Sacred 2 review

All the detail has a very German sensibility. Whereas Diablo is elegant, Sacred 2 is fastidious, stuffed with hard numbers and brimming with tool tips.

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And for extra credit, 10 reasons you should play Sacred 2.

I haven’t completely written the game off but I came away with a very different take on it. Titan’s Quest it’s not. I like numbers, complexity, and all that but in this game it leaves out some very important bits that render all that detail kind of pointless. For instance it doesn’t show the actual weapon speeds which vary between different types. A polearm might be 10% slower than another polearm, but that number is not comparable to say a dagger. You have no reliable way of comparing weapon damage between different types.

Then we get to the skill system which is based on delay timers, something I actively dislike. It’s all too easy to ramp a skill up so it’s delay timer makes it unusable, necessitating a fine balancing act between other skills to bring that delay down. This would probably be fun if the whole thing wasn’t based on making you wait.

I also thought I didn’t mind generic fedex quests but this game disabused me of that notion. It reaches stratospheric heights of homogeneous content, rendering all that freedom kind of pointless. Add in the little bugs and glitches and I was pretty disappointed with the game.

Fair point on the weapon speed, but I think many characters will end up specializing in a single type of weapon. Do speeds vary among weapons of a single type? I don’t know the answer. But, yeah, I guess we’re all pretty used to DPS ratings, aren’t we?

As for the cooldown system “making you wait”, there are ways around this, Gendal! That’s the heart of the mana-less sytem. Queuing up skills in your combo slots, for instance, circumvents the cooldown time. Alternatively, just vary your regular combat arts among the character’s three different “schools” of magic. Or spend your points on skills that reduce cooldown time.

Or, as I’m doing with my Dryad, emphasize equipment that doesn’t raise your regeneration time. The regeneration rating for equipment makes for a great trade-off between heavy gear and spell casting. You have to pay attention to that or you’re going to set yourself up for one-shot combat arts. It’s why the regeneration bar is so prominently featured on the character display!

As for the FedEx quests, I agree that its homogeneous. Almost all of the quests simply steer your grinding for a bit of an xp boost. And if you don’t enjoy the basic grinding – the gameplay, actually – the quests definitely aren’t going to suck you in.


I wasn’t a big fan of sacred1. It was technically competent but never grabbed me. They looooved it in euroland, though. Like all RPGs, sacred2 is definitely on my list, right after the new NWN2 expansion pack and left4dead. Hopefully it’ll be stable by the time I play.

Coincidentally a female friend who LOVED Diablo 2 was asking me the other day if I knew of anything similar (and newish). I already had a few ideas, but this looks like a very good candidate. How real are those system requirements? I worry that the crashing becomes worse with a lower end system like hers.

The weapon speeds definitely are different between the types. If you specialize in a certain category I suppose it wouldn’t even matter but if you are trying to make a decision it’s confusing. You just have to pick something and stick with it I guess. Not game breaking, but fairly annoying.

I think I was getting all caught up in finishing quests and struggling with the map system (which isn’t bad really). I was riding my horse through armies of monsters on the way, getting frustrated with constantly getting on and off the horse, so I eventually just ran through them. This led to lots of boring running back and forth instead of the more interesting combat.

I might very well have enjoyed it more if I just ignored all but the main quest and walked everywhere, killing everything as I went. Unfortunately it’s almost impossible for me to ignore quest markers and once they are in the log then of course I have to do them.

Barstein, on the three systems I’ve used for Sacred 2, my lower-end system still can’t run it without frequent crashes. However, I haven’t bothered trying to troubleshoot it much (come to think of it, I’m not sure I even turned off the PhysX drivers like I did on my other systems).

If her system is really a lower-end system, you might suggest either Depths of Peril or Kiwi’s Underworld.


I would push them towards Titan Quest myself, then Divine Divinity for something different, then maybe Sacred 2 will be all patched up. It’s not unplayable now or anything, but unless you really crave some hack and slash it’s probably better to wait.

She might also like some of the console games like Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance, Champions of Norrath, and even the Marvel X-Men/Alliance lineup.

Yeah, I know how hard that is. You really have to shake that tendency to get anywhere in Sacred 2. But the game is built to just let you go where you want. If you’re a completionist with all the quests, you’re going to be in the same place for a long time. I’d recommend making a beeline for a new area (note that you’ll uncover features on the map as you explore, so that empty stretch might actually have a town or something in it). Then just dig in and do the local quests for a while. The desert is pretty cool.

Also, keep in mind that there isn’t any traditional power curve related to whether you do or don’t finish side quests. You won’t gimp yourself. The only brick walls I’d hit were the bosses along the main storyline. I think those are the closest thing to “gates” in Sacred 2.

But really, everything in the world is pretty much secondary to leveling up your character.


I second the vote for the hacky-slashy console versions of the Baldur’s Gate series. Really good fun.

BTW, the article reads really weird for me. All the paragraphs end like this:


Is this a very subtle joke that I’m not getting? Or am I doing something wrong?

Read the review all the way until the end. It’s explained.

Finish reading the review and you’ll understand.

EDIT: Beaten… I didn’t realize I spent 5 minutes reading and replying to this.

This is the one I read this morning that made me give the demo a second shot. And now the game is 86% downloaded on Steam, so I hope you get your payola that I hear all you game journalists are swimming in.

Those cut-off paragraphs really got me. I was convinced it was a browser bug so I went hunting for different links to the review. Well played, sir.

I’m looking forward to giving this a try. I actually liked Silverfall for a lot of the same qualities you’re praising in Sacred 2. I was willing to put up with the awful camera and mini-map just to enjoy Diablo action in a huge, open world where you can choose your own direction. So reading your review has me pretty convinced I’ll like Sacred 2.

I went looking at the HTML source to figure out what was wrong with the Javascript :(

The game is both on Steam and Impulse but apparently only Impulse has a demo. Downloading now…

Just counting time now until the 360 version. Hope they get the framerate etc. ironed out before release. Same system co-op!

Really? That moves it up on my potential purchase list.

I never played Sacred. Why?

Judging books by a cover and all that.