Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Previews

Ascaron Entertainment's upcoming Sacred sequel is the subject of five new previews, all of which are based on a recent CDV press event. The first is at Ars Technica:
The game itself didn't seem like it was doing anything particularly new, but it seemed to be handling things competently when I looked at it. Inventory management is generally what you'd expect from such a title, as is combat (a mix of mouse clicks and hotkeys). There's a branching tech tree for each skillset; when players find complete sets of armor for their character they'll be granted attribute bonuses; there are a number of different multiplayer modes available, and there are a number of different ways to move around the world map in either real-time or instant methods. It certainly isn't the prettiest RPG on the market, but it does look good, and the art style provides a fairly interesting fantasy/Manga look, too. Some details, like whether or not a level-editor for multiplayer games will be available, have yet to be determined; one would assume that these will be decided on relatively soon.

The second is at Co-Optimus:
You have the option of running co-op campaigns, where you and a few friends (up to 16 on the PC, 4 on the 360 or PS3) can go through the main story of the game, leave it open in a free for all where only secondary quests can be played and the entire map is available to explore, and arena modes where the same groups can fight waves of enemies or each other. Enemies scale up and down as players drop in or out, keeping the balance even. You don't have to keep playing with the group if you want to be alone, just go to your own game and come back when you are ready for more multiplayer action.

The third is at GameShark:
For my test character I selected the Shadow Warrior, a melee class that uses undead magic. The Shadow Warrior is what might have happened to Russell Crowe in Gladiator had he been resurrected instead of receiving a proper soldier's death. I was dismayed to find that I couldn't customize my character's appearance at all, not even the gender. It would be nice not to look exactly like your teammates if you're in multiplayer mode. You may still be distinguishable from your friends though, by the various kinds of armor sets available. But in the grand tradition of fantasy RPGs, the female classes wear very little armor.

The fourth is at DailyGame:
This size is reflected in the game world, as well, which has 12 distinct regions spanning 22 square miles, plus two levels of underground dungeons. For those of you taking notes at home, that equates to six hours of real-world time walking from one side of the game world to the other. Fortunately, Sacred 2 also includes the ability to teleport to other areas of the map once they've been discovered, so players won't have to worry about spending 20 of those 25 gameplay hours traversing the world. Sacred 2 also includes armor-capable mounts ranging from tigers to horses, which further helps with the transport time.

And the fifth is at Gaming Nexus:
Regardless of whether you're on the Light side or the Shadow side, the enemies willing to put a stop to your crusade will populate both paths. How you dispatch those enemies -- with an ever-growing caravan of skills and abilities -- will be directed by the side you choose. The developers' original plan was to have all 20 possible abilities at your disposal from the word (Go.) But after much play-testing, Ascaron concluded that this overwhelmed players with too many choices, and so they decided to reduce the tsunami to a simpler wake of purchasable options. At the time of this writing, completing the tutorial will net you one starting ability, and enough currency to purchase perhaps two more. The rest of the 20 will trickle in gradually. In addition, these abilities are scaleable. Don't like that widespread and weak meteor shower? Concentrate it down to fewer meteors hitting for increased damage. It's your spell. Kill them fast, or kill them slow -- it's your call.