I Am One of the Seraphim

It may not be perfect, but Sacred 2: Fallen Angel fulfills most of your random item hunting needs.
Author: Andrew Damiter
Published: May 28, 2009
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If you played and enjoyed Diablo and Diablo II, you probably picked up Champions of Norrath and its sequel. If you enjoyed that, you probably played the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance series. If you just couldn’t get enough hack-and-slash action after that, you probably gave the original Sacred a try. Assuming you saw through all the technical problems and actually enjoyed it, you probably felt that special warm feeling at the announcement of Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. Unfortunately, while not a terrible game, it is by no means the best out of those listed above. In fact, I think it’s safe to say the only game it’s better than is its predecessor. Still, the desire to find that next great item will likely keep you playing despite the myriad of problems, creating a somewhat frustrating but strangely rewarding experience.

Sacred 2 is much greater than the sum of its parts. There is a laundry list of complaints that anyone could whip up with less than an hour of playtime, but yet you can’t help but keep playing. The small changes it brings to the action RPG formula, combined with the tried-and-true dropping of randomized items, creates a fascinatingly complex and stunningly simple game. In short, Ascaron Entertainment has created something that really deserves to be played, but will likely fade due to a series of perplexing design choices and a steep learning curve made worse by a complete lack of meaningful documentation.

If you’re looking for a game with a deep, engaging story, keep looking. Sacred 2 is your typical great evil, potentially greater savior fantasy shtick. In fairness, the game does offer a light and dark campaign depending on which character class you choose, but it’s still the same I-must-live-you-must-die narrative that we’ve all heard a thousand times. The game pushes you forward through a series of story-centric quests, although given the open world design you’re free to run amok without following the story. This freedom is one of the game’s greatest strengths, along with its absolutely massive scale.

Hitting select brings up a world map that will make you say “wow” the first time you zoom all the way out. After running around for an hour or so, you will have touched maybe two percent of the total landscape. Of course, all that open space would be meaningless if there weren’t things to do on it. Aside from the main quest, there are NPCs strewn about who offer standalone side quests along with series of class specific quests that differ appropriately depending on which class you choose. Side quests are plentiful and a great source of experience, as well as reasons to go out and explore. The main quest won’t take you everywhere, so sometimes it pays to wander off on your own.

NPCs tend to be long winded and say uninteresting things, but their requests are typically similar. Generally you’ll be going to a particular spot to kill a certain number of a certain creature. Sometimes you’ll be tasked with recovering a special item. Other times you’ll have to escort an NPC , which is an awful exercise in frustration. NPCs have no regard for their own well-being, meaning they’ll fight to the death or constantly run away depending on how they are programmed. Worst of all, their health does not regenerate naturally. It’s up to you to cast spells or just let them die, the latter often being the less frustrating choice. Your mini-map will display a golden arrow to direct you to the next main quest checkpoint, and your world map will display a marker over your target. Side quests are represented in silver and class quests in blue, making it easy to separate what’s what.
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