I recently picked up Sacred 2: Fallen Angel for the xBox 360, and well, I’ve been favoring playing that instead of things like updating my blog. Or sleeping.
The formula of the game should be familiar to anyone who’s played Diablo or just about any MMORPG. Make your character, fight monsters, level up, get cooler gear, repeat. I quite enjoy the tactical elements of such games, but disliked the Massive Multiplayer elements- playing with my friends was fun, needing to find groups of random strangers, not so much. You can play Sacred 2 by yourself, or with up to three friends or folks from the matchmaking server, so just about everyone should be happy with that. There’s also PvP servers if that’s your thing (it’s not really mine.)
The gameplay is pretty fun, and the controls are wonderful. Each class (there’s six of them, ranging from the elven mystic and dryad archer to the flavorful angelic seraphim and the temple guardian, which is a cyborg Anubis statue that shoots laser energy) has fifteen different skills, which you can map to different button or button combinations. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you get into it, there’s a lot of hard decisions to be made in optimizing your character, choosing what skills to deploy, and planning your gear. The combats themselves are fast paced.
In any game like this, grind can be an issue. I found myself gaining levels fairly fast, and didn’t feel like I had to level up just to continue with the game. Lots of interesting loot droped for me. If you’re the type of person who has to max out every character and find the perfect items, you may be in for quite the grind-fest, but for the casual hack & slasher, you’ll find new items and gain power at a very satisfying rate.
The game isn’t without it’s blemishes. My TV isn’t anything fancy, and at times the text and (more importantly) numbers were difficult to read. Some of the quest plotlines are spurious at best- my angelic Seraphim has been tricked into doing acts of dubious morality so many times, she must be the most gullible warrior of light ever- and the main storyline is mostly “go here, fight a monster, go somewhere else, repeat.” But really, that’s not why we play these games, now is it?
The verdict: Sacred 2 brings the MMORPG experience to the console, cutting out the negatives and preserving the best aspects- ass kicking, finding cool magic items, and getting to play with your friends.