Sacred 3 – Review
Plopping you right in the middle of a war for Ancaria, Sacred 3 gives you enough time to familiarise yourself with the basic moves and abilities as you fight your way through hordes of brutes. When you begin playing you’ll have the option of selecting between four different characters: the Seraphim, Ancarian, Khukuhru and the Safiri. There’s also an additional character available as DLC and to those who preordered the game, Malakhim. Between these characters the basic combat roles you’d expect are covered. You’ve got an archer, a more magic-inclined user and some beefy melee character. Coming from somebody who has seen these character roles a hundred time, I must say I did find it refreshing to see that the archer role was filled by a male and the tanky, melee class was filled by a female. It’s just a little thing but it goes a long way to a lot of gamers.
The combat is pretty straightforward and satisfying, naturally giving you more abilities as you level up and the options to switch in and out different moves to suit your playstyle. You have basic attacks with your main weapon (whether that be something heavy, a bow or a sword and shield) aswell as two unique abilities that cost resource points. On top of that you have a wider, heavier attack that allows you to break the block of those enemies a tad bit more defensive.
It’s a good thing the combat is fast-paced, though, because it gives you less time to dwell on the fact that there’s little meat to the gameplay aspects. After the first twenty minutes you may realise you’re just spamming your attack button with the occasional special or heavy move in there. Sacred 3 is advertised as an Arcade hack n’ slash and that’s exactly where I’d expect to see it. It’s the kind of game you can happily pick up for a half hour and play through – perhaps even longer with some friends – but after that you’ll put it down just as quickly after its linearity grows stale. Adding to the combat and progression are weapon spirits, which you can find and unlock over the course of the game. Equipping a spirit will unlock passive abilities and effects for your character and you can easily change these at the customization menu.
The game does keep you entertained with great character though. Sitting somewhere between Lord of the Rings and Borderlands the tone jumps from sincere pleas for peace and casually joking about the situation surrounding the characters. Some of the quips were quite humorous, though I’m not sure whether it wants to be light-hearted or not. Even the player character, whichever one you choose, will go from commenting on their roots to casually falling out of character and laughing it off. Luckily the game game makes up for this by giving you something to look at instead. The presentation is absolutely beautiful and fully 3D worlds rendered as the backdrops of your battle arenas make for some pretty spectacular scenes.
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to play through the co-operative campaign with up to three other players, which I do believe is the best way to enjoy this instalment of the Sacred series. Running in close range to sweep up foes with your melee weapon while your buddy fires a rain of arrows at them from afar is certainly the king of enjoyment that lies at the heart of this game. Hell, if I was lucky enough to walk into an arcade with some friends and saw this game propped up against the wall you better believe that we’d be all over that until we were asked to leave by a member of staff.
In that sense I believe that Sacred 3 is worth its price tag, sizing itself up to be a very enjoyable multiplayer experience played in short bursts. The campaign is not the most well-developed story by a long shot and there’s a lot left to the imagination as far as the characters go, but if you look past that at the heart of the game’s core you’ll see it’s a hack n’ slash that wants to be just that. So why not grab your sword and clear out these orcs because it’s a lot more therapeutic than a woodcutting simulator.