The game is very open-ended. From the start of which ever character or path you choose, the exploring and fighting starts and thrust me....there is a lot to explore. The world of Sacred 2 is very massive and loaded with side quests. The use of mounts (horses, and other mobile creatures you can buy), obelisks and warps can make your journey much less time consuming. I chose to be a High Elf in the light campaign and the instant I opened up the gates of the town I began in...I was ambushed by enemies...almost to the point of death right there. The controls might take a bit to get used to but the action scheme is very customizable and with a decent amount of empty slots to add either magic, weapons and shields collected in the game.
Speaking of the game's items, it doesn't take too long to completely fill up all your inventory from the loot dropped by the vast array of enemies that litter the landscape or the random barrels and chests in caves and in random households (ah the old, break in to a random villager's house and steal their loot deal that you find in say..Legend of Zelda and others). Thankfully you can rid yourself of the extra inventory by saving it in a Hero's Chest for later use, selling it, or , of you are stuck in the wilderness, simply scrapping old, worthless items for stronger loot you find.
As you battle your magic/skills and you level up. The quickest way to level up though is to complete a large amount of side missions. Actually much of your time in the game will be completing side missions as there are over 600 of them! You can of course skip them and go to the story's main tasks, marked on the map in a gold circle..but expect enemies to be much more fierce. Some side quests are a bit dull, I'll admit but some are pretty fun with awesome boss battles at the end of them, so they are worth it. Having people play with you online in this is a great bonus and like MMORPGs, can lead to quicker execution of tasks.
There are some quirks about Sacred 2 though. The inventory system can get rather cumbersome and its rather tough to see which weapons are the best to use. Also, the game's frame rate will slow when thee is lots of enemies and magic being throw around. I have the Xbox 360 version but I hear the same happens on the PS3. Similarly, the game will have odd loading slowdowns in the towns...something I'll admit I'm shocked to see on an Xbox 360.
Despite some flaws, I still give the game a 8 out of 10. It has the pick up and play feel of older games, the open ended play like GTA and makes me now think about picking up similar games that I've for so long avoided like WoW, Diablo, and Everquest.
Check me out on Xbox Live to see my progress in this game and others.
My gamer tag is chuckgaff415.
I'm still playing through the game (its very long, another benifit) so any new tidbits I can add to the review, I'll let you all know ;-)
Check out the trailer here: