Review by ScrawlKnight
"Expecting a top notch Action RPG? I know I was when I bought this game. Too bad I was disappointed..."
-- Introduction --
I accidentally stumbled across this game a few months ago on Game Spot and instantly set it up for tracking. I thought "Oh, this looks really interesting! A new Action RPG with some really unique elements to it." So I waited, kept up with the trailers, the previews and finally, the game came out. I didn't even bother waiting for a Game Spot review because I thought "It's alright, this game looks really good!" Let me tell you, you should always wait for a review...
-- Gameplay: 4/10 - Poor --
I've come to expect that in Action RPGs, for the most part, you'll be spending some time hacking and slashing away at your enemies. That's generally to be expected. However I also expect it to be fairly interesting and enjoyable, maybe mix it up with some cool skills? Too bad that doesn't work well in Sacred 2. You literally run up to an enemy and start hacking away at it by holding down the mouse button. Maybe throw in a skill or two and then move onto the next enemy. That might usually be considered "average" game play, but it's just really dull here. It gets boring after killing less than 10 enemies, or it did for me anyway. I initially played as a 'Seraphim', so whether this is the same for other races, I'm not sure. Here's how my first few minutes of the game went: Watched the awesome opening sequence and story and was so excited! After some length loading, I made it into the game to see good graphics, but not as good as I'd expect for the requirements. I'm not usually too fussed about graphics though so I'm like "That's alright, as long as the game play's good." I then watched an in-game cut scene, and it was a bad sign of things to come. I watched this woman dying in her room while everyone just stood around, doing nothing, and not even trying to help! She kept grasping at a wound that didn't exist and the same animation was recycled over and over. It was rubbish. She tells me that some bad men have attacked her and that they'd be after me next! She didn't explain why, or who these men were or even what I had to do! After she died, I left the building and found myself standing in an empty town with no idea what to do. I checked by journal, which did give me a better description, and I headed out of town. I was immediately confronted by some evil inquisitors and I took them down. Yet as I headed towards my next location, there were more of these guys just wandering the roads without purpose! It seemed like some dodgy MMORPG! I killed them as I went, which was rather dull and came across some bandits outside the next town. Normally you'd expect bandits to be in some kind of camp? Maybe have some low level of organization? Not here! They were just mindlessly wandering the fields by themselves, with terrible, terrible AI. On the plus side, there are heaps of quests to do. There is certainly no shortage of them, but with no real idea of what the main story goal was apart from "Kill those evil guys before they kill you!" It wasn't much fun to kind of slow down in the town and find some side quests. The very limited character selection choices don't help either. You can pick 1 of 6 races with only one class for each and you can't customize anything else, except your God which gives your character one unique skill. I really would expect more from anything with "RPG" in the genre. Oh, and just to mention, both the camera and controls are frustrating. The camera is difficult to get in a good position and moving with WASD is just very awkward. At least you can mouse click to move as that helps somewhat.
-- Graphics: 7/10 - Good --
The graphics are pretty good. There's no doubt about that. Environments are all vibrant and colorful, though they do suffer a bit in terms of realism. But hey, it's fantasy, we can live without a whole lot of realism. Character models are pretty well done, but without a way to customize your character, they do seem a little boring and bland. When I picked my Seraphim I just looked at her, thinking "I wish I could change her hair colour." Enemy models do suffer though as there is no diversity in them. For example, each bandit looks exactly the same; each wolf looks the same etc. That is generally acceptable to a degree, but when you're fight one every few seconds, it does get a bit boring to look at. However, the system requirements for what you get are very heavy. They're far inferior to may new release PC titles and still require much heavier specs. I managed to run the settings on high with just a little lag, but if you have an average PC, you're going to be stuck on the bottom end of medium, or just on low. I'd imagine the graphics won't look so good then.
-- Sound: 5/10 - Mediocre --
The sound is just average. Effects are generally pretty good, but they're also all a bit similar. When I start hearing the same sound effects for different skills, I do get a bit worried. But the effects are generally fine and nothing you'd think too much about as you played. Same with background music, it's pretty dull, but mostly okay, although there are a few moments where it just seems out of place. Voice acting is a mixed bag. For some characters it's decent, on others it just awful. There's also a distinct lack of voicing as, in most cases, only important characters and cut-scenes are voiced. This is usually fine, but it really takes away from the experience the game should have presented.
-- Value: 6/10 - Fair --
The game is pretty long and there are a whole heap of quests to do. You can also play through both the good and evil campaigns with different character races which does extend the time limit and offer some replay value. But I think after playing it for a little while, you won't even want to finish your first file, let alone go back and do it again. Admittedly though, I have not beaten the game, only played a little over 10 hours. The only reason I made it that far was so I could feel like I could write a decent review for it.
-- Tilt: 4/10 - Poor --
I really just didn't enjoy this game at all. Perhaps my expectations where too high, perhaps I haven't played enough Action RPGs to get used to it, or perhaps it's just a really poor excuse for a game.
-- Overall: 4.5/10 - Poor --
You can't help but feel disappointed as you play through Sacred 2. It could have achieved so much, yet it fell way short of its goal, or the goal any game should try and achieve. I'm generally fairly generous with my marks, if you look at my review page, I rarely score under 7. Yet this game doesn't deserve a 7, not even close to it. If you're looking for a good Action RPG, try Titan Quest, or even better, Diablo II. But don't waste your hard earned money on this game because it isn't worth it. If you really feel compelled to give it a go, I urge you to at least download the demo first. I haven't tried the demo, but I'm sure it would give you a fair idea of what to expect. Thank you for reading my review, I hope it was helpful to you.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 10/17/08
Game Release: Sacred 2: Fallen Angel (AU, 10/15/08)
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