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Sacred - PC dungeon crawler
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Snowblind Studios > Odds & Ends

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Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 206
Location: Madison, WI
Sacred - PC dungeon crawler  Reply with quote  

I recently picked up a new dungeon crawler for the PC called Sacred. If you enjoy dungeon crawlers (which you probably do if you are playing Snowblind games) and have a decent PC, check it out:


The game is a fairly straightforward hack-and-slash game, but both my wife and I have been having a blast playing it. There are different characters to pick from: the gladiator, ranger, vampiress, battle mage, monk/thief and seraphim. Each character has a unique set of skills, and there's a fairly decent variety of skills to pick from. My wife is playing the gladiator and has some great melee skills. One allows her to hit several nearby enemies at once, another gives her a damage shield, and one causes major damage to one enemy. My battle mage is great and has lots of different elemental spells along with some healing. I can cause a meteor shower, throw fireballs or lightning, toss up a frozen shield around me, cast buffs, and heal. I haven't tried the other characters yet, but I know the vampiress' available skills differ on the time of day.

There is no mana, but each skill has a regen time before it can be used again. Different attributes along with magic armor may decrease the regen time. It is an interesting system and really makes you think about when to use your skills as you can't just chug mana potions. There are potions that make a skill instantly ready, but they are far less common, plus you can't carry nearly as many potions. You have a grid-based inventory that has a fixed size, so you can only carry what fits in that space ... and potions don't stack.

Combat is fairly simple yet fun. Rather than going with the constant click system found in Diablo, you can just click and hold on an enemy; your character will melee attack and even follow that enemy around, which is very nice. You start only being able to equip one spell and one weapon set (1 hand sword + shield or two handed weapon) at a time, but as you level up you'll earn new skill/weapon slots and eventually be able to have 5 weapons and 5 skills ready at any time.

You can also create your own combos. Each character has four combo slots, and you can go to a combo master to make these combos. Pick up to any four of your skills, pay some gold, and a combo is made from those skills. You can then put that combo on your equipped skill slot, effectively letting you have four skills in a single equipped slot. For example, I made a buff combo that casts four of my buffs. That way I only need one spell slot for my buffs, rather than four.

It sounds like an extremely cool idea, and it is. The only problem is that the regen time on combos are far too long, making them pretty much useless. Still, a neat idea, and maybe it'll be tweaked in a patch.

Graphically the game looks great. Nice character models and animations, with everything showing up on your character, including belts and amulets. The world is simply massive ... looking at the map will make you weep Laughing There are lots of quests to go on and plenty to see. We've both put quite a few hours into the game and I think we've barely scratched the surface.

I'm running Sacred on my 1.2 Ghz Athlon, with 512 megs of ram and a Raedon 9600 XT. The game runs fine, although it does chug a fair amount in town. My wife's machine is well below the minimum specs ... a PIII 450 with 384 megs of ram and a 64 meg GeForce 3. We've had to turn down all of the effects, but the game runs surprisingly well. It really bogs down in town, so she needs to play zoomed in a lot, but overall it runs much better than I expected. There's a patch coming out soon that should be improving the framerate quite a bit ... looking forward to that, especially for my wife's machine.

If you like dungeon crawlers, give Sacred a try. It has some good humor in it (read the gravestones) and some neat concepts. Not a perfect game, but still quite a bit of fun.
You should know better than to pick up a duck in a dungeon. Lose 2 levels.

Post Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:01 pm
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