Sacred 2 proved to pretty popular when it was released in 2009, dungeon crawling, good combat, and you were going to get 25 to 30 hours game time too, result. Deep Silver took over the license and a new developer came in, how would this affect the series? Let’s find out…
The first big change you’ll notice is the is very much a cut back top down RPG, there are lots of locations to visit, but there are barely any pickups, no shops to buy cool weapons from and it all feels very limited . You can play as one of four legendary characters complete with their own abilities (a fifth character is available as DLC). I started things off with Marak, a warrior who fights at close range with a two handed weapon. Each character has heavy and light abilities that can be upgraded between levels. For example Marak can smash his way through enemies but also execute a powerful ground stomp that can wipe out an immediate area. The combat system is fairly intuitive and once you’ll get yourself into a rhythm with a character you’ll end up using that throughout the game. The other three characters, Vajra the Khukuri Archer, Claire the Seraphim Paladin & Alithea the Ancarian Lancer has different skills sets such as speed and agility or long range attacks. Each of the characters shares similar abilities, dodging, blocking, executions and restoration.
You’ll need to use all the skills if you are going to get through the game, there are a good range of enemies, most can be dealt with easily and the odd character has shields which need breaking down first, although they are never difficult to defeat sometimes the sheer number of enemies that swarm make things more awkward. Bosses can be tough, although they follow quite a rigid pattern so once you have figured that out you’ll have a greater chance of defeating them. They also tend to be surrounded by quite a few minions which adds to difficulty slightly as you can feel a bit overwhelmed at times. One thing that really doesn’t help is the checkpoint system, which will send you back much further than I would have liked, especially when you are taking bosses and not doing so well! When you do finally defeat the boss you’ll be showered with gold, which can be used to buy potions and make insignificant upgrades to your weapons.
One of the nice ideas in the game for you use are weapons spirits, characters that you can equip that either grant bonuses or handicaps on to the characters. One example is the Vampire, they grant health regeneration every time you hit an enemy, but health orbs dropped in combat are only 50% effective, the only problem is that they show up at random times and you don’t always notice the effect on your character, which is a shame because it’s actually quite cool feature but not very well implemented.
They are 15 stages to play through as well as side missions, if you prefer you can skip ahead to whichever level you prefer, though be warned you’ll find those levels more difficult. Thankfully the levels do looks really nice, there are lots of vibrant colours on display and when you combine that with the 3D feel it’s a bit of treat on your eyes, it’s just a shame there isn’t room for a bit of exploration. The Xbox 360 does a good job of holding up when there are plenty of enemies on screen too.
There is a story going on in there but I quickly lost interest, the game is based in Ancaria and your enemy is the Ashen Empire and they are after an artefact known as the Heart of Ancaria, it’s your job to stop them. Part of the reason I lost interest was due to the ‘humour’ in the game. Marak talks with a thick African accent and every joke seems to revolve around him flirting, it wasn’t funny at the start and it was funny seven hours later to be honest.
As ever, gaming is more fun when you do it with friends; Sacred 3 has a nifty 4 player co-op that allows you to drop in and out when you feel like it. The game become more fun as a result but have extra pairs of hands really only results in taking down the enemies more quickly. There are no special moves introduced apart from being able to distract larger enemies while your pals do the dirty work.
Sacred 3 at best is an ok game, if you can find other people with the game you will get more enjoyment out of it, but playing on your own isn’t particularly fun, the fact the game fails to let you explore and discover new weapons is a big drawback for me. As a newcomer to the series it hasn’t grabbed me at all so I can only imagine what actual fans of the series think.
MLG Rating: 4.5/10 Format: Xbox360/PS3/PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Sacred 3 by the Publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of two weeks on an Xbox 360. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.