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Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Preview
PIV 2400, 1GB RAM, 20GB HDD, 256MB video card
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Nov 11, 08 (released)
|» All About Sacred 2: Fallen Angel on ActionTrip|
About two years ago, when we were still playing classics like Neverwinter Nights, Fable (Xbox) and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a rather unexpected game surfaced, from Ascaron Entertainment and Encore Software. It was called Sacred, and it arrived just in the nick of time, making for a solid refreshment on the PC RPG scene. Sacred was widely admired for its straightforward gameplay and its huge in-game world players were allowed to adventure in. Beyond the usual hack'n'slash routine, the game featured a unique choice of character classes and it allowed you to explore around 70% of the existing world (right from the outset).
Now where was I supposed to go again?
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel boasts major changes after its predecessor. This time around, the developers decided to move away from the time-honored isometric perspective, fitting the game into highly detailed 3D surroundings. Still, it was revealed that Sacred 2 is pretty much an action-RPG at heart (as it was before). When it comes to the in-game world, many things are different and so are the characters and races that dwell in it. Accordingly, a whole bunch of brand new character classes will be on offer. For the present, only the mighty angel-like Seraphim see a certain return in Sacred 2. Whether we'll actually see a comeback for classes like the Dark Elf, Vampiress, Wood Elf, Gladitor and others, remains to be seen.
Sacred 2 continues in the same setting. A long time ago, an extremely potent force known as T Energy served as the main source of power throughout Ancaria. Supervising this power, the angelic Seraphim turned to the High Elves, in the hope of sharing the knowledge and the magical power. Unlike the Seraphim, who were strong-minded and resilient, the High Elves showed turned out too weak to control this power and they entered a massive deep-rooted internal conflict. Following the outbreak of this great High Elf civil war, other groups and races soon wanted to seize the power and use it to their own advantage. As the conflict widened, the essence of T Energy got corrupted, which unleashed a devastating blow throughout the land. Many creatures mutated, realms and cities crumbled, and the spirits of good withered away.
As opposed the previous game, Sacred 2 features crucial moral choices throughout the experience. The Seraphim class is a good example for this. Though once benevolent, this race has been severely influenced by evil. This, of course, has a tremendous effect on their armor, weapons and fighting style. Hence, if you decided to play as the Seraphim, you'll be able to alter everything from weaponry and a wide array of armor, to the shape and size of your might wings. The alignment you have chosen also determines how NPCs look upon your character - to the NPCs, you can either be a friend or a foe. It all depends on whether the player prefers a dark or light personality. Actually, a lot in the game depends on your will and the choices they you make along the way. In addition to that, spells, skills and various combat moves can be developed freely and may also be customized via a tree-based system.
Other aspects of the game include the usual RPG elements. As you'd normally expect, interacting with NPCs is an important feature. Conversing with other characters opens to road to new quests, side-quests and trade. Of course, as you progress, certain NPCs will gradually reveal segments of the main storyline. The good news is that the game's doesn't require players to follow the plot strictly, thus heading down a predetermined path. At any time, you are allowed to take a detour from the main quest to find out what new adventures await.
By the way, not all creatures and characters in the game are friendly. As you travel around completing quests and meeting new faces, you'll discover plenty of baddies laying in wait. For the most part you may expect to run into skeleton warriors, zombies, goblins, trolls, scorpions and others. You know, the traditional welcoming comity in almost any fantasy setting.
Take that, filthy spawn of hell!
Nobody touches my fire, it took me, like, forever to get it going!
For the time being, Sacred 2: Fallen Angels is kept strictly under wraps. Nonetheless, we were quite happy with what was shown to us so far. The narrative seems fairly promising, the artwork is excellent and the characters and enemies, displayed in some of the recently released trailers, were animated brilliantly. Apart from featuring a highly detailed environment and impressive looking character models, the game has other effects such as day and night cycles (which have become a must in most RPGs nowadays). Granted, Sacred 2 is in early stages of development, but currently seems to fit the description of a decent action RPG. It is comforting to know that rather talented people are behind the project. As it happens, Ascaron was able to secure help from veteran game designer Bob Bates (mostly recognized for his involvement with Unreal II: The Awakening), which will no doubt have a positive influence on the development process.
We were also intrigued by Ascaron's quest editor pre-release that's going to grant a small number of fans to pour out their creativity by designing a few side-quests. Those who end up creating side-quests, will be credited in the full version of the game. It's definitely nice to see that some developers honestly care about ideas and suggestions coming straight from the community. On top of that, it also makes room for an in-depth narrative. And it will be interesting to behold the results when the full version arrives on the market. But alas, for that we're going to have to wait until Q1 2008, which is the projected release date.
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