Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

The Temple Guardian are also intriguing; it's not everyday you see a cyborg with a mechanically enhanced arm in a fantasy setting. Developer Ascaron is still keeping a tight lid on how this class will play, other than to say that he's good at close combat, has technological weapons and can manipulate his environment.

Despite the new look, new classes and over a hundred new hours of stuff to do, Sacred 2: Fallen Angel feels somewhat familiar. Yellow question marks and exclamation points mark NPCs in need of a good mouse click for quests, which will inevitably charge you with left-clicking many monsters to death as you click your way on to explore far and distant lands. Kill monsters. Find loot. Upgrade your gear. Briefly enjoy how truly uber your character has become before the urge for even better items sets in. Even if you've never played the original Sacred - which was great - you've probably already played a game that's a lot like Sacred 2.

Above: The Shadow Warrior will get the most uncomfortable looking mount we've ever seen. But it's also the coolest

That familiarity is exactly what makes us want to play Sacred 2 on the PC. Remember when repeatedly killing lots of monsters for treasure wasn't called "grinding" and was actually considered fun? The rise of the MMO genre has somewhat dulled our senses to the joys of loot lust and boss runs, making us forget how nice the sound of a gold drop can be.

Unfortunately, the same sense of familiarity doesn't work to Sacred 2’s advantage on the 360. In the build we played, the game feels a bit too much like a hack n’ slash or Western action RPG like Fable. And like so many PC-to-console ports, Sacred 2 will have to shoulder the burden of making a game designed for the keyboard and mouse work with a controller. Our hands-on time suggests that the game will play smoothly enough. While nothing's been finalized, the R-trigger currently pulls up a small menu that lets you select from a series of attacks while the directional pad lets you select from spells and items.

If you have any love for games like Diablo or Titan Quest, we recommend keeping an eye on Sacred 2: Fallen Angel when it releases later this year for the PC. Fans of console action RPGs and hack n’ slashers, on the other hand, should watch Sacred 2 with a slight touch of skepticism. It may or may not be your cup of tea.

Feb 21, 2008