Sacred 3 Review: A simplified take on a light-hearted hack & slasher
As the name suggests, Sacred 3 is the third game in the franchise. While this was my first Sacred game, I understand how this one has deviated down a different path from the previous two. But I'm not here to dwell on the past, but focus on the now. Choose a character, take up arms, fight against the evil Ashen Empire, and protect the ancient artifact the Heart of Ancaria. You know, do all the hero stuff.
The game takes a humorous approach to, well, everything. Every bit of dialogue is designed to entertain. Sure, at times it will be super corny, but that’s part of the charm. The game does over-the-top well, and not in an accidental sort of way. Sacred 3 definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously, goes for fun, and pulls it off.
The art design is very vibrant. The environments have a way of really sticking out and remaining unique from level to level. Often in the main missions, there will be a part where the camera angle changes to a much wider view to show off more of the level, key elements in the story, or simply an upcoming danger or objective. This tactic succeeds in giving the player a sense of urgency while showing off the beauty of the surrounding area.
While gameplay can become repetitive, it’s also quite fun. While I strongly suggest playing with a friend (drop in and out over the internet or through couch co-op), the game is still quite enjoyable solo. Each character plays differently with a different slew of heavy skills, light skills, and weapons. Find the one that fits your play style, then start the grind. As you advance in level, more options will open up to you. You're able to evolve these skills in order to maximize efficiency. With a free buyback system, you can swap out abilities, power levels, and weapons at the end of every level. Want a specific solo build and a multiplayer build? Want a different build depending on the level or characters you’re playing with? It’s all possible.
Multiplayer opens up even more skills. Each character is capable of resurrecting other players if they’re quick enough. Every character also has an ability that aids the other players once a bar fills up in the top left of the screen. Since this skill wouldn’t do anything without other players, it's multiplayer only. There are few things as satisfying as knocking enemies over and using execute on them. While playing with friends, you’re going to viciously fly across the screen in an attempt to execute foes first – at least, that was my experience.
As a hack and slash brawler, the game is easy to pick up and casually have fun with. Sure, there is the whole technical level of improving on your builds, but that's still mostly preference. The game is just fun. I know that’s a vague way of putting it, but it’s light-hearted, easy to jump into, and enjoyable to screw around with a bunch a friends in. If you’re a fan of the genre and looking for a new game, I’d say it’s worth a play. The player is spoonfed with the simplicity of the depth. If that speaks to your desires, this is the game for you.
Historian, teacher, writer, gamer, cheat master, and tech guru: follow on Twitter @AndrewC_GZ