Yet the biggest killer of any thrill in Sacred 3 is how depressingly formatted the missions are. Every level has almost exactly the same structure. In fact, Sacred 3 adheres so rigidly to
this it's the one thing about the game I've memorised. It starts with you being teleported into the map some distance from your objective, with the game making some plot excuse as to why you weren't teleported directly to your objective.
Then you kill some monsters. Then there's a bit where you have to destroy a specific object, or series of objects. Next comes a moment in which the camera zooms out to give you an (admittedly impressive) panoramic view of the level. Then you'll probably have to spin a wheel for some reason while holding off waves of enemies. After that there's usually a section where stuff falls from the sky that you need to dodge. Somewhere amid all this you'll fight some "Elite" monsters. The mission ends with a boss fight. Repeat twenty times. It's factory-assembled gaming, a numbing conveyor belt of experiences.
All of these dubious qualities come together to make Sacred 3 a dull, repetitive title. But what makes it especially bad, what lowers it from being merely uninteresting to utterly cringe-worthy, is the writing. Now, I expect a quality script in an action RPG in the same way I expect a nutritious meal when ordering from Burger King. But Sacred 3 is a masterclass in how not to write a game.
Here's why, it's trying desperately to be witty and self-referential, but its aspirations way outstrip its capabilities, and the result is a witless and irritating mess. The best is can amount to is saying things sarcastically, which requires no comedic talent whatsoever. All sarcasm amounts to is an intonation. Virtually anything can be said sarcastically. Try it yourself! Here are some phrases for you to inject your most sarcastic tones into.
"Well I guess I'll order the strawberry tart."
"Thank you for such a lovely present."
"One plus elephant equals banana."
"Scurvy, not as fun as it sounds."
Three of those I made up, one of which is nonsense. The last one is a genuine line from the game, which is some sort of reverse-irony so perplexing thinking about it triggers shooting pains behind my left eye. It's actually pretty difficult to say sarcastically, which
The most annoying spout of the excruciating dialogue is Aria, the daughter of the Resistance's leader. She is essentially your guide through the adventure, offering you advice and explaining your objectives. This she does approximately every thirty seconds, bundling her statement together with some stupid quip or awkwardly explaining her point in too much detail. She is incessantly unfunny. At one point, when she said "Do I need to tell you how awesome you are?" I yelled at the monitor "No! Please, just stop talking!"
Aria isn't the only clueless clown in this calamitous circus either. There's also Zep'tik, whose funny trait is saying the wrong word sometimes. For example, he might mistakenly say 'Septic' instead of 'Zep'tik. Hilarious! And there's the Safiri warrior himself, whose speciality is overly specific exclamations using the formula of "By the NOUN that VERBS my NOUN!" Pass me a sewing kit, I think I've split my sides!
I can understand the desire to avoid the stale, po-faced dialogue that is the sad staple of the genre, but you need to learn to walk before entering the Olympic marathon. It's telling that the one character played straight, the evil Lord Zane, is easily the best written, a good old fashioned baddie with a gravelly voice who clearly revels in committing acts of evil. For what it's worth, the voice acting is pretty good too. Even the most infuriating characters are acted with gusto, which is likely half the reason why they're so damned aggravating.
Lots of folk have complained in the run up to release that Sacred 3 looks nothing like the previous games. Since I haven't played any of the previous games, that isn't something I can comment on. But I do know this isn't the reason why you should avoid Sacred 3. Instead concern yourself with the repetitive structure, the lacklustre co-op, the uninspired RPG systems, and the hideous, grating dialogue. If you want an action RPG, go play Diablo III. If you want a funny RPG, go play Divinity Original Sin. Whatever you do, leave Sacred 3 well alone, and for goodness sake don't ask it to tell you a joke.