Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Cover
Platforms Xbox 360, Windows, PlayStation 3
Genre Bloody Good Hack and Slash
Score 8  Clock score of 8Gameplay: 8
Fun Factor: 9
Gfx/Sound: 7
Story: 5
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Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is a hack and slash role playing game for the Xbox 360, Windows, and PlayStation 3. I had never even heard of the Sacred series before playing this game, and if you haven't either, think Diablo. Though it is definitely a brighter game if anything. Sacred 2 features a seamless open world with tons of action. It was released last year on the PC and about a month ago on the consoles.

I haven't played a lot of hack and slashers in my life besides the Diablo game here or there, so let's see if I still enjoyed Sacred 2: Falled Angel. This is my full review of the Xbox 360 version.

What was awesome: Definitely the huge, open world. Sources say the land is 22 square miles but it feels ten times as big! The first time you open the map and pull back all the way, you'll be astounded on just how big this game is. Near the beginning, after exploring what I thought to be a substantial amount of land in the opening area, I checked my map completion stat: 2%! This much area means there's a ton of variety, it honestly feels a bit like World of Warcraft in this aspect. Though definitely not as big, there are a lot of different environments and a lot of different enemies. Not to mention over 40 towns in the game... and 500 quests. Yes, 500 quests. Of course, you have to have a lot of quests if you're going to fill up a map like that.

Thankfully, the game features a ton of teleportation devices, allowing you to get from place to place pretty quickly. And you'll be able to buy a mount within the first 10 hours or so (and yes, you can fight while riding, and yes, they can die). Basically this game understands it's mostly a single player game (or up to four in multiplayer) so it just let's you get around to where you need to go quickly. Thank you!

And while the game is big, there's very little loading. The only loading screens you'll see is when heading underground or teleporting. There's also some loading while in towns but it basically just stops you from temporarily walking in the direction you're trying to go, we're talking two seconds here. Not bad and I can't complain. I will, however, complain about one of the side effects of no loading below.

Sacred 2 is all about the action. From the moment you leave the safe haven at the beginning of the game, you will be attacked. You'll continued to be attacked until the end of the game. The only time you can really take a breath is while in towns, this is both good and bad. I'll describe the good here. It means big battles! Once I got decently strong, at about eight hours in, I was just mowing down enemies. So they started coming in swarms. I would have six or eight bad guys surrounding me trying to do their worst. The game provides you plenty of health potions so it throws you into these situations quite a bit. They're exciting and will get your adrenaline going.

The developers up the ante by tossing you in the middle of some wars already going on. One I remember in particular was two feuding orc clans. You're asked to help one side out and so you hit the battlefield where hundreds of orcs are duking it out. Sacred 2 actually has a lot of memorable moments like that. Impressive, to say the least.

What I liked: Like I said above, Sacred 2 features about 500 quests. Of course, most of them are optional, so it's great that if you get bored with the main story, you can just do some side quests and rack up the experience and gold. A lot of the quests feel a lot like World of Warcraft, so if you don't mind those, you'll probably love the quest system in this game. The overworld map is very helpful in showing you where to go also, if only you could set waypoints...

Sacred 2 is a very deep game. While there's little character creation customization, you can definitely tailor your character's fighting style to whatever you like. I ended up making a dual-wielding Seraphim. She was very quick and powerful, think a rogue from World of Warcraft. I could have also made a caster Seraphim, or a Temple Guardian techie, or a Shadow Warrior tank. The game is a bit hardcore, and not always forgiving (see below).

The game also features a ton of voice work, mostly quest speech and random NPC talk. Some of it is pretty funny, like "I knew it! I'm just an extra!" It's nice to see the developers didn't take themselves too seriously, especially since most of the voice actors are just mediocre.

I really loved the music in the game, it's very melodious and dynamic. Soft guitar plucks will play while browsing in town, and the beat will heat up when doing battle. I may seriously buy the soundtrack if there was one available.

Sacred 2 Battle

What I didn't like: The camera. While you can control it, you can never actually move it so you can see more then 25 feet in front of you. Don't get me wrong, the camera itself controls fine, it's just that this is a 3D game delivered as an isometric experience. You can never look off into the distance and really take in the game's environments. Granted, you can pull the camera pretty far back or bring it up close, but you'll always be almost right on top of your character looking down. I have a feeling that this was for technical reasons but explained away with "by design" reasons. The no loading I mentioned above? Probably due to the fact the game only needs to draw so much at a time. Fans on forums say that this is just how games like this play. Whatever. It took me hours to get used to it and it still bothers me.

Sacred 2 features very little character creation customization. There are six classes, and all you can change is hair style and hair color, and not even on all the classes! I will give the game massive props though for modeling all the gear you can get so that when you're wearing it, you can actually see it. I love games that do that.

Where's the pause button? I do have a life outside the game and sometimes I need to attend to other things. Bringing up the map doesn't pause it, editing your character's attributes doesn't pause it, even saving doesn't pause it! While you can teleport into town whenever you'd like, sometimes I just need to put the controller down for a minute to answer the phone and not get mauled to death while AFK. I know pausing doesn't work during multiplayer, but at least let me pause during single player.

Sacred 2 is hardcore. Not so much in that I managed to play it, but the game is so deep and intimidating. There are so many stats, skills, combat arts, items, weapons, armor, runes, relics, and attributes your head will be spinning. Some gamers will definitely love this about Sacred 2, but it was a little much for me. I was quickly running to the internet to help me with class builds and recommended weapon forging. Fans warn that one wrong move will put your character in jeopardy. Now I don't know if that's necessarily true, it sure seems like it sometimes!

Scores

Gameplay: 8
Definitely intimidating at first. You're allowed to map 15 weapons, magic, and items to hot buttons! Not to mention all the skills you can choose from, and where to put points into attributes... it's very deep, and rewarding if you want to really customize your avatar. Actually fighting though is really easy, run up and slam on the A button.

Fun Factor: 9
Tons of quests, tons of land to explore, deep character sheets, and bloody action will keep you entertained through at least one adventure. Things get a little old after hanging out in "hell" for a few hours, but then it's off to the swamp for some zombie thrashing. Good times had by all.

Graphics and Sound: 7
Big, open environments filled with lush terrain and tons of awesome stuff to look at. Too bad the camera is too limited to actually show it all off! During the rare moments where the camera does pan across the landscape, you will be awed by the black fog that has engulfed it all. Oh well. The game does look good though when zoomed in, but has a few stutters if the action heats up a lot (read: 10 or more baddies and zoomed in). The music, however, is awesome. Where's my soundtrack at?

Story: 5
I haven't mentioned the story at all. It's just sort of there. Don't expect a lot, when a quest starts, you get the wall of text (that is obnoxiously hard to scroll through), and then it's off to the circle on the map. I do like the world though: orcs aren't inherently bad, and the land is divided up for different species. Maybe I would have liked it more if I had played the original Sacred. One thing to note though is that there are two main storylines: light and dark. I played through the light storyline and it seems it intersects with the dark at multiple points. This is pretty cool and extends replayability quite a bit (not to mention the five difficulty levels and six character classes).

Overall: 8
I really enjoyed Sacred 2. I was addicted to it for days on end, it brought back tons of great memories of when I enjoyed World of Warcraft and Ragnarok Online. If you enjoyed any of those games, or Diablo 2, I honestly think you will love Sacred 2. This is a high quality game that plays absolutely great on the Xbox 360, though you might feel more at home on the PC. Buy it and hack and slash all the way home.

Sacred 2 Art

Comments

Great review

This is on my list to pickup soon. You mention diablo and the like and isometric perspective. When speaking of games like this on a console, I'm reminded of the Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance series as well as the Champions series on PS2. These were 3rd person isometric games and I remember having similar issues with pulling the camera back "far enough". You could zoom in so close that you could see only your character but you could only zoom out far enough to see the room you were in. So, when people say it's supposed to be this way, I think they're right, but from a third person action gamer perspective, this is a bit challenging.

So, if you liked this game, and don't mind playing older last gen titles, I HIGHLY recommend you pick up the first Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance. I believe it's available on PS2/cube/xbox. It was a blast and sounds very similar, although very linear and the upgrade systems (levels/gear) sound much simpler. But, both of which worked very well.

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