deflect both melee hits and arrows, but it has to be timed well. If timed perfectly, it knocks melee attackers to the ground, leaving them open.
It’s not a race
Every successful action in Hood: Outlaws & Legends awards XP and gold toward your final score, and sometimes the most effective strategy isn’t to rush to steal the chest. Often it can pay off to let the other team do all the work. You can spend that time scouting the map, securing favorable spawn points, and picking off guards while the other team scrambles for the main objectives. A reactive strategy like that loses out on the bonus points for finding the key and picking up the chest first, but it positions you better to win the end game.