Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Review

When Sacred 2 crossed my desk, I dove into the action RPG right away, at which point the sheer amount of detail made it somewhat daunting. Buffs and runes and enchantments, oh my! Making it through my first couple of quests (of which there are hundreds) I felt as if I was missing something, especially when it came to leveling up. Then it dawned on me: Sacred 2 isn’t an RPG where I should be ultra-interested in the story or the progression of my character … this is purely a loot fest! Once I figured this out, I changed the way I played, deciding that rather than check-off quests as I got them, I should talk to everyone I could to identify tons of quests and open the huge world map. Once quest markers didn’t matter, the game became infinitely more fun.

Ahhh, the loot fests. You know the games: you run around a map, sometimes aimlessly, hacking, slashing, shooting and casting magic on anything and everything just to earn the almighty Golden Boot of the Last Starfighter or some other quirky thing. Not that these pieces of loot are all that valuable, but you still somehow absolutely and without a doubt NEED to have them in your cache.

Because Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is ported from a the PC, there are a ton of buttons that needed to be mapped to make the game have the same level of customization as it needs on the PC. To get that effect, every single button is used on the controller. All attacks, be they magical or weapon-based, are controlled using the face buttons as well as combinations of the trigger buttons to modify the attacks. It’s really not as bad as that sounds, because the combat is quite basic: mash on the weapon of choice and cast some spells when needed. The weapon selection is massive as expected, with lances, energy guns and the requisite sword. As an Inquisitor, I chose one of my first skill upgrades to be the ability to dual-wield single-handed weapons, and I didn’t look back or regret that at all. Seeing my larger-than-life High Elf Priest slicing through enemies with two super-modified Bastard Swords brought a smile to my face on more than one occasion. Not only that, but when I leveled up my Eruptive Desecration spell and unleashed it on a horde of dead (and undead) bodies, the blood and meaty bits flew through the air, taking out a nice chunk of the zombies attacking me.

The game features one major story element that drives you through its 22 square miles of land, but being a very open world, it lets you go anywhere at any time. Like Oblivion and other RPGs, the AI adapts to your gameplay and level in the game, so there should be no worry about wandering way off the beaten path and getting your ass kicked. With almost 600 quests, you also sure to find a lot of locations to get your level up to the cap of 200 — and with each level comes skill point increases as well as Combat Art (spell) enhancements.

Honestly, there were far too many quests going on at one particular time to be able to focus in on the main quest, but that can be a byproduct of how I played the game. I talked to anyone with a ? or a ! over their heads, which opened up more quests on my map. Before I knew it, I had more than 20 active quests, all of which I read and then quickly and accidentally blended together in my mind. If the story is a main draw for you, it might be worth it to either tackle that in large chunks at one time or save it for later. The NPC quests can tend to bog you down if you’re not careful.

On the Xbox 360 version, Sacred 2 shows minimal graphical or audio issues, and when zooming-in to the highest detail level, the character models show great art design. Also impressive is that every individual weapon and piece/type of armor is rendered in the game. That’s a lot of processing power, considering all the in-game equipment.

In terms of the multiplayer component, I played the game before and shortly after its retail release, so the “ability” to play with random asshats on Xbox Live was cut down quite a bit, and I seemed to be playing with fellow reviewers. When you start a game, you open it as Friends Only or to anyone on the network, which allows them to join you in your quest. The host’s game is the only one modified during play, so that means that xX133tXx can advance your plot forward without your knowledge. The game will adjust based on the players in the game, so experience point allotment and loot drops are increased as more players join in.

Random asshat aside — whom you’ll find on just about any game — Sacred 2: Fallen Angel should be added to the backlog of anyone who loves a good loot-collection game, particularly one like this that doesn’t impose a short timeline or ridiculously low level cap.

Score: 7.8

– Jeff Paramchuk

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