Sacred 3 is an old school hack and slash RPG similar in vein to Diablo. It can be played by up to four players and is set during the war of Ancaria. The story behind Sacred 3 concerns itself around a very powerful artefact called the Heart of Ancaria. Unsurprisingly a super powerful villain is on the warpath to try to find it and their name is Zane Ashen. Obviously Zane wants to take over the world with it and that’s when you and three other friends are called up to stop the impending evil.
The characters include; Alithea who is an Ancarian lancer who uses polearms. She’s able to attack enemies from a distance. Her unique ability aka combat art is an earthquake attack that allows her to unleash a flurry of attacks until she runs out of energy. Claire is a Seraphin paladin who uses a sword. She’s very fast and has combat arts based on lighting. Vajra is a Khukuri archer who is able to start is attacks well before he has to engage face to face, his combat art is ice orientated. Marak is a Safiri warrior who has a massive mallet as his weapon; his combat arts are solar based.
For anyone who played the previous Sacred games they will be surprised by the linearity of Sacred 3. Each level is about 30/40 minutes long and you do little exploring and follow a pre-set path as you make your way through a castle or other battle zone. There are areas you can investigate but they pale in significance to what you find in other games such as the Diablo series. Now most games like Sacred 3 have you discovering new weapons or treasure via opening quests, uncovering new areas or felling foes. In Sacred 3 you buy and equip new items before you start a level. Whilst this minimises how much time you have to spend upgrading your character it’s something that is inherent in this genre and in Sacred 3 it reduces how much you’re able to engage with it.
It’s very easy to navigate through Sacred 3; your character is more powerful than most of the enemy combatants on offer and you do end up slicing through waves and waves of foes. It takes quite a while before the hacking and slashing becomes monotonous which is probably why Sacred 3 stages are made to be linear. Some of the Sacred 3 stages are interspersed by very simple side missions; they don’t really add any longevity or make Sacred 3 any better. With so much hacking and slashing you don’t really have a chance to take in the environments. Most of the enemies are pretty forgettable whilst the levels are pretty average to look at, your characters are reasonable detailed but graphically Sacred 3 is fairly average. The dialogue is relatively humorous if a tad on the goofy side at times, the story is whilst not that interesting moves along at a solid pace and it doesn’t take long to finish.
The multiplayer is an enjoyable experience. You can play with a friend or take part in a drop in multiplayer up to four players. This helps make Sacred 3 a better and more involving experience and maybe something other games in the genre may want to have a look at. There’s also a competitive edge to the multiplayer although this does go against the teamwork ethic you would expect from a multiplayer set up like the one you have in Sacred 3.
Sacred 3 is a humorous and enjoyable game where the experience is greatly improved by the ability to have a local cooperative game or allowing a friend to join you online. There are a lot of games that do it better than Sacred 3 but if you like the genre then you’ll enjoy Sacred 3 to some extent. Sacred 3 lacks a fair degree of polish and design whilst previous fans will be left disappointed with the overall package, but to be fair to Sacred 3 it does hack and slash its way to being a mediocre but enjoyable romp.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.