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Rating: 1.4/5 (35 votes cast)

Sacred 3 Review (PC)

2014-07-31_00008It’s a strange thing that sometimes happens. Companies tweak gameplay mechanics and a game goes from being linear to non-linear. Various developers have played around with popular game franchises in the past to see how things would turn out; Namco gave Tekken 3 a beat em up game called Tekken Force and Square Enix turned Kingdom Hearts into a card game for the DS. These experiments are usually tagged onto the “vanilla” versions as an extra, so it is rather refreshing when someone has the confidence to boldly take their franchise in a new direction without a safety net. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, on the trapeze without any harness, I give you Sacred 3!

Sacred 3 is the latest game in the fan favourite Sacred series. Rescued by Deep Silver when Ascaron Entertainment closed down and now developed by Keen games; the series has underwent somewhat of a transformation. Where Sacred 2 was a RPG / dungeon crawler Sacred 3 is a hack and slash game with more similarities to Marvel Ultimate Alliance than Diablo. Players take on the role of one of four heroes who are off to free Ancaria from the evil clutches of Lord Zane. Instead of choosing a race of class and building the character players can choose from four characters complete with their own back stories. The Seraphim are represented by Claire the paladin; Marak is the hammer wielding Safiri warrior; Alithea is the token scantily clad Ancarian lancer and Vajra is the bow wielding Khkuri archer. After selecting your character it’s off to a map detailing all the levels that make up the story of Sacred 3. The levels vary in length from five to forty minutes and provide bite sized chunks of mindless fun and violence. Again, this is a departure from the hundreds of hours of the RPG gameplay Sacred 2 produced but the ten to twelve odd hours of the hacking and slashing of Sacred 3 is rather sufficient.

2014-07-31_00005As alluded to earlier, the gameplay of Sacred 3 is now firmly in the hack and slash category. Players start the game with one normal attack, a dash attack which must be used to disable enemy’s shields, a dodge, and two power attacks which consume energy. You then make your way from the beginning of the level, hacking and slashing your way through countless enemies until you get to the end of level boss. Killing enemies will earn you gold and experience points which are later used to level up existing attacks and unlock new abilities. As the game is combat-heavy there are also plenty of opportunities to replenish health and energy along the way. The similarities here to Marvel Ultimate Alliance (one of my all-time favourite hack and slash games) are fast and furious and make playing Sacred 3 a fun experience.

Keen Games seem to be determined to make Sacred 3 their own in every respect. The game has definitely taken a leaf from the Saints Row series and taken a wander into the silly sector and is not taking itself too seriously. Cheesy dialogue and bad jokes pepper every conversation. Examples of this are the exchanges between the early baddie Kar Tel and your character. These often reference pop culture (“You sank my landing boat” delivered in the Battleship advert style when you destroy said boat) or sometimes are just bad puns. You could argue that this is down to bad writing and voice acting but the tone of the teaser trailers that were released tend to suggest that this is exactly what Keen Games had in mind. The silliness of the characters does tend to fit in with the gameplay style and, to someone who is new to the Sacred series, it delivered a bit of old school fashioned fun.

2014-07-30_00004One of the features being heavily touted for Sacred 3 is the up to four player co-op play. Players can drop in and out of co-op games both online and locally with relative ease. You can also set your privacy setting so that other players can see your game and jump in to help you or you can choose to have an invite only game. The levels that I did sample in online co-op were a lot of fun. When a player joins or leaves your game, Sacred 3 will adjust the difficulty and frequency of enemies according to number of players and skill level. There was no lag or disruption to the game when players were joining and leaving missions halfway through which made meeting new players something to look forward to. Whilst Sacred 3 is a decent enough solo experience, I imagine a four player co-op game with the right group of friends will while away the hours.

On the down side the PC version we reviewed did seem to have minor stability issues. Our favourite of these affected the audio files so that all the dialogue played back at a speed that made everyone sound like a smurf. It was rather funny and was remedied by a restart of our PC. Sadly it was only experienced once. There were a few frame rate and resolution issues that cropped up twice but seem to be resolved by restarting the game. Again these were intermittent and seem to be resolved due to a few patches that have been implemented before the game has released

2543872-sacred3_1Right, to get down to the nitty gritty of it, Sacred 3 is not what fans of the series were expecting. Yes, it’s not an RPG with hundreds of hours of gameplay and endless customisation. Yes, shops have been replaced with a simple menu and yes, the game is now a simple hack and slash. But, do you know what? It is a damn good hack and slash game. It delivers everything a good example of the genre should and the silliness just adds to its charm. So where fans of the Sacred series will probably not be blown away by it and should have a think before diving in, newcomers to the series like myself will be pleasantly surprised to find a thoroughly enjoyable hack and slash with a decent multiplayer element. The fact that Sacred 3 is not taking itself too seriously should be a clue we should do the same. Yes, the game isn’t perfect but it’s a lot of fun.

4 hacks and slashes out of 5

Sacred 3 Review (PC), 1.4 out of 5 based on 35 ratings


Leave A Reply
  1. Wera says
    08/15/2014, 4:16 PM

    Props for an honest review. I don’t agree that it’s a good game at all. But at least your being honest.

  2. Sybban says
    08/03/2014, 6:51 PM

    I’d never heard of this website until today. I had to check it out after seeing that you rated this game as one of the highest you guys have ever reviewed. Also, the highest out of all critics. I read the other reviews and the amount of flaws is shocking. It’s not just that it’s not really a sacred game (fucking boohoo, they weren’t THAT great) it’s the awful design decisions. It’s just strange you would rate something so high with what seems to be a half assed product.I haven’t played it and am not going to play it. Telling people to play it to prove you wrong kind of defeats the purpose of critics to exist in the first place. I’d have been fine if you guys said 60 or something, but such a glowing review for such a lazy uninspired game? You can rest on your laurels of standing up for your convictions for so long, but shit like this makes people question anything else you might review. FFS you gave Transistor an absolute perfect score. Transistor was…a shadow of bastion. It would have been fine if Bastion had never existed and I certainly would rate it high…but perfect? This is bad reviewing. Unless your strategy was to give confusing reviews to attract web site traffic. In which case: Great Success.

  3. chaotix14 says
    08/03/2014, 10:48 AM

    No safety net? What would you call decieving old Sacred fans into believing that this was actually going to be Sacred 3, not a random brawler in the Sacred universe. I don’t know how much you are aware of malice on the hands of Deep Silver. Every signal from Deep Silver that doesn’t require digging into the forums was that this game was going to be an aRPG, yet what we found in the end was a score attack arena brawler. They released the game a few days prior to lifting date the review embargo, on purpose. I’m very sorry to give you a reality check, but there are a lot of guys out there that purchased the game beofre the reviews were out or even pre-purchased the game under the impression they would get an aRPG. Which would be very logical since the game is called Sacred 3, I mean when you buy Rollercoaster tycoon 4 you don’t expect anything other than a Themepark sim, when you buy Civilization 6 you expect to find a 4X game, when you buy C&C 4 you expect to see an RTS….. Oh, wait right wasn’t that that game that EA made, wasn’t anything like it’s predecessors(like Sacred 3 only keeping the lore) and only managed to not absolutely fail(still destroying the franchise utterly) due to it being Kane’s final chapter?

    I wouldn’t be certain though if this game, were it not called Sacred 3, it would have sold better. Because on one hand we have all the guys who bought a game for 50 buck they really didn’t want to buy at all, on the other hand you have a lot of people who now won’t even touch the game even if they happen to find it for 5 bucks. Though I have to say I’d rather have seen Sacred die as a franchise taken to the grave by Ascaron, then having to look at the rotten corpse brought back to life by Deep Silvers novice necromancy. Because it stings harder to know that a new Sacred has come out and that I will never be able to enjoy it, than to never see a Sacred game again.

    At least I’d have to say, it’s good to see a reviewer who is actually honest, while judging the game on it’s own merrit. I can’t, since it’s called Sacred 3. Though if you want to go out and say things like it having no safety net then you really should dig a lot more into the road to the release, the guys who bought/pre-purchased this game thinking Sacred 3 would be an aRPG are Deep Silver safety net, just like it being the final chapter of Kane was C&C4’s safety net.

  4. Naw says
    08/03/2014, 8:21 AM

    You fucking suck astroturf shill.

  5. Profile photo of Mike O'Raw
    Mike O'Raw says
    08/03/2014, 8:16 AM

    Nope, I did however play the game and judge it for what it is and not what someone else expected it to be. Just curious, have you played the game yourself?

  6. Daniel Borja Machado says
    08/03/2014, 6:30 AM

    Some one pay you to score this game?

  7. Omga4000 says
    08/01/2014, 4:25 PM

    This is a DISGRACE to the Sacred series!
    It lacks EVERYTHING that the previous games had!
    No open world, no lore (item drops), no stats (STR/DEX..), no complex skill tree.. Nothing…

    Complete waste of money and time. Don’t bother.

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