Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is an epic RPG game that provides gamers with an almost endless amount of gameplay in a fantasy land that is tarnished by greed and battle. Using very similar mechanics found in the first Sacred game, the second installment of the game actually serves as a prequel to the original. Unfortunately, this iteration doesn’t feel like a step forward but rather a step backwards in the evolution of the series as the game is hampered by choppy graphics and a set of menus that are more of a carbon copy of the PC version than a translation.
In the land of Ancaria T-Energy is oil and whoever controls it rules the world with maniacal laughter. Sounds like oil right? Basically T-Energy is the lifeblood of magic and all things living. No one can share it, and those that consumer or use it have to fight over it. ‘It reminds me of the saying, ‘Without struggle there is no progress’, and that holds quite true for Sacred 2.
The major power players are the High Elves, all the other races in Ancaria seek to obtain the power of T-Energy for their own domineering purposes. While approaching somewhat of a generic and uninspired synopsis, the intro cut scene really seals the deal and leaves you wondering who made these creative green lights. Anyway, Sacred 2 is less about plot and storyline than it is about raw plunder and pillaging.
One word: dated. While the cut scenes were decent looking, the game itself could easily have been done on the original Xbox or less. And although there’s an enormous amount of attention given to the details of the land at hand, screen tear was abound like an itchy rash. Anytime you rotate the camera while moving the the graphics would hiccup and look jagged and fragmented. The character design looks like art school mock ups and the animations aren’t anything to speak fondly of. Granted the top down view can be zoomed back and forth from close to far, all you really want to do is tilt the camera so you can see what’s in front of you. For instance, I wanted to see some vistas of Ancaria beyond my immediate perimeter of 50 yards or so and found it a challenge. So while the top down Diablo style is what this game is all about I just feel that is was too limiting given the overall scope and breadth of the game and the Ancarian landscape.
But beyond that the game features day and night cycles and the colors were bright and vivid and did a good job of conveying “fantasy” while you explore the vast lands of Ancaria. Overall, the graphics were wholly unimpressive but I felt like they actually worked for what the game was trying to accomplish.
Another word. Stock, but funny at times. The characters give themselves “dap” and proclaim their destiny at interesting times and I was often amused at what my character would say. Protective footwear on cobblestone never sounded so crunchy and neither did grass! Everything else sounded as it should minus varying degrees of detail.
The voice acting seemed competent but not as “old world” as I thought it needed to be. Not in dialog but in the delivery from the voice actors. Most of the dialog is actually text based, but again I did really like the character quips when they were said. That said, the mild humor saves the sound design from being whatever.
The gameplay did not lend itself that well to console play. There are way too many menus to filter through and it was too daunting to really care about. You can tell that that aspect of the game was straight PC style and that it is just too much for the Xbox 360. In it’s defense, the world of Ancaria is so behemoth that there might not have been any way to actually streamline it.
Combat is a mishmash of button pounding and gear allocation. You can assign multiple items for use at anytime and you can switch between firing an arrow and stabbing someone with only two button presses. However, there are so many items, spells, gear that it is just crazy and I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
While I myself could not find the inner passion to care about all the item hoarding, I feel like this is Sacred 2’s best aspect. If you like killing things and vulturing their remains for gear of all types, then this could be the game for you.
Character development and customization seemed robust and you could spend hours retooling your character in a variety of ways. You must care though, as time will be spent in order to gain something valuable from this game. So while gameplay is slightly marred by its PC constructs, it is saved by its wealth of loot and customization.
Multiplayer is a cool concept here actually. Letting you use your character in someone else’s multiplayer realm while retaining all your statistics once your back in your single player campaign is really novel. More games should feature that. Riding beasts and clobbering fools with peoples online really brought me back to playing Gauntlet with kids at Round Table Pizza and it felt quite nostalgic. There isn’t much more to say except that multiplayer is not essential to Sacred 2’s allure, but it is a great ancillary feature that adds a fair bit of replay value.
Endless! Provided that you don’t get bored. From the mountains of gear to collect, to all the different character classes, the 22 square miles of territory to explore, Sacred 2 would be a great game to play in jail. While not that compelling as a complete package, it really does have some cool things going for it. If you had some dedicated multiplayer friends it could last for a very long time, and the open ended nature of choosing the “light or shadow” path has great value as well.
Like I mentioned, Sacred 2 is more of a PC gamer’s game but that doesn’t mean console devotees can’t enjoy all that it has to offer. I honestly think I would play this more if it was on the PSP or the DS. All the meandering would do me much better on an airplane or during times of travel as I feel like I have better games to play at home. If you love Role Playing Games and have a basement full of stuff you’ll never throw away, Sacred 2 might be what you looking for.
- Tons to do, collect, and customize
- Multiplayer is worthy of attention
- Replay value is unheralded, if you can withstand the repetition
- Last gen, glitchy graphics and lackluster character and sound design
- Too many menus to navigate!
- Can be overwhelming for a newbie
Buy it here for $56!