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Review - Sacred 2 - Indefineably Bland


Title: Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
Publisher/Developer: CDV Software Entertainment/Ascaron 
Platforms: Windows PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: 05/11/2009
Number of players/Multiplayer: 16 in PVP 5 in PVE 2 on screen multiplayer.

Sacred 2 is a strange little title whisked in to us from a mysterious foreign land marked as ‘here be dragons’ on the world map. A land better known as Germany. While better known for beer, sausage and zany mustaches, the land of my ancestors apparently can churn out a decent game, too. Decent is all the game can seem to muster.

If you’ve played anything form the Diablo family of products than you already know how this game works more or less. It’s a dungeon crawler and unlike its many antecedents, it has failed learned many valuable lessons from the various more successful and entertaining members of the family of products.

The interface is extremely unfriendly, cumbersome and difficult to learn. It could have desperately used a complete overhaul. There is nothing user friendly about it at all. In fact, when you level up, and go to a new stat to select, it will tell you how it currently effects attack power, but not how upgrading it will, so it’s quite a crapshoot figuring out if a stat upgrade or a weapon purchase is even really a damned upgrade.

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

The skill tree is less of a tree and more of a ground cover. The skill ground cover is confusing to even set up. After playing around with it for awhile I’m not even sure how best to explain it, so I’ll simply leave it at ’slightly more pleasant than a root canal.’ However once you set it up, it’s modestly intuitive. You have three sets of keys to use, the standard 360 face buttons, or said buttons while holding RB or LB to access the subsets. Not great, but workable.

There’s some system in which you socket amulets or whatnot into your gear, but the benefits of doing so often seem minimal at best. There may have been a better way of going about it, but as the game has no real useful tutorials whatsoever, I never found it.

The games character classes are either generic, or best described as bizarre. A typical paladin type, the Seraphim, their antithesis the High Elf inquisitors… Bizarre magical dog statue people called Temple Guardians, Dryads with voodoo powers, Undead Knights and your typical mage. All fairly standard fair except the Temple Guardian, but with at least their own distinct visual style and gear selections.

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

Now one of the areas the game really shines is its visuals, the games scenery is fairly pretty. And even zoomed in close the grassy plains and sandy beaches of the game are pretty damned impressive sights. Also the gear you collect during the game becomes progressively gaudier and more stylized, making your character stand out more. But the towns all feel extremely boring visually.

One of the interesting touches was the presence of mounts in the game. Some of which are more than a little odd. The Seraphim ride Saber Tooth Tigers for some damned reason. And the Temple Guardians ride the giant wheel doodad General Grievous rode around inside of during Star Wars Episode 3. The odd thing is, when the game has an enormous instantaneous transportation grid why are mounts even necessary?

A nice touch is the ability to scrap items in your inventory for straight up gold when your bags are starting to get completely filled with all the random shit that pops out of monsters you kill. Not the first time it’s been done, but something that’d be nice to see in other RPG’s, even if it’s at a rate reduced from vendors.

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

The music is quite pleasing, with appearances by famed European band Blind Guardian to do the titles theme for the game. The battle music even has a sort of European rock/metal feel to it at times. One of the high points. Sound effects are pretty good too, but the voice acting is painfully bland.

Storyline pretty basic and bland. Apparently Elves are assholes, and keep creating big evil empires using the power of something called T-energy, which fills the land with mutants and monsters. And the angelic Seraphim race who left the land to the Elves is apparently taking offense at the elves for using their free will in a way they hadn’t intended.

So in the end it’s a big slugfest between high elves and everyone else over this T-energy, and in a branching campaign where you choose good or evil you decide whether the land is ravaged or healed. Although it’s pretty hard to care about the course of the story with the various stale one liners characters keep delivering detracting from it all.

One thing which might save this game for a few players out there is the laughs and good times you and a friend might get while playing some of the games one console multiplayer, like the good old days of Gauntlet. But my friends were afraid the game might have something contagious which would do something frightful to the, and respectfully declined. Bunch of pussies.

When all is said and done this isn’t a bad game, just a a game that happens to be suffering from a bad interface and a worse game manual. Perhaps a competent editor or an extra month or two of dev time could have pulled it from the fire, but as is this isn’t really a game I’d put on the top of any lists. Not at the bottom either, mind.

The Review

Storyline: Pretty basic ‘evil empire abuses magic to rise to power’ story.

Gameplay: A royal pain in the ass to do anything except walk around and hack and slash.

Music: An affair not altogether shabby, one of the most memorable parts of the game. 4

Graphics: Sometimes not too bad, sometimes jaw dropping. Alas it’s not terribly consistent. 4

The Good: Occasionally breathtaking graphics, a unique visual style, a different take on typical dungeon crawler music.

The Bad: A very mediocre sense of humor, which may actually be translation errors. Steep learning curve.

The Ugly: A virtually useless player manual and completely absent in game tutorial features.

Overall: This game is okay. Not good, not bad, just okay. There’s a certain indefinable quality it seems to lack, but if your a fan of dungeon crawlers and want to try things a bit differently

Final Vote: 3/5

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