Playing on: Windows XP PC ( Pentium 4 Extreme 3.2GHz, Geforce 7800 GTX AGP, 4GB DDR)
Year: 2004 (Sacred plus, Sacred: Underworld 2005)
Completing Sacred is another one of those goals that feels really satisfying since it feels like so long ago I first attempted to beat this game and gave up at some point. Completing this game was a long and well…tedious road but it came with a good bit of satisfaction.
The first time I attempted to beat this game I fell victim to relentless computer crashes about 20 hours in. This time, thankfully I had no such issues although the game did crash on me one maybe two times total in the hours upon hours I poured into it which is pretty good. There were some odd bugs at times such as on a few rare occasions when I would load a game as I walked around enemies would instantly die as they came on screen although this only would last a few minutes.
Sacred is an odd case because even though I have way more bad things to say about it then good things I still think Sacred is an overall good game and I did find myself enjoying it a little bit more than hating it overall. I think the worst aspect of this game was just the repetition that after so long makes the game feel like a little bit of a slog to me. The world is massive, maybe even overwhelmingly so and the areas all seem like they fit together realistically. The unfortunate part is that at the same time they all feel a little samey. For instance, everything is more or less random. You may end up finding a cool path deep into the forest to a dilapidated house but inside its more or less like every other dilapidated house you’ll find in the game and even if it does have a treasure chest inside its only going to contain some random items, likely a few hundred gold pieces of which you likely already have thousands. It’s a shame that the world, although seemingly vast and varied ultimatly is predictable and bland.
Sacred also has another feature I dislike in RPG’s, difficulty levels, and when you first start the game you’re limited to only a few. This means that the majority of item drops you get from killing countless hordes of monsters are generally common items. Money is also pretty easy to accumulate in game and I never found that to be an issue. The base difficulty of Sacred is just fine and can still be a challenge though.
There are plenty of sidequests in each town and along your route but none of them are particularly compelling. They mostly consist of bringing back this person or gather X amount of dragon livers. Did I also mention there are no maps for when you’re in dungeons? Maybe there was a button to bring up such maps but for the life of me I couldn’t find it. Luckily I’m pretty decent at navigating maze like dungeons else I may have been quite frustrated.
The overall story though is pretty good and involves a demon slowly corrupting the world as well as an evil baron rebelling against the rightful king to seize power.
Combat is your standard Diablo hack and slash action RPG style though it does have its annoyances. For one flying enemies can be excruciatingly hard to click on and hit as they randomly fly around the screen. Thankfully after a short while they usually will land giving you a better opportunity to attack. Even more annoying though are the “shoot and scoot” enemies such as archers. I was constantly coming across enemies with bows that would fire at me and then when I got close would run off and fire again. rince and repeat. Even more annoying is they would often lead me into packs of more enemies. I played a pretty melee based character so I guess a more range weapon oriented character may have alieved this issue.
I also had this odd issue later in the game that when in combat the enemy would suddenly clone into two of the same enemies. I did notice a weapon I used had a “split” ability (or a curse?) but the percentage chance on it was way to low to justify the number of times this happened as well as the fact it continued to happen even after I abandoned the weapon.
I do feel I need to point out the the sound in general is fine though later on there are these female cultists that have the most annoying screechy voice and they continue to use them throughout the game.
I found the keep to survival in this game, at least while playing the seraphim character is the celestrial light spell and spamming heal potions. The celestial light spell calls down a column of light that once leveled up can do some serious continuous damage. It’s great for when your being surrounded by tons of enemies and you call it on your position as it will not harm you. Through most of the game half of my inventory space was taken up with heal potions and I was not afraid to use the space bar to quickly and continuously use them if needed…and it was needed.
After defeating the final boss who ends up being the wizard that actually summoned the demon in the first place I more or less had enough but there was still several hours to go in the underworld expansion pack.
I think this whole expansion mostly takes place in what’s supposed to be an afterlife world but it really just comes off as more exotic earthly destinations. There are a lot of new and kind of gross bug monsters you end up fighting a lot of and I did like the island sections populated by skeletal pirates and giant hermit crabs. In the end though when I finally beat the final demon boss I was glad it was over. Despite all the negative things said I think Sacred is a quite passable action hack and slash RPG and even though the game started to feel overly long any samy as I played more and more I did keep me coming back with the simple hack and slash gameplay and the hope of finding a matching item or weapon drop to go with my set.
Sacred was a good game for its time and the world is super vast but it just drags on a bit too long. The enemy variety is pretty nice but I just wish the vast world was fleshed out more and given more scripted parts. A good game and I certainly enjoyed it more than the recent Diablo III but in my book middle of the road action RPG