Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sacred 2

I got couple hours into Sacred 2: Fallen Angel before I came to the conclusion that it was basically the same game as the first one -- just with a 3D engine -- and ended up quitting the game for pretty much the same reasons. Why play Sacred 2 when one could instead play Torchlight 2, which is actually fun.

Ascaron Entertainment succeeded brilliantly in keeping the same gameplay in the new engine. Too bad it's not exactly of the most entertaining type. Animations are still stiff and the combat doesn't have meat to it. Having large weapons hit more than one enemy, for instance, would've already made things more rewarding for my greatsword-wielding Seraphim (who is the only returning Sacred class). But no hope for such things.

The free-moving camera also requires time to get used to -- and probably some tweaking of the options as well. And even then it never felt completely fine for me. I think the Dungeon Siege games (the first two at least) had the whole control scheme better for an action rpg that doesn't have a fixed camera position. Though the camera angle was limited in them to keep the system requirements lower. Still, it was better than having to hold the middle mouse button to look around like in Sacred 2.

The skill and ability system is the same as in the first game with some new additions, like the three evolution choices for each ability. A feature I would've liked if the abilities themselves weren't so lame. The whole thing is just so overly complicated with very little cool factor in it. And why on earth would you have an ability called "BeeEffGee" in your high fantasy game?

The world map of Sacred 2 is enormous, 57 km², and is filled with boring side-quests and enemies. Very quickly respawning enemies. Again. And again they scale with your level. And still they have the annoying AI that makes them run around, giving you the utter joy of chasing them down. Also having music change when you enter a combat in an action rpg is a really really bad idea. Engage an enemy; music starts. One shot the said enemy; music stops. Repeat this until you just turn music off because you can't stand it. Or you can just stop playing the game altogether...

Music might be one selling point for the game, though. More specifically the theme of the game, Sacred Worlds, which is composed by one of my favorite bands, Blind Guardian. The band members even appear in the game and you can help to find their instruments. For your actions you are rewarded with a music video. I think, however, that instead of a video they should've performed the song in-game like the Tauren Chieftain band does in World of Warcraft. There actually was a bard in one town singing the song and that was quite cool.

Also, if I had been designing the Seraphim, instead of the wing frame armor, I would've given them actual large feather wings. And some ability that enchants a sword with lightning. That would've been awesome.

I must give Ascaron credit for one improvement, though. And that is the loot-everything button that now instantaneously loots everything in close proximity. The animated one-by-one picking was so terrible in Sacred.

But yeah, Sacred 2 is a bad action rpg not worth one's time, in my opinion. There are much better ones out there.

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