Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel (PC) artwork

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel (PC) review


"This prequel to 2004 Diablo-clone Sacred seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. In attempting to combine in-depth role-playing with hack-and-slash action and odd, self-depreciating humour, Sacred 2 manages to miss the mark in all the key areas, emerging as a horrendously dull and needlessly fiddly release."



Sacred 2 couldn't have arrived at a worse time. The PC has been flooded with brilliant role-playing games this year, with the long-awaited port of Mass Effect, the delectably updated version of The Witcher and, most recently, the best-game-I've-played-in-years divinity of Fallout 3. These are games that have considerably raised the bar in their fields, so being released at the end of such a stellar twelve months does Sacred 2 no favours.

This prequel to 2004 Diablo-clone Sacred seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. In attempting to combine in-depth role-playing with hack-and-slash action and odd, self-depreciating humour, Sacred 2 manages to miss the mark in all the key areas, emerging as a horrendously dull and needlessly fiddly release.

For starters, Sacred 2 has one of the worst interfaces I've ever seen. It's a horrific mess of words and numbers that will mean nothing to anyone except the most devoted RPG fans. It's cumbersomely arranged into an unnecessarily large amount of screens, which don't bother pausing the game when activated. There's no guidance to the use of any of it, meaning it took a fair amount of time - not to mention a hefty dose of trial and error - to establish how to make the bloody thing work.

The complexity of actually playing the game sits awkwardly alongside the extremely basic combat system, which involves clicking and, well, usually missing single targets. The Witcher's different attack styles would have gone some way to fix this, though it wouldn't have made the enemies any less retarded. While fighting is obviously an essential part of the levelling system in an action-RPG, I became so bored of the constant barrage of charging enemies that I decided to just run away. Within about five seconds, they'd given up, and gone back about their business as if nothing had happened.

It's difficult to understand why all these people and creatures are attacking you, anyway. The manual mentions something to do with a never-ending war and segregation between races, but the game itself doesn't have the courtesy to talk about any of that - not in the early stages, anyway, when it's perhaps most relevant. Instead, Sacred 2's intro sequence sees your character magically popping up on the shore of an island and talking to a shaman, who proceeds to get rather embarrassingly murdered by a pair of elves. It's like watching the worst school play ever: after being slashed twice with a sword, my shaman friend stood silently for a couple of seconds, before screaming and crumpling hilariously to the ground. He did use his final breath to tell me I must complete his quest but, unfortunately, the poor bugger popped his clogs before he got round to telling me what that was. The bright orange arrow on my hopeless map would have to suffice.

That's the hopeless map which completely declined to allow me to view more than the exact spot I was standing in, until I'd 'unlocked' the rest of the area. I can understand in-game maps that grey out locations far into the distance, but this is ridiculous. It's like trying to navigate your way around winding country roads, with a satellite navigation system that only lets you see the inside of your own car.

Voice acting's shoddy, the script is embarrassing, speech regularly gets stuck and loops, NPCs appear out of nowhere right in front of you, the camera's rubbish, it runs abysmally despite the awful-looking engine... ah, I can't be bothered moaning any more. Suffice it to say it won't win many points for immediate likeability.

Where it steals a few back is in the creation of an enormous world, teeming with characters, sub-quests and places to explore. It's not strictly open-plan in a Big Brave Bethesda way, but each of the levels is admirably large, and the seamless loading between one area and another contributes well to the illusion of freedom. There's simply so much to do that it would be difficult to ever get bored - that is, if doing anything at all weren't so painfully tedious.

It further scrapes the faint praise of 'mediocre' with the ability to play through the main quest as either a 'light' or 'dark' character. Even though your path through the game doesn't differ a whole lot, the people you meet and the tasks you undertake for them alter quite significantly, so that's a nice touch. Even your specific choice of class defines your experience beyond merely your playing style, as each derivative race depicted in Sacred 2 has its own prejudices, deciding who to side with accordingly.

And, I'll admit, it made me laugh a couple of times with its knowingly ironic gameisms. Only a couple, though; more often than not, it just seemed out of place. Naughty stickers go especially to one loading screen "joke", which informed me that the wrong disk was in the drive, only for it to shout "Got you!" a split-second after I had taken the DVD out and, ultimately, crashed the thing to Windows.

It all amounts to a title that really put me off playing, instead of encouraging me to load it up for another go. In its better moments, Sacred 2 is a reasonable enough romp, and it'll probably come as a pleasant surprise to those who miss the clunky, stat-heavy RPGs of old. But, more than anything, games like Sacred 2 feel like proof that the genre has to move on a little. With the recent surge of high-quality RPGs, you'd be forgiven for expecting Ascaron to have raised the game somewhat, and to have created something that could stand up admirably against the rest of the pack.

Instead, they made something that's just about passable, but hideously contrived, completely uninspiring and mechanically fucked.

Rating: 5/10

Lewis's avatar
Freelance review by Lewis Denby (November 06, 2008)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by Lewis Denby
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (PlayStation 3) artwork
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (PlayStation 3)

A dismally unimaginative co-op shooter, coupled with a half-finished idea for an intriguing competitive component. Play it in either mode and youíll be bored or irritated within minutes.
To the Moon (PC) artwork
To the Moon (PC)

Its retro graphics look beautiful. The original soundtrack is utterly stunning. Its story is one of the most confident and grown-up that our medium has ever seen. Donít approach To the Moon expecting taxing puzzles or combat or stats, because that isnít what itís about. It is its own thing: an indie adventure a...
Unreal (PC) artwork
Unreal (PC)

As a first-person shooter, itís incredibly competent. Quake 2 might have had the tempo, and Half-Life the suspenseful pacing, but Unreal had the variety and the challenge. Its weapons drew criticism for feeling weak and weedy against the Skaarj oppressors, and itís a fair comment. They often do. Bu...

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Sacred 2: Fallen Angel review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
wolfqueen001 posted November 07, 2008:

Oh, good. Maybe we can replace the focus window now.

Nice review, btw. It sounds like there's nothing really redeeming about the game outside of the effects of class selection and such, though.

Naughty stickers go especially to one loading screen "joke", which informed me that the wrong disk was in the drive, only for it to shout "Got you!" a split-second after I had taken the DVD out and, ultimately, crashed the thing to Windows.

Haha. That's hilarious. Did that really make you lose your whole game file? That's really nasty on their part.
board icon
Lewis posted November 07, 2008:

Fortunately, it was the very first thing that happened when I first started a new game.

Yeah, dated and dull, this one. Seems to be getting a bit of praise elsewhere around the 'net though - Metacritic averages it at 78%. Didn't do anything at all for me, particularly having just finished my second play through the new Fallout.
board icon
humorguy posted November 22, 2010:

Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Advertise | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Sacred 2: Fallen Angel, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.