SACRED 2 is a purely action-based role-playing game, featuring six diverse and in-depth characters, each with their own distinct gameplay style. SACRED 2 will offer the player two different campaigns; one in the Light, the other in Shadow. The chosen path will influence the reception of the player in different environments; a city which welcomed a good character is likely to be hostile towards an evil one.
Learn stunning fighting techniques and sophisticated spells. Collect a huge variety of weapons and objects and enhance the character's attributes to create a unique, personalised hero.
A Hero's Decision Affects the Lives of Many
It is time to choose your destiny, whether to champion the cause of good or to delve into the twisted paths of evil.
The setting is nearly 2,000 years prior to the events of SACRED. The player assumes the role of one of six characters and enters into a story of quests and secrets, magic and sorcery, power and honour.
At the heart of the world of SACRED is the T-energy. For a long time it was the angelic Seraphim who watched over the T Energy, and therefore over the fate of the entire world. They passed their knowledge on to the civilised High Elves, so that they could benefit from the richness of T-Energy. The realm of the High Elves bloomed in prosperity, cementing it as the reigning culture in Ancaria.
As comes with all power, the snakes of deceit and unrest reared their hands and bared their fangs. The enormity of the energy was not something which the children of Ancaria had been taught to handle. And so it was that the tendrils of fear and loathing began to take apart that which the High Elves had built…
The player must choose their path wisely, as both Light and Shadow campaigns weave alternative journeys across the world of SACRED 2, where the unwary traveller may be aided or attacked by the various inhabitants in the vast land of Ancaria.
Dryad or Seraphim, High Elf or Inquisitor, Temple Guardian or Shadow Warrior, you must now take up your steel, recite your spells and prepare yourself for the harrowing conflict ahead. For good or ill, the gods are watching as a new dawn approaches.
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is big. If you were to walk from one end of Ancaria to the other, without stopping to collect gold, talk to villagers, or slay pesky goblins, it would take six hours. There are 22 square miles of forest, desert, tundra, volcano, swamp, and island to explore, and that's not even counting the vast network of underground dungeons inhabited by giant monsters that fill your entire screen. Yes, size is important to publisher CDV, as it looks to create an action role-playing game so massive that it will break free of its PC roots and entice console players to get in on the hack-and-slash action made famous by Diablo.
The bosses of Sacred 2 are big. Really big.
Set to be released later this year on the PC and Xbox 360 with the possibility of another "major console," said CDV, Sacred 2 takes place 2,000 years before the original Sacred. Although there are six playable classes and hundreds of different quests, the basic story is this: Angelic seraphim have been charged with watching over the ancient land of Ancaria. Pleased by the progress of the ancient elves, the seraphim decided to share their secrets of T-energy with the elves. T-energy is the source of all life; it binds us and penetrates us...you know the deal. In a selfish bid to collect all of the T-energy, a faction of elves shattered the harmonious balance of life in Ancaria. Naturally the seraphim that decided to share the T-energy with these greedy elves is in a spot of trouble, and the angelic creature is dispatched from the heavens to right what was wronged. Fallen angel...get it?
We met with CDV and got our hands on Sacred 2 from the beginning. Although playing through the game as a sexy angel is enticing, we opted to jump into Ancaria as the shadow warrior class. The shadow warrior was once a proud soldier, decorated in battle, but was unnaturally raised from the dead against his will. It's understandable that the shadow warrior is grumpy--we don't like getting woken up during naps, let alone eternal slumber. We had only about an hour with the game, so we didn't have enough time to guide the shadow warrior back to the afterlife, but we do know that the six classes' campaigns will take roughly 25 hours to finish each, and that's without playing the hundreds of extra side quests. We did have enough time, however, to summon a pair of skeletal undead warriors to our side in battle to beat up on lowly goblins.
In addition to the seraphim and shadow warrior, you can choose a high elf, dryad, temple guardian, and inquisitor. With the exception of the seraphim and inquisitor classes, you can choose to embark on either a light or dark campaign. While the seraphim is the epitome of good and can choose only a light path, the inquisitor is a great big jerk capable of wielding dark T-energy and scaring small children. Consequently, only the path of shadow is available to him.
The customization options are fairly deep for each class. At this point, you won't be able to create a character from scratch, and we were forced to play as a preset shadow warrior, although CDV is looking into some basic cosmetic customization options to make your character your own. The first important customization choice is to select your own personal deity. Each class begins with 15 combat arts, so you won't have to waste time power-leveling for special attacks. Each of the six deities will unlock an additional five combat arts for you. Throughout the game, you'll find, buy, craft, and trade for pieces of armor like chest plates and helmets. When you accumulate a complete matching set, you'll unlock several combat bonuses.
If you don't want to spend six hours traversing the countryside on foot, feel free to jump on a special mount. In addition to faithful steeds, each class has a specific special mount that can also be outfitted in its own personalized suit of armor. The seraphim charges into battle on a white tiger, for example.
Each of the combat arts can also be tweaked and modified. The seraphim has a lightning attack that can later be changed to spread across the screen, dealing a bit of damage to a number of enemies, or changed into a focused beam of electricity that will devastate a solo enemy. The changes you make on these skill trees will serve to differentiate you from other players of the same class in multiplayer modes.
CDV describes Sacred 2 as being "as close as you can get to an MMO without being an MMO." What that means is that 16 players on the PC or four players on Xbox Live can drop seamlessly into a campaign to play with friends. The enemy AI will automatically increase in difficulty depending on the size of the party, to keep things fair. Because 22 square miles is a lot of ground to cover, you can click on a friend's icon and warp to his or her location immediately. There's also a player-versus-player arena and a player-versus-environment mode, and all statistics earned there will carry over to your character in the campaign, and vice versa.
We jumped into the PC version to play a few quests as our shadow warrior alongside two seraphim controlled by CDV representatives. After warping to their location, we hacked and slashed away with our broad sword at pesky goblins and skeletons. On the PC, you simply point and click with the left mouse button to move and attack, and right click to use one of your selected combat arts. We decided to throw bright green flashes of undead energy, while the seraphim used lightning strikes. There wasn't much to our quest--we simply tracked down some robbers using our compass and beat them down with melee attacks. Soon their gold was ours, we returned the lost loot to the rightful owners, we gained some experience points, and we made Ancaria a little safer for everyone.
We did get a chance to peek at a few of the bosses in Sacred 2 that are so giant they take up almost the entire screen. A giant fire beast, similar to the balrog in The Lord of the Rings, hurled fireballs at us, and later, a giant squid tried to wrap our character in his crushing tentacles. Ouch.
It's clear that action RPG fans will have a lot to do when Sacred 2 hits later this year. While the hack-and-slash combat isn't very complex next to some of the excellent action RPGs we've seen in recent years, the land of Ancaria is packed with adventure, atmosphere, and choice. Sacred 2 takes what made the original game a success and expands upon it in every way.