Time Played: about 2-3 hours
I was a little concerned at first, since the box says this game requires at least 20 GB to install, with 25 GB recommended (and 10 GB more for the "elite graphics," which come with the CE I believe?). However, upon installing, it only took 12 GB. I doubt my save files or anything else are going to take up 8 GB more, but I guess we'll see.
The first thing I notice is that the font on the character selection screen is tough to read, even if I change resolutions. Okay, so I'll let that go for now and make my character. Hey! These characters look cool! Especially the Mega Man/Egyptian God one. I check the manual, and its mount is an awesome Gantz (manga) car! I should be that one! So for some reason, I went with the Shadow Warrior, a melee class. I could also pick from dark or light campaigns; went with dark for a change in pace since I'm always nice in games on the first playthrough. Chose my God as well, which gives me a unique special power. And ... let's play! Crap, I forgot to name my guy! Now he's named Shadow Warrior.
Game opens with a cinematic, in which the audio pops in for about half a second every ten seconds. I skip it since I can't tell what's going on anyway. I begin the actual game. Font is still small. Graphics look just mediocre, but I had them set to low to see how my computer handled it. I'll just switch them in the menu to check out what the graphics look like maxed out! Huh? There is no in-game options menu? Okay, so I save and quit, change the graphics to max, and pop back into the game. It looks roughly the same. Pop out, put them back on low, and pop back in again.
What are these weird voices playing every once in a while? Oh, that's my character making odd/silly/corny comments about random things. Sacred 2 seems to be confused as to whether it wants to be a humorous or serious RPG. First area I'm in, there are tons of graves for me to open with treasure inside. However, with each one, I must read a new corny joke comment and click OK or hit ESC. This gets annoying, because I just want the damn treasure.
Sacred 2 is basically another Diablo clone. However, you would expect it to have the speed at least of Diablo, or maybe Sacred 1? It feels very slow to me. Sometimes sounds play after their attack animations are over. Animations don't seem all that smooth. I encountered some kobolds, and their design looks like it was lifted right from Diablo 2.
On the plus side, I found a blue and a yellow item within about 5 minutes. Sacred 2 does have a nice feature where you can automatically pick up any item on the ground within a certain radius by just pressing one key. The inventory is very big so micromanaging it shouldn't be a problem, as it can be in these types of games. Combat overall isn't awful, though it basically is par for the course so far. The character progression and skill systems seem to be fine, and I like how you can string together abilities in a combo. Quests don't seem to give you any indication of how or where they are solved, you just pick them up and basically wander the world until you find what you're looking for. Maybe the problem with that is that it's nearly impossible to read the INCREDIBLY SMALL TEXT. That needs a fix ASAP, since it affects everything from quest text to weapon and armor text.
So, I'm a little disappointed for my first impression, but it's not horrible.
Edit: I figured out how the game directs you through quests, the big compass at the bottom. And through map notes. Reading the manual is good.
Hours Played - about 7
I just wanted to do a quick update of my progress in this game. I stopped playing my boring Shadow Warrior (I got enough of a taste of the class) and switched to a Dryad, a ranged attack and magic casting class. The Dryad's voice acting is not nearly as cheesy, and the class itself is much more fun to play. I'm going to be giving each class a try. The huge world is actually pretty fun and I prefer it to the randomly generated environments of other similar games. This game will probably not be as bad to play through as I thought it would be.
This game is not a top priority for me right now but I do plan to power through it at some point in the near future. As for now I play it here and there to keep myself into it.
I just had an interesting experience with companions. Either they're bugged, the AI is horrible, or both. Upon logging in, my newly bought mount was stuck in a companion I didn't even remember that I had. Another companion that I do remember joining me for a quest was randomly running around in all directions and sometimes teleporting to the opposite side of the screen. As I moved around the world, the stuck companion would teleport to me every once in a while, still standing still and doing nothing. The other companion was aggroing every monster within a certain radius and bringing them down on me endlessly. Luckily, you get plenty of health potions and there is a warning when your health is low, so it was easy to take these monsters out. Even in general the AI seems to be plain bad for companions, since my first and previous one kept running after enemies who weren't even near me when I didn't want him to, and dying before I could complete his quest. It doesn't appear to be a problem with summoned companions (not NPCs, but summoned helper creatures) who don't run around as wildly.
I don't know if it was the effect of the multiple patches released for the game or what, but many of my problems with the game have been worked out (except for companions). I upped the graphics settings again and they looked good this time. I was either unobservant or there was some incompatibility problem which was fixed.
This game is absolutely HUGE. There is a static world, with no randomly generated terrain ala Diablo, but it isn't like Titan Quest where enemies are gone once you kill everything. Enemies will respawn in an area you've left for a while if you run back through it. There are quests all over the place. The fairly well decorated towns are lined with wandering NPCs which have some odd spoken dialogues with each other as you walk by. The amount of content is just staggering and probably the biggest strength of the game.
Another strength is the skill system which is very robust and appears to allow for many varied types of characters throughout each class.
I think it was hard to get into this game at first primarily because it doesn't take itself seriously enough. It tries to be goofy in just about every aspect so it is hard to really care about the world I'm playing in. Humor is done well in serious games like Metal Gear Solid, where you still care about the characters even though goofy stuff happens which will make you laugh. Dungeon Runners is another example of a game which did its humor well. While there are things in Sacred 2 that have made me LOL (like when a character I kill says "It was one day before my birthday!", there are also probably a larger amount of things that made me cringe at their corny-ness or how not well placed they were.
What's saving Sacred 2 right now is its streamlining of traditional tasks from these types of games (like pressing Q to collect all loot within a certain radius instantly, which is awesome), heated large scale battles, huge amount of somewhat varied quests, and the skill system. I don't anticipate finishing this one soon with all of the content, but I'm going to try. Enemies scale to your level, and I've done quite a bit of the side quests, so I'm going to focus on the main story now (right after I finish the Christmas quest).
You must gather your party before venturing forth