I started the game playing as a battle mage and found that it was too hard to stay alive, despite his strong magic powers. One feature that I really liked is that when you die you re-spawn back at a certain point and your progress, including damage done to opponents is saved. Although some people may find this silly as you could get killed five times by a foe and still keep on coming back for more (which I have done a few times), it is handy and stops gameplay becoming stagnant when you reach a particularly difficult enemy. Theoretically you are invincible, which could be seen as boring, but it teaches you how to attack and evade at the same time.
The graphics are particularly good as you can zoom in and out of the action, although when zoomed out things can get a little jerky when moving quickly across the landscape. Of course this kind of issue is dependant on what graphics card you have and what resolution you choose to play the game at. The system I used has a Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card, which you can find a full review of here and it should be more than powerful enough to play a game such as this.
You can also play Sacred online either with or against fellow online gamers. I wouldn’t advise playing against any online opponents until your character is at a decent level with good armour and weapons though, unless you like dying on a regular basis. More concerning is that playing online resulted in a very slow experience and some strange glitches – the name above my character’s head was repeated several times, something that seemed to afflict everyone in the game. Another major problem was that when a team member died and re-spawned, the other members of the team were unable to attack the foes that were surrounding them at the time.
Although the overall presentation of Sacred is quite polished, there are some annoying problems with the general gameplay. For example, many times I have completed the required tasks for a mission, but the game does not acknowledge that the mission has been successfully completed. This was most annoying when it happened to me during an escort mission and now the NPC (Non Player Character) follows me everywhere I go. I wouldn’t mind so much, but he doesn’t even fight with me he just runs for cover.
Sacred is easy to pick up and play, and anyone with experience of RPG games will have no trouble at all. For those of you that have never had the pleasure of an RPG experience, most of it is self explanatory and the game manual is well presented. You are also provided with a map of Ancaria which has all the village names in it, making it easy to navigate the landscape from the outset.
Sacred is quite fun to play and carries with it a certain level of addiction that’s important with any game. That said, it’s not the best RPG I’ve played, and it doesn’t push the boundaries like Diablo and Diablo 2 did.
There’s no doubt that Sacred looks better than Diablo and Diablo 2, but considering how old those games are now it should. If you are a big RPG fan you won’t be disappointed with Sacred, but don’t expect it to be a revolutionary experience in the same way that the original Diablo was.
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