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Sacred
(hx) 02:08 AM CEST - Apr,08 2004

Developed by Ascaron, the European studio behind intricate strategy games Patrician and Port Royale, Sacred is Diablo-like fantasy action role-playing game that takes you to the Kingdom of Ancaria's medieval fantasy world. The story in Sacred is pretty generic fantasy stuff, as usually you have to save the world from the clutches of evil.

The game lets you customize which type of hero you want to be by allowing you to choose from 6 different classes - these are the Gladiator (a close combat expert), Seraphim (some kind of female Paladin), Dark Elf (some kind of Elf-Ninja, uses unarmed & blade weapons and is a trap expert), Wood Elf (uses ranged combat and nature magic), Battle mage (he uses spells and his staff) and Vampiress (a good fighter at day, and even stronger at night, with special magical, fang, and claw attacks). So there is no character creation, you can just choose the name of your hero or heroine. Each character allows a wildly varied gameplay experience, especially the Vampiress - at night she morphs into her vampire form (displayed using a particle system), thus becoming more powerful and gaining the ability to summon wolves and demons. All of these characters, as you might expect, have different abilities and skills. To develop your character, you need to find runes which give you special abilities/spells. If you learn a special ability/spell several times, it levels up. Each level you go up will gain you skill points, which you can assign to your current skills.

Surprisingly, combat is a bit more intricate than the usual mouse clicking. The left mouse button is mapped to interact with the world in some way, attack a monster, open a door or chest, the right mouse button is used for certain special abilities and powers such as the Vampiress' ability to turn into a proper "Vampire" for a limited amount of time. In terms of attack, you can also put together "combo chains", which allow you to string together a variety of attacks and magical spells. In order to learn or increase a special attack, you need to find the appropriate rune for the particular combat art you wish to learn or increase. The game also allows you to press the "A" key to automatically gather up all of the dropped treasure from dead monsters.

Sacred also offers a number of other innovations to the genre. One major aspect of Sacred is the horse action. You can ride horses (it's also possible to attack from this mounted position) to get around and earn experience points for finishing quests and killing monsters. The key thing about Sacred is that you can go almost anywhere from the beginning. More than 70% of the huge open-world is available for you to explore right at the beginning of the game with the remaining land opened as you complete the 30 main missions (16 different regions including forestland, ice covered landscapes, mountains, deserts, catacombs...) throughout the game. In addition, Sacred has well over 200 side quests you can undertake on your path to completing the main story line. One thing you can complain about is the bugs in the game. None of them will take away from your enjoyment of the game, but they are numerous enough and prevalent enough to be really annoying.

What seems to excite most is the online aspect of the game. Sacred features two different MP (LAN/Internet) modes: Co-operative and Hack 'n' Slay. The co-op allows you to play with up to three other people co-operatively across the whole game's story, while the Hack 'n' Slay supports up to 16 players in monster-infested matches. There's no doubt there will be a lot of online play that will extend the life of the game greatly. Sadly, this is another part of the game which is still slightly buggy at this time. I hope that the future patches fix most problems. I recommend you to download and install each patch as it becomes available.

Overall, this game has incredible replay value. The six character classes each offers their own unique twist, making the game playable at least six times, plus the addition of a well designed multi-player experience. If they eventually fix the bugs, this game will become one of the greatest action oriented RPG ever. If you enjoyed Dungeon Siege or Diablo II, then you will enjoy Sacred as well. Despite the bugs, I highly recommend it.

Related links:  homepage, demo (242MB)

System requirements:
Minimum: PIII (or compatible) 800 Mhz Processor, 256MB RAM, 16MB 3D Graphics Card - DirectX 8 compatible, DiirectX Soundcard, 2GB free HDD space, Windows 98SE*/ME/2000/XP ; Internet Connection/Network Card required for Multiplayer modes

Recommended: P4 1.4Ghz Processor or higher, 512MB RAM or higher, 64MB 3D Graphics Card - DirectX9 compatible with DirectX 9 drivers, 3D Soundcard with DirectX 9 Support, 2.5GB HDD space, Windows 2000/XP
*Sacred is NOT COMPATIBLE with Windows 98 First Edition


snd: 4/5 - solid, catchy music, mediocre voice-acting
gfx: 5/5 - simply looks awsome, good example as 2D graphics can easily outshine 3D graphics, when used in the proper context, resolution is locked at 1024x768, handy zoom feature (three zoom levels), weather effects, great movies, some glitches
playability: 5/5 - addictive - strongly inspired by Diablo, two different MP(LAN/Internet) modes: Co-operative and Hack 'n' Slay, repetitive quests, MANY BUGS!
genre: action RPG
release: March 2004
developer: Ascaron
the game is similar to: Diablo II
publisher: Encore Software
Excellent
Overall: 86%


last 10 comments:

veryposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 02:53
cant even load this game up, black screen nothing more.

Gazposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 03:30
Another Diablo like... i Miss the old and good RPG like Ultima series Gothic 1 and 2 Divine Divinty and now i can say KOTOR. Sacred, Diablo, Dungeon Siege is for who don't like to think and enjoy playing brainless games...

rpgposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 03:55
I totally agree, a RPG is only a RPG with an engaging storyline, not just mindless repetitive hack & slash

ritzposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 07:53
I repect those D&G RPG's but I think there's one thing that H&S's are good: they can be pickup by any level of gamer and able to play together online or on LAN quickly, all without the need of powerful computers.

askposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 09:12
One thing is wrong: Sacred needs a powerful computer. Otherwise it will crawl with more than 3 characters on screen.

posted - Apr, 08 2004 - 13:00
this is a good game although the multiplayer was bugged like hell in the beginning

Tomposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 17:24
sacred uses diablo engine and it only runs at 1024x768.. no thanks. If it supported 1600x1200 I'd consider it but it's a limitation in the engine I was told. Too bad.

posted - Apr, 08 2004 - 17:53
sacred doesn't use the diablo engine that's not true

Tomposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 18:24
Sorry I meant to say 'diablo like game' and diablo was a game that would only work at 1024. My bad. This game is pretty much diablo 3 to me, it's too bad it only goes max 1024..

Tomposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 18:25
I have a 21" viewable monitor screen, so 1024 to me is like 640x on a 15/17"

Zexelposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 18:54
Diablo 2 is NOT locked at 1024x768. If u actually played the game u would know that u can choose between 640x480 and 800x600. And yes I know its crappy. But remember that the Diablo2 engine was published in the year 2000

Greenbirdposted - Apr, 08 2004 - 22:34
if you get a black screen, try installing the Win Media Codecs in the installation. that should solve it...

redposted - Apr, 09 2004 - 02:07
Yes this is not a great or grounbreaking game but it is a descent game. Some mindless fun is always needed at some point instead of brain drain games. I think the game looks okay for the engine. A lot better than Diablo. Combat leaves a little to be desired because it is too basic and unattached. But overall an okay timewaster.

Shaunposted - Apr, 09 2004 - 02:12
Gaz: I think it's a bit unfair and slightly arrogant to say 'Sacred, Diablo, Dungeon Siege is for who don't like to think and enjoy playing brainless games'. You personally might not like these games, however, each of them are arguably fun to play, and in the end, that's what counts. Each genre has it's own appeal, and there are plenty of so-called RPGs that other people don't like. That being said, I think that you'll probably like Sacred if you enjoyed Diablo or Diablo II. It's one of the better clones, as it adds different features rather than simply trying to emulate Diablo.

viking_hrothgarposted - Apr, 09 2004 - 12:04
i reallly enjoy this game,,i think its gr8,,being a huge diablo,and dungeon seige fan...i think animations move gr8,and sound good,,,unlike other titles like lionheart and divine divinty,they sucked,the animations moved like spastics on steroids,and there weapons would disappear every time ud run,and reappear when movent was halted,,,the the bugs that piss me off...this game doesnt do any,,,its a to game,,,and iam sure the online gaming side of it should be fixed soon with the right patchs,,,isnt every game have problems with online play when it first comes out?

Ianposted - Apr, 09 2004 - 20:14
Hiya just to say i looked at the game but could not make up my mind glad to see someone said if you like d-seige or ultima you would enjoy ta i go buy now

Alposted - Apr, 09 2004 - 23:00
Hey..just wanted to say that so far this has been the most extensive and detailed critique I've read to date with the most graphics displayed.Though I dont have the system to support it, I look forward to purchasing it when available. :>

billposted - Apr, 10 2004 - 04:03
for those that get black or no load after instal load the dx9 program thats on cd then reboot

My Momposted - Apr, 10 2004 - 06:14
I got bored, i bet it, no replay value at all. Every class plays almost the same, nice graphics. I think they need more types of enemies...it's ok, I thought is was going to be something different then D1, and D2. Doesn't even look like i'm attacking, no exciting death animations like D2. I want more blood, even with changing the settings.cfg file fixing violence lvls. If you download the newest patch, open the settings.cfg file change violence from 2 to 1. This game is good though through one time. It has some good features, such as combos and horse riding but I think it could be better. Combos are ok, but i dunno. Buy it if you like D2 but don't except something new or really inventive.

Robposted - Apr, 13 2004 - 03:19
I've been playing the full version for the past 4 days straight. The game simply rocks... the bugs are simply a source of laughter for me and my little brother playign co-op 2 player :) I can't get over the swearing though! the npcs constantly swear in the towns lol

Rudemanposted - Apr, 13 2004 - 11:00
The games certainly addictive in a 'Diabloistic' type of way. Some bugs are annoying though. I'm stuck at the 'get water from the mules bit'. Very annoying.

jonhbankerposted - Apr, 15 2004 - 16:10
open the 'tilda' key and type 'wasser' Return and retype 'tilda' key to close box ...must be done at waterhole! :)

Howardposted - Apr, 15 2004 - 23:18
just finished Sacred with a Battlemage. A few reflections: I really enjoyed the game! Some of the innovations should become a standard part of all future RPGs, at least for lazy mappers like me! The quest arrow system and the illuminated map spots are simply brilliant! What a wonderful feature for those of us who do not like mapping or too many puzzles. It made things much easier to follow-thru with and complete. I also liked the easy and intuitiveness of the interface. I quickly got used to the R and L mouse buttons and the hotkeys. Space for heal is super easy. The horses were a welcome addition that I loved! Having people join with you on various quests from time to time gave one a sense of 'compamy' and comraderie. All in all, I enjoyed this game more than Diablo or D2 or NWN.

Georgeposted - Apr, 17 2004 - 07:48
I'm the one who struck at the "Water from the mules" too, and i don't know what's the "Tilda","Wasser" thing ,Can you guys explain , i struck here quite a long time already

2005732posted - Apr, 22 2004 - 05:04
the tilda key is the key below the ESC key in the upper left side of your keyboard. (it is a qwerty kb right?) and it looks like this --> ~ hit that key, then type "Wasser", press [enter] and then hit the ~ key 1 more time. done.

Zillionposted - Apr, 23 2004 - 14:33
And what about this .... I accepted a quest somewhere near Icecreek Pass where you have to save 4 women emprisoned in a cave, so i killed everyone in the cave, took the 4 girlies and brought them back to the guy who gave me the quest, then this fool told me that it was too late and so i failed in accomplish the quest... well ok but at least take the goddamn wives from me ! now i m stuck with these 4 stupid ladies in my party and following me everywhere i go , and as they do not attack mobs, mobs do not attack them so they won't die ... Any idea ? :'(

Timposted - Apr, 25 2004 - 13:19
The Slaves of Orcs, I can't do this quest... someone know how? Please give me the answer...

blaxxevenposted - Apr, 27 2004 - 14:32
Zilli i suppose you could bring the ladies to a hot torch that is burning somewhere and hope they get burned before they can regen

titan hates mulesposted - Apr, 29 2004 - 02:59
Well I'm also stuck on that "mules" shit you know... Please give me the answer of getting the water from the mules... I become really stress...please send me the answer to my email.....thanks

molokoposted - May, 01 2004 - 00:36
The reviewer made a mistake. The graphics are texture-mapped polygons, not 2D. Just because the game uses an isometric viewpoint doesn't mean it's composed of sprites. And if it really was 2D, why in the world would a 64MB 3D card be recommended?? System requirements would be much lower overall...etc. etc. This game seems similar to the Baldur's Gate games on consoles, which I like. RPG "lite", realtime battles, that's the stuff. That old yawn-inducing turn-based battle crap is for the birds (or girls). ;o)

Pentaposted - May, 14 2004 - 16:49
~ ? Wasser ? writing "water" in german.. is that supposed to do it? anyway.. on my keyboard the "½" key is just below escape.

moonposted - Jul, 25 2004 - 17:16
does that really work?(the tilda key by the mules)

DookElfposted - Jul, 30 2004 - 11:55
just check the game walk-through. he means this ~ key, this ~ key, this ~ figure out what it is on your keyboard, press it, blue screen at bottom appears, type wasser, press enter. you want a cookie? this game is buggy as hell, i've "broken" the main quest three times now and im sick of playing the same part of the game over. it stays stuck after you get the baroness and have to leave.

JAYEMposted - Sep, 27 2004 - 15:31
HOW CAN I UPDATE MY SACRED(v1.0)? WHEN I'M UPDATING IT TO 1.7 IT SEZ' NOT A COMPATIBLE VERSION.

Hemanposted - Mar, 11 2005 - 23:26
Sacred Underworld is soon to be released and with the latest patch, although there are some problems, these will certainly be addressed in Underworld. Ascaron is also making a huge effort though to provide the fixes already in Underworld to those owning Sacred, which means they will get some Underworld features in their game which I think is great.

oninposted - Mar, 25 2005 - 02:16
Well I'm also stuck on that "mules" shit you know... Please give me the answer of getting the water from the mules... I become really stress...please send me the answer to my email.....thanks

GRAYRAMposted - Sep, 06 2005 - 16:34
Well, onin certainly is a forum killer. See nobody is posting anymore. I think the correct term is "tilde" and it is below the Esc key. This is the same key you use in Counter Strike to bring down the console. I still haven't tried the code "wasser" but I'll try it tonight. I will let everybody know.

Dzhonyposted - Sep, 09 2005 - 10:15
I've tried maybe all the fixes written all aroun, but the black screen after starting a new game still happens... I have WM player 10 with newest codecs and DirectX 9.0c... Somewhere I read that it is maybe a codec problem, but I have newest software but problem is still here... Can somebody help?

ekorposted - Sep, 18 2005 - 07:41
i have the problem with the black screen after loading i even see the game for a moment and then it fade awey can sumeone halp

JonnyGoodposted - Nov, 09 2005 - 10:35
my problem is that i should talk to shareefa abought the last ellement but i can´t...And for you all on the mule problem type "wasser" in console... any know what to whrite to talk to shareefa???

sacredsuxposted - Feb, 03 2006 - 04:06
This game is worhtless! I can't even get started without the screen fading to black! worthless POS game!

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