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September 1, 2009
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
28/8/2009Madmancdv SoftwareAscaron1-22-4
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating
Disc4GB1080pDD5.1NoPG

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Sacred 2 look pretty impressive.
The original Sacred was released in 2004 an achieved moderate success on the PC with sales now approaching 2 million units. The good news for console owners is that sequel isn't restricted to the PC with the console version hitting shelves less then a year after its PC release. So what about the story? It's pretty epic so keep reading...

Set 2,000 years before the original game Sacred 2 revolves around the mysterious power known as 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 High Elves, so that they could benefit from T-Energy. T-Energy helped the realm of the High Elves to experience an incomparable boost of prosperity, making it the reigning culture in Ancaria.

Soon there was a heated dispute among the High Elves as to how and to what purpose the T-Energy was to be used. Every party wanted to use the power. The dispute changed to irresolvable conflict, causing a rift between the High Elves. A terrible Civil War raged among the High Elves, resulting in all participants becoming losers. Their realm collapsed and with it the entire power structure.

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Battles in Sacred 2 are intense.
Other peoples surged forward to pressure Ancaria and were ready to seize the power for themselves in order to take the place of the High Elves. Dispute covered the entire realm. Apart from the devastation of war, a further calamity intruded into Ancaria. The T-Energy went out of control! The once creative power of the T-Energy now changed into something negative. Creatures and animals mutated beyond recognition, entire regions became un-inhabitable, cities and villages were destroyed.

Before we delve into this review I have to admit that I have not played through the game entirely. Doing so would require a massive amount of time. After six hours I had barely scraped through 4% of the total map, after 15 hours it was around 15%. You can see that this is an incredibly long game with a tonne of land to explore. At the moment I'm around 40% of the total land explored, so I am, for the sake of a speedy review, going to review this game even though I haven't completed it. Needless to say I've put a fair chunk of time into this game.

To give you some idea of the size of this game the developers have apparently included around 100 main quests to complete, and around 600 side-quests. See now why we haven't finished this game? It will take weeks of playing several hours a day to get through this monster release. Travelling from one side of the map on foot can take hours, it's that big.

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Yar, OK, this isn't the English verison.
Upon starting this game you not only get a selection of six different classes to play as, but will ultimately choose if you will follow a path of "light" or "shadow", and naturally the choice you make will affect the gameplay, how people respond to you and your powers. While you start out with standard weapons, clothing and magic abilities new items can be found by defeating foes, or purchasing items at the various merchants around the lands. The game also has a rather complex system allowing you to forge together items to make them more powerful. Fortunately you character can carry quite a range of items, allowing you to change them at will (or build up a collection to sell for money).

As with the original title you can also mount creatures to ride around the lands. These horses come in pretty bog standard form, or fully prepared for battle. These give you a tactical advantage on the battlefield. There are also "special mounts" which are limted to the class you have selected at the beginning of the game but include creatures such as tigers, giant spiders or lizards among others. These mounts can even be equipped and upgraded as you desire.

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The 1080p visuals are pretty nice.
We must mention that while doing research for this game many people were complaining of severe and critical bugs that occurred during the game, sometimes even crashing it. We're pretty pleased to report that to date we haven't had any game stopping bugs and it looks like the development team, and perhaps Sony's QA testing, have fixed many of these bugs in the PS3 version.

So what other issues do we have with Sacred 2? Well if anything it may be too big for its own good. I'm not talking about the 20+ square miles of terrain, but the sheer number of quests on offer. In fact you spend so much time completing all the quests and side-quests, that the storyline seems to get lost in the shuffle. It's not uncommon to go a couple of hours without advancing the story one bit.

Other issues we have include the menu system which is a little confusing at times (although admittedly it is hard to see how the developers could have simplified this). Also annoying is the poorly implemented map system which doesn't mark our objects that your character can't traverse such as steep hills and cliffs. It means you can spend a few minutes travelling to a location only to find you need to go all the way back and on the other side of a mountain range. Finally the game is repetitive, no doubt about it. While you can go through the game avoiding conflict with other beings, you could also rack up a kill count in the thousands within a handful of hours.

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Riding into battle on a horse.
One of the more interesting aspects of this game is the online gameplay. It's possible for four players to jump into a game together to work on quests together. Unfortunately our experiences online to date have been somewhat limited. Obviously few gamers had the title as we were working on the review, and the majority of the games we did get into were laggy experiences (we suspect most of these gamers were from America as the game hadn't hit retail here last week).

Visually Sacred 2 manages to impress on some levels, and disappoint on others. Firstly the good news is that this PS3 game does look superior to the XBox 360 version, slightly. The game is rendered at 1080p and for the most part holds a pretty solid 30fps, with the occasional dip and occasional screen tearing as well. Actually, there's quite a bit of screen tearing - too much for out liking. The developers intentionally left the V-Sync turned off in order to keep the frame rate as high as possible.

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Some effects are pretty nice.
Sonically this game is also pretty solid. There is some nice music, and some decent speech with a decent range of effects throughout. I'm not claiming this is a great game sonically, but it gets the job done and given the massive range of weapons, characters, and locations the sound bank used in this game must be massive.

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is a monster title and that may indeed work against it to some regard with such a massive amount of information, menus and settings available it almost becomes overwhelming for the casual gamer. With solid visuals (albeit with screen tearing), audio and gameplay this hack and slash RPG is one which fans of the genre may want to check out.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSThis game runs at 1080p and looks solid, but has plenty of screen tear.
71%
SOUNDThere's some nice music, and decent speech throughout.
77%
GAMEPLAYIt's basically a hack and slash title with plenty of RPG elements. Online is a little patchy, but overall it's quite entertaining.
68%
VALUEIf you really get into the gameplay then there is probably around 100 hours here! Question is; can it keep you enthralled that long?
80%
OVERALLSacred 2: Fallen Angel is massive RPG which isn't groundbreaking in any areas, but doesn't fall flat in any either. One for fans of the genre.
74%

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