Sacred Citadel

7.0 Overall Score

Co-Op Is Fun| Weapons Offer Variety

Lack of Variety In Combat | Leveling Up Means Little

Written by on April 22, 2013 in [, ]

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Sacred has been fairly synonymous with being a loot driven game, similar in style to Diablo. Rather than being groundbreaking, series entries iterate on concepts from other games. Sacred Citadel, the newest game set in the Sacred universe, feels similar to the Sacred games in that it’s not very unique but it can still be fairly enjoyable due to familiar conventions from previous games.

Sacred Citadel is a sidescrolling brawler, similar to a game like Castle Crashers. You travel from the left side of the screen to the right, beating up every single thing that gets in your way. While there is a story to the game, it can be almost completely glossed over. You have to stop an evil war lord from recovering a pair of ancient artifacts and using them to take over the world.

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The game offers you four different classes to play as, each with their own set of unique abilities, though they all use the same set of combo attacks. Each character has a unique off-hand weapon, but again these weapons all serve to play into the same set of combos. The unique abilities, however, do offer a bit of variation to your character. For instance, the Warrior character can create a massive shockwave attack. Later in the game, you gain multiple levels for this attack, meaning that if you keep building up your special attack meter, you can create a huge explosion which deals massive damage.

However, one major problem with this system is that once your special attack meter hits its next level, you can’t use a smaller attack. For instance, the Shaman character’s first level move is to fully heal every player and their second level offers a buff to characters. If you want to use that healing ability, though, you need to make sure you do it before reaching the second level maneuver, as you simply can’t drop back down to a lower ability. This can be extremely frustrating when you have multiple players, all with low health and no health potions and you are no longer able to heal them because you hit one too many enemies.

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There is an experience system for players. When you level up though, it doesn’t feel like your character gets that much stronger. Castle Crashers has a similar system, but as you level up you gain new abilities and clearly become faster and more efficient. In Sacred Citadel, your character feels just as weak when you level them up.

The only real way to make your characters feel stronger is by picking up weapons that enemies drop. This loot system, while simple, adds a decent layer of complexity. Each weapon has specific effects, like the ability to freeze and poison enemies. These effects can be combined between your two sets of weapons, meaning you can have an enemy on fire while frozen. Plus, these abilities can be combined between players so playing with multiple people turns you into this sort of unstoppable death machine.

Thought the attack combos themselves are fairly simple, when you are playing with multiple people you can chain insane attacks together. Often times, all you will end up doing is pushing every enemy into a corner with your attacks and juggling them between players. It makes almost any encounter in-between boss fights incredibly easy.

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Playing with others does have a number of improvements over other brawlers. For instance, any gold that you find is given to all players. This means that there’s no real competition over who should get gold and who shouldn’t. This also applies to any experience points gained, so even if you have to sit on the sidelines for a second or two, you’ll still get the same amount of experience as everyone else.

One larger problem with the co-op is how you revive other players. When someone goes down, you travel over to them and hit the “X” button. When they recover though, they are barely given any health back. Often times, this can result in one player dying, and the second player reviving them only for them to die moments later in a boss encounter.

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Everything about Sacred Citadel seems designed not to stand out. That’s not a bad thing per se, as the mechanics of the game are solid and the multiplayer is a good bit of fun. There’s nothing that’s outright terrible about the game but there’s nothing that is totally unique or brilliant about it, either. It works as intended, no more no less.

A code for Sacred Citadel was provided to The Married Gamers for review.

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Author: Addam Kearney View all posts by

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