It’s a pretty bold move when you take a formula that’s worked for you in the past, and turn your entire franchise upside down. The Sacred series has always been a Role Playing/Action based game series, and suddenly, Sacred 3 comes out and it’s a hack and slash adventure style game. This isn’t quite as confusing as plot-twisty as the time Metallica cut their hair and James Hetfield stopped using voice filters, but well, here we are with familiar storylines in a different context.
Release Date: August 5th 2014
Rating: M for Mature
Available for: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Sacred 3 is less the type of title it used to be, and more like games like Golden Axe and Gauntlet. These are rodeos I’ve been to before. I’m one of the only people I know that legitimately sat through all 100-something dungeons in Gauntlet, and I’ve pretty well beaten the first couple Golden Axe games on all the available mediums they were on. Truth be told, I’d rather unwind and play one of these styles of games than a Role Playing title, so this was an interesting title for me.
Sacred 3 finds you playing as a member of a couple of different classes, namely:
Seraphim: The Keepers of the Heart of Ancaria – Represented by Claire
Safiri: Islanders that are historically Sailors and Merchants – Represented by Marak
Ancarians: A once great and powerful people whose very empire and existence crumbles through the conflict – Represented by Alithea
Khukuri: Storytellers from the Iciest climates in the land – Represented by Vajra
and your objective is keeping the Heart of Ancaria safe from the clutches of the fear inducing Zane Ashen. The name doesn’t sound all that intimidating I know, but sometimes the time more terrifying and intimidating guys are the ones whose names don’t end in “The Intimidator” or “The Evilhearted.” Besides, if you think about it, “Zane the Evilhearted” sounds like a coffeehouse 90s Indie music side project.
Anyway, the game is a really competitive multi-player title. If you think back to titles like Fairytale Fights, it was the same thing. You’re competing with each other, but against each other too. While your ultimate goal is to save the Heart of Ancaria, you’re also jockeying for position, as the baddest member of your crew gets to ultimately be looked at as the ruler of the kingdom too.
The game is a very bright, very explosive and colorful rescue mission and the game takes itself seriously while not taking itself too seriously. While being your usual ¾ top down bloody hack and slash, the game is rife with double entendres and often headscratchingly odd dialogue choices. Perhaps it was purposeful, or perhaps it was intentional. Either way, it’s still part of the charm Sacred 3 brings to the table.
The game is a lot like the 90s hack and slash titles of old, with new twists. You’ll be familiar with the idea of sprawling dungeons and landscapes that seemingly never end and are filled with an unusual number of enemies for the space. Weapon drops are hard to come by, with in-level battles preferring to shower you in gold instead. While you can access different weapons by way of the odd reward you do receive, be ready to have to save them for special cases. You can offset this, however, with a series of co-op team up attacks and special moves. The game also borrows some new concepts, like a level up system and skill trees. In all, it’s a bit of fusion of new and old concepts, and it’s colorful and interesting enough to give a test drive.
Sacred 3 is now available at BestBuy and online at BestBuy.ca