Sacred 2: Sometimes stupid is just what you need.

Posted by SonicFire (820 posts) -

I'm sure that I've said it before on occasion, but sometimes, bad games can be good. Not awful games, mind you (I'm not going to tell anyone to pick up Vampire rain or Leisure Suite Larry: Box Office Bust). So maybe it's better so say that mediocre games can be a blast, if they eschew all pretension for basic gameplay features. It's similar to what the guys are talking about in their discussion of Just Cause 2. As for me, I'm playing through Sacred 2 on Xbox 360, and I don't know that I've ever encountered a game that delights in its ridiculousness quite so much.  
 
For those who may of missed the game when it came out last year - I'm guessing most of you - it's basically a Diablo-style hack-and-slash RPG, in which you pick your character class, explore the world, complete basic quests, get loot, and level up. There's really no story to speak of, or, if there is, I am fully unaware of what it might be. I first realized something was different about this one when I started reading gravestones that contained nothing but bad, terrible puns. Then, when my character began speaking his catchphrases: "I used to either destroy or save villages, depending on my orders," "I am your ultimate fate," etc. I figured out that this game did not take itself seriously at all. As some of the reviews Deadly Premonition have shown, a stupid game that knows it's stupid can be a blast.  
 
I wasn't too sure about Sacred 2 - after all, every bad pun makes my inner child die a bit - until I ran into a random quest called "blind guardian" in which I found myself picking up instruments in random caves. After completing about 5 quests in the line, I was inexplicably treated to this video: 
 
  

   
Mind you, this quest was entirely random, and incredibly easy to miss or ignore. So after hearing an epic power metal theme song for this strange fantasy game, I was hooked in.  It was made even better by getting Medieval guitar axes to use against enemies that sound like the guitars from Dead Rising. 
 
But as for the subject of this post: sometimes the most simple games can be a blast. Sacred 2 has made a Diablo-style game work well on the console by stripping almost everything complicated out of the game. Yes, there is still loot, special attacks, stat points, and the like, but it's all contained in a few small menus. Because the game is graphically very basic, the game can support a ridiculously large overworld. I've been playing it for around 15 hours or so, and I doubt I've covered 15% of the Map. In other words, there's a lot to do here. Again, there's no superimposed narrative, no story-based drive; hell, I don't know if I'm supposed to be saving the world or not. 
 
Make no mistake, this game is not great. The graphics are relatively weak, it's buggy, and the game doesn't care to really inform you of what's going on. But after playing "deep" titles like Heavy Rain, Final Fantasy XIII, Dragon Age: Awakening, and Demon's souls, I found generic and quirky to be just what I needed. In a way, it's totally a guilty pleasure, but I'd definitely recommend it.  If any of you are playing it, or want to, I'd be happy to join or have you along.
 
As an open question to GB, are there any other games like this that you guys have encountered?
#1 Posted by SonicFire (820 posts) -

I'm sure that I've said it before on occasion, but sometimes, bad games can be good. Not awful games, mind you (I'm not going to tell anyone to pick up Vampire rain or Leisure Suite Larry: Box Office Bust). So maybe it's better so say that mediocre games can be a blast, if they eschew all pretension for basic gameplay features. It's similar to what the guys are talking about in their discussion of Just Cause 2. As for me, I'm playing through Sacred 2 on Xbox 360, and I don't know that I've ever encountered a game that delights in its ridiculousness quite so much.  
 
For those who may of missed the game when it came out last year - I'm guessing most of you - it's basically a Diablo-style hack-and-slash RPG, in which you pick your character class, explore the world, complete basic quests, get loot, and level up. There's really no story to speak of, or, if there is, I am fully unaware of what it might be. I first realized something was different about this one when I started reading gravestones that contained nothing but bad, terrible puns. Then, when my character began speaking his catchphrases: "I used to either destroy or save villages, depending on my orders," "I am your ultimate fate," etc. I figured out that this game did not take itself seriously at all. As some of the reviews Deadly Premonition have shown, a stupid game that knows it's stupid can be a blast.  
 
I wasn't too sure about Sacred 2 - after all, every bad pun makes my inner child die a bit - until I ran into a random quest called "blind guardian" in which I found myself picking up instruments in random caves. After completing about 5 quests in the line, I was inexplicably treated to this video: 
 
  

   
Mind you, this quest was entirely random, and incredibly easy to miss or ignore. So after hearing an epic power metal theme song for this strange fantasy game, I was hooked in.  It was made even better by getting Medieval guitar axes to use against enemies that sound like the guitars from Dead Rising. 
 
But as for the subject of this post: sometimes the most simple games can be a blast. Sacred 2 has made a Diablo-style game work well on the console by stripping almost everything complicated out of the game. Yes, there is still loot, special attacks, stat points, and the like, but it's all contained in a few small menus. Because the game is graphically very basic, the game can support a ridiculously large overworld. I've been playing it for around 15 hours or so, and I doubt I've covered 15% of the Map. In other words, there's a lot to do here. Again, there's no superimposed narrative, no story-based drive; hell, I don't know if I'm supposed to be saving the world or not. 
 
Make no mistake, this game is not great. The graphics are relatively weak, it's buggy, and the game doesn't care to really inform you of what's going on. But after playing "deep" titles like Heavy Rain, Final Fantasy XIII, Dragon Age: Awakening, and Demon's souls, I found generic and quirky to be just what I needed. In a way, it's totally a guilty pleasure, but I'd definitely recommend it.  If any of you are playing it, or want to, I'd be happy to join or have you along.
 
As an open question to GB, are there any other games like this that you guys have encountered?
#2 Posted by Origina1Penguin (3500 posts) -

It is a nice treat hidden away in the game. I remember it mentioned before in this thread. I actually own Sacred 2 now; got it for Christmas last year. However, I still haven't caught up on my backlog of games so it will just have to wait.

#3 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Sometimes I almost want to play this then someone compares it to that abortion of a game Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance and I back off.

#4 Posted by trophyhunter (5804 posts) -

it's only 20 bucks I think I'll pick it up

#5 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11005 posts) -

Sounds like a game I could get behind... for less than $20...

#6 Posted by SonicFire (820 posts) -

Well, I don't know much about Dark Alliance. But it's safe to say that this game is dumb fun. If you're a completionist, it might be overwhelming at times, but hey it is 20 bucks now, so not a bad purchase.  
 
It's certainly not revolutionary, but not every game needs to be. As a fair caveat, I've not been much of a PC gamer (though I will be more once my Alienware m11x shows up)

#7 Posted by pweidman (2215 posts) -

Yeah Sacred 2 is a very fun game.  I played thru to completion last summer, and had an absolute blast w/it.  It is a 4 player online co-op game as well, with five or so characters to choose from(all get unique mounts also) and play through the story/world.  Max lvl=200, so you can play it indefinitely.  Five diff levels(bronze, silver, gold, plat, etc.), so every successive run through the world gets more challenging,  but also more rewarding.  It's an epic loot grinder, w/pretty cool enemies, very varied environs in a huge open world(although wandering off can be quite deadly), and some pretty challenging bosses.  Get ready to grind though, there is very little time to rest.  Enemies are omnipresent.   And finally, I agree about the concert, one of my all-time fav moments in a game.   And btw, there was sposed to be DLC, but the dev got shuttered.  I think they combined up w/some other euro dev house.  For $20 it's an outright steal if you like top down loot grinders, and it's one w/a great sense of humor to boot. 
  /promo,lol.
#8 Posted by fox01313 (5033 posts) -

Been pretty happy with it so far & while the player might have some rather stupid things to say at times, it's quite fun to just see some of these average RPG games (another one that comes to mind is Two Worlds 2) where the gameplay might not be that awesome but they looked at a fantasy library the size of the Smithsonian museum, stole the contents of all the books, drank huge amounts of booze & left while playing fantasy power metal to go make a game. Granted I'm still early in & probably just going to finish the game with the Dryad (with voodoo undead minion & ranged combat so much dies before it gets within view) but I've been quite impressed with the amount to do in the game & features that people want in other games that's crammed in here. Like mounted combat, unique mounts for each class, ability to remove loot from inventory to get about half of what it's worth in gold, a hero chest to share among your characters, ability to go into some NPC house shouting out "I'm an adventuring hero & I need this stuff in this chest without any complaints from you!" then proceed to loot the chest and leave without worrying about stolen items, ability to just use relics or other skills in just one thing like finding hidden things or critical hits, able to put on whatever armor you find (heavier armor just increases regeneration time), a physics engine that seems slightly unneeded (killed things will just ragdoll & just roll down a hill) & a rather deep skill system that gives you the skill tokens as items in game (and if you don't want to save the skill tokens for your other characters through the hero chest, you can just trade them for skills for your character). Considering the price now for this (which here in the states is easier to get on the 360 as the Steam version isn't available), it's quite recommended as one of those games to dive into.

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