Kimberley Ellis
09 Mar, 2009

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Review

PC Review | An old fashioned lootenanny awaits. 
Released in 2004, the original Sacred title was unleashed on the gaming public, hoping to hook the action-RPG masses in with its unashamed imitation of one of the genre's greatest titles - the dungeon crawling masterpiece that is Diablo 2 - while also offering up some fresh ideas of its own to draw in those new to the genre with its simple, accessible gameplay.

Its sequel - Sacred 2: Fallen Angel - contains a similar variety of alluring character classes, a lucsious, abundant game world to explore, a huge variety of monsters to overcome, and enough quests to keep your pockets full of loot. In fact, even the most hardened roleplaying veteran will find enough to do inside Sacred 2 to keep them hooked for a very long time.

Though, be warned, if you've come to Sacred 2 to provide you with a compelling story or quest structure, you'll find yourself thoroughly disappointed. At its core, Sacred 2 is a good, old fashioned mouse mashing, loot grind. That said, if you're a gamer with a penchant for level grinding you'll find yourself slipping back into the habit with what Sacred 2 has to offer.

On the road again: a level grinding we will go.

On the road again: a level grinding we will go.
Sacred 2's tale begins with a long-winded backstory of the dominant culture of High Elves ruling over Ancaria as they thwarted the combined army of Human, Dragon and Orc to be the supreme rulers of the land. Now the High Elves have descended into a war amongst themselves to control the ancient magic - T-Energy - which left unguarded, is now spreading across the land like a plague, polluting the lush landscape and mutating the creatures of the land into monsters. This opens up two very distinct paths for your character: follow the path of good and bring Ancaria back from the depths of darkness or take the shadow path and push the land of Ancaria into chaos.

Cliched storyline aside, once you step into the class creation options of Sacred 2, you'll find that like its predecessor, it puts an interesting spin on the tired, fantasy class cliches that the RPG genre has churned out over the years. Most interesting is the Temple Guardian class: part animal, part cyborg, this character packs a punch with its arm mounted gun that fires out pure T-Energy - adding a smidgen of sci-fi to the heavily infused fantasy plot.

Once you're set on your choice of character, you'll need to choose a god to swear allegiance to and the level of difficulty that you wish to start with. Beware that your options carry certain repercussions with them as certain factions are restricted to a particular path - meaning that if you choose that class you will be forced to play the game in a predetermined path - but the rest are free to choose as they please. Your god will grant your character a powerful spell which can be improved by visiting temples and praying to your god. Choosing a difficulty level is also a critical element that can greatly change the style of gameplay - bronze difficulty greatly eases your character into the game slowly while at the other spectrum, hardcore difficulty is not for the faint hearted as the game will end the first time your character dies.

The outcome of this fight doesn't look promising.

The outcome of this fight doesn't look promising.
The real meat of the title lies in its elements of combat and questing. As is the standard in most RPGs these days, an exclamation mark above the head of an NPC indicates that you can collect a quest from this person. These quests will involve you performing such tasks as ferrying a person from one place to another, finding a lost item and returning it to its rightful owner or, in most cases, killing a certain number of enemies or collecting a certain number of items. Performing these tasks yields experience, and when you have acquired enough experience you can level up - which gives you a number of attribute points to spend on your character's development. You can develop your character using a number of skills which can enhance their combat attributes or provide them with new special attacks and magic spells to try out. Unlike, most of the titles in the genre you'll find yourself partaking in a lot of time-wasting travel as there is no town portal to give you the option of quickly cashing in your loot and jumping back into the fray. Though if you're the exploring type, this option means that you'll spend a lot more time taking in the scenery as you traverse back and forth across Ancaria.

As you progress through the game you’ll come across runes which allow you to either learn a new skill or upgrade an existing one. Although there are a number of skills to choose from, each character is capped at learning a maximum of ten skills. Certain runes apply to certain classes, so not all runes that you come across will be readily activated by your character, but thankfully these can easily be exchanged with the Runemaster for ones that are more appropriate to your class. Although the levelling system lacks the depth and variety compared with other role-playing titles, it’s not as potentially overwhelming to new players in comparison to games such as Guild Wars and World of Warcraft, where applying the wrong rune could be detrimental to the development of your character. The plus of this simpler system is that it makes the title a great entry point for those who always wanted to try out an RPG, but who have been put off in the past by the copious amounts of statistics and skills that go into the development of a character.

My +10 Lute of Awesomeness brings all the horses to the courtyard.

My +10 Lute of Awesomeness brings all the horses to the courtyard.
Aside from the lacking main story arc, the main problem in Sacred 2 lies within its hefty system requirements. For starters players have to devote twenty gigabytes to the initial install before the dreaded patching process begins (note: you don't want to be patching this baby up if you're close to your download limit!) and the game forces you to have a powerful graphics card and a multi-core setup - which is no real strain to those who game religiously on their PCs - with no real reward. While the game does present some graphical pretties, the level of detail given doesn't really justify the powerful setup that you need to acquire it. In comparison, World of Warcraft is able to pull a comparative amount of graphical power from a system that is vastly inferior to the setup that Sacred 2 requires.

Is Sacred 2 worthy of the beefy PC it requires?.

Is Sacred 2 worthy of the beefy PC it requires?.
Another problem facing Sacred 2 is the number of choppy audio glitches and random freezes which take away from the title. That said, the patches have done a great job to cut out a majority of the game's initial hiccups.

At the end of the day, Sacred 2 might be a little simplistic for some, but it does provide an entertaining romp for role-playing gamers that are driven by the need to develop their character and explore every inch of a game world.
The Score
For those with a passion for exploration and character development, you can't go past the lush landscapes of Sacred 2's Ancaria to give you a long-lasting level grinding fix. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Content

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Review
25 Aug, 2009 Insipid 2: Fallen Spirits.
Sacred 2 Developer Diary Volume 6
19 Aug, 2008 It's time to get visual.
Sacred 2 Developer Diary Volume 5
11 Jul, 2008 Anybody want to be a beta tester?
5 years ago
Great .. been wanting to get this title .. thanks for the review. How big are the patches ?
5 years ago
A look on GamersHell indicates that you're looking at about 620mb for the latest patch.

Why is it our console brethren on say, the Xbox 360, get microscopic patches that take 30 seconds to download and install icon_sad.gif
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  15/10/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $89.95 AU
  Red Ant
  Action RPG
Year Made:

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