7 May 2010

"Sacred" PC game review

Sacred is a pretty game with green hills and blue skies, except in the desert where it has brown sand and blue skies, and it is a very easy game to play. It is the game I'm inclined to play when I'm not feeling well.

The basic storyline of Sacred is that someone has summoned an evil demon from Hell and now it is loose in the land of Ancaria. This is causing all sorts of repercussions, these mainly being a lot of undead roaming the land in the form of skeletons, zombies and the occasional mummy. Meanwhile, the old king of Ancaria is dying and the bad guys, lead by Baron De Mordrey, are planning to take the crown that rightfully goes Prince Valor (a name not much different to "Prince Charming"), with his love interest Baroness Vilya being second in line. It is this intrigue, rather than the presence of the demon and the undead, that leads to the character's adventures.

I played mainly Sacred Plus , and only on the PC, not online.

The original Sacred had six characters to choose from. They're pretty, too.

One of them is a Seraphim. In fact, it was the idea of a Seraphim coming into the world in human form to fight the bad guys that drew me to the game. It seemed an entrancing idea that a Seraphim should be sent from Heaven to fight the bad guys and have to run around the landscape looking for monsters to kill.

Each of the characters in Sacred has a number of special powers to develop. In the case of the Seraphim I found it best to develope one of her shields - because a shield can be cast on another character to protect them and this is useful when your quest is to keep someone alive for a while, - and "Lightning Bolts", a kind of weapon power that reloads quickly and, especially when you've built it up to a high level, is quite powerful even from a distance. My kids preferred the "BeeEffGee", (yes, my kids like explaining that name to me) a device that looks like a big spear and emits something like slow lightning bolts, but I found it slow to load and slow to regenerate between uses. "Lightning Bolts" was much faster.

The easiest character to play is the Wood Elf. She comes with a healing power, which means you don't have to spend so much time finding enough gold to buy more healing potions and not have to die so much, which happens to the other characters. Besides this, she starts with a companion, the Dark Elf, which makes it easier to get her out of her starting place and into the town of Bellevue where the characters can buy stuff and improve their defenses.

For me, the hardest character to play was the Gladiator. He starts in an arena and can't get out until he's killed a few monsters. However, once he's out he works OK. The "Combat Jump", which at high level shocks the enemies into stillness during his attack, is a good one to get.

The other characters of the original Sacred are a Dark Elf, a Vampiress, who starts the game with a novice to help her get to Bellvue, and the Battle Mage.

Sacred Gold has two more characters. One is a Daemon, who has been thrown out of Hell, and a Dwarf who has arrived in Ancaria via a helicopter and wields guns.

Sacred Gold is a package that includes Sacred and Sacred Underworld. Sacred Underworld is not very pretty and I don't like playing it much.

Sacred is very undemanding game. All the characters have to do is kill whatever enemy is in front of them at the time. Success or failure in the various quests doesn't seem to matter very much. Nothing the character does effects the world, and this is frustrating. Surely if all the enemies are killed in one place, the armies are able to fight more effectively in other places. However, Sacred relentlessly follows the storyline that has been laid out.

As I said, Sacred is a game I play when I'm not feeling very well. After a while I start to notice again that the game is really just one long level grind, and then I get bored, and then I know I'm getting well again.

Click here if you want to read the storyline in greater detail.

Morva Shepley

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