Gangs of Sherwood Preview – Twisted Fairytale Fun

Gangs of Sherwood is a fast paced, deeply exciting game that makes progression invigorating thanks to accessible mechanics.

Gangs of Sherwood Preview

Image via Appeal Studios

Stories from our childhoods can have a fantastic impact on the type of creative ideas we form as adults – and this is likely why so many popular titles draw from classic fairytales, movies, or songs. A popular favorite for many is the tale of Robin Hood and his gang of Merry Men. While most of us likely recall Disney’s Robin Hood or any other adaption of the story, developer Appeal Studios takes this well-loved adventure and puts a delightful, modern spin on it in the upcoming co-op title Gangs of Sherwood.

Gangs of Sherwood turns Sherwood Forest and the many other iconic locations of the story into a gritty battleground, where Robin and his team are fighting to keep the people of Nottingham safe and fed. Appeal Studios has exchanged cute foxes and forest outfits of our childhood for leather armor, powerful weapons, and abilities that make combat easy to pick up and use.

Gangs of Sherwood Is a Game Anyone Can Play

Gangs of Sherwood Robin
Image via Appeal Studios

Recently, Gamepur had the opportunity to preview gameplay for Gangs of Sherwood and speak with developers from Appeal Studio. The game, which is set to release October 19, 2023, allows up to 4 players to join an exciting co-op adventure from a list of reimagined characters.

As a personal fan of Robin, I was delighted to select the roguish, ranged character with his slew of acrobatic archery abilities. I’m someone who doesn’t jump in on games like Gangs of Sherwood but was surprised to find that tutorials provided a concise and accessible way to get right into the game. Players learn all the foundational skills they need via a narrative-driven set-up chapter for the story. Then additional abilities are triggered using the base skills, making them easy to understand.

One thing Appeal Studios specifically mentioned when I asked about the gentle learning curve for the game is that they want Gangs of Sherwood to be playable by anyone at any level. They hope to encourage new players to pick up the game without the daunting task of attempting to level and meet other more seasoned players once the game releases.

Because of this, players will find themselves quickly dealing immense damage on the field as they take down enemies. For me, this made playing Gangs of Sherwood a delight, and it also saved me the embarrassment of fumbling through combat controls that generally take a decent amount of time to understand.

The World Is Dark In Gangs of Sherwood

Gangs of Sherwood Combat Abilities
Image via Appeal Studios

In our brief time with the game, it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t the Robin Hood story of our childhoods. The medieval settings have been upgraded with Steampunk-like weapons and abilities. Characters that have been portrayed as loveable, simple vagabonds have been repainted with heavy weapons and worn clothing.

The mixture of brilliant, colorful attack animations and gritty streets gives Gangs of Sherwood the same feeling as a twisted, apocalyptic street fair. Despite the darker atmosphere, snarky character dialogue, and humorous interactions throughout, the narrative keeps the game oddly lighthearted – which is impressive when you vaporize enemies with energy-based projectiles.

The short of it is that Gangs of Sherwood is brilliant fun. I became immediately wrapped up in the retelling of the classic narrative, the new qualities in the characters, and the way the world is presented to the player. It’s also impossible not to love Robin – especially when you find out one of his abilities is scooting between gaps in the walls because he is so scrappy.

Co-op Gameplay Requires Players To Balance Parties & Abilities

Gangs of Sherwood is not a game that can be completed by picking the tankiest character and bashing through the storyline or challenge levels. Through the use of a 4-player co-op system, players will coordinate with their team to pick a well-rounded team with different abilities.

As mentioned above, Robin has ranged abilities, using arrows and his graceful dexterity to deliver massive damage with carefully timed shots. He can also slip between gaps in walls while offering plenty of witty commentary throughout.

However, Friar Tuck is a bulky “barbarian” fighter with a hefty mace. He can knock down walls and launch smaller characters into the air when he jumps and lands nearby. This combination is perfect with Robin, who can kick off volleys of arrows when airborne. Because of this, players can set up a co-op team that not only offers options for problem-solving but also enhances combat.


Gangs of Sherwood is going to be a must-have for fans of quirky co-ops. The game is far too much fun to play and reminds me of the same satisfied feeling I achieved when playing Destiny 2. The unique setting, interesting combat, and engaging narrative pull players in, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the full release this fall.