When the original Sacred was released in 2004, it divided both the gaming community and the critics like oil and water. Those who fell under its spell of addictive, Diablo-esque combat were instantly smitten, while those expecting something with a little more depth were left sadly disappointed. Needless to say, the game fared well enough at retail to establish a passionate gamer community, and it’s this that’s paved the way to the development of a sequel – the cunningly named Sacred 2.
Sticking to the motto ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, Sacred 2 follows pretty much the same formula as the original game, with the scale turned up way past 11. For starters, the game’s been given a stunning graphical overhaul, and is now rendered in full 3D with an array of visual effects. When you see the way rain makes the streams ripple or watch the grass sway in the breeze, it’s obvious that this a world away from the original game, with over 22 square miles of game world to explore.
Such an amount of land is a lot of ground to cover by any RPG’s standard – it’s six square miles larger than Oblivion, fact fans – but Ascaron has pulled it off well by creating a world that’s so utterly packed with things to see and do you’ll never feel lost or without purpose. Sacred’’s map is filled with dungeons, cities, bandit camps and, most importantly, enemies that need slaying, keeping you busy as you progress to the next objective. The main storyline alone consists of around 100 quests, and with hundreds of side-quests, chores and other challenges for you to complete, we’re talking about a Baldur’s Gate 2-sized adventure here – even if the story isn’t up to much.
Set in the land of Ancaria, 2,000 years before the events of the original game, Sacred 2’s storyline revolves around a mysterious substance called T-Energy – a blue goop that apparently governs all life and thought. It was once controlled exclusively by the ancient Seraphim, but as the years passed, the Seraphim grew weary and passed control over to the High Elves. However, all was not well, as a power struggle soon erupted between the different factions of High Elves. Corrupted by power, a bloody civil war developed, leaving a society in tatters and no one to govern the T-Energy. Without anyone to control it, the T-Energy transformed and spread throughout the land, turning innocent animals into mutated killing machines. And this is where you come in. full review


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