I reviewed Sacred 2 when it first came out on the PC, and it proved to be a somewhat enjoyable, large, though mindless hack-and-slash RPG. After playing the console version, I feel like I'd rather go back to what it was on the PC, since while the console version keeps a lot of the flaws, it creates more in interface, multiplayer, and graphics as well.

To summarize Sacred 2: a top-down action RPG (similar to Diablo) in which you travel across a vast landscape solving quests and kicking the crotch of Evil (or Good, depending). There are two campaigns to follow, Light and Dark, though choosing one or the other only affects a small number of quests that you take. There are five characters to choose, a diverse selection between the cheerleader-like Seraphim, the broody Inquisitor, the nature-loving Dryad, the not-quite-dead-but-not-undead-either Shadow Warrior, and the robot dog Templar, which bears a striking resemblance to Anubis. Each of them have 15 different skills that you can level up by finding runes and modify, which means adding special effects, extra damage, and so forth by putting modification points into them.

When I say the world is large I mean it. Ridiculously large. Playing for two dozen hours could mean you've explored 10% of the map, if you're thorough and hunt down all the little quests people give you. There are the campaign quests, as mentioned above, as well as character quests, unique to each person. There's certainly no shortage of things to do in Sacred 2, although repetition is a problem. Generally the quests involve killing something, picking up a macguffin, meeting someone else, or a combination of all three. Sometimes the game mixes things up, but in an action-RPG, it's not worth it to expect diversity.

Now if you want an in-depth look at the game, I suggest reading the PC review. But if you're looking specifically for what the consoles do different...well, here you go: not a whole lot. Oh, sure, the controls, interface, and all that jazz are switched up, but extra content is missing, which is a bit of a disappointment.

The interface, first of all, just does not feel as good as it did. Simply bringing up menus feels a little cumbersome, and cycling through the many, many items that you're likely to pick up takes time. There's a 'compare' button that allows you to switch between any two specific pieces of equipment to see what differences there are between them, but it doesn't work too well.

Equipping and using items and skills is one thing I did find improved this time around; instead of having to switch between weapon sets, you can simply assign each one to different face buttons (plus, pressing L2 or R2 will bring up extra 'sets' of face buttons, allowing 12 different hotkeys in total). This means it's incredibly easy to switch between, say, a ranged weapon and a melee weapon on the fly, since all you need to do is assign the melee to one button, the ranged to another, and attack by pressing either or them. The same goes with active abilities, so it's easy to string together a number of them on enemies.

Combat can get pretty dull. While running up to an enemy and pressing the attack button works on a PC for whatever reason, doing it on a console can feel slow and monotonous. Holding down the X button while you watch your character slowly chip away at an enemy's health is not the most stirring rendition of 'fun' I've seen. The lack of a mouse pointer also leads to problems, as you target enemies by pushing in their direction with the analog stick. This leads to a lot of problems, such as shooting enemies offscreen or opting to shoot the guy that's thirty feet away, instead of the one right next to you, stabbing your knees.

Offline co-op mode is present in this version of the game, but it doesn't handle well. Just starting up a new game means that first you have to start a character, then you have to log off and your friend logs in, then he starts a new character, then he logs off and you log in, then you start a co-op game, then he signs in after you've started. It smells like a cheaply-veiled port, as there are multitudes of ways that this could've been handled better.

The menu system also becomes a real problem in co-op, since the problem of the game not pausing in the menu becomes a real problem when you can't actually see the other character being attacked (the camera zooms in on whatever character has their menu open). Oh, yes, and only one character can open their menu at once. It doesn't stop there, however. Item drops are immediately assigned to a player, regardless of who killed the monster, who's closest, or who needs it the most. The other character can't pick it up at all. This is odd enough, but then you get the inability to actually trade between two people (keep in mind that when you're online you can trade with other players) leads to frustrating experiences that make you feel that the game is deliberately holding you back because you're playing with someone else.

Oh, yes, online mode. You can play online with others, though there are issues with connection speeds and lag. Be prepared to be attacked by enemies that you can't see yet, skating across the ground because your animation isn't kicking in, and then eventually disconnection. It just doesn't work well, which is a shame, since I liked playing online on the PC version. There isn't much of an online fanbase anyway; I could only find a few rooms to join.

Sacred 2 is a flawed game, but that was when it was on the PC. On the consoles, it's even worse (did I mention there are framerate issues as well?) It's not really worth it; it's few redeeming features (offline co-op, for example) don't work and don't feel like they're much fun. if you really want to play Sacred 2, then play it on the PC.