My first impression was quite straightforward; I sent a text to former reviewer Kid C saying ĎThis game wonít be wowing anyoneí. After spending more time with the game Iím of the same opinion. The game isnít spectacular or sexy at all, but there is still a solid game and plenty of fun to be had.
The game is in the Baldurís gate vein. You play a hero who kills mythical creatures, searches dungeons, enters into quests and hunts out loot and fame.
Graphically the game does what it needs to. It doesnít excel and there are moments of frame rate drop when the number of onscreen enemies gets a little higher than average. To be fair, this kind of game isnít all about the visuals, itís more about the depth of the game and so Iím happy with the overall look of the game.
The sound in the game is largely what I would expect; average voice acting that eventually becomes repetitive and mostly forgettable background music. On the whole the music does add atmosphere but you wonít want to be listening to it on your iPod.
Thereís quite a good mix of character classes in Sacred 2 but I would like to have seen a few more. When you get to choose the character I would like to have seen a bit more information of the style of play. There is one character class that Iím sure will polarise opinion and that is the temple guardian. The guardian is a bipedal walking dog robot that can fire laser beams and has a flame thrower. I think that is quite a poor design choice and the class is a little unbelievable.
That isnít the only poor design choice in the game, rather than go with the traditional swords and sorcery angle the developers have added a mysterious energy called t-energy which in places gives the game an almost futuristic appeal, with pipes pumping incandescent blue goo through the landscape. This was not necessary and this, along with the robo dog, does reduce the atmosphere in the game. I understand that the developers may want the title to stand out, but there are better ways of doing that than bolting on token classes and ridiculous ideas.
As the game started out life as a PC game the one area with the potential to ruin the gameplay is the control system. I can gladly report than the controls are excellent. Face buttons control your skills, and used in conjunction with the triggers on the pad you can have a total of 12 skills mapped ready for use. Menus are easy to get into and navigate around. My only slight gripe is that the button used to open containers or pick up loot is the same one that is used to talk to other characters and quite frequently I found myself trying to grab freshly dropped gear and I ended up talking to my follower. This is a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent system.
The level cap for the game is absolutely insane. The game allows you to develop a character to level 200. Fortunately you can use your character in multiple playthroughs which will allow you to unlock more loot and reach that lofty level.
Where the game shines is in its depth. On the surface it is a simple hack and slash game, but like most modern RPGs there is a significant amount of skill customisation to be had. The games attacks and buffs are referred to as combat arts. Each art can be modified to improve or change its effects. For example a maelstrom can be improved to increase its range or add damage over time. At each stage of improvement you are given a choice of two different improvements meaning two characters of the same class can end up being very different. In addition to combat arts there are skills. Every so often you can select a skill; this could be a skill that improves a group of combat arts, a weapon type, armour proficiency or non combat skills like bargaining and alchemy. Each level you are given a number of skill points to improve these skills. The choice is often difficult as to which skill to have, do I improve all of my combat arts in both damage and regeneration or should I pick up the sword skill to improve its use? Maybe I should select armour to reduce the penalties from its use. This adds a massive amount of depth to each character and increases the variety of characters out there.