I’ve been patiently waiting for Diablo IV. The game promises to be an action-role playing game with an emphasis on open world gameplay.
This could possibly be the biggest Diablo game to date since the series has never tackled open world gameplay at all. I have no idea if it will “feel” right for a Diablo title, but time will tell when the full game is released.
I am certainly a Diablo fan. Diablo II is easily one of my all time favorite games. It was the game that got me into role playing games because of its style and mechanics.
I grew up getting into video games because of Doom, and Diablo II felt like an action role playing version of Doom at first glance. But what made me play Diablo II so much is its sheer depth and complexity I realized while spending many hours.
Despite loving the glorious Diablo II, I even enjoyed the controversial Diablo III. Yes, you can definitely like both Diablo II and III folks!
The game may not feel like a proper Diablo title, but it’s hard to not appreciate how fun the game is, and it does nail down being a solid action role playing experience.
The combat is simply very fun to play, and while it is certainly more streamlined than Diablo II, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
Since I am obviously interested in Diablo IV, I need a game to play that’ll give me something similar to Blizzard’s upcoming game. I happened to find that game.
Diablo IV in 2008
This is where Sacred 2: Fallen Angel comes to play. I was actually aware of this game back in the day, but I was simply too busy with other games to actually invest quality time into it.
This game was simply a Diablo-inspired role playing experience, but it also had an emphasis on having an open world to it. Kind of sounds like Sacred 2 was setting the future for Diablo before the series decided to go for an open world direction.
Sacred 2 was originally released as PC only title since its inception, and was eventually released to the current consoles at the time: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The PC version was released in early November 2008 and it came to consoles in middle 2009.
The game is certainly old, but not NES old. Despite pretty much trying to capitalize the formula that the Diablo series is known for, the series never reached the same amount of success like Path of Exile has.
The series might not be a well known name in among the average RPG gamer, but I would probably say it is something that’s worth checking out if you ever want to see what a Diablo-esque open world game would play like.
Not So Noob Friendly…
Sacred 2 is surprisingly a complex game. It can be fairly daunting for newer players to play and trying to “get it.” The game also creates more stress for new players more because there is no way one can respec their character.
You only have one shot to make your build viable, or else it’s back to starting a new character again. However, that is also its beauty. Just the heavy amount of customization and theory crafting that one has is what makes the game fun.
I definitely took things slowly with the game because the game was already throwing at me a lot of stuff I wasn’t clear on. For example, I wasn’t aware that putting runes in my Combat Arts (abilities) actually increased its cooldown.
In Sacred 2, you have to balance between using your gear and investing your character’s skill points. Your gear tends to increase or decrease your character’s abilities’ cooldown which is called “Regeneration.”
On top of that, adding more runes which is kind of like Diablo II’s skill points to your Combat Arts can hurt you in a way because it is adding more cooldown while having more damage.
The game also allows the player to invest skill points in its own skill tree which works more like a tree of passive enhancements for your build. However, this tree is very important to your build because they can benefit your character’s Combat Arts.
As you can see, there’s definitely a lot one has to think when trying to make their build efficient to survive the world of Sacred 2.
The Open World Experience
Speaking of the world, the open world aspect of this game is fairly fun to experience. You will be going to a lot of different types of areas that have their own identities.
Of course, we got the traditional high elf or human oriented territories to underground caverns to believe it or not, futuristic-based laboratories.
Yeah, I know what you are thinking. There is futuristic-driven stuff in fantastical setting? Yeah, it’s because of the story.
The story is very much wacky, and I honestly didn’t pay much attention to it, and I believe you also shouldn’t take it too seriously.
But other than that, it is fairly fun to explore the world of Ancaria, and it’s massive too! I consider myself to be someone who loves to explore in these types of games, but I’m not even close to scratching the entire surface of the map.
The endgame of Sacred 2 is very much trying to complete the additional difficulties once you finished the two default difficulties at start: Bronze and Silver.
I started off on Silver, and finished it around 25 hours. I’m clocking up to 60 hours while half way on my Gold difficulty campaign.
The endgame stage is going to require you to grind very hard for levels because the game is level scaling dependent. It’s not simple to explain how Sacred 2’s level scaling system works because it’s not a system where enemies will be at a certain level and you have to be around their level.
However, every time I find myself struggling to progress through the campaign, I always just farm to get my levels up and I noticed it makes a difference in terms of my survivability and efficiency.
There are supposedly two more difficulties after Gold, and I feel like I already know what I need to do if I want to survive on those difficulties.
There are also additional big bosses outside of the campaign that one can try. I’ve only encountered a couple of them, but this is something I plan on doing more in the future just to see how they play.
You can also do the many side quests the game has, but I only recommend players to do it for achievements purposes because their purpose is to help players gain experience level, but you are better off farming in high density areas and you will gain experience significantly faster.
Also, you can end up finding some juicy loot which is also going to help.
Its Unfortunate Flaws
Sacred 2 is far from perfect though. I honestly am not a fan of the of the navigation aspect of this game.
There are many times where you have to pull out the map to figure out where you are going, but there are many times where it can be very tedious to know if you’re going the right away.
Also, there is a little arrow that guides you on your compass, but in most situation, it ends up not doing good job and it just waste the player’s time. You’re better off just looking at the map to figure out your navigation.
I recently finished my 40% side quests achievement, and some of the side quests I had to do were a nightmare to deal with due to the bad navigation.
The game is fairly slow paced too. Leveling does take some time especially when you are getting higher levels, it will be more time consuming to level up.
Also, when you level up, the enemies do level with you, so don’t be able to expect to completely destroy the early game mobs that you initially encountered while being at a lower level.
I honestly think the level scaling system could’ve been more simplified, and I think they could’ve done some things just to make the game feel better from a pacing standpoint.
I certainly have no idea how much time I’m going to have to farm before I get into the next difficulties, but I wished I can gain more levels quicker just to see how much stronger my character will be at higher difficulties.
Wrapping it Up
This was my first taste on the Sacred experience, and it’s been fairly pleasing. My favorite moment with the game so far was when I was doing a side quest, and I happened to experience an in-game concert of Blind Guardian. I literally did not see that moment coming.
That was a very cool way to pay tribute to the band, and it was also fun to experience without knowing about it. Sacred 2 is a lot of fun, and I do see myself wanting to put even more time into the game before Diablo IV releases.
Maybe one day, I’ll even go further back in time and try out the original game and see how it fairs up to the sequel.
I love Sacred 2!!! Just wanted to give you a word of warning – like you, I’ve never played the first Sacred so I can’t comment on it, but Sacred 3 (by Deep Silver rather than the by-the-time-of-3’s-release already closed for 5 years, Ascaron Entertainment) is one of the worst games I’ve ever played. I paid less than $5 for it & still feel like I was robbed!!