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Default Sacred 2 - English Demo Released

September 30th, 2008, 05:58
Ascaron has quietly released an English demo for Sacred 2, again weighing in at 1.7Gb and showing off the Elf regions as a Seraphim. Here's a list of mirrors from VoodooExtreme:
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September 30th, 2008, 05:58
Not overly impressed. Looks pretty, plays very much like the original - which is generally something you can't complain about but I was hoping the generic nature of the quests had been more improved; perhaps the starting areas have kept it simple.

Minor issues: awful voice acting, controls don't always feel responsive (got stuck on a lamppost and clicking on an object didn't move there a couple of times), physics causes dead bodies to twitch indefinitely. Would be sort of nice for a hack'n'slash to make the random fodder not seem so obvious - not really a criticism of Sacred 2 but it was just rather obvious looking at the enemies wandering in circles waiting to get killed.

The large world and other pluses may well outweigh these things but when you get bored during the opening monologue, it isn't a good sign for the story. T-energy?

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September 30th, 2008, 17:10
Yep, if I just walked in and saw someone playing this I'd think it was the original Sacred with a texture package mod. It looks like the exact same game. I'll probably get it when it hits the $19.99 price range. I've burnt out on the kill hordes and hordes of the exact same creature games.

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September 30th, 2008, 18:46
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
Yep, if I just walked in and saw someone playing this I'd think it was the original Sacred with a texture package mod.
I think that's because the default camera position and behaviour is designed to almost exactly mimic the original. If you change the camera option to 'free', zoom a reasonable amount of the way in and move your character forward and back using 'W' and 'S' and middle button for mouse-look, instead of doing click to move, then you can see how much better looking everything is, and also have a rather different playstyle. Especially if you bump the graphics options up to High (I haven't tried Very High).

That you can't change 'A' and 'D' from turning to strafing is annoying tho'.

However the increased prettiness, having an alternative to click-to-move for movement, the big gameplay improvement of buff powers now being specifically *marked* as buffs that you put in special slots from which you select one (or more than one if you've bumped the relevant skill up) to run all the time so they don't eat up your other power slots and you don't have to keep recasting, and the very clean and polished looking user interface (press TAB for the cool mini-map zoom fluff feature) means I'm feeling pretty happy with the Demo so far.

Actually the User Interface design seems to be one of the strengths, it feels completely at home on the PC, which is really suprising given the dogs breakfast most multiplatform also-on-console games make of their PC interface.

Nope, the writing and quest design doesn't look to be any different or more advanced than the original Sacred fare, the voice acting varies between unlistenable and amusingly silly, and it remains solidly an A-RPG rather than an RPG, but those are not anything other than I was expecting.

Cut-scenes whether in-engine or otherwise are what ESC is for, in pretty much ALL games
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September 30th, 2008, 20:07
I must say, i`m quite enjoying this demo, and i can`t wait for the full game. Spot on, it makes a world of difference altering the camera to `free-mode`, everything looks pretty sweet, when you get to an elevated point, you actually feel high up, run down a narrow path, it feels right.

Yes, the interface is great, crisp, clean looking, they`ve done a damn fine in my opinion, and with tons of quests and a massive game world to explore … with an interesting selection of characters to play… its definately on my list.

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September 30th, 2008, 20:27
Installed it and tried it this morning before going to work. Soon to be uninstalling it but I guess I might first try the free camera mode just to enjoy the graphics you guys talk about.

This sort of ARPG which is about leveling up, doing cheesy quests and getting loot in a world that is totally unbelieveable with basically no story is just not my cup of tea.
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September 30th, 2008, 21:41
it's all about zooming down to an almost over-the-shoulder view, imho the game is really awesome looking and fun. I'll be getting it!
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October 1st, 2008, 00:35
As someone who hails from the "what's mine is mine" camp, the whole bit about "Sacred 2 will allow unlimited installations and two activations" has this title on my torrent list.
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October 1st, 2008, 00:50
Originally Posted by wynams View Post
As someone who hails from the "what's mine is mine" camp, the whole bit about "Sacred 2 will allow unlimited installations and two activations" has this title on my torrent list.
Better read the DRM description again. It΄s quite obvious once was not enough.
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October 1st, 2008, 05:04
I can't get it to run in full screen mode.. Only windowed mode..



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October 1st, 2008, 05:29
I'm with Dhruin … I'll still be getting the full version, and hopefully I'll feel a bit less burned on action-RPG's by then (had to put aside Silverfall: Earth Awakening for a bit as well)

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October 1st, 2008, 13:34
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
T-energy?
Sounds like a fragment of the Seraphim story of Sacred 1.

As a side-note, it always reminds me of the "Deutsche Telekom" company, shortened by everyone as just "Telekom".
They used - and still use - an magenta T as their corporate sign. Around the turn of the Millennium they also tried to sue everyone who used a T as a sign as well - like in a case where they sudenly changed the amount of money from a few 10.000 zu about 500.000 Euros (I think), just to frighten the users of the T.

So, this leads to everyone believing that anything with an capital T is a referer (so to say) to the Telekom.

That's why I never liked the term "T-Energy" in Sacred 1 and considered it kind of an "silent advertisement".

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October 1st, 2008, 14:28
Played the US Demo for about an hour; that's was all I could stomach. Mindless Hack 'n Slash with a simple quest or 2 thrown it. After 1 hour I was bored out of my gourd and deleted the game that took 8 hours to download
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October 1st, 2008, 18:17
The Sacred 2 storyline is a Prequel set 2000 years before Sacred. Thus the Seraphim's return and elements of the story/setting that overlap.

I've been amazed buy the demo, the world is lush and vibrant and alive. The loot table is huge and the skills are varied and interesting. It's a ARPG fan dream come true.

ARPGs are all about the "loot" and questing and exploring imo

Conventional RPGs are much more story focused and driven. Both are fun depending on what you want to play at the given time.

With S2 Hardcore and PvP as well as Co-Op play there is a lot to offer several types of gamers.

I personally love to do quests, build my character and explore every inch of the game world at my own pace. This game is perfect imo.

The voice work is done much more tongue and cheek than serious. As are most of the little phrases and comments heard from both Mobs and NPCs through out the game.

It's meant to be a fun experience and imo it is and more.

If ARPGs arn't your thing that's fine, but for those of us that enjoy the dynamics and elements of that type of game, Sacred 2 is revolutionary and expands the boundaries of past such games on many levels.

I'm lovin' it!
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October 1st, 2008, 22:36
After reading these comments I'm not even going to bother downloading the demo. I can't believe it, after all of this time it's the same as the first one.

The thing that really bothered me was the generic boring quests in the game and the unresponsive combat when you clicked the mouse.

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October 2nd, 2008, 08:28
After trying the english demo, I'm sold on the game.

It has flaws, and I find the style of voice acting…. unfortunate - but overall it has quite a few strengths, and I'm surprised to see this kind of negative response. I'm usually quite critical - if you haven't noticed - and I don't agree at all with the level of critique witnessed in this thread.

That said, this IS an action RPG (seemingly done right, mind you, unlike the pitiful Legend - HOG), and if you go in expecting anything approaching a deep CRPG, you should be disappointed.

So what's good about it?

Well, first of all, I really like the new skill system. It has a lot more depth than the one in Sacred had, and it promises endless character experimentation, which is the kind of thing I adore in this genre.

Also, my previous concerns related to the long cooldowns for special attacks, SEEMS to have been premature. When I look at the skills, there are plenty of options that deal with the specific issue of cooldowns. So I'm expecting it's possible to minimise the problem, as it should have been in Sacred. A lot more thought went into this - or so it seems.

The respawning might still be there, but the amount of creatures is A LOT smaller than last time. I don't mind respawning enemies in this genre, as it's always been the case with it and I'm conditioned to accept it without question. It seems to go well with what's essentially a powertrip with loot whoring on the side. That said, I'm definitely NOT digging the level scaling that's going on, and I'm hoping this is only a limited implementation of that particular "feature". If not, it will probably be the biggest issue for me - judging from the demo. But it likely won't keep me from enjoying it altogether, but I do carry a special hatred for the idea of auto-scaling in general.

The classes all seem to hold quite a bit of customization within them, and most of them can choose between both magic and either ranged or melee combat arts. This gives them more flexibility than is traditional with class-based systems, and I really like that as well. The ability to customize your attacks with the combo system was one of the features that originally drew me to Sacred, but I found the execution of said feature beyond terrible. But many signs indicate they've learned their lesson, but I can't be sure. But it's the most "unique" part of the game and I truly hope they've made it practical this time, as it will mean a ton of replay value, which is pretty important in a genre that's born out of the idea of replay value.

The engine is powerful for the genre, and though it's not QUITE as detailed as Titan Quest was, it does have the advantage of being seamless and seemingly more diverse. TQ had huge seamless areas - but it DID load between chapters.

The quests are definitely simplistic - or so it seems from the demo - but I wasn't expecting anything else. This genre, unfortunately, has always had the most basic and bland quests, but if you love the genre you've learned to adjust. What I do like about it, is that the interface is very flexible and it's a breeze to find your way to quests. The large area map is very easy to read, and can be zoomed and moved so there's no way you can't find your objective. This makes it all painless, and since it's basically just extra XP and loot, most people will want to do some quests just as spice. I don't know about the main storyline, but I'm not exactly expecting Tolkien here. I AM hoping for some good dungeons, and there was one in the demo that seemed to hold more, in the form of puzzles (with that T-energy stuff) - but I never really tried it. It might have been window dressing, in which case it's just another example of hollow and crappy dungeons in the genre, which is sadly par for the course.

Beyond that, it seems there's a ton of little extra touches that tells of a product that's been cared for. The interface is VERY flexible, and I was especially impressed with the ability to customize the minimap in such a powerful way - which was one thing that worried me before I realised I had that ability. Also, stuff like armor weight having such a strong influence is interesting, as it's an aspect that I find is ignored in too many games. Just a little thing, but the game seems pretty full of that kind of extra detail.

Oh, and this naturally has cooperative multiplayer - without which I wouldn't have had the slightest interest. I play these games exclusively with my GF (and/or friends), and as a singleplayer experience they just don't work - at all - for me, personally.

Anyway, as a fan of the genre I'm not getting this negative feedback. But, naturally, that might just be because you were expecting a genuine CRPG, instead of an ARPG. However, if you WERE ready for it to be an ARPG, I have to wonder what exactly you thought it would have, but that's just curiousity. There's no point in arguing over taste and obviously this left a bad one in many mouths here, and as such it's not important what genre it might be - as you just don't like it.
Last edited by DArtagnan; October 2nd, 2008 at 08:36.
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October 2nd, 2008, 09:43
Well, I wasn't trying to pan it but I was hoping for just a little more from what should be considered a genre flagship. I quite like the genre (though I get tired of it easily) but I don't play MP at all, so that hook isn't there for me like it is for you. The main thing: there are a lot of these around, so it needs to do something well to grab me. A story-based CRPG has a story to offer but since hack'n'slashers are usually designed for replayability…well, I can replay an old one if the new ones don't get it right.

Divine Divinity and Kult did have great stories and quests. Diablo has great atmosphere. Depths of Peril is a fast-paced competitive ride. Titan Quest has nice visuals and an interesting character development system.

The other thing is since the gameplay is usually simple (and there are so many competitors), it needs to be polished. I was just a bit surprised with some minor control issues and - given they sold ~2M copies of Sacred - they can afford to buy some decent voice acting and was hoping they'd improve the banal quests.

As I said, the large world and other attributes may still make it a great game but they appear to have missed the opportunity to really improve on the original from the brief look I had. Given their previous success, this one should be looking to hit it out of the park.

I'm also not convinced (again - at this very early stage) this is good enough to achieve better sales than the original or that it will succeed on the X360.

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October 2nd, 2008, 11:45
Fair enough

I wouldn't personally put Divine Divinity in the same genre, as I consider that game a rather unique hybrid. Kult and Depths of Peril are both so far behind in terms of quality that I find any positives hard to take seriously in comparison with Sacred 2. Naturally, that's all down to taste but I will say I find it puzzling that anyone would compare those two to a game at this level of quality. With that said, I wouldn't expect Sacred 2 to be a genre flagship - mostly because I consider the original Sacred a mediocre entry - and I expected only modest improvements. What I've seen so far - though still too little to be certain of anything - suggests that it's actually a lot better than Sacred.

The only upcoming flagship title in this genre, that I can think of, would be Diablo 3. Before, there was also Hellgate, which should have been better than it was - even though I think of it as the second best ARPG (behind Diablo 2) - I still think it should have been better. The atrocious launch state didn't help either, but I digress.

Anyway, I understand your critique and though I think most of your points are minor - considering the genre - I recognize how it's obviously not for everyone. Also, you speak of this maybe not having enough to succeed in general, and on the Xbox 360 - which I'd like to point out is not something I've even considered. I'm exclusively talking about my opinion and reaction to the demo, and I don't for a second believe it resembles the opinions of the general populace - nor do I particularly care. However, I'd be very suprised if this didn't outdo Sacred and all the weak recent competitors like Legend - HoG and Silverfall.

I would urge anyone even remotely interested in the genre to at least download the demo and judge for yourselves. I was pleasantly surprised, anyway, and I'd hate for anyone to miss out on a potentially great title.
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October 2nd, 2008, 12:44
Ill propably wait for borderlands before making any decisions of buying new action-rpgs:
There will be three playable characters in the game, all with unique skills, abilities, and back stories. As these characters level up, the player can increase basic stats for them such as health totals, ammo capacity, and accuracy. Each character also has three unique focus skill trees to develop. There is also an accessory item type specific to each character.[1]
Little is currently known about gameplay, other than the game will feature four player cooperative play along with other singleplayer and multiplayer modes. In addition, players have access to customizable vehicles for "vehicular combat" and will also be able to customize their character. Deceased enemies will drop their equipment, which is available for you to pick up. You will be able to choose from 3 different playable characters, who each have their own unique abilities.[1] It is inspired by the Mad Max film series and Diablo by Blizzard.[1]

Like traditional RPGs, much of the player's time will be taken up by quests. There will be many quests of varying length and complexity. Many of these quests will not be mutually exclusive, and can be completed together. Gearbox wants to encourage the player to push themselves just a bit further to complete the next quest on their list. Each quest carries its own rewards, such as new weapons, or perhaps revealing a new piece of the story.[1]
Randomization

The game will also have a unique feature similar to Diablo's random level generation system. This new system will generate more than 500,000 different guns as well as at least 600,000 different item and armor variations, according to the preview of the game in Game Informer magazine,

"We saw a ridiculous amount of guns, but perhaps the strangest was a revolver that fired shotgun shells. Gearbox is constantly surprised with what the system comes up with. They've seen rifles shoot everything from homing darts to rockets. 'One of the guns tracks onto something and locks, and after three seconds, [the target] suddenly explodes,' director Matthew Armstrong says."

The features of the maps will also be randomly generated. While towns, and the general paths connecting them will remain the same, Borderlands features a system that randomly instances the surrounding landscape, with randomly placed things such as bunkers, towers, caves, enemies, and exploding cacti. All of this is done without a loading screen. Gearbox plans that the player will not see a loading screen after they boot up the game.[1]

Its not exactly a traditional fantasy arpg but it does look very impressive from the features and videos. Release dates say it should be out before xmas.

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October 2nd, 2008, 13:28
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
With that said, I wouldn't expect Sacred 2 to be a genre flagship - mostly because I consider the original Sacred a mediocre entry - and I expected only modest improvements. What I've seen so far - though still too little to be certain of anything - suggests that it's actually a lot better than Sacred.
You're underestimating Sacred 2's position. Remember that Sacred sold ~2M copies - I'd suggest that puts it in a league above almost every other hack'n'slasher bar a handful; Diablo, obviously…Dungeon Siege…not too many others. It's also one of a couple of hack'n'slash titles from this generation thus far to multiplatform onto consoles. Hellgate might have captured more mindshare and column inches from journalists but Ascaron is a much larger company and Sacred has proven runs on the board - it's definitely a significant title.

Sure, Diablo 3 is in a league of its own…or will be, when it is released. But again…Sacred sold more than twice Titan Quest, for example.

Anyway, I've obviosuly come across as highly critical and that wasn't the intent. It looks very competent (some small issues aside) and will do quite well - I just hoped for a bit more. As for the comments on the X360, I was expressing my own opinion as well but I take a keen interest in the business side, so that was just a side comment.

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