Platforms: PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Developer: Keen Games Publisher: Deep Silver
Genre: Action-RPG Platform Played On: PS3
Over the last few years, we’ve seen games change in many ways though every once in a while, it’s good to jump back and play some good, old school games. This is exactly what you get from Keen Game’s Sacred 3, the third instalment in the long-running hack ‘n slash RPG series. While Sacred 3 has its moments, there are quite a few things that brought it down hard.
Hack ‘n Slash games are the types I really like to play after a long day. You know when you get those long days where you just want to break someone, be the hero (or villain) and just wreck havoc? If you do, then Sacred 3 is one of those games where you can sit down and do that and feel satisfied. Wading through hordes of underclassed enemies and sending them flying in all directions with a gigantic axe is brilliant fun. Then you get the mixture of more powerful enemies which force you to alter your tactics. You have to admit, it’s pretty fun.
As a dungeon-crawling, Diablo style action-RPG, it’s designed to be played by players who enjoy this kind of games. If you like your fast-paced shooters (hey, who doesn’t?) more than you like grinding then this probably isn’t your type of game.
One gold star Keen Games can pin to their chest is the intriguing difficulty levels the game has when you play on the harder levels. It can be pretty merciless during your playthrough, even early on.
You’ll have so many characters on screen rushing you at the same time you’ll be constantly fighting to bash away the foot soldiers while having to deal with larger and more difficult enemies which would be good if it wasn’t so same-old-same-old. Hack ‘n Slash games are a bit repetitive by nature but unfortunately Sacred 3 reveals all its cards rather early on. I found myself utilising the same tactics over and over again with little reason to try a different approach.
The game offers five warrior classes, burly-chested-Man 1, Man 2, Man 3 and Women-with-lots-of-cleavage-on-display 1 and 2. One of the characters is pre-order DLC but I’ll leave it up to you to see if that counts. All the characters have their differences such as brawler, mage, archer, long-range attacker etc but their play styles all to begin to blur together pretty quickly. Duck and roll, duck and lunge. Quick! Use a special attack to wipe out a few dudes. That kind of thing. It gets really old really quickly and ultimately it doesn’t feel as if you’re working towards anything.
One playthrough with a character is enough but you’ll probably just pick one and experiment with the others.
In looks, Sacred 3 didn’t blow me away but aesthetically it’s pretty. The lighting makes some areas look quite nice even through the game’s somewhat tame level design. Sacred 3 is incredibly linear. The game require you to enter a lot of areas where you have to kill everything to progress. It gets old pretty quickly. Yes, it can be fun eliminating swathes of enemies but the game will literally force you to do it to move forward. It just gets boring that way. Sacred 2 had an open world which would have suited this game better.
What really bugged me about Sacred 3 though?
Well I’ll have to admit, it felt as if the developer played “Pin the tail on the Donkey” when it came to plot. Before you say it, I know the plot only serves as a back-drop but the whole “evil empire trying to take over the lovely pure lands of high quality living” plot coupled with an antagonist called Zane making him sound as if he’s eternally six years old sucked all interest out of me. I got up to get a drink during a cut-scene because I just didn’t care at all.
The fate of the world may be in my hands but I just don’t care. Sorry Arcania.
Those of you who enjoy the Sacred series will be familiar with the “sense” of humour the series offers. If you like not-so-slyly delivered innuendoes then good news, you’ll love it. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the jokes were any good. I like my low-brow comedy as much as the next guy but when the jokes pass the “so good they’re bad” stage into the “that’s just bad” level, you know it’s time to consider muting the dialogue.
As far as RPGs go, it doesn’t feel as though there’s as much meat to Sacred 3 as you might expect. There are gold coins you collect but don’t expect to happen across armour or weapons like you would in other action-RPGs. Sacred 3 seems to be content with the minimalistic approach to unlocks. You’ll only really get stuff at pre-determined points so there’s not a hell of a lot of reason to outdo yourself while playing the game. As I previously said, you get the really feeling that you’re working towards nothing and the lack of reward really highlights it.
A year from now, you’ll forget you ever played Sacred 3. As I said, it has it’s moments where it can actually be quite fun if you accept what it is. What gets in its way is the simplistic combat, character classes and game design but that’s the word which really sums this Sacred 3 up.
If you really love the Sacred series, you’ll probably see improvements made over 2009’s Sacred 2 but while game developers giveth, they also taketh away and replace with simple stuff that isn’t so great.
It’s not terrible but it’s empty and mediocre.
+ Fun combat.
+ Challenging when on high difficulties.
– Simplistic level design, character classes and game design.
-Headbashingly – boring, cut and paste story.
– Rubbish jokes.
The Score: 4.8.
George Sinclair a long serving PlayStation Editor for Analog Addiction, the home of the latest news, reviews and previews. You can find George on Twitter but you should be sure to follow the OFFICIAL Analog Addiction Twitter as well!