Previews

Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

Steady as a truck

"Steady as a truck." That's how developer Ascaron describes the Xbox 360 version of Sacred 2 - one of many German-isms that crop-up in our game presentation (including an analogy on the game's development progress using a pizza and an iceberg. Hmmm).

Thankfully, putting the game in front of us makes it a lot more obvious what Sacred 2's all about. There are goblins, a crap-load of items and a massive, seamless world that Ascaron says will take you more than six hours to run across.

Yep, this is the Diablo fan's cup of tea and we can tell from our presentation that the German developer has pulled no punches.

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On the PC it's very much a Diablo-style click-to-move adventure. The world really is the most impressive aspect of the game; for such a huge area of virtual real estate it's a mystery how Sacred 2 is totally devoid of load times or streaming stutters.

Play as one of a handful of familiar yet renamed character classes (Vampiresses, Gladiators, Seraphims...) click your way through the quests, raid randomly generated dungeons and loot zombies until you're the hardest looking mage in the world.

There are six character classes to choose from - Shadow Warrior, Inquisitor, High Elf, Dryad, Temple Guardian and stiletto-wearing Seraphim ( who you may remember if you played the first game).

The sequel takes place a couple of thousand years before its predecessor, and features a story of civil war and a nasty magic plague called T-energy that's made the world and wildlife go a bit mental. That means lots of skeleton men to kill.

We're also both delighted and disturbed that, in a game where your lead character can wield both a shield, sword and thong, that we actually like the art style. Sacred's world is colourful, (dare we say) charming and feels alive; wind rustles grass and trees and wildlife scatters around going about its business. "There's even f****ing bunnies," we're told.

On the Xbox 360 meanwhile there's the promise of full Xbox Live support and a control scheme that has bugger all to do with clicking a mouse. We had a brief glimpse of how it's shaping up on the console and we're pleased to say that it's looking great, with little visual drop from the rather pretty PC cousin.

650 side quests, 200,000 words of spoken dialogue and lord knows how much gameplay time; those Germans really do like their numbers and we're already convinced Sacred 2 isn't going to disappoint Diablo nuts.

It's definitely aimed a certain branch of gamer, but if it's your cup of tea you're bound to be impressed. With numbers like that, how couldn't you?

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