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SACRED 2: Fallen Angel - PC - Review

Way back in the year 2000, Blizzard Entertainment added a title to its stellar lineup of games called Diablo 2. The game was – arguably – the definitive dungeon-crawling experience that really defined the genre.

History lesson over … Fast forward to 2008. CDV (and Ascaron) has released a new title called Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. What does the latter have to do with the game mentioned in the opening of this? Well, it’s easy, actually – Sacred 2 plays off many of the same mechanics that made D2 a hit. While Sacred 2 doesn’t really offer much that is new, and even makes a few stumbles on occasion, it does come across as a title that has a bit of imagination spurring the fun along this fantasy path.

The story is at the heart of the gameplay and tracks a kingdom on the verge of war – the same kingdom that is recovering from the devastation of a former war. It all began with a substance called T-Energy. A powerful substance, it was guarded by the Seraphim, until they passed the responsibility on to High Elves. It was the use of the T-Energy that caused the war that ravaged the face of the world, and began to corrupt creatures within it. The world is on the verge of what could well be the final conflict. That’s where you come into the picture.

There are two campaigns, each tracking a different course that will affect the fate of the world. The characters are not customizable (well, you do collect new gear and can upgrade the look of your character that way), and will either take gamers down the path of Light or Shadows. The available archetypes are a seraphim, high elf, dryad, temple guardian, shadow warrior or inquisitor. Each class has strengths and weaknesses, are separated into categories such as ranged attackers, melee, or spellcasters, and are either male or female (no choice to select the gender of the class). The class you select will also determine the mount you will get. For example, the high elf class – which can follow three paths of magic – gets the wind serpent as a mount. The inquisitor, on the other hand, gets a shroud spider.

While there is an overall storyline, there are also quite a number of side quests that players can embark on in this massive world. The load times are kept to a minimum, and that is a very good thing. Perhaps the nicest aspect of this work is that there is some variety as well as some nice hidden surprises along the way, while you are out questing.

Still the gameplay follows a familiar formula. Find an enemy, attack, loot, upgrade gear and then repeat. But for those who crave a bit more, Sacred 2 also features a decent multiplayer setup, which includes PvE and PvP online gameplay. Players can tackle the campaign together, or take on one another, depending on their mindset.

When it comes to the control elements, the game uses a couple of schemes that are also familiar. You click an enemy to attack, and you can select how you attack from your hot bar.

The sound is somewhat hit and miss. Some of the characterizations seem a little bland while the environmental sounds are solid.

When it comes to the graphics, the camera sits in an isometric position and this gives you a very limited field of vision. You can zoom down and closer to the action but you really can’t see too far in front of you. This presents a bit of a problem when you are trying to find certain quest elements (either locations or NPCs) in the world. Speaking of NPCs – sometimes, in the course of a quest, you will get some followers. They really don’t do much, can get hung up pathing and trying to follow you, and won’t go away until you complete the quest of which they are a part.

Still, when it comes to the visuals, Ascaron has sent out a game that certainly has its share of eye candy. While the graphics may not tax your machine, per se, there does seem to be a few bugs in the program that can cause the occasional crash. Plus, check your system specs. An older machine running an older ATI card played at a sluggish pace, while the more powerful rig, with an nVidia 8800 GTX card, seemed to do much better – especially when it came to synching voice-overs with mouths in cut scenes.

Sacred 2 does have that “been there” feel to it. But the game has some quirkiness that steps outside the boundaries of trying to be immersive and instead focuses on having some fun. The game does not seem to take itself too seriously, and has enough elements to keep adventure fans happy. Unfortunately, those same players will have to deal with a few bugs that are present and can cause crashes.

Review Scoring Details for Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

Gameplay: 6.5
There are a few bugs that can lag a machine and even cause crashes. That’s the downside. On the upside, the gameplay is familiar and there are few load times in an otherwise huge world. You should not be fumbling to learn the game’s controls.

Graphics: 7.8
The camera is a problem, but other than that, the world features solid textures and lighting, with good special effects and some nice character designs.

Sound: 7.0
Some of the character voices are not very good, but the musical score and the environmental sounds do a very good job.

Difficulty: Easy/Medium

Concept: 7.0
Give the dev team props for not taking themselves seriously. Most of the rest of this, though, has a very familiar feel. That is not to say it is not done well, because it is a solid game.

Multiplayer: 7.8
Some very solid elements here; you can team up with others to do the campaign, or even test your mettle in a PvP setting.

Overall: 7.5
If Ascaron patches in fixes for the bugs, to shore up the game, this will be quite entertaining and should provide a lot of fun. The graphical elements are, for the most part, well done, and the game has a very good vibe to it – it does not take itself too seriously, while at the same time telling a decent story.

Good

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