Different, but still good.
Aside from Sacred Citadel, I had never played a Sacred game before. Now, I know it has a rather large cult following that are very passionate about the series. When my editor-in-chief told me I would be reviewing Sacred 3, I was expecting an isometric view RPG much like Torchlight or Diablo. Well that is not the case, for better or for worse.
Sacred 3 takes the isometric view and removes much of the RPG elements that were in the first iterations. Combining the hack ‘n slash nature of Sacred Citadel with some light RPG elements makes Sacred 3 feel like a top-down beat ‘em up more than an RPG.
Platforms: PC, 360, PS3
Price I’d pay: $30
Multiplayer: 2 player co-op local/4 player co-op online
Players take on the role of their choice of multiple classes. Each has their own play style and unique combat arts (special attacks.) In combat, standard attacks mixed with a heavy attack for breaking shields and interrupting enemy attacks will be utilized the most. Using the combat arts will drain its meter and players must wait for it to fill back up before using them again. Aside from that, players can utilize potions and stat buffers in their inventory to help out in a pinch, as well as use a special co-op attack that can affect numerous enemies with a co-op partner.
Beat ‘em up with your buddies.
The game can be played two player local co-op or up to four player online. Co-op is the way Sacred 3 was meant to be played. There were multiple times in certain levels where a wheel needed to be spun or a door needed to be knocked down that really became a chore if I didn’t have another player with me. On top of that, many boss fights are difficult, especially when I was the only hero in the area so they always concentrated on me.
There’s not much variety either. After about an hour with the game, I noticed there are really only three types of enemies, even if they did look different from level to level. That’s another thing, where Sacred 2 was an open world exploration game, Sacred 3 is divided into levels, both story missions and side missions. It didn’t bother me, but seeing how the fans may take that, it may be a bit of a bummer.
Customization is still here but toned way down. There is no loot or skill point customization. Now, a character’s level will automatically increase base stats, and going through certain levels will unlock or upgrade weapons and armor. Customization comes in the form of changing the effects of abilities and equipment using gold earned throughout the levels. There is a small branching skill tree of each ability but it really doesn’t deviate too much, and every point you put into something can be refunded at any time and players can try another branch , which is a nice touch.
So dumb, you can’t help but laugh.
I didn’t realize that the Sacred series was always a comedic style of game, but I was rather taken back the moment I heard the game announcer yell “sexy pants!” after a combo. That, along with the story’s character banter, make for a rather goofy experience, but even in the lamest of jokes, I still couldn’t help but laugh. And even though the humor is a bit childish, the voice talent is very competent and well done.
For all intents and purposes, Sacred 3 is a beat ‘em up that can be completed by simply button mashing, and that’s fine to me. Yes, for fans it will feel like a very dumbed down version of their beloved franchise, but I still found myself wanting to complete it even when it did get a bit monotonous. Co-op is the way to go, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a fun time playing with my friends. Still, I would wait for at least a ten dollar price drop. For 30 bucks, Sacred 3 is a decent beat ‘em up that you and a few friends can have a fun time with if you look past the Sacred name.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.