Reviewed on: PlayStation 3
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Reviewed by: Marco Cocomello
Goodbye open world exploration, looting, in-depth skill trees, and character customization, say hello to Sacred 3. Looking back at the franchise which has been built on point-and-click RPG elements which sometimes rivaled those of Diablo, and Dungeon Siege, Sacred 3 is a step back in the franchise. Although not as great as its predecessors, Sacred 3 has some new mechanics going for it.
Sacred 3 has taken on a new Hack and Slash form, traversing through a linear map of levels, defeating waves of enemies, collecting gold, and facing off a boss at each of them. Even though it sounds repetitive and most of it is, it is actually quite enjoyable thanks to its battle system. Performing combos, using special attacks like magic and freezing arrows, and executing downed enemies is rewarding, although nothing really comes from it, it is addictive thanks to its visual style and enemy variations.
The main issue with the battle system is that there is no real reason to fight, the character progression is near to absent, and after a while you will have so much gold you won’t have anything to spend it on. Characters have 3 weapons and 8 skills that upgrade at an extremely slow pace due to the high level requirement before you can improve it. The game has no weapon drops, or loot system of any kind, so battles have no purpose, and if you weren’t blocked in by a wall preventing any progression until all the enemies are killed, you would skip them.
Your character levels up during the game, which unlocks the ability to purchase new upgrades; these upgrades are also barely noticeable, and there is very little difference between fighting an enemy whilst level 40, and fighting an enemy at level 10. Each of the four classes offer very little difference besides their abilities, the classes feel more like the same thing with a different skin equipped.
Playing with a friend is great, however, the same issues are still visible and it has very little difference on the game’s playability. If playing co-op, you have the ability to share a power, this varies from concocting a beam between players and anything stuck in-between takes damage, and creating a frozen barrier around a character; these abilities vary depending on your class. There is a lengthy period before it can be used, and it has a very short duration, making it pointless. You also get unique Spirits that can be found, these are selectable and each have their own ability like a health drop increase, or a damage increase. I found none of these useful at all, they were more of an annoyance because of their constant talking during a level. I actually exited a level to remove the Elf that sings about everything during the stage, due to her frustrating voice and ear gorging audio.
The levels in the game are nice to look at, they all stand out from each other and each offers a different feel. The way they play out is the main issue as every stage’s mechanics feels the same. For example, there is always an object that is trying to fall on your head or there is always a wheel that you have to turn, which triggers more enemies. Additionally, there is always an Elite holding a key. You start by killing waves of enemies while getting to the end, and that is all there is to it.
There are a number of side quests that you can undertake too, these are found on the map and are represented by smaller icons. The side quests come in two variations; survive 5 waves of enemies, and get to the end of the level. These only take about 5 minutes to complete and you are rewarded with gold, and sometimes the ability to hold more potions or shields. These unlocks are also pointless due to the fact that game is filled with heath orbs at every turn, so you’ll never need to make use of a potion.
The main story is mediocre and is brought down even more by terrible voice acting by the entire cast. Your guide, Arla, is constantly making terrible jokes, the main enemies always sound idiotic, and not one moment goes by without one of these taking place.
Sacred 3 is not a bad game, switch off the sound and it is a bit better. Everything that the game does it does with half a heart; there is no reason to actually play it, and there is zero reason to come back after it is completed. All the mechanics of a great RPG are there, but they are just not executed properly. It seems that they focused more on the revolting voice acting than that of the actual gameplay mechanics.
Lasting Appeal 5/10