Sacred Gold PC DVD-ROM
Published by Ascaron
Developed by Ascaron
Release Date: Out Now
Sacred Gold, an introduction.
When Ascaron, the developer of the classic Patrician series, turned their hand to creating a hack-'n'-slash RPG it must have surprised a lot of people. Even more surprising though was the result. Sacred, the RPG in question was top notch stuff and proved to be very successful. After Sacred came Sacred Plus which was a rework of the original game with new regions, new quests and new enemies amongst other things. A few months ago we reviewed Sacred Underworld, the first expansion for Sacred. Sacred Underworld added 2 new playable characters, improved the interface and vastly increased the size of the game world of Ancaria. If you have yet to experience Sacred then forget all those games I've just mentioned and just look for Sacred Gold.
What's the game about?
Sacred Gold, as if you hadn't guessed yet, is comprised of every Sacred product to date making it a superb package and one that fans of hack-'n'-slash' -slash simply can't afford to miss out on. Instead of coming on several CD-ROMs everything has been put onto a DVD-ROM which makes the installation a lot less fiddly. The manual has been rewritten to take account of everything being in one pack. The game also comes with the soundtrack of both the original game and expansion which is great although it's a bonus feature deaf gamers will obviously not care about.
What's good about the game?
The game is just so addictive and accessible that anyone can quite happily play it for the first time and be hooked within minutes. Whilst the game has many traditional RPG elements such as gaining experience, levelling up, quests etc., the way in which it's been presented is so accessible that even an RPG newbie will have no problems with the game. The replay value is also high and even though I've already played the game through I still find it can hold my attention for hours at a time. Of course with the 8 characters on offer playing so different from each other it also adds considerably to the replay value.
What's not so good about the game?
Perhaps the biggest complaint here is that the game isn't 100% deaf gamer friendly. That said though there aren't any major problems. On the whole there isn't much to complain about. When you consider the amount of quality gaming time you're going to be having from Sacred Gold you have to concede that the overall package is an absolute bargain.
How does it look?
Sacred still looks good even though it's been a while since the original game was released. The game uses 3D characters and 2D pre-rendered backgrounds and it's a mix that works well and doesn't demand high PC specifications. It's a shame that the game is locked at the screen resolution of 1024x768 though. With many gamers using a 17" TFT screen nowadays it would have been great to have seen the game support the 1280x1024 screen resolution. However the game does look OK on a 17" and isn't as blurry as some games that are locked at lower resolutions. You can zoom in quite close and whilst the backgrounds do pixelate a little it's nothing major. Likewise you can zoom out quite a distance too which is handy when you're in an area filled with enemies.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
As you might expect the Sacred Gold edition is exactly the same for deaf gamers as the original game and expansion. Instead of flipping between reviews we'll just include our comments from the previous games for you:
'When selecting a character the comments are not subtitled. There is text shown for this but it's not quite the same as the speech. Taunts and non-essential comments made by your character and NPC's are also not subtitled. Any speech in the cutscenes is not subtitled (although this is fairly minimal). Important dialogue is shown in text using click-off dialogue boxes so you'll never miss out on anything important. A log book records quests and such like which means you can keep track of what needs to be done. Tutorial messages are shown in text too which is useful. Text chat is also supported in multiplayer modes which is great news for deaf gamers.'
As we said in our introduction, if you have yet to experience Sacred then this is the game with which to do so. Sacred Gold offers outstanding value and fans of games such as Diablo and its sequel can't fail to appreciate the sheer addictiveness of Sacred. If you'd like more details on the game you'll find links to the review of the original game and the Underworld expansion below.
Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click the letter or here for details)
Both Sacred and the expansion, Sacred Underworld were impressive. Combined they make an excellent package that no fan of hack-'n'-slash RPG games can afford to miss.