The life and magic in Ancaria is powered by a mysterious force called the T-Energy. This was controlled by the Seraphim, who passed on the knowledge and duty to the High Elves who then became the dominant race. However, a divide is created within the High Elves, and other races see it as a chance to gain control.
Despite the cool introduction sequence, the story development through the game is lacking. It feels like you are just doing routine chores for people and committing mass genocide to the monsters within the world.
The game allows you to pick a preset character from six classes which cannot be modified. With four of the characters (Shadow Warrior, The High Elf, Dryad, Temple Guardian), you can choose either the Light or the Dark campaign, whereas two of the classes automatically dictate the campaign (Seraphim is Light, and the Inquisitor is the Dark campaign). After choosing a special ability and difficulty level, you can begin the game.
The upper left of the screen contains a picture of your character surrounded by a red bar representing health and a green one for experience alongside your character's level. The top right shows your mini map with the options to change the size and scale. Using tab will also bring up a square box with a clearer map. The lower right features a group of buttons which gives you access to extra menus. The book will bring up your missions; the helmet shows your inventory, the eye for your character information and the lightning for your skills. The circles located above this are for buff quick links and to get on/off/call your mount. The lower left is for your special ability and relics which add resistances. The central bottom has an area to place attack combinations. The interface can feel a little unclear and daunting at first, and it would have been good to have a tutorial to inform you what is available to you.
You can either use the WASD keys to move and pan the camera, or use the mouse. I found using the WASD control to be better, and just using the mouse to do the attacking. With a quick press of the Q button, you pick up all the items in range around you which speeds up the looting process. There's a many types of weapons, armour and accessories to collect with different rarities.
Speaking to some of the NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) in the game will give you tasks to complete. Icons are shown on the map, so you always know where you need to go. The map is massive and so is the sheer quantity of quests. Even if you wanted to try and rush through the game, it's probably going to take around 25 hours.
By defeating enemies and completing quests, you gain experience. Attaining enough of these and you level up. This allows you to assign points to increase your attributes and skills. Every so often, you can choose a new skill. There's plenty of skills to choose from, including weapon, magic, armour, regeneration, riding, blacksmith and more.
You have a standard attack which is performed with the Left Mouse Click, and special attacks using the Right Mouse Click. You can choose a sequence of 1-4 attacks (depending on your skills) to form a combination and place this in the slots on the interface. These skills are improved by finding Runes rather than by levelling up which allows you to get strong early in the game. With the Runes you find that are for other classes, you can trade 4 of them plus some coins for a Rune of your choice.
There's something about hacking and slashing enemies that is addictive, but that's pretty much all you are doing. It does get old pretty fast, especially with the frequency of enemies. Since you are mainly running around solo, there's not much scope for strategy unlike a game like Baldur's Gate, so it feels more like the spin-off Dark Alliance. The bosses can be massive but even with these I didn't see the scope for strategy and the size of them made it hard to attack smaller minions that may be in the area.
Some of the dialog is quite humorous and the game doesn't take itself too seriously. In some towns a bard sings songs by the power metal band Blind Guardian.
With a lack of story, Sacred 2 isn't any where near as captivating as other RPGs and essentially becomes a tedious grind of side quests. The sheer amount of enemies makes the game drag on, and due to the length of the game, it's hard to find the motivation to finish it; never mind replay the game with a different character or a different difficulty level. With the amount of different characters and difficulty, it implies Sacred 2 was designed to be replayed, but the game's length definitely contradicts that.