In a season congested with numerous outlets competing for our attention and our dollars many gems go unnoticed. This summer has already been packed with movie games that have left little to be desired. Whether it is the game or the film it is based on this summer is quickly becoming forgettable. I am sucker for these tie-in games but I think I have finally seen the light. I just never knew I would have to be resurrected to do so.
To be honest with you on several accounts I have never played any type of role playing game such as World of Warcraft. On more than one occasion I have heard the adventures of my co-worker journeying to this mythical land as Everra the undead Mage. I am still not quite sure what a Mage is yet I got the undead part though. The closest thing to Dungeons and Dragons I have ever played was the old Marvel role playing version. One day I had to roll a ten to have Daredevil attack a Sentinel with a Quinjet. Please don’t ask. When it comes to console role playing games they have always made me feel like more of a spectator than the character. Enter Sacred 2: Fallen Angel by Ascaron and CDV Software Entertainment. Gone are the tie-ins from this summer’s block busters. Gone is everything I have known before. No, I have never played the first one but damn it I am trying to make the most of my summer and it is time I had some real fun.
The fun starts after reading the incredibly daunting instruction manual. Call me silly but for the first time instead of just blindly charging in I though I needed to figure out what the hell was going on. Since I had never been to the Sacred universe before I thought I needed a little bit of information on it. My overall quest is to bring the land of Ancaria back into the light. There is the option to leave the land in ruin but that is for another day. Besides, we can all be the villain after we figure out how to actually play the game first. Apparently some High Elves (as in Elf Statesmen) unleashed the T-Energy upon the realm. They believed this power source would bring civilization to the land. Instead it has fractured it and created an era of deceit and war. Your goal is to wander the land and not only help bring order to the chaos but help all those in need.
There are six different characters to choose from and a deity to choose as well. Each of these has unique abilities and blessings that will help you on your quest. Immediately, I could see this game as a more modern version of Gauntlet. There is a four person online mode, but since I am only a Shadow Warrior in training I thought it best to go it alone. My Shadow Warrior, named Bob (after me, of course) was trained by the High Elves for close combat. I was merely a step up from a zombie or the undead as I was reanimated after my death on the battlefield. Out of the six gods available for me to choose from I picked Lumen, the God of Power and Light. When I do call on Lumen he will enable me to shoot beams that will damage and burn my opponents. So I do have that going for me.
The movie at the beginning of the game was kickass and packed with some fun humor. I prepared myself for the perpetual let down that the game wasn’t going to look nearly as good as that. Much to my surprise and delight the game’s visuals are amazing. This is a game that takes full advantage of High Definition as the game is played in 1080p. Each and every detail from a tree’s leaf to a wolf’s mane can be seen. I later found the mature (the game is rated M) setting and turned on the gore so that with each spear thrust and axe smashed into my opponents the blood would splatter.
Blood flowing and splattering isn’t the end all be all of a game for me. I can certainly get that anywhere. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel started off simply enough as I was resurrected from the dead and battled my way into the light. Fighting my way out of a crypt I was thrust into an incredible countryside that had everything. Even a new pair of shoes for my bare feet was quickly obtained. With each brutal encounter from marauding bandits and wanders I began to acquire weapons, armor and gold to purchase all that I needed. My hub, for the time being, was a resurrection monolith that thanks to a very live Mage put me on the right path. These monoliths are scattered throughout the realm. They are a point of starting over when either you have to continue with your life in the real world or when you fall in this one.
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is a vast game to play. It will take hours upon hours to complete. I know this because the map of Ancaria is enormous. Think of yourself as the tiniest Hobbit wandering Middle Earth and you’ll get the right idea. Each part of the realm is unlocked after numerous tasks are completed. Some of these tasks have you protecting a village from bandits. Another task will be to find a teddy bear for a little girl, which believe it or not I am still trying to accomplish. Obviously, the tasks will become more difficult. Since I am babe in the woods for role playing games these are tough enough. Thankfully there is so much to explore and participate in that it will take the rest of my summer to do so. I know war is coming for Bob the Shadow Warrior yet the journey to get there will be half the fun. When this adventure concludes the next one will begin as I reach out to other players in the Sacred online universe.
The summer is filled with run of the mill games about mutants, killer robots and transforming aliens from another world. In about two years we will, regrettably, be inundated with those exact same games again. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is a game packed with enough adventures to fill a hundred movies and the best part is that it stars you.
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is also available onthePC and XBOX 360
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