Sacred 3 Review

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"Unfortunately, the final product does not quite reach the humor of the former nor the button mashing fun of the latter."

Sacred 3 is a traditional hack and slash action RPG from publisher Deep Silver that doesn't take itself too seriously, something of a cross between The Bard’s Tale and the Gauntlet franchise. Unfortunately, the final product does not quite reach the humor of the former nor the button mashing fun of the latter, and while it does have its charms, players should think long and hard before settling into this colorful adventure.  

The gameplay in Sacred 3 is very straightforward. You pick one of four heroes: a paladin, a lancer, a barbarian or an archer, and progress through a series of story-based and side missions that revolve around laying waste to hordes of enemies while completing the same three or four objectives and tackling massive bosses. Each character has a basic attack, a bash attack, and two special abilities at their disposal, and players can upgrade their characters by upgrades to their weapons, armor, and special moves. Characters also can equip Weapon Spirits, which are unlocked pretty arbitrarily as player’s progress through the games storyline, and grant specific buffs to the player and their party. Unfortunately, most of the characters play very similarly, with only the archer breaking up the “attack-and-evade” pattern that worked for everyone else quite efficiently.


"The missions are very linear, and contain very few branching paths or secret areas."

Playing with a group is very much encouraged here, and dropping in with a buddy either online or locally is a breeze. Having four players on the screen with you at one time, however, does make it a little tougher to follow the action, as the colorful animations and large number of on-screen opponents can make certain sections more cluttered than one would like. The missions are very linear, and contain very few branching paths or secret areas. Instead, extra items and buffs can be found in the side missions, which are immediately available from the level select screen. This keeps the pace of the story missions steady, as you don’t have to invest in finding these things on your own, but it does imply that your gameplay experience is going to be the same as everyone else’s. 

The visuals in Sacred 3 are top notch. From the pre-rendered cinematic cut scenes, to the digital artwork that breaks up the missions in between, to the character and level designs; everything looks fresh, bright, and colorful. It was a wise move on the developer's part to discard a lot of the more traditional fantasy tropes in favor of the more eclectic selection of heroes on display here. Playing a knight in shining armor for the thousandth time could have gone over just fine, but playing as Claire, the blonde paladin with a pair of luminescent wings sprouting from her back is even better. Similarly, the developer should be applauded for its gorgeous level designs, which inject enough color and detail into the games 30 or so levels to make even such well-trodden venues as the sewer seem like they are being seen for the first time.


"Some of the chatter is so bad that you might find yourself choosing which Spirit to use based on who says the least."

Unfortunately, it is in the voiceover where the presentation begins to go off of the rails. While I can appreciate a game taking a more tongue-in-cheek approach, much of the humor falls flat at first, then descends into repetitive annoyances. The Weapon Spirits are the worst offenders, as each one is designed with some goofy archetype in mind. The Dryad, for example, is the peace-loving hippie, while the elven Bard sings most of her comments in the style of a Mickey Mouse Club pop-star, etc.,) and boy do they ever have a lot to say about your progress. Some of the chatter is so bad that you might find yourself choosing which Spirit to use based on who says the least-- that being the Gladiator in my experience, whose one word utterances of "Violence!" and "Dying!" cause the fewest distractions.

There is a lot to like about Sacred 3. The unique setting is a refreshing take on typical fantasy games, and the army-crushing combat is satisfying for quite some time. But unless you are able to look past the groan-inducing caricatures, misplaced humor, and somewhat repetitive gameplay, there are other titles on the market that are far more satisfying, whether you’re looking for a lighter arcade experience or a deeper, more involved RPG.

Review by: Nick Walge | Reviewed on: Playstation 3

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1 comment :

  1. The game is buggy as hell, but i ended up enjoying far more than I thought i would.

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