The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
I can hardly believe it. Sacred 2's interface almost universally works better on console than it does on PC. Maybe it's the extra development time, but everything from inventory management to potion usage and skill activation flows better on a gamepad. Throw in the four-player online co-op, and this is a fun action/RPG regardles of its myriad technical problems.
As one of the game's six archetypes, you'll wander the vast world of Ancaria in a quest to do something or other. The spotty localization drags the stupid story down even further, but who reads quest text anyway? The real star here is exploring the gorgeous and varied world, killing most of its denizens, and then taking their stuff.
Ancaria's size should not be underestimated. It's no exaggeration to say that you could easily dump north of a hundred hours into the game and not run out of content. If you do, of course, there are higher difficulties to conquer with your tricked-out hero.
Bread and butter combat tends toward the formulaic, but it works well enough to not stand in the way of enjoying the outstanding character progression and delightfully realized world of Sacred 2. On a gamepad, the combat feels much like a slower-paced Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, with skills ranging from fireballs to melee combos punctuating the drone of basic attacks.
Sacred 2 is fun for what it is, but ultimately fails to capture the old Diablo magic. Combat is nowhere near the tight, tactical paradise that Diablo II could reach in its better moments, and the framerate is a constant drag. Targeting spells like meteor showers or teleports is slow and clumsy on a gamepad, and the AI for followers is pretty broken. Still, you're not going to find a comparable title on 360 or PS3, and Sacred 2 is a decent enough way to get your experience grind on.
R. Kelly once said that, ''I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump 'n' grind.'' Fans of hack n' slash games like Sacred 2 must feel the same way. The premise is simple: Grind for loot by dispatching AI enemies so dumb they may as well be treasure bags, bump your level to learn new skills for hacking the purse strings, and repeat. With enemies this dense, the game's flexible skill and combo systems feel wasted. But if you care more about the post-combat payoffs than trudging through monotonous button-mashing combat scenarios and suffering from banal storytelling, Sacred 2 delivers. The vast world features a startling bounty of quests, a deep inventory of goods, and thousands of treasure-procuring minions for you and your friends to slay. As for me, another R. Kelly lyric from his epic hip-hopera ''Trapped in the Closet'' comes to mind: ''Let me up out this door, 'cause this is way more than I bargained for.''