It's sacred ground this.
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 20th April 2004
- Developer: Ascaron
- Publisher: Ascaron
- Release Date: 19th March 2004
RPG action games have to be one of the most common genres to grace the PC, the huge worlds in which to explore, the simple combat systems and the ability to upgrade your character throughout the game tends to have an addictive impact on gamers. Naturally some are better at engrossing players into their world than others so how did Sacred measure up?
To start off with the player gets to choose a character from the six available classes which include the Gladiator, Battle mage, Dark Elf, Wood Elf, Seraphim and the Vampiress. All classes are unique in their combat styles and abilities and where some are strong, others are weak. Take for example the Gladiator who is by far the most superior close combat character, unlike the wood elf who prefers to keep a distance whilst fighting with the use of ranged weapons.
Sadly the characters themselves are not very customisable; they come as they are with no options to change gender or appearance and although more importantly you can improve their stats and learn new skills later on in the game each character starts off with a predetermined stats structure. Despite the lack of customisation involved however the selection of characters largely covers most types of gameplay and should satisfy most types of gamers from those who like to barge their way through using muscle to those of us that like the magical characters.
The game itself is a typical point and click adventure game with the left mouse button controlling the vast majority of your characters actions from walking, opening chests and attacking. The action takes place in a huge environment in which you are directed around by a compass. Living in the games world are many non-playable characters and just like most other RPG’s some of whom will have a quest for you to complete along with the numerous merchants and numerous ‘baddies’, there is even the option to buy horses and travel around on horseback allowing mounted attacking and faster travelling.
As you wonder around completing tasks and accomplishing quests various other characters may join you for a while, usually to help with a specific task but it adds a little variation rather than sticking with the same characters all the time. You can pass weapons and other goods onto your temporary party members and at one point when I decided to go against the wishes of one of these characters they abruptly gave back the items I had given them! Each character you control has a health bar surrounding their picture which obviously decreases after taking damage; it does regenerate slowly itself but can be topped up quicker with the usual potions found in these types of game.
Unfortunately a big part the game is also the worst, I am of course referring to the combat system which requires players to ‘mash’ the left mouse button over and over again in order to keep attacking. It’s a silly and unrewarding system which unfortunately comes up far too often throughout the game. There is the option of combo attacks and special attacks that can be learnt as you progress but these fail to improve the over empty feeling of the combat system.
Sacred takes place in the large and detailed world of Ancaria, a 2D map bursting with wildlife (think rabbits and deer), domesticated animals (cows and horses) and of course as mentioned earlier NPC’s and enemies. The game itself is presented in a pleasant, clean manner and the camera gives the option of zooming in or out on the action although be warned, when zoomed in the game struggles to run smoothly and the graphics take a turn for the worse.
Sacred features decent audio but nothing that really stands out, music is your usual adventure gaming style and quickly forgotten however voice acting is pretty good and the sounds of battles are certainly not bad either.
To finish, been an avid fan of the RPG genre, it’s only natural that I would compare Sacred to similar games that have given me hours and hours of addictive gameplay and unfortunately, Sacred just doesn’t do it for me. The character development system seems a little basic and unfinished and the amount of bugs in the game really is unacceptable. Its fun for a while and any fan of the genre as a whole will probably want to add it to their collection but personally, the game just wasn’t engrossing enough for me, the quests didn’t seem fulfilling when completed and the tedious battles took a big chunk of fun away from the game. It’s good, but not as good as it could’ve been, loved the horses though!
Review Score: 7/10
Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy. More on Sacred >>
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