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Sacred 3 Review


Picked from the final throes of Ascaron Entertainment, Deep Silver attained the rights to the Sacred games, a series of action RPG games that came out on numerous platforms over the past few years. Now, returning to the fantastical world of Ancaria, another four heroes must join forces to defeat an all new evil that threatens life itself.

The multicultural inhabitants of Ancaria are yet again threatened by evildoers, this time a malevolent character by the name of Lord Zane, ruler of the Ashen Empire who is trying to steal the Heart of Ancaria and intends to use it to become a God and rule the world. With the Ashen Empire already being quite powerful, most of the peaceful inhabitants live far from its reaches but following a call from the Hearts guardians, the Seraphim have gathered four worthy warriors to team up and make their way to Lord Zanes land to stop him and take back the Heart.

In typical action/RPG fashion there are four characters to choose from, each with their own individual abilities and skills, letting you choose a play style that suits you, like the nimble Ancarian, a warrior that wields a spear and is able to use her skills to summon the powers of earth and nature; the Safiri, a powerhouse that uses a huge axe to make his point; the Seraphim, mysterious sword wielding angels have access to divine powers enabling close and ranged attacks and the Khukuri, a master archer that can use skills learnt from his icy homestead to vicious use. There is also a fifth race to play as however this seems to be locked away as a DLC or pre-order bonus and as of yet unable to play as.



Presented in a top down view, this dungeon crawler is very heavy on the action, using each characters skills and weapons to their most effective use whilst keeping an eye on your health. In the game each character has a basic attack, two combat arts and a set of skills to fall back on. With the basic attack your character can take on most enemies, mixing it up with a skill like evade or block to whittle down the enemies energy and occasionally using one of the combat arts to add a little extra firepower. Each combat art has its own energy so you need to keep tabs on each of their bars, though you are never really wanting as there are plenty of vases to smash that grant energy orbs and even quick use potions to boost you on your way.

With most of the game being very action based, the RPG element is set around the mid game options with plenty of items and equipment to upgrade as you rank up. Levelling up occurs just through usual playing of the game like completing levels and defeating foes but for weapons and armour they only level up upon completion of certain levels. Each character has a decent variety of combat arts to choose from like crazy spin attacks to giant spikes bursting through the floor and as you upgrade them they become more powerful, adding more critical hits or spawning health and energy orbs. As an addition to your repertoire you can also collect Warrior Spirits that seem to be random in their appearance. Once selected they will then join you in battle in spirit, boosting and adding new elements to your attacks like extra shield protection or a berserker attack when your health is low.

Whilst there is a decent array of enemies, most fall under a couple of category’s with grunts dealt with simple attacks, you then have armoured foes that you need to give a good bash first like magicians that cast dangerous spells and elites, who are the Ashen powerhouses. The higher classes of enemy all have their own tells and attack patterns and are quite easy to read, with most damage taken to my character when the screen is full of monsters and taking hits from all angels, even the most ferocious of foes can be dealt with well-timed technical bashes and surgical attacks.

Even against seemingly overwhelming odds you are never far away from a friend thanks to the easy to use matchmaking system; you can either start a solo game and hope for someone to join you or search for a game in progress. With up to four players on screen at once, the game will automatically increase the difficulty with each new member, making sure the game is not too easy, though with four players all using their skills at once it’s not the enemies you have to worry about but where your character is as the game screen does get a little too busy.

As you make your way through the many locations of Ancariua there are an assortment of levels to consider, the main levels will progress the story, each with an intro and usually a worthy unlock at the end whilst the smaller levels which can take a couple of minutes require you to just clear a room or defeat a set amount of enemy waves to unlock not only a huge treasure chest full of gold but also awards some handy inventory items to take on your quest like energy spawning totems or a smart bomb.



Overall Sacred 3 was a fun experience and kept me entertained from start to finish (which was not a long as I would have expected) but there are a few omissions that could have made the game better like previous level scores or an in game map. Once you have completed the first play though a new difficulty opens up and this is where the game becomes ridiculously unbalanced as you then need to level up your character so by replaying the logically next set of difficulty settings I found the game even easier?, taking out most enemies by just rolling into them and even one hit killing a level boss. Progression though does have its rewards and the challenge does return but by then you have played all of the levels before, something I am not a massive fan of in only but a few games (LEGO titles).

Visually the game looks pretty good on the PS3, the top down view working most of the time and only occasionally having buildings blocking your way, there is a fix but the resulting silhouette of deep red for your character when the view is obscured does not always trigger. What is strange is the in game dialogue, it’s almost like those old Monkey Magic TV shows where they made up the script from a premade foreign show as they seem really out of place with strange attempts at jokes and misplaced humour spread throughout, it is a little weird and jarring and really does not keep with the rest of the game.

With a surprisingly short first play though, for those that are after an epic quest of looting and levelling up this really is not for you, this is more like a console friendly action/RPG, which did entertain me throughout but could have had a little more to it.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3)

Pros

+ Seamless co-op
+ A decent variety of characters and moves to use and unlock

Cons

- Over too quickly
- Heavy reliance on repeat play but with little reward

Edited On 01 Aug, 2014

Comments
6
Wasn't sure about getting this as one of the best parts about Sacred 2 was the massive open world. In the end though I decided what the hell and ordered it. I'm looking forward to playing it co-op with my brother.
Bentleyma 10 months ago
Never played a Sacred game shame its not on the new consoles as there is not out at the moment would of given it a try.
Bindiana 10 months ago
If you want to play Sacred just go to Steam or GOG and buy the original. Most of the time you can pick it up for something stupid like 80p
Loli-Nox-Tan 10 months ago
The Steam forums are full of rage with people telling people not to buy the game as it is not Sacred game, and just a cheap dumbed down money grab. Rock Paper Shotgun review - http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/08/01/sacred-3-review/
superniceguy 10 months ago
The game is Sacred in name only. Should have been a new IP or at the very least a Sacred Citadel sequel, but alas it wasn't cos they know no one would buy it.
Loli-Nox-Tan 10 months ago
Have to agree with the review and it does seem multiplayer focused which is a good thing. Nox is right it is Sacred in name only though, if I didnt read about it before hand I would have been massively disappointed expecting a game like Sacred 2. At least I have Diablo 3 on the xbox one this month for all my loot grinding needs.
Zombieflamingo 10 months ago
mortal kombat
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