The main problem with seeing a game on the show floor at a consumer-friendly gaming convention in Germany, is that everyone speaks German. It makes sense, considering 99% of the people coming through to play their games are German, but boy does being in that 1% other bracket suck. Case in point, Ascaron's Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. I've been dying to get my hands on the isometric action RPG for more than a year now, and when I finally have it cornered it turns out to be the German language version. Rather than let the fact that I couldn't read any of the text get me down, I decided to pretend that I could instead. With a cheery grunt-nagen I got my 10 minutes of Sacred 2 on.When the demo kicks off, you get to choose between five different characters, the Seraphim, Shadow Warrior, High Elf, Dryad, and Temple Guardian. While three of them are relatively attractive women, I instead went with the Temple Guardian, since he looked a bit like an undead robot Anubis, Egyptian god of the living impaired. Upon selecting my avatar, I was dropped in the middle of a small village, surrounded by folks with various icons over their heads. Vendors, crafters, and...AHA! Someone with a question mark over their head. I had managed to find a quest giver. This was going to be easy! Turns out the quest giver wanted me to spriegel the schmitzel wertzen or something to that effect, which seemed to indicate to me that he wanted me to wander off into the woods and kill many, many wolves. Wolves are the rats of the isometric action RPG. My undead dogman came with a scepter for melee attacks, as device that seemed to shoot lasers when enemies were out of melee range, and a right mouse button attack that called forth a swirling mass of ether that would then shoot forth a glowing tendril, damaging the enemy. From the moment I discovered it, every enemy got the swirly gate treatment. You can't go back to regular melee attacks after delivering an ethereal energy enema to a mutated wolf. After the wolves came a gaggle of human bandits, who went down relatively easily. Having no real direction, I wandered randomly throughout the countryside after that, killing more wolves, more bandits, and getting frustrated that I couldn't kill the rabbits or cows. You cannot put a cow into an action RPG and then not let me kill it. If Sacred 2 bombs completely, mark my words – it was because of the cow issue. Towards the end of my 10 minutes of pretending to read German proficiently I ran into another quest giver, who wound up following me around everywhere I went. I guess he wanted me to do something, and apparently that something didn't involve killing wolves, bandits, or standing in a field bitching about cows. At least I found it fulfilling. Abortive cow tipping attempts aside, the game is very pretty to look at no matter how close you zoom into your character, combat is exactly what you've come to expect from this particular RPG sub-genre, and was quite capable. The voice acting needed some work, but it's nothing that switching to a language I can actually comprehend wouldn't fix. Once my 10 minutes was up the PC restarted the demo automatically, and a nice woman directed me towards the exit, leaving me with these words of wisdom: "If you seek buy game, click on tombstones. So funny!" Well at least she tried.
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