You'll initially select a character from a list of six including the standard fare High Elf to the less than conventional robotic Anubis. Initial customisation is weak, although this comes into play as you collect, buy, sell and trade countless pieces of loot from around the world of Ancaria.
Sacred 2 is playable locally or online with up to four other players. It's probably impossible to see everything the game has to offer in under 100 hours.
One of the biggest hurdles of this type of genre on the home console are the controls. Thankfully Scared 2 gets everything just about perfect. By mapping potions to the d-pad and attacks to the face buttons (which can be altered by pulling the triggers) Sacred 2 plays like the perfect couch RPG. It's almost too easy to hop online and veg out with four friends, slaughtering hordes of enemies and collecting all the loot. Despite some early issues with a wonky camera, it all becomes second nature within mere minutes of gameplay. And we guarantee those initial few minutes will turn into hours before too long.
Ancaria may be a bit too large to be interesting in every single sector, but it always maintains a fresh and vibrant look. The bright colours and gothic buildings complement each other perfectly, making Ancaria an inviting world to explore.
Ancaria not only looks gorgeous, but it also sounds refreshing too. Tired of the pumping rock soundtracks frequent in other genres, Sacred 2's mix of ambient and oriental sounds provide the perfect retreat. Some of the sound-effects and speech samples attached to combat can grate, but on the whole, the game is a real treat to the ear drums.
To us, Ancaria is a little too big. It would have been nicer to see the world given a more focused design choice. However, in that mandate for making the world so big, developers Ascaron have ensured they make it count by filling the world with literally hundreds of quests to complete. You could play in the sandbox of Ancaria for hundreds of hours and still have quests unfinished.
With little narrative and plot to drive the main quest forward, your only real reason for tackling them is for experience and the guided tour of Ancaria the campaign provides. By picking up side-quests along the way, you'll flesh out your experience with the game, but it's still disappointing to not have a more interesting narrative here.
While Ancaria ensures hours of gameplay due its size and sheer degree of content, it can be very overwhelming. The world is big and largely empty. Few teleport and gateway points mean travel can become tiresome, despite the world's gorgeous aesthetics.
Out of all the online games we attempted to jump into, approximately 20% would cause our Playstation 3 to crash. When you're in, the experience is flawless. It's just a shame it can be painful to get up and running.
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is actually a surprisingly engaging RPG-meets-hack-and-slash affair. Despite issues with its main plot-line and unnecessarily large map, this is the perfect couch RPG. Once you pop, it's kinda hard to stop.
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