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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Sacred 2 Hands-On

Default Sacred 2 Hands-On

April 29th, 2008, 07:10
So I played a bit of Sacred 2 last week. I was actually supposed to get a build of the game, but it's a little behind schedule so it'll be a few more weeks before one is available (it's schedule for release in NA in September).

Few random comments:
- as in the first game, the world is far bigger and more interesting than in a typical action-RPG. Still not Divine Divinity-good in terms of also having an interactive environment, but the world is even more massive than previously, and you can freely explore it as you want.

- entirely new character classes, except for the the Seraphim from the original game. There's a "light" and a "shadow" campaign - you can only play the light campaign with a Seraphim character, and only play the shadow campaign with her opposite number, the Inquisitor (as previously, most of the classes have fixed genders). Other characters can do either campaign.

- This time around more effort seems to have been made to make the races/classes, and world in general, have a more developed background. There are competing factions for the races (so that, for instance, the clergy and the nobles are fighting among the High Elves). It's still very much an action-RPG, so there's certainly no depth to these factions other than giving you different kill quests, but that makes the world more interesting.

- the skill system is completely open, instead of a skill tree with prerequisites- you can basically choose what normally would be more advanced abilities earlier, if you want, although naturally they'll be weaker at earlier levels. You can also customize a skill/spell/attack as it develops, so it could, for instance, inflict more damage on a single opponent instead of targetting a larger group of opponents.

- mounts are a big part of the game, and unlike in the orginal game, there's a lot of mounted combat options. Each class has his/her own special mount, in addition to general rides like horses. Mounts also have their own special attacks, can have their own equipment (although they can't carry stuff, so they're not pack mules), and obviously are faster ways to get around the huge world.

- one thing that bugged me about the first game was how combat intensive it was - sure, it was an action-RPG, so gameplay is mainly combat, but in Sacred it was difficult to move a few inches across the game screen without constantly being drawn into battle. There's a morale system this time around, which may cause weaker creatures to flee, or wait until they have sufficient numbers to attack, etc. I qualify that statement with "may" because the AI wasn't working well in the build I played, so it's difficult to discern how much of the developers' intentions will actually make it into the game, or stuff that's just PR nonsense.

- I actually really liked the 2D graphics of the original, although I thought the controls were sometimes unresponsive and that might have have been exacerbated by the perspective. But Sacred 2 has pretty 3D graphics that don't skimp on the little details that were so nice in the 2D graphics of the original - everything still non-interactive, but houses are decorated with tons of items, etc. But the 3D graphics are currently VERY resource intensive - it hasn't been optimized yet, and it should run a lot more efficiently on release, but it definitely needs it - stay tuned for what the release hardware requirement "really' are, because they could be much higher than expected if the game isn't heavily optimized. I dunno, overall, I'd kind of prefer the 2D graphics.

- tons of multiplayer features - 6 player coop through the campaign. 16 player coop in free ranging PvE, some PvP options that I don't think are determined yet. 16 player PvE would be a unique experience for an action-RPG though. I haven't seen any of these features in action yet though. Every gaming session is actually a multiplayer session (so if you're playing solo, you're just playing a multiplayer session alone) so you can have friends jump into your campaign at any time and the difficulty will correspondingly scale up, etc. The host's computer will determine the nature of the campaign (shadow, light) and as mentioned above, certain character classes can't play together (the Seraphim and Inquisitor), but otherwise you can mix/match
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April 29th, 2008, 07:45
Thanks for the impressions, and for stopping by, Desslock. As an action rpg and hack n slash addict, Sacred 2 has been on my radar for a long time, and I expect it will take a lot to keep it out of my collection—like my PC not being able to run it or something…

I just have one question:

Any bugs show up in your playthrough, other than the AI thing you mention? This has always seemed a really ambitious sequel, and I've heard the original had more than its share, though I only played it after the patching process.

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April 29th, 2008, 16:21
From the pictures I saw, I bet that Sacred 2 will be fun. Especially for those who love this sub-genre, of course.

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April 29th, 2008, 16:58
Thx for the field report, General Desslock
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April 30th, 2008, 00:55
Thanks for your impressions!
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May 1st, 2008, 02:40
I quite enjoyed Sacred but I think I petered out about 60% of the way through — too big a world for the plot and quests to carry it beyond the combat, for me.

The factions sound like a nice (if shallow) addition. Do you think the quests are stronger than the random fare last time around?

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May 1st, 2008, 08:02
The last Sacred suffered from some pretty serious issues, with the huge samey world and boring quests being the worst offenders. Apart from that, I thought the class balance and the ability to customize attacks was handled pretty abysmally. Lastly, the item generation system was dull, lacking in variety, and generally poorly thought out.

But - even with these rather glaring issues - it was actually the best Diablo clone available until Titan Quest.

Here's hoping the sequel will fix those things.

Oh, and thanks for the impressions.
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May 1st, 2008, 21:36
i didnt like the mountains of loot. I estimate that half my game time was spent sifting thru it all!

Still liked it tho, really enjoyed playing my little Wood Elf ='.'=
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May 4th, 2008, 10:38
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
I just have one question:

Any bugs show up in your playthrough, other than the AI thing you mention? This has always seemed a really ambitious sequel, and I've heard the original had more than its share, though I only played it after the patching process.
Tons, TONS, TONS of bugs. It's a pre-beta build, so a lot of the game is still skeletal, tons of balancing to do, bunch of classes/spells/special attacks/mounts, etc. not in the game - basically was a couple of classes that were fleshed out enough to play through a fair amount, but it was far from a game close to release. They still have 5 more months of crunch time work on it.
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May 4th, 2008, 10:40
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
The factions sound like a nice (if shallow) addition. Do you think the quests are stronger than the random fare last time around?
The developers certainly suggest that's the case, but I haven't seen any evidence of that - they were all pretty basic "go kill" type quests like you'd typically see in an action-RPG.
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May 10th, 2008, 21:55
Nice to hear your first thoughts Desslock.
I find this observation concerning AI a little discouraging:
Originally Posted by Desslock
- one thing that bugged me about the first game was how combat intensive it was - sure, it was an action-RPG, so gameplay is mainly combat, but in Sacred it was difficult to move a few inches across the game screen without constantly being drawn into battle. There's a morale system this time around, which may cause weaker creatures to flee, or wait until they have sufficient numbers to attack, etc. I qualify that statement with "may" because the AI wasn't working well in the build I played, so it's difficult to discern how much of the developers' intentions will actually make it into the game, or stuff that's just PR nonsense.
Hopefully your statement that this was a pre-beta build not an actual early beta build accounts for the poor AI you experienced. For a September release they have yet a lot on their plate to accomplish and polish in 4 months.

On a different note whatever happened to the discussion a while back that some of your articles might possibly get posted here at the Watch?

Having read your impressions and insights practically since you started writing them way back, I was looking forward to seeing this happen.

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May 17th, 2008, 13:55
Originally Posted by Ubbax View Post
On a different note whatever happened to the discussion a while back that some of your articles might possibly get posted here at the Watch?

Having read your impressions and insights practically since you started writing them way back, I was looking forward to seeing this happen.
We can still do that - I've been meaning to follow-up with Dhruin, and will do so now. Briosafreak recently asked my permission to repost one of my columns from last year and did so at his site http://fallout3.wordpress.com/
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