Sacred 3 has been released at a great time. With Diablo 3′s latest expansion starting to die down there is a bit more room for other games of its kind to step up. Sacred has never been as large as the likes of Diablo, of course, but it does pretty well with what it is attempting to do. The title is something worth looking into if you are feeling like you need to scratch that hack & slash itch. Let’s review:
You pick from one of four heroes, and your objective is to save the planet (obviously). With regard to the overall narrative, there is nothing in here you haven’t heard before. You have got a huge baddie, Zane, looking to perform bad actions and you are going to come across his henchmen as you play through the game. Each level starts with a brief cutscene, told in a comic book fashion with some voiceover action. Your goals are set up by this intro scene, but all it does is give a little direction to all the killing you will do in that level.
The controls are fairly fundamental, to the point where it is possible to play using a gamepad should you favor that over a mouse. One button to do your smashing, another to dodge or block, and so on. You have also got several different spells in the game to pick from, however you are only allowed to use 2 at a time. Using mixtures of all these, you will be hacking and slashing your way through quite a few different levels.
Really, the gameplay missions can be finished in any sequence you like, but you’d be silly to attempt something extremely difficult without having reached a high enough level for your character to be able to do it. Actually, if you do not do certain parts of the game in the sequence that you are provided for by the world map, you likely will not have a fantastic time playing through, unless you enjoy dying over and over again. There are side missions in between the primary narrative ones. You should be sure to finish them to unlock new consumables, although they appear elementary and skippable.
There is some slight variation to the battle within the game, but for the most part it is pretty much the same all throughout the game. The enemies are much the same to each other, and most of the levels will finish with a boss fight. The bosses aren’t all that different from one another, either. I should say, though, that when you kill a boss gold does flow out of them in quite an enjoyable way.
The game attempts to liven things up a bit with lots of dialogue. So much so that it comes at you nearly incessantly throughout the game. At each checkpoint you will have someone back at base telling you what is happening and bosses in the game will shout insults at you often. The game tries to be funny much of the time, but often fails in this endeavor. The voice acting is quite good all round, though, while the writing is not fantastic.
Sacred 3 is quite amazing to look at. The manner in which the terrain falls away into fascinating backdrops is rather remarkable, although surroundings are occasionally duplicated, but there is some great assortment. The camera helps with this, also. Similar games in many cases are harassed by camera angles that do nothing to aid you, but the camera work of Sacred 3 is among the finest I have seen. It zooms out to provide you with a nice view of the activity, and I never found myself wondering where I was supposed to be going or where my character was.
Though the game will take around eight hours or so to complete the story (based on how fast you rush through it), it immediately wants you to keep playing after you finish. There is a level of difficulty unlocked at the ending to entice another play through, plus you will still have tons of upgrades left to buy.
Sacred 3 does not do a whole lot of things incorrect other than having lackluster writing. Well, that and, according to die hard fans of the series, the fact that its not much like its predecessors in the series. The game is pretty straightforward and decently fun. There is not a whole lot of depth to it, but you could do a lot worse if you would like to spend several hours hacking and slashing your way through hordes of enemies.