Sacred Citadel ReviewPC
key review info
- Game: Sacred Citadel
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
The Sacred series may not be as successful as other fantasy franchises, but it does have its fair share of fans all around the world who thoroughly enjoyed the first two games and their different expansions.
Now, in order to make the wait for Sacred 3 a bit easier, publisher Deep Silver decided to release Sacred Citadel, a new type of experience set in the franchise's universe, which is a retro side-scrolling brawler.
With the promise of delivering a new experience that's grounded in the Sacred universe but isn't taking itself too seriously, Sacred Citadel is looking like a promising title.
Does the new game manage to score a critical hit or does its brawling action get old fast? Let's find out.
Sacred Citadel is a part of the franchise and its story tries to live up to the plots of previous games but doesn't exactly manage to explain just what's going on. There are intrigues and lots of items that need to be collected, but it won't offer longtime fans of the series any satisfaction.
In terms of gameplay, Sacred Citadel manages to combine elements from lots of classic side-scrolling brawlers, like Streets of Rage or Golden Axe, while adding a Sacred twist to the action.
Players can choose from several characters: the Warrior, the Shaman, the Mage, or the Ranger. While they're supposed to be different, their core attacks are the same, as they can wield two weapons, each with different stats or elemental effects.
The main difference, however, is in terms of special moves, as each class also has unique weapons that can be wielded only by them. From a huge hammer used by the Warrior, to a Ranger's bow, these more powerful attacks can make a big difference in terms of play style.
Each character also has different Rage attacks that can be unleashed when a box-like meter is filled up. The heroes can also pull off different combos by alternating between light and heavy attacks and by pressing one of the different directional buttons.
While in theory the combat sounds fun enough, in practice the enemy AI is very aggressive and will take cheap shots at the player whenever they're trying to charge up an attack or right after they have completed a successful combo.
This sort of cheap strategy makes going through Sacred Citadel quite difficult, as all boss fights are pretty hard (there are no difficulty levels) and they spawn a lot of smaller foes that always manage to hit the player while he or she is focusing on the bigger foe.
There's a level up mechanic that gives players the chance to spend points in different attributes, including Attack, Defense, Dexterity, or Power. As you play, you can also loot different weapons from foes, including new main or secondary items, not to mention potions. You can pick up new sets of armor as well, but they don't change the look of your hero. Last but not least, there are different crystals that can be equipped for temporary bonuses but they're quite forgettable.
Enemies are pretty varied but almost all of the four main acts have different cheap foes that are a pain to deal with, like Act 2's jumping piranha fish. When fighting these opponents, it's pretty much mandatory to block and use the tactical roll that makes your character invincible during the animation.
Sacred Citadel also supports a cooperative multiplayer mode that allows up to three players to go through the campaign. While this makes things much easier, especially towards the end, it also creates a hectic on-screen experience that will confuse some players.
You can play with others online or locally by having multiple controllers. While the game has support for the mouse and keyboard, it's extremely clunky so you're better off using a controller.
In terms of visuals, Sacred Citadel looks very impressive, with its stylized looks blending perfectly with the fantasy atmosphere. Sadly, on the PC, the maximum resolution caps out at 1600x900, which is extremely peculiar.
Audio-wise, the title is a weird experience, as the main menu music features dubstep, while the actual mission soundtrack blends traditional fantasy tracks with lots of house and electro elements.
Sacred Citadel could have been a great side-scrolling brawler thanks to its great visuals and retro-themed mechanics. Sadly, the aggressive AI, the repetitive combat, and the peculiar soundtrack diminish its value greatly.