The once peaceful land of Ancaria is in grave danger. The evil Ashen empire has enslaved its population and is using the orc-like Grimmoc to wipe out the Seraphim, who swore to protect it. In order to defeat the empire you will have to prove yourself as a warrior by riding terrifying mounts, acquiring earth shattering skills and looting powerful weapons and valuable treasures. Grab your friends and join the resistance!
Sacred Citadel serves as a gap game between the last Sacred game and the soon to be released sequel (that would be Sacred 3), in order to move along the story and remind everyone that yes, Sacred is indeed coming and you better be prepared. Sacred Citadel allows us to go back to the style and mechanics of classic side-scrolling beat-em-ups of ages past, such as Double Dragon, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men on the arcades (and later ported at home), with extra RPG elements thrown into the mix, all told in an interesting celshaded art style that is simple and effective since it keeps you focused on the action.
The story in Sacred Citadel is of the “adventurers out to stop a great evil before it can destroy and conquer the land” variety, and you can take on this journey by selecting one of 4 different characters at your disposal (Mage, Warrior, Ranger and Shaman), each with different stats and skills, while leveling up and collecting loot to help you succeed in your quest. You can switch your weapons and armor as you go since any new drops will helpfully tell you if they increase or decrease your final stats by taking into consideration your current equipment, and you can also pick up gems to buff your stats for a short period of time, or even pick up potions that heal you or fill up your special skill bar (again, like in Golden Axe).
You can take on this on your own or enjoy a bit of Multiplayer with up to 3 people total in the same game which adds to the replay value for the game since you can go back and start over with your friends or just help out other people that are having a hard time completing a specific level which is definitely a nice option to have.
Each of the 4 acts in the game has a town you can visit to sell the extra equipment you have as well as to buy new equipment, gems and potions to help you during your adventure, but there is also an extra option when in town: there is a shady fellow that will allow you to make a bet on your performance under specific rules for one of the levels in the game. For example: you accept his challenge, and he then says that you must complete a level without dying. If you fail, you lose your wager, but if you win, you will be rewarded handsomely.
When you level up, you will be rewarded with an instant refill of your health bar, and you will also receive skill points you can distribute as you please between your 4 stats (Attack, Dexterity, Defense and Power) in order to tailor your gaming experience to how you like to play this type of game. Going all in on Attack will allow you to defeat your enemies in no time but it comes at a trade-off since you will be killed in a few hits due to your low defense rating.
Sacred Citadel is a mindlessly fun beat-em-up that will keep you busy for hours either by yourself or with other players that decide to join you on this adventure. The art style, easy-to-understand mechanics and RPG elements make this a fun game that will easily find a place in your collection, especially if you’re a fan of the genre.
Great art style.
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This review is based on a PS3 copy of Sacred Citadel provided by Deep Silver.
Written by: EdEN
- PR / Contributing Editor